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Twenty Years a Catholic

  /   Sunday April 24, 2011  

Alleluia!  He is risen!  I wish a most Blessed and Happy Easter to all of my family, friends, and anyone who is reading this.

As we were getting up this morning, my wife reminded me that this Easter marks twenty years since I became Catholic.  I was baptized on the Easter Vigil in 1991 as a sophomore in high school.  Somehow, this had slipped my mind.  Good thing I have a wife!  This is one blogging occasion that I don’t want to miss!

Truly, I am thankful that God has led me to the Catholic Church.  It has become so much of who I am that I cannot imagine being anything else.  Nothing compares to being able to be fed, sometimes daily, with none other than the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, whose resurrection we celebrate this day.

This doesn’t mean that it was always easy, nor have I always felt the way that I do now.  When I was in college and pharmacy school in Mississippi, I was jealous of the Protestants.  They seemed to be happy in their faith.  At the time, I knew of few Catholics whose love for Jesus Christ was so visible.  Campus ministry wasn’t too helpful either.  I tried to accept what I was being taught, but something didn’t seem quite right.  It probably didn’t help that I was also somewhat anti-intellectual at the time.  Well, actually, that may have been the grace of God at the time as I might have fallen for who knows what.

However, something sustained me.   To explain this, I need to go back to the time before I became Catholic.  When I was about three or four, I have a vague memory of being in church and watching someone put something in my aunt’s mouth.  I remember thinking “I want one of those.”  This never left me, and I would later come to know just what it was that I wanted.  It was nothing less than the Holy Eucharist, God himself, and I believed in it!  While I was preparing to enter the Church, I longed to receive him.  During the last few weeks before the Easter Vigil, I was really counting down the days, tired of watching people receive what I so badly wanted but could not yet receive.  The thought that I would get to join the Church the night before Easter Sunday really appealed to me.  It was one less day I had to wait to receive him.

It was that total self-gift that God has given us in the Eucharist that sustained me during years of kind of “wandering in the dessert.”  I was always at Sunday Mass.  No matter what others had to offer, I knew that only in the Catholic Church was I receiving Jesus himself in the Eucharist.  Despite sensing that something wasn’t really right (though I couldn’t put my finger on it), I wasn’t leaving the Church.

Shortly after graduation from pharmacy school, I reached the stage where I learned that the things that didn’t seem right really weren’t right.  In many cases, this wasn’t really the fault of those involved.  However, now I was being fed with the authentic faith.  I came back to my practice of praying before the Blessed Sacrament that I had kind of fallen away from.  The result was a transformation that would still be a difficult road, but now I realized I had a purpose.  The things I discovered about the faith shortly after graduating from pharmacy school started me a path of falling in love with the Church all over again.  It became clear that there were many people who were near my age may never have had a chance to know what I had learned.   I figured out what had been bugging me.  I wanted to do something about it.

What would I do?  This would take years to fully develop.  The seeds were actually planted while I was in pharmacy school.  There were web sites being put out by people defending the teachings of the Church.  I had rarely seen people defend the teachings, and I must admit that I didn’t like them at first.  Still, I had my own web page and did some of the same stuff.  Later, when I was working and had money, I would buy some Catholic teachings on tape.  God was telling me that I could do this on a local level.  So, I began recording RCIA talks into my computer and making CDs (later MP3s).  A couple of years later, I joined an RCIA where I was allowed to give some talks, which I also recorded.  God was using my desire to teach, my media hobby, and my geekiness for his own purpose.

Things have continued to change.  I am learning more about the faith, and especially about liturgy.  Yana and I will have our first-born son this September.  I am going to be working in my own domestic church. Don’t get me wrong; I never want to stop working however I can in evangelization and the use of new media.  I don’t think God called me to it just to take it away completely, especially since I still have the desire.  However, I do know that my ultimate responsibility will be for the souls of those whom God has entrusted directly to Yana and me.  I thank God for all he has given me these past twenty years and pray for his continued help for me and my family.

Category: Catholic, News on My Life, Spirituality

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