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I have been thinking much more fully about my personal faith in God.  It is a subject that I want to explore in some detail.  So I have decided to write some essays -- or at least some thoughts upon this subject and put them out there for others to see.  To truly love God is to want to share a little of that love with others, in the hope that it will honor Him.  So that is what this section is about.  I ask only that any reader respect my sharing and take from  it, only what I intend.  That I -- personally -- Love God -- and that I -- personally -- Love Jesus Christ.  I feel blessed by His Presence Every Day in a dozen different ways. 

I am a Christian, but was born into a family that wasn't affiliated with any church.   I went to Sunday school only when I visited my Grandparents at a lovely little Methodist church located in a small town.  I loved the music and the feeling of being accepted for who I was when I was there.  It was a wonderful little congregation with many near and far relatives mixed into the group.  I had a very basic belief in God and knew about Jesus Christ, though more the Baby Jesus than the grown man.  We sang the Doxology

"Praise Him from whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below, Praise Him Above Yea Heavenly Host, Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen."

so I had heard of the Holy Spirit, as well, but it was all very rudimentary and my Sunday school teachers must have offered very benign lessons, for I remember no fire and brimstone.  Sermons must have been of similar impact -- 20 or so minutes to be gotten through until it was time to sing again.

When I was in fifth and sixth grade in the public school system in Kansas City, I was assigned to a really good teacher, one Mrs. Garrett, an avowed Seventh Day Adventist, who, none the less, would have been considered a terror of political incorrectness by today's standards.  She had charge of a large, somewhat rambunctious group of fifth and sixth graders.  She motivated us to learn our lessons and stay somewhat calm by the incentive of promising to read Bible stories to us each afternoon, after recess.  Now, today, this would no doubt be grounds for her dismissal, but I guess, not then.  All the children loved this time and a few choice things that she read still lodge in some manner in my memory, though the exact details may have been fuzzed by time and by a child's interpretation of what we were being read.

The one I remember most is the fact that sinners would be forgiven as many of their sins as there were Angels in Heaven.  After that magic number, I'm afraid the poor sinner was in deep trouble.  I remember wondering just how many Angels there were and being concerned to stay on the plus side of the ledger.

In the mid-1960s I married my beloved John.  He was from a Catholic background and I had attended Mass, sometimes with him and/or other members of his family before we were married on many occasions.  Especially noteworthy was Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.  I loved the more formal rituals, the incense, the white robed alter boys, the Latin.  It seemed very solemn, very reverent.

For marriage to a Catholic to be accepted by the Church, it was necessary to go to a series of instruction classes and also agree to raise the children as Catholic.  Since I had not considered myself to be a member of any Protestant denomination, save a leaning toward Methodist in my childhood, I decided to take instruction to learn Catholicism and become an adult convert.  It seemed, to me to be the best way of embracing a more fulfilling faith in adulthood than I had experienced as a child and would have the added benefit of making the raising and religious education of our future children easier to accomplish.

I completed the prescribed course of adult instruction and was baptized at Easter time in 1967.  Since that time, I've learned the Faith in bits and pieces.  Sometimes making good strides forward, at others falling a step or two backwards.  For many years I was able to rely upon my Mother-in-law for information and guidance in church matters, since she was one of the more devoted practicing Catholics that I knew.  I find that "the more I know....the less I seem to understand".   This is really a good thing.  It keeps me coming back for more.

In more recent years, the Church has instituted a new way of preparing converts to learn more about the faith they want to embrace.  Now, the newly baptized can also be confirmed in their faith shortly after they are baptized.   My own journey was much more haphazard than this and took some 33 years to complete. 

As part of a special Jubilee Year celebration, the Diocese arranged an adult confirmation for 79 of us "straying sheep".  Each church with candidates set the criteria for how their candidates would prepare and then we all convened at the Cathedral on January 29, 2000, a snowy, blustery morning, to embrace this renewal and enhancement of our faith within the Catholic Church.

It is with great joy that I came to Confirmation in my Faith.   Many helped me to prepare.  And for all these people, I am very grateful:   Isabella, Darrell, Father Ken, the wonderful members of my Bible study group and of the choir and my special friend and sponsor, Betty.  Never, have I felt any more close to these members of my faith family than I did this day.  I have tried to practice my faith with reverence and meaning for all these years and, Yet, my Confirmation meant something very special and thrilling to me.  I thank God for His Grace and will try to live more fully each day in His Love.  And I pray each day for opportunities to learn more about my faith in all it's facets.

If I could live to be one hundred, I would still only scratch the surface of the accumulated  knowledge available for study on the Christian faith.   Scholars are learning new things every day.  It is an exciting time in history to be living.



- My Faith Journey - - SCC - - Thoughts on Prayer - - A Prayer - - Bible Quotes -
- Answered Prayers,an Essay - - Sand Art - - Forwards - - The Saints -
- Mary, Mother of Jesus - - Saint Joseph - - A Prayer as War Begins -

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