I was brought up as a Catholic and attended Catholic school for eight years. We were taught about God and how we need to fear him. I especially remember having to memorize the ten commandments-all the “Thou shalt nots”. Church was dark and confession was even darker. We said the rosary and learned different prayers, but I longed to use my own words.
I really rebelled when I attended high school. I went to a boarding school and I became more daring because I was away from home. My friend and I put little plastic monkeys in the wine container when we went to mass because we wanted to try to lighten up the boring mass. Of course we were discovered and our punishment fit the crime. We were forced to attend an even more boring mass with elderly people watching our every move. We just wanted God as life!
In college I continued to seek the real God. I knew there must be more than religious tradition. I went to a certain group because I thought they were open to all people and I believed that God was that way too. There was much discussion but I went home with an empty feeling. Then I noticed a friend at school was away quite often and I asked where she was going. She said “you wouldn’t be interested,” which made me even more curious. I kept bothering her and she finally told me she was meeting with some Christians. I asked if I could go with her sometime and she reluctantly brought me. I was amazed when I walked into the large living room. There were a number of people (mostly in their 20s) singing and playing guitars. I really felt the love of God poured out there. It was so moving that I spent the rest of the time crying.
I returned again and am still continuing after 20 years. In the meantime I have learned a few things in the Bible. John 4:24 says, “God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.” And John 6:63 says, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” I have been enjoying this spirit and this Word very much. There is a line in a hymn which says “Here I find a never-ending, sure supply,/While the endless ages roll,/To this, Healing Fountain I would ever fly/There to bathe my weary soul.” (Hymns, 332) I am so thankful that I found this sure supply and got attached to “the true vine, Christ” (John 15:1).
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