Someone has said that becoming Catholic is not for wimps. That is the truth. We knew we wanted to become Catholic, but we had a lot to learn- and, quite frankly, a lot to un-learn.
We joined RCIA and began attending Mass weekly. Slowly we began meeting people in the parish. I stayed in close contact with our pastor. He was, and continues to be, very helpful.
One of the hardest things about it all was that we could not receive the Eucharist until we became Catholic. At the time of our decision, that was 8 months away. It seemed like forever. But the time sped past and it wasn't long before we were approaching the Easter Vigil when we would be confirmed and receive our First Holy Communion.
The Easter Vigil was everything I hoped it would be- and more. I lived every minute of it. I was filled with such joy and anticipation. The journey home was finally coming to an end. Adding to my joy was the opportunity to see my whole family come in along with me. All of us were so excited about it all. It had been a long road and we were finally home.
There are no words to describe what I felt as we were confirmed and then received the precious Body and Blood of our Lord for the first time. But my youngest son summed it up for us. After receiving the Eucharist, he leaned over and asked my wife if we would be Catholic the next time we visited another parish where we attend when we are on vacation. She answered that we would. He said, "You mean we're Catholic everywhere? This is the best day of my life!" We could all echo that statement.
It's been almost 7 months since that night. We have learned a lot of things. We continue to learn. My boys are in our parish school now. We pray the rosary together as a family and attend daily Mass when we are able. We are learning about devotion to the saints, especially our blessed Mother. We rejoice in the safety and stability we have found in joyfully submitting to the authority of the Pope. We have learned to see Purgatory as an expression of God's Grace, and we are becoming more aware of our responsibility, and desire, to pray for those who are there. The Mass is awesome and amazing. It is rare that we do not learn something new merely by observing what is taking place there.
This journey began with my reading about the Fathers 16 years ago. It began to really take shape about 7 years ago while I was still pastoring my first church. The road has been long and hard. But it truly was worth it all. I am comforted to know that if this journey turned out so well, then our continuing pilgrimage toward heaven will be infinitely better. Truly, it is worth it to endure these momentary light afflictions for the surpassing glory that awaits us. We pray that we may be found faithful until the end. Even so, come Lord Jesus!
This is my story, this is my song- praising my Savior all the day long!