Since school is out for the summer, I decided to pick up on some of my reading which has fallen by the wayside. Since I have about 38 books going at the same time, picking which one I am going to focus on is not as easy as one might think…
I started reading a little of the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, and was just reading straight through. But then, I flipped back and looked again at the questions at the end of the first chapter. You know, if I’m going to read the book, I might as well think about the questions, right? So, I think I’ll reflect upon them one chapter at a time… 🙂
Chapter 1: My Soul Longs for You, O God (Ps 42:2)
What are you looking for in life?
I guess I don’t have too many expectations of life, but I enjoy all that it has to offer. I love new experiences, new places and interacting with people. I hope of myself to be a person of integrity and to seek after truth. I expect that life contains objective truth and that I have the possibility of knowing this truth.
What are your goals and ideals?
My goal is to really live my life and to not allow myself to be merely an observer. I value personal integrity and think that people are incredibly important. I tend to be an optimist. I’m basically a really happy person. I try to fix things or make people feel better — or at least make them laugh … at me, if nothing else. I throw everything in for love. Authentic love, not just warm fuzzies.
How do God and the Church play a part in what you are seeking?
Well, as God is Truth and Love and the Church helps me to know this, I’d say they play a huge part…. 🙂
How is your life a journey toward God?
I think the more I try to live a life of integrity, the more I try to love people, and the more I try to experience life itself; I cannot help but be drawn closer to God.
As a seeker, how do you look for truth?
I’m not very scientific or systematic about this, sorry. But I listen to the Church, because she is guided by the Holy Spirit. I have been blessed with many great teachers of the faith in my priests, professors and friends. In a way, you know truth in your heart, and you really can’t learn it from a book.
When you hear of truth or behold beauty or experience goodness, what do you think?
Usually, I thank God for it. For letting me witness it.
If you seek for God, what has made this possible?
Truly, I think that it is the work of the Holy Spirit. I really mean that.
What have you found in your search thus far?
There is a God, and He is FAR more faithful to me than I am to Him. Blessed be He. I have found that the Catholic Church does contain truth. That faith is a strength and not a weakness. That love is more important that anything else. That prayer is the best gift you can give. That I don’t have any reason to worry about anything, although I still do. That God loves me, and I don’t have to do a thing to earn that love.
As a Catholic, how are you searching for God?
Diligently?? 🙂 I suppose I try to seek out God in all aspects of my life. Certainly in reading Scripture and participating in the Sacraments, but also in my day-to-day interactions. I pray. I try to discern and do His will. I try to know Him and to have a real relationship. I mean, I go to school at Seminary and I attend Bible studies and go to talks and things like this, but that is … secondary, I suppose. I do those things because I love doing them. Like they say, when you love someone, you always want to know more about them.
Why does seeking God keep your relationship with Him dynamic?
Because God is not some remote, static thing somewhere. He is present, immediate and always interacting with us. I suppose what they really mean by this question is ‘why does actively living out your faith keep your relationship with Him dynamic’? The counter-example to this would be the married couple who has fallen into such a routine in their lives that they really don’t engage each other any more — not a healthy thing to do. If I am actively living out my faith, then I am not just ‘checking the box’ and can deepen my relationship with God.
How does the Church help you in your search for God?
She makes sure that the deposit of faith — God’s self revelation — is wholly and accurately transmitted throughout the ages. I do not have to worry about corrupt teaching on faith and morals when it comes from the Magisterium. God has ensured this for us. What a remarkable blessing! She also helps me by providing me access to the Sacraments, which allow me to come in actual contact with God. Through confession, I can receive God’s mercy for my sins and restore my relationship with Him. She also gives me a spiritual home and a community of people who show me Christ through their love for me and encourage me in my journey.
How does your family affect your faith?
My family mostly does not believe in God. It’s sad for me, because this is something that I love, and I don’t feel that I can share it with them. It’s like I cannot be fully me, or that they do not love all of me, because they do not accept this part of me. I am not silly or weak and have not lost my reason. I pray for them — not in some holier-than-thou way, but because I love them and know that God loves them and would wish for them to know Him and be able to feel His love for them and to have that security that can only come from Him. I love them very much, and I wish I could share this part of me with them.
As for my “other” family — they are a remarkable collection of people. Their faith inspires me. Their love humbles me. How can I not live with joy?