Today we face a crossroad. With all the Christian Religions out there, it's
difficult to be sure we are following the path the Lord is leading us to.
It's difficult also, discerning which of our thoughts are our own and which are
from God. However, it's usually a good sign, when we are drawn closer to our
Father in Heaven. "What inspires us toward God, is of God, and what takes us
away from God, is not of God".
Many years ago, I came to a crossroad. I was going to leave the Catholic faith,
to join another religion. I was thirsting at the time, and praying for
a sign from God to lead me. The people in this other church, were pressuring
me for an answer, and they said they'd give me one month to make up my mind.
Well, for one month I prayed hard, asking God to give me a sign as to what He
wanted me to do. Up to that point, I was a devout Roman Catholic. I was
married and had an infant son. I continued to pray for a sign, getting more
desperate with my prayers, as the time was approaching fast when I'd have to
give these people an answer.
On the Sunday before I was to meet with them, I went to Sunday mass as usual.
My son was only two months old at the time, and after mass, I'd dart out the
door of the church, to get home to my baby. This particular Sunday though,
a woman who was standing behind me, started talking to me. As we spoke, a
young gentleman approached us, and asked me to please forgive the intrusion,
but he had to speak to me. He said that even though he didn't know me, he'd
seen me in church, and for some unexplained reason the Lord was compelling him
speak to me. He felt awkward approaching me, so he prayed for a sign that it was
truly God's will that he approach me. He never had an opportunity to approach
me before, because I'd dash out of the church so fast, so he asked God that if He
really wanted this to happen, I'd for some reason stay, after mass was over. I
was detained by the woman behind me, and so he approached me with the news that
God wanted me to remain in the Catholic faith. That God
knew that I was thirsting in my faith for more knowledge. (I graduated public
schools and had no formal catholic education up to that point, except for catechisms for
Holy Communion and Confirmation). He said that the Lord was leading him to
tell me that I should start attending the weekly prayer meetings of the Catholic
Charismatic Renewal. I told the young man that he had no idea just how glad I
was that he acted out in faith. I told him about my prayers and that I was
about to make the biggest mistake of my life. I told him that this had to be
the sign I'd prayed for, and what a sign it was.
I went to my first prayer meeting that very Wednesday, and entered the church
a little late. The people were all sitting around in a circle holding hands,
with their eyes closed. Then they began speaking and singing in a strange
language. I backed up against the wall, so as not to be seen. I thought, "this
is a coven of witches, and they are going to sacrifice me, as a lamb being led
to the slaughter". I ran out as fast as I could.
The following Sunday after mass, I ran into a dear priest who has since passed,
God Bless his soul, and who brought Charismatic Renewal to our church, St. Irenaeus, in Philadelphia.
His name was Father Summers, an angel; he approached me and asked me why I wasn't at the
prayer meeting. I told him that I did go, but that I heard them chanting or
something, and that it frightened me. He told me to go home and read "Acts"
in the Bible. Well, I'm sorry to say that I didn't own a bible at that time.
So, that Monday morning I went out to buy one, and promptly looked up "Acts".
Acts 2:3; "Then they (the apostles), saw what looked like tongues of fire which
spread out and touched each person there. They were all filled with the Holy
Spirit and began to talk in other languages. The Spirit enabled them to speak."
Well, I learned something, and from that moment on, I read the bible, and
attend the weekly prayer meetings. We've attended many classes on bible
study and theology. There were seminars and baptisms. I was baptized in the
Holy Spirit. I learned my Catholic faith. I learned too, that it isn't a
sin to love our Blessed Mother. That God chose her to be the mother of His Son.
No matter what else you do believe, believe this: The Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit would not be very pleased if you didn't love and respect the
mother of Jesus Christ.
There was a time, when I was afraid to show my affection for the Blessed Mother.
I was afraid that God would think I was worshipping her above Him. However, I
know that I keep God first and foremost, that I adore Him above all else. Our
Blessed Mother inspires us toward God. Remember, "what inspires us toward God,
is of God..."
We forget, too often, that God has created the world, that He governs it
and that our Mother is Queen not only of Heaven, but also of Earth. She does
only what God wants her to do.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Eminent Prelate of the Sacred Congregation for
the Doctrine of the Faith, reminds us that Mary's primary exhortation,
issued with maternal solicitude, is "Do whatever He tells you."
Don't be afraid to love our Blessed Mother...She loves you...Give her the love
and respect she deserves...