Is there somebody here that has experience with a (second) spiritual awakening when you become conscious of all spiritual stuff and are rediscovering your faith all over again (after being a more or less practising member of the Church)? At what age did you go through this process? How did this process affect you and your faith in the end?
I have experienced that. I am a cradle Catholic, before it was just pretty much going to mass and accomplishing the other sacraments as I grew up. Like first communion at this age then confirmation at this age. I studied in a catholic school most of my life. By the time i entered college, I was exposed to everything. My college is a secular one, people my age in different walks of life and different religions come and study. I have met really good friends but eventually i ended up putting my faith on the side bench. Done stupid stuff despite my parent’s strict rule. Upon graduating and passing my licensure exams…moving here to the States, getting my first job my faith was just that…sunday mass…an obligation. Then came a time where I started seriously dating…both of us are cradle catholics but lukewarm…crazy in love, did stupid things…ended up getting engaged.
Then my mom introduced us to this ministry. At first we just joined as terms of gratitude for showing up to our engagement party and because my mom has been bugging us to. We come to weekly talks, have small group discussions to open up and there came a time where in all members of the ministry will pray over you. I started crying. At first, after that there was nothing much that changed…but eventually, I see the world in a different light. From the people in the ministry, up to the sacraments. We both realized what we were missing and that the stupid things are all wrong. Being in the ministry also opened up other doors to service, we got involved with teen retreats…and eventually, with the ministry needing help on certain areas…me and now my husband fill those gaps. Eventually, God was showing me my talents that I can use for service and i ended up using it in the ministry as well as helping others. With that we started to become really on fire on our faith and wanted to learn more, we became close to the elders in the ministry and seek their wisdom, we became close to a priest who is now our spiritual director…same priest who married us, we have a special and better appreciation of the sacraments…especially the Eucharist and Reconcilation.
7-6 months in our engagement, we made a vow of celibacy and consumate our marriage right under the eyes of God…and it was a fulfilling experience!
Up to now, God is still giving us the fuel to keep the fire burning! Giving us the chance to meet new people and be witnesses to them and infect them with this wild fire! He is giving us bigger chances and opportunities in serving Him and He is making it happen every single time. He has given each of us unique spritual gifts that we can use to commune and serve Him.
Yes. I was 28 years old. I had a rather dramatic conversion experience. It greatly increased my faith and brought my relationship with God to a level I never thought possible. I also became acutely aware of the Holy Spirit in my life as well as forming a personal relationship with Jesus. Although there have been times when I was less fervent than others, I have never looked back. It was the greatest thing thing that ever happened to me.
I am now 65 years old, and trust that Jesus will see me through to the end. He has promised to never let me go, and he has always been with me, even when I’ve not been at my best. I cannot imagine life without Him.
I was raised without religion and through God’s grace experienced a great desire to become a Christian when I was a child. I was received into the church at the age of 17. I always went to mass and was lucky to find a good youth ministry when I was at university. But I can’t say I grew in faith, actually I was quite stagnant. And then in my 20s I was all over the place and my spiritual life existed for one hour a week - mass on sunday. That was all.
I lived like that for about 10 years and then I started to experience a nagging in my heart - that I wasn’t really living my faith and an understanding that I should. This went on for a few years and it was a great struggle because I didn’t really understand what it meant to really live my faith and I was afraid to let go of my secular ideas about life and how one should live. But step by step I was getting closer to God and He led me in interesting ways: through people and books, and a moment of understanding during a trip to a museum when it hit me that my culture and its norms are not the truth, but just a passing trend that will one day be a chapter in a history book. It was that moment that pushed me over the edge so to speak and I knew that I had to make a conscious decision to live my faith and strive for the best, even if I fail miserably every day.
This happened about 5 years ago. I’ve never been happier in my life. Such a burden has been lifted off my shoulders and I feel truly free, even when living my faith means sacrifice and suffering.
Yes. I converted from no faith background when I was 21. I went through a lot of ups and downs as a new convert for many reasons. Then, when I was about 29 I had a lot of trouble in my life and a lot of physical suffering. God gave me a grace to embrace my suffering at that time and I grew much closer to God and that was the happiest time of my life. I need a third conversion though.
I was a lukewarm, hit-or-miss, cradle Catholic, until Mothers’ Day 2012, when I had the joy of seeing my son, who has autism, make his First Communion. (I was 41.) It felt like a tiny flame was lit within me, and that flame has grown over the past 18 months, and I sometimes feel it will consume me.
I now read spiritual books, pray the rosary daily, and take deep pride and joy in raising a Catholic son. My mother and I started a special needs ministry at our parish as well.
Best of all is the knowledge that God loves us, with all of our flaws, in spite of our failings. I turn to Him daily for help and guidance with my son’s needs and challenges.