I am writing to ask for some help, some support, some guidance and ideas; if you think you can offer any.
I have been dipping in and out of the catholic faith for a few years now, it is probably fair to say that I have never really received the answer nor support and encouragement that, in retrospect,t I needed.
I will tell you a little about myself. I was born into a catholic family, although not a practicing one. As was the custom, and expectation where I grew up, I was sent to the local catholic primary and high school. Consequently, I received the sacraments of Holy Communion, Confession and Confirmation. After leaving high school, I attended college and went on to pursue my dream career. This career involved a lot of travelling, earning a lot of money and living a good standard of life. I travelled the world and in all honestly, I had an amazing time. But, at the same time I was living life according to my own rules, at the end of the day this was how it had always been for me.
I started to work within a different sector of my industry, this involves being more settled and working from home. One day, several years ago, totally out of the blue, I had this urge to bless myself. I was sitting at my work station in my office and next thing I was blessing myself. To me, it was the weirdest thing. But, it stopped me in my tracks. And suddenly something changed and I had this strange urge (strange for me) to start to read more about the catholic faith. I researched it and I looked into it, I read books on the matter, I watched documentaries on the subject and finally I talked to God. I was a totally new thing for me. And I did feel a bit out of my depth, but I kept researching.
I found a local catholic church and I emailed the priest there and he showed me around the church and told me I was most welcome any time. He was kind and answered my questions but wasn’t that forthcoming with information. Finally, one Sunday I went to Mass. I was so nervous but it was quite frankly amazing. It was beautiful. Quite quickly, I found that going to Mass was my favourite part of the week. At the time, my husband knew nothing about this – I sneaked out of the house. My husband is not catholic, when I married religion was the not on my horizon, I married before I started to develop this interest. I was not married in a catholic church.
My husband and I were delighted to give birth to a beautiful little baby just over a year ago. She is our pride and joy. Since her birth, I have been unable to attend mass. I can’t bring myself to do it, I can’t even walk in the door. A few times, I have got to the entrance door and have turned away. I feel too hypocritical; I have been given this beautiful gift and I have decided that my marriage had nothing to do with God. I spent pretty much most of my life doing my own thing and often doing the selfish thing, but still, I was blessed with this beautiful gift. She isn’t even baptised due to my husband’s ideas about Catholicism. I feel awful about my past. I spoke briefly to the priest I had spoken to before and I kind of got the feeling that his non response was his polite way of confirming to me that I have cut myself of. I feel like God is tugging at me, I wish I could respond properly. I try to speak to God every day, and some days I feel ashamed to even turn to him in prayer. I believe in a kind and caring God, can I explain all this to him? I have turned my back on him so much, can a leopard change its spots? I really do want to let him into my life, I just don’t know how. What I want, more than anything is to walk into a church and sit quietly in his presence, I miss him.
I am sorry for writing such an essay, I guess I am looking for some suggestions, advice? Is it silly to say that my heart is aching for God?
(Ps I feel a lot better having written all this down.)