Monday, November 10, 2014

Me and Jesus, We Had Our Own Thing Going

When I was a young teenager I asked for a new way to pray.  I encountered Christ in a way that I knew He was real, that the Bible was true and I was called to be a disciple.  And then I became a saint, but unfortunately not.  This was the thing, I looked around me and the kids in my school and on the bus and that I babysat for and went to Catechism classes with all didn't act as though they knew Christ at all.  Some adults, like my grandparents seemed to know Jesus.  The televangelists screaming on television seemed to have some idea.  But in my real everyday life I did not encounter people for whom Christ was the most important relationship in their lives.

Perhaps I hung with the wrong people.  I looked around my world and concluded that most people hadn't met Jesus yet and I didn't know what to do about it.  I had no idea how to share my budding faith.  Even my parents would not have been especially welcoming to my faith life.  I prayed in tongues and that was not something they did.  So, I did what any teenager would do, I kept it to myself.  I had Jesus and I knew Jesus was real and active in the world and in my life and I kept that a secret.

I listened for someone else to share with.  I listened to find someone else who knew.  The closest I met were some Protestants who were very condemning of Catholics.  It wasn't possible to fully share with them because I had the Eucharist even if I shared it with a bunch of people who never shared anything about Jesus moving in their lives.  I came to know that the Holy Spirit was with me.  I worried that I wasn't a good enough Catholic, but I had no call to become a Protestant.

Knowing Christ in this secret way in no way made me perfect.  I was  a normal sinful teenager.  But there were lines I wouldn't cross.  What I did with my body was one of those.  Not joining the in-crowd groups that lived to crush others was another.  Trying to be honest and faithful and attending Mass weekly and reading the Bible were other ways.  These things made me weird and different, but I didn't care.  "Me and Jesus, we had our own thing going." (This is from a song.) I knew that someday in my life I would meet others who believed.

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