One year ago, on Easter Sunday, I received the Eucharist after 15 years of being away from such beautiful Sacrament. I cannot explain how much my life has changed since that day!
I was raised Catholic in Mexico, and I diligently completed all the basic Catholic requirements: baptism, first communion, confirmation.
As a teenager and young adult, I would pray and talk to God, yet my commitment was minimal. For months (or even years) I would not go to Mass at all. In other periods of my life, I would feel the need to go to Church, so I did it regularly. However, during all these years, I saw no point in going to confession. I knew I couldn’t receive the Eucharist, but this didn’t make me change my lifestyle or thinking. As time passed, I just became afraid of going to confession, and eventually I stopped thinking about it.
Years passed, went to university, moved to Canada, went to university again and got civilly married to a wonderful man, Morgan. I suffered from depression, things were difficult. My entire immigration experience was not what I have envisioned. For some reason I wasn’t mad at God, so I would still randomly pray and ask Him for things.
My excuse for not attending Mass in Canada was that I didn’t know any prayers in English, how was I supposed to follow Mass in a different language? Somehow the Holy Spirit never gave-up on me. Last year, one of my resolutions was to start attending Mass every Sunday. I just googled “Catholic Mass in English” printed lots of pages and showed up the second Sunday of 2015. I haven’t missed a single Sunday ever since! I realized that my resolution of only attending Mass was not enough. Although I was quite scared, I asked Father Justin if I could go to confession with him. I had no idea what to do in the confessional. Father kindly guided me towards this amazing Sacrament. I went to confession on Ash Wednesday, and during Lent my husband and I got ready to get our marriage blessed (Convalidation is the proper Cannon Law term).
Soon enough I realized that I was the prodigal son, which is quite an irony because I never really liked this parable. I was that lost and dead daughter that because of the Father’s unconditional love was welcome back without any judgments. Not only God welcomed be back into his Church, but I immediately received the love and generosity of a wonderful parish community where I have found friendships and so much love.
I love coming back from Bible class and faith studies. I feel so honored when I act as a Sacristan –setting up the Altar to celebrate Mass-. I enjoy greeting people at the Welcome Booth, I love working with my CWL sisters.
I was lost and far away from the Father, yet, his unconditional love and mercy has brought so much love and happiness into my life.