Sunday, December 13, 2009

My Testimony

I have been Catholic my whole life. I come from a Catholic family that goes to Mass every Sunday. I used to sit in the pew with my older brother and eat Cheerios just to pass the time until the hour-long Sunday ceremony was over. I didn’t really care about my faith until high school. Up until then I had taken all the Sunday school classes that were supposed to teach me about my faith but who really pays attention in those? It’s like taking a class on Sunday. Boring. It wasn’t until I was introduced to a vibrant Catholic youth group that I really began to take ownership of this treasure I had discovered. I had my first real emotional faith experience during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on a retreat. Adoration is the true presence of God. What a gift! I realized that I was consuming the true body and blood of Jesus Christ every week, but I can’t say I completely believed it. Being part of the relativist, rationalist culture, I had my doubts.

During my junior year of high school God revealed my vocation to youth ministry. To think I was almost a landscape architect. I began discovering what Catholicism is about through youth group, the Bible, the Catechism, and this new thing called theology. I decided to pursue an undergraduate degree in theology to learn more about this God I had such a connection with during the night in Adoration. I decided to go to a Catholic school in North Carolina called Belmont Abbey College. It’s a small private school, which means it’s expensive. God knows no boundaries. My parents were able to send me to the Abbey to learn theology under the spiritual direction of Benedictine monks. What a blessing! My study of theology has taught me that the Church can explain these doubts. It was hard for me to accept listening to everything the Church said at first (blame it on Individualism), but when I found out the Church had the answer to most of my doubts, I decided to submit to authority. Praise God!

After my emotional experience with Catholicism and the reason of the Church explained to me in college, I have found a beautiful, rich tradition to strengthen me on my journey. Just as Jesus stumbled on his way to Golgotha, I have stumbled in my journey. God, being omnipotent, knew this would happen so he provided a wonderful support system for me, the Sacraments. The Eucharist is my strength. Take advantage of God’s gifts for your journey. Thy Kingdom Come!

Servant of the King,

Matt Merry

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