I’ve come a long way on my faith journey

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  • August 9, 2012

Two years can really change a person. Faith-wise, anyway.

During my time as Youth Editor, I have been blessed with the opportunity to go to World Youth Day in Madrid to see the Pope in person. I’ve read YOUCAT: The Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church. I’ve met with a spiritual director a couple times. I even hopped on a plane and travelled to Connecticut for a retreat with the Sisters of Life. But what is more astounding (to me, anyway) is the fact that I now like praise and worship music, even uploading some of these songs onto my iPod.

This is all a pretty big deal for me. I think things started changing after World Youth Day. Being in a climate where everyone was so open about their faith was really strange and amazing. Whereas before that the Catholic and non-Catholic worlds were always separate to me, for once, they were blended together. There was no filter.

I remember throwing around the term “faith journey” now and then over the years, but I don’t think I truly understood the term until this past year, when I was actually actively on one.

To be open to God isn’t an easy task. To have a genuine desire to listen is equally as challenging because it’s easier not to try to listen. But I’ve learned to try to be open, come what may.

My spiritual director shared a Bible verse from Jeremiah with me, and it has given me much food for thought: “I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to give you a future with hope... when you search for me you will find me, if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord.”

This really stuck with me. Once I heard it, I wanted to hear it again. It was encouraging, exciting.

Through covering the Catholic community and getting to know many faith-filled people, I’ve learned a lot. We are the company we keep, after all.

YOUCAT was really helpful, too. Included in our pilgrim backpacks at World Youth Day (although you can buy them at Catholic bookstores, too), sections range from “What We Believe” to “How We Should Pray” to “How We Are to Have Life in Christ.” It has been a great resource for me and helped me to understand the basic tenets of the faith, which I assumed I knew.

The answer to the question, “Why do we need faith and the sacraments in order to live a good, upright life?” is one of the most relatable parts of the book.

“If we were to rely only on ourselves and our own strength, we would not get far in our attempts to be good,” it reads. “Through faith, we discover that we are God’s children and that God makes us strong.”

If I’ve learned one thing, it’s to trust in God. It sounds easy, but it’s surprisingly hard to let go and do. For now, I’ll just keep trying.

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