This past January 19th marked the 5th anniversary of the first time I went to mass at Holy Cross, which was the proper start of my journey on this road. I tried then to write some kind of a reflection about it all, but wasn't able to string the right words and ideas together to make any sense.
The fellow doing my ACE interview today asked me a question that spurred me put into words for the first time a lot of what I've been thinking and feeling in the last five years, and especially lately.
"You mentioned you were confirmed at 19 and you're almost 23 now, right? How has your faith grown or developed since then?" he said. I sighed and sat there in silence for a long time, searching for words that would at least kind of make sense. Then, as he is apt to do, the Spirit sort of took over.
"At the risk of sounding sappy," I said, rather quietly, which is quite unlike me, "it's a little like being in love."
Really? I thought to myself. I'm interested to see where this goes.
"At the beginning, there was a lot of emotion. I was kind of infatuated, it was all sort of heady, I wasn't even exactly sure what was happening. Now, it's been a little while and the new has worn off, but in place of all the... the sort of bumbling emotions, there is a greater and a growing depth and understanding. I've slowly learned more and more about the Church, and I've taken time to mull it over. All the little pieces have come together to make something really strong and solid. Now it's all really part of who I am. At the start, it felt like something new that I was putting on and wearing on the outside. Now it's in me. It's a much deeper faith. There is much more intimacy. My church and my faith and Jesus... they're the central core of me, they're the most important part of me."
Ah, I thought, so that's how you feel about it?
It's nice when I get to have a good conversation with myself... in front of a stranger...