This is an email exchange between another RCIA candidate who I’ll call Brave Pilgrim and myself. He calls me “Lil angel”. I have not edited this in any way at all – except to put it in chronological order. This had to be shared. I again am humbled by this RCIA class and especially by this Brave Pilgrim (nd by extension, his wife R and their beautiful daughter, V)
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Here is the email from the Brave Pilgrim
First and foremost I have to say that meeting you and your family has been a blessing. This journey began honestly as a joke between myself and my girls (R and V). But it has blossomed into something so wonderful and powerful. God works in mysterious ways. As I have told you and other team leaders that I have questioned my faith for years and that there are some things in Catholicism that I don’t agree with or maybe just never really understood.
In these past few weeks things in my life has changed, they have changed tremendously. Things that I say I didn’t agree with or did not understand are becoming clearer and totally understood. I still have more questions and doubts and I know that my journey of faith is still in its beginning stages, but thank God for giving me and my girls the health and willingness to wake up every Sunday so we can attend Mass @ Saint Joseph the Worker and R.C.I.A classes on Monday night. Although I wish we (RCIA) can have more fellowship.
As for you, you are God sent. I know you say you were not supposed to be there the first Sunday my girls and I went to church, but as I said and we all know God works in mysterious ways. He put you there for us. I know that they (R & Vicki) are my responsibility but I truly believe that God sent you a “Lil Angel” to assist me with my girls. I hope that you don’t mind but I need your help in guiding my girls in their journey of faith. I pray that you and my girls become closer not only as friends but even more as sisters in Christ.
P.S. That homework I gave you, can I get a copy of it? I need it so I can keep it with everything I have for my journey of faith. These are things that I can look back and reflect upon in time of need. Also you have a wonderful family and I am looking forward to a continued friendship between our families. There was so much more but I don’t want to overwhelm you with my ranting.
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Here is the homework he gave me as I was walking into Adoration yesterday. He “just so happened” to be walking out of adoration at that exact time. God, indeed, works in mysterious ways. Please pray for Brave Pilgrims’ father. He is unwell. I do not know all of the details, but I am praying for him. Please join us.
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Here is my response to the Brave Pilgrim
Dear Brave Pilgrim,
I will return the original to you and keep the copy. It is more important for you to have the original to be sure.
I am so glad that you have decided to leap into His arms, Brave Pilgrim. This is such a special, important and wonderful time. I won’t candy coat it, you are going to go through rough stretches too, where you look back on times and places and regret not coming to Him sooner. I know, because I felt that way too on this journey. He forgives easily, it is us who find it hard to forgive one another and ourselves. It wasn’t time to know Him yet. You know? We have to come to Him when we are completely humbled and need nothing else but Him to get back up – and know it in the soft places of our hurts and hearts. When we are at the very bottom of our souls.
Also, when I read your homework, I noticed that you wished there was more for reflection, more homework…more, more, more. I felt this way too. It’s just an inextinguishable thirst for knowledge of our Lord. Now that you know him, you want to know more, you need to know more. You need and want it all. But we won’t get that on this side, Brave Pilgrim. We never know will until we are in heaven. This is why we thirst…..that void we talked about in class, remember? It’s part of our fallen nature…we need, we look, we grope around on the floor in the dark always because what we need is Him, a pinprick of His light is more to us than the brightest sun.
Just stay close to Him, with your bible, the genuine love you have for your family and in always looking for Jesus in others. For me, that’s how I stay near him. If you would like, I could share with you (and your wife and daughter all that I am learning and reading. In fact, the reason why I decided to join a Third Order is because I needed more and I knew that others in RCIA might too. There is such a community and a sharing during the RCIA process leading up to being received in the Catholic Church. Wow! Then, a silence. No more weekly meetings. No more sharing. It felt a bit like that dryness of the soul we talked about in class. I didn’t know where to go. I didn’t know what to do with all of this love of our faith that I had (and still have) so I read, and I prayed and I tried to love with all my heart. I searched online for books, blogs, articles, news, encyclicals from past popes, television, radio. This is what my nightstand looks like even now!
I carry books with me – even if I know I can’t read them, I have them with me. His Word gives me strength. My car has become my little altar, it’s where I pray every day for you and your family, my family, RCIA and so many intentions.
I try to bring my family peace. I tried to show my family the faith by my actions, my inner joy, my peace. There were and are times I wasn’t always that epitome of perfect grace, but this is why we are called practicing Catholics. We aren’t perfect and should always ‘practice’ our faith! I taught my children the prayers I knew and learned with them the prayers I didn’t. I would pray the rosary – which if you ever wonder what Jesus went through on the cross – I advise watching The Passion of the Christ, even this short excerpt (for me, it’s minutes 3:19 – 4:54 that are the meaning of my motherhood to my children). This is why I pray the rosary to always remember, to stay close – this is why I LOVE the Sorrowful Mysteries. If you don’t know how to pray the rosary, don’t worry. I have all kinds of helpful guides for you, for your wife and daughter too. I will even give you all a flip book I made to teach myself and my boys. I digress, my point is, God loves you – and it’s not a cliché. Now that you know the true meaning of that, it can never be a cliché for you or your family again.
Welcome, welcome, welcome! You’re in it. The Holy Spirit and He in you.
God bless you and your family, Brave Pilgrim.