This is a remarkably interesting post for me to write as I have spent years pondering over my Faith and what it means to me. I wanted to share this discourse with you as I open up my personal journey and almost, new beginning, with my Catholic Faith.
A Little Background…
Baptised and brought up in the Catholic religion was a profound part of my childhood as we attended our parish church on a weekly basis, as well as being active members of the community. My mother, a dedicated teacher, also turned her hand to being a Eucharistic Minister when I was around 9 years old. This meant that I and my older brother helped distribute the Psalms, Hymn books and Weekly Newsletters to attendees of the weekly Mass. I found that through doing this I was increasingly fostering discipline and respect, ensuring that I, even into my teenage years, remained dedicated to my Faith. I thoroughly enjoyed this role within the Parish Community and would look forward to performing our aforementioned duties. I also took up the responsibility of having my own Prayer Table in my bedroom where I would create prayers and reflect on recent happenings. This habit is a fond memory I cherish deeply and wish to instil in my children as it greatly impacted on my positive outlook on life and God’s Work.
Fast-forward on into my late teenage years, I struggled to maintain my Faith and, although I continued searching for theological answers, the Catholic teachings became murkier for me. The independence of choosing whether or not to attend Mass and becoming cynical of certain things, lead me to feel disheartened at times and confused as to who God was. What I must mention here is that I always knew that God existed, yet wanted to be more analytical in my own understanding of what this God was and how God fit into my life. Therefore, in order to achieve a deeper, critical understanding of religion, I pursued a degree in The Study of Religion and Theology at The University of Manchester.
A Turning Point
All along I held the same foundational beliefs I always had:
- That each person had a soul which resembled that of the Holy Spirit.
- There was an afterlife.
- God was omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient.
- The teachings of Jesus were key to my own consciousness and value system.
- I had always found solace in Biblical quotes.
In February 2023, I started attending the same parish church I had done as a child, but now with my own daughter. I made an effort to attend every Sunday for a good few weeks but then lost momentum as my previous habits began to trickle back into place. Ultimately, I lost my discipline.
However, I knew that my Faith was calling me, I couldn’t ignore it any longer. On Good Friday I attended Mass with Olivia and felt deeply moved by the readings, the Gospel and the priest’s words. I also felt an overwhelming sense of being solemn, something which I used to feel on Good Friday as a child. When I returned home, I knew that I had to explore this calling and so I researched into Bible Study after I had put Olivia to bed. The research I conducted was inspiring, uplifting and insightful. I felt my calling invigorated by my pursuits into Bible Study.
I have therefore ordered my very own NRSV-CE Holy Bible, along with The Catholic Study Bible to help me understand the background information to each book. I plan on recording my journey with Bible Study on this blog, as well as regularly updating over on my Instagram (@anestledjournal) so do feel free to join me as I share my experiences.
And truly, since embarking on this exploration into my Catholic Faith, I already feel so much lighter, aware and calm. I am truly so excited for the road ahead as I learn about God’s Word and apply His Teachings to my life.