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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Where I Started

I think a good place for me to begin is at the beginning. I was born into a Catholic family, and raised Catholic. I attended Catholic grade school from 1st grade to 4th grade. During that time, I was exposed to the beliefs of the Catholic Church. Okay, I was given a 'pile of Catholicism', as Jeff Cavins describes. But, I didn't know any better, and most others didn't appear to have either.

From my 5th year of schooling onward I attended public schools. Catholic students who attended public schools were typically sent for religion studies (CCD in my day). CCD classes were on Saturday mornings (which completely messed up Saturday morning cartoons, and playtime with friends), and for two weeks immediately after school ended (just what I wanted - two weeks taken off my summer vacation). After a few years, my parents pulled me out, and I was on my own.

At about age 17, I had a pretty typical teenage meltdown. A bad year. I prayed to God to make it better, thinking (a) I knew better than God and (b) God was basically my genie who would grant my every wish. Needless to say, the answer I got from God was 'no'. Of course, my interpretation as a teenager was 'there is no God', and I went merrily off on my own. Jesus didn't lose me. I lost him.

I spent the next several years pretty much as an atheist. Until my first wife died in a car crash. Then, things began to change. When I went to Mass with the young woman who was to become my second wife, I realized that I was wrong and that God did exist. This began my journey to find Jesus again.