CONVERSION STORY NO.???????????????

We have talked before about how our Conversion Stories never really end. Every once in a while something new happens that makes us want to re-commit ourselves to Jesus. This is one of those stories.

About 7 years or so ago, I started having a very fast heart beat, which then caused other problems, which resulted in several operations and a loss of energy. Of course, at the same time, I was getting older, which also results in a loss of that youthful energy.  Anyway, a few years before that after I retired from  working, I started talking to Jesus and asked Him what he wanted me to do next. After several years of prayer, and “What do you want me to do”? and several bible classes, a thought hit me during the night.  It seems, I always get my communications from Jesus at night.

The people that had been leading our bible and religious study classes had either moved or were worn out and had stopped coming up with ideas. It seems that is what Jesus wanted me to do. I had not led classes and come up with ideas for years, since before  I was married 25 years ago, so this took some praying and courage.  I was taking bible study classes in another church in our Cluster, so had someone to talk about it with and bounce things off from. Then the Presence Catholic Radio came on the air in our Area.

The Presence. FM is another miracle.  There are not that many Catholics in Maine. The Presence runs totally on donations. It started 6 years ago in Southern Maine and moved north, area by area until it covers all of Maine.   It is very informative, and everyone that listens, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, learn a lot.  I just happened to be listening one morning on the way to exercise class and heard the Rosary and then a prayer in song called: THE CHAPLET OF DIVINE MERCY.  This is a beautiful prayer, and the first time I heard it, it brought tears to my eyes.

First though, one thing I learned from one of the Presence talk shows, was that the Rosary, and the Mysteries that go with it, form  a STRING OF THE LIFE OF JESUS. Each Mystery that we say between the ten Hail Marys and the Our Fathers is a point in Jesus life and by the end of each week, day by day, we cover the Life of Jesus. It is so beautiful when you realize this.

Anyway, I thought more people should hear and pray the Chaplet. I did some research, spoke to other people at our church and spoke to our Parish Priest. The Sunday after Easter is called DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY, and the Pope had asked all Catholics and other Christians to pray the Chaplet on that Sunday afternoon at 3 PM for peace in our world. Three PM is the hour that Christ died and it is a special time for prayer.  It worked, the Priest agreed, and I and many others in our church worked to make Divine Mercy Sunday afternoon a very special time of prayer.  It worked so well that Father decided we should move this prayer service to other Churches in our Cluster, and that is what we have done.  This year it will be in another of our churches and we can all still pray together.

Why do I call this one of my Conversion Stories? Because, this Chaplet brought more prayer and joy back into my life. It is something I can share and other friends can share with me.  There are many benefits to saying the Chaplet and people all over the world say this Chaplet at 3PM each day, especially on Fridays.  So even if I say it at 5PM, someone somewhere is saying this prayer and we are praying for peace, for souls in Purgatory and other special requests for our family, friends and ourselves. Jesus listens.

If you type in “Chaplet of Divine Mercy” on Google or another search engine, you will see a picture of Jesus with the words, “JESUS I TRUST IN YOU.”

 

 

MY STORY OF FAITH, CHAPTER 1

My Story of Faith began when I was born.  I don’t know how I was so blessed, but I was born into a family of Catholics who truly lived their faith.  My parents brought me to be Baptized when I was a couple of weeks old.  Catholics believe we should be Baptized early to be free of Original Sin as soon as possible, and the parents promise to bring their young children up in the Faith they were Baptized in. We also have God Parents who also promise to help the parents bring their child up in the Faith.

So I was born to wonderful parents who did their absolute best to bring me up in their Faith, and teach and show me the way to get to Heaven.  They set an example and “practiced what they preached”. They were active in their church and so was I.  I went to Catholic Grade School.  If you think that makes a person holy, nooo it does not, but the Nuns taught us respect, of our parents, of the teachers and of God and the Church.  Catholics believe that it is a sin to miss Mass on Sunday, unless a person is sick or for some serious reason, so we went to church every Sunday.  It was fun for me since I got to sit beside my parents, and then after, we usually stopped to visit my Grandmother, pick up some donuts, and go home to eat breakfast. or dinner, depending how early it was. Going to Mass in my family was the beginning of a wonderful day with family. 

So for the first 12 or so years of my life, I tried to be a good person.  Didn’t always succeed and spent a lot of time sitting on a chair or being sent to my room for picking on my younger brother & sister or disobeying my parents.  The only time I was spanked on the rear was if I did something to endanger my self or someone else.  And I was never hit by my parents. 

We said the rosary every night during Lent, we went to Confession once a month, and as a child, most of the things I confessed would have been small things, but it felt good to tell the priest, knowing he represented God and that I received His Grace to go out and start anew, and try to be a better child.  We went to Mass once a week and also on special days. Being in Catholic School, we all went to Mass On Special Days during the school year.  Benediction on Sunday afternoon during Lent. Saying the Rosary every night as a family during Lent.  Belonging to Children of Mary.  Going to Christmas Parties with my parents to the organizations they belonged too. 

In case all this sounds boring, my parents knew how to make things interesting. It is fun when you are part of a family worshiping together.  Of course, sometime I went under protest, but my parents knew what was best, and of course they were right.

MOSTLY, MY PARENTS GAVE ME THE FOUNDATION I NEEDED TO MAKE GOOD DECISIONS FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.  Of course, I didn’t make good decisions all the time, but I did have the foundation to fall back on when times got tough.  So, the rest of my Faith Story will be the good and bad decisions and how many times I was “Born Again” in the Faith.

Now that I am older and realize what my parents actually gave me, I thank God every day for giving me to parents who cared enough to teach me about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and to teach me how to pray and to take time for prayer.