Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto,
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc,
et semper in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
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Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
God is not a theory to be proven or a proposition to be demonstrated. God is a reality to be experienced. That is what I believe. If you don't, that's all right. Perhaps someday you might, perhaps you never will. It's not up to me. If I am right, it's not even up to you. That is the way of it.
Perhaps sometimes I sound as if I have things all figured out. As if I have found peace. As if I live a holy life. In a way that might be true, but mostly, no. I'm no saint. Just ask my wife. She'll tell you.
Perhaps it may sound as if I have found the Church nothing but a source of joy and inspiration. As if I never struggle with her doctrines. As if I think her history is unblemished. As if I am unaware of the serious problems we face, or worse, have not yet begun to face. No, I am all too aware of these things. Sometimes it is almost physically painful to consider them.
I am a cradle Catholic, born and raised, but there was still a journey. I spent my time in the desert. I questioned everything. I wondered if it could be real. Though I never formally left the Church, I went looking: through Hare Krsna and sankirtana, through LSD and Castaneda, I sat with the Buddhists and read the Zenrin, I prayed with the Jews and read the Talmud. I learned a lot, but I didn't find what I was looking for.
I couldn't find it because I already had it.
One day, as I sat alone in my kitchen, I looked at my clock: 3:30. A small, still voice suggested I still had time to make it to Mass. I got in my car and drove to my childhood parish. To the place where generations of my family had worshipped. To the place where it all began for me. I knelt before the Blessed Sacrament, in a pew I had shared with my grandfather long before, where perhaps even he had once prayed with his own grandfather. I opened the missal. It was the Feast of Christ the King.
And I knew in my heart I had come home.
It is not an obvious choice for me. In a way, I don't think it is a choice at all: it is a vocation. It is what I have been called to. Though I don't fit in neatly, it is where I belong.
Of course, the journey does not end. At least, it hasn't for me. No, I'm still wandering, but I know my way home now. That is enough.