By Mary Lou Rosien
Spring always brings thoughts of new life to me. Babies seem to be blooming as plentiful as the spring flowers. Birds fill the air with their songs and the baby deer show up in my back yard to nibble on whatever food they can find. It makes me feel brand new and encourages me to clean out the house and start over once more.
This spring had even more meaning to me than usual. I had the pleasure of helping my brother-in-law and my daughter’s best friend enter into full initiation in the Catholic Church! As an RCIA coordinator, watching new Christians enter the Church is always a thrill, but the familial connections this year made it something really special.
I watched as these two people I loved ‘cleaned house’ so to speak. They prepared their hearts, educated themselves willingly, attended classes and even went to special presentations at various churches.
I was especially encouraged after Easter though. My daughter’s friend asked me if I would go with her to Confession for the second time in two weeks. I told her that I love to go to frequent Confession and would be happy to accompany her, but I questioned her as to why she felt the need to go again after going the week before. Her answer humbled and astonished me. She explained to me that she wanted to really continue the faith journey that she had started and the grace from the Sacrament of Confession would help make those changes stick!!
She got it! After just a few months of preparation and prayer she was already leaps and bounds ahead of so many. She recognized the work that needed to be done and the avenue of grace to accomplish it. My student had become the teacher.
My brother-in-law also had a transformation; a significant change... not just in his faith life, but in his life in general. I watched as he overcame challenges that would have stopped many in their tracks. He continued to have faith through a prolonged period of unemployment and some trials that he could not have seen coming. I remember at one point, my sister was getting frustrated with some of the ups and (mostly) downs they were going through. She questioned why this would be happening to them especially when her husband was being so faithful to God. Her husband told her, “If I don’t have faith now, when things are hard, then I don’t really have faith and I shouldn’t become a Catholic.” Wow! His words reminded me of the faith we are called to have, “the faith of a child.” His faith was rewarded and he landed a job that he really enjoys. I was doubly blessed when he asked me to be his God-mother. I am encouraged everyday by the faith that he demonstrated during that difficult time.
We are called to continue daily in our own conversions; to move forward and dig deeper in our faith journeys. I hope that sharing these stories helps to encourage you in yours. Spring blessings.
Mary Lou Rosien writes from outside Rochester, NY. She is the author of Managing Stress with the Help of Your Catholic Faith (OSV) and, Catholic Family Boot Camp (Bezalel Books). Check out her website, or contact her at www.catholicfamilybootcamp.com.
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