Although my wife and I became Catholic together at the Easter Vigil 2018, I'm mainly writing this short article from my perspective of coming full circle as a Catholic from Vigil 2018 to Vigil 2019.
I have now experienced 1 full year of the liturgical seasons being in full communion with the Catholic Church during every season. Although my 1 year anniversary as a Catholic was 3.31.2018, I really didn't come through everything ( full lent, etc. ) until 4.20.2019 since Easter fell 3 weeks later this year.
What a joy it has been to be a Catholic Christian experiencing the fullness of the Christian faith for the last year. If I went through every detail of the last 12 months and 3 weeks, it would likely be a book and not an article that's just under 800 words.
The 2019 Vigil had an additional blessing tied to it as I served as a sponsor for a young man ( in his 30's - I'm in my 50's ) to walk with him through his journey of coming into full communion with the Catholic Church.
He has a Baptist background but spent many years away from Church blaming God, but thanks be to God he found his way not only back to Church but to the fullness of the Christian faith in the Catholic Church.
It was a privilege and an honor to present him to Bishop Zarama of the Raleigh Diocese at the Easter Vigil to be anointed with Chrism as he received the Sacrament of Confirmation and later to be kneeling beside him after he received the Holy Eucharist for the first time. It was just last Easter Vigil that I was in his place.
It has been an exciting journey and my Christian faith has only grown stronger. I have spent more time in Prayer, more time in Church, more time on my knees, more time thinking of others, more time seeking and desiring God's will, more time reading scripture and more time in my overall faith walk ( Adoration, Weekday Mass, Catholic Men's Group & More ) than likely any single full year ever in my Christian walk. Catholicism has helped me a better person and a better Christian.
As I continue my journey, I still spend many hours per week diving into the Catholic faith. That's just how I'm wired. Apologetics is a big interest of mine. I want to know as much about the Catholic faith as I can and because of this website and me engaging others online, I have been challenged more than once.
I've been called the Son of Satan, accused of having the mark of the beast, accused of being in a Cult and some other not so nice things. However, Jesus suffered far more than I ever have by death on the cross. But thanks be to God, we serve a risen Savior which is very fitting to say as I am writing this on Easter Sunday 2019 ( 4.21.2019 ).
Jesus said in Luke 9:23 “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Christ didn't promise us that we'd have it easy following Him. It's my desire to continue to seek Christ and His will for my life.
In closing, I have been blessed in so many ways that I would forget something if I tried to name them all, so I'll only mention a few:
1) I have a loving, faithful, Catholic wife by my side. Brenda and I are less than 90 days away from 30 years of marriage.
2) I have slowly moved into being a core member of the RCIA team ( Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults ) and get to teach the session One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church during the Summer RCIA session. I take that very seriously and even bought a 300+ page book on the topic. But as a convert ONE - HOLY - CATHOLIC - APOSTOLIC is key to why I'm Catholic which is one reason that I chose to teach that particular class.
3) Before 2019 is over, I will likely have a regular radio segment on Catholic Radio 540AM.
4) And finally, I just confirmed this week, that I will be speaking at a Catholic event in October where the venue seats 800 people.
God is Good!
I want all my blessings to point others to Jesus. It's all about Christ. I want others to see Christ in me. One of my prayers is to empty me of me and fill me with more of YOU ( JESUS ). My goal is to surrender everyday to Christ. Living for Christ is not a once a week, go to Church on Sunday and check the box. Living for Christ is a DAILY walk.
If I can be of assistance, please feel free to CONTACT ME.