Beginning to lead a religious life and a call to God’s kingdom was not easy after a lifetime of atheism and getting mixed up in the New Age. Starting to see that God was not another myth, that he really existed was a shock to someone who had denied him for many years, indeed who thought people who went to church were “seriously weird”. It was a real eye opener.
My father would not have any religious items or talk of God in the house while I was growing up. God did not exist and that was that.! Over the years I came to accept that and to lead a totally non religious life.
When I was 19, I developed a bit of an interest in classical music and one evening, sitting in my bedroom, I played a tape I had bought and Ave Maria started playing. I was suddenly quite spell bound. I didn’t understand the words as it was sang in Latin but I had to keep playing that song over and over again. I did not know it was about the Virgin Mary, in fact I knew very little about her.
As I went through life, Ave Maria seem to pop up on the radio, on tapes and CDs I bought or were given. In fact I began to look out for the Ave Maria when I bought anything classical
Getting involved in the New Age from my early 30s did turn me away from the classical scene and I began to buy meditation CDs and read anything I could get my hands on about Gods and Goddesses, Reiki, Crystals etc.
But God was there calling me, the voice distant at first but as time went on, the call began to become more insistent and still I would not listen. I had began to feel out of place in the New Age and although I had a lot of friends all following the same path, I began to feel that I should not be with these people. They were nice, leading ordinary lives as Mothers, working in care jobs and shops etc but I started to see the effects it was beginning to have on as all Marriages broke down, several of them suffered from depression, I was having terrible nightmares and was feeling like someone was always watching me.
Then in September 2011, when I first walked into a Catholic Church, the first stirring of faith began to appear. Suddenly God began to seem very real as I progressed through the RCIA course. Things began to fall into place, the person I wanted to be my sponsor suddenly passed me in the street minutes after I made my decision to be confirmed at Easter Vigil. Trying to find the right confirmation names was hard and on giving up after days of trying to decide, the names Agnes Benedicta just came into my head. That was just days before I was due to become a Catholic.
The first time I was able to take the Body and Blood of Christ, the offer of a new home from some Catholics who were looking for a new tenant, been able to join the Legion of Mary. It seemed everything was divinely guided.
The beautiful Ave Maria came back into my life and beginning to learn Latin, I finally began to understand the words. It is still some thing I love very much.
New friends came in, devout Catholics who were leading me to different paths, the learning of the Rosary, Divine Mercy devotions, pilgrimages to Walsingham, Rome and Medjugorie.
I still had a couple of New Age friends and eventually it came down to a choice, did I follow God, or have one foot in one camp and the other foot in another camp. While I was friends with non Catholics, the temptations to go back to my old ways were very strong and I slipped a few times, friends got me Tarot cards, I got myself some, I was asked to do some psychic work and I asked myself what harm could it do. Well a lot of serious harm and eventually my RCIA tutor called me and explained that I could follow the Devil or God.
It was necessary to end some long standing friendships. They were not going to leave the New Age and that was something I could not stay in. It hurt a lot and I pray for their conversion and an end to New Age practices.
God is in my life to stay and I keep my faith strong, pray the Rosary every day and go to Mass as often as I can. It is true that the path leading to God is narrow and hard, but to follow the easier, wider path can lead to the destruction of the soul.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Guardian Angels, please keep us free from harm.