The Wedding Invitation That Changed My Life
I hope you didn't decide to abandon me, dear reader, for being a horrible person. It's not that I was (or am) completely horrible. I think it has more to do with being raised in today's secular culture where our worth and our sense of accomplishment is often dictated by the size of our home, how big our flat screen TVs are, how successful we can be at work, how much money we make, and how thin we are.. things like that. I was the one who always wanted to be popular, but never quite fit in. I am very vain and always wanted to be physically beautiful, but in reality, I am pretty darn average on my best days. I am insecure and have always compensated for my perceived short-comings with sarcasm and cynicism and judgement. I might not be gorgeous, but I can be smart. I may not have joy in my heart, but who needs that when I am so successful at my career? There just wasn't much room for God in my life. Not that I didn't believe in God, I just was doing things my way and on my terms, and was an extremely selfish and wounded person trying to "keep up with the Joneses". My daughter was going to receive her sacraments because "that's what Catholics do"... even though we were not even going to church. In fact, you could count on one hand how many times we had been to a Catholic Mass since our wedding day 7 years prior to this point!
And so here we are.
Because even though I didn't go to that wedding, the invitation, and the people behind it and what they stood for, changed me somehow over the course of the following year. Everyday I had to come to work, I was in an environment where I felt unsure of myself and very out of place. Surrounded by many deeply Christian individuals who were so simple and joyful and at peace with themselves and their faith.
And what was so special about this "Blessed Sacrament" that would cause someone to cover their head?
Somewhere in the very back of my mind a little voice kept asking that question.
Why was that so threatening to me?
I really didn't want to answer that question!
As the days passed, I kept quiet and listened to the Bible conversations going on around me and I learned to accept it. At some point being surrounded by faithful people makes you act a little more righteous. There was no competition, no gossip, no back stabbing, no racy jokes or inappropriate innuendos, it just wasn't what I had ever been used to. The men around me were all married and faithful to their wives. God was important, their families were important. They were also very smart. Masters Degrees in Engineering and PhDs. I was taking mental notice.
Several of them had begun reading "Biblical Revelations" by Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich. They talked about it every single day. This is a huge 4 volume set you can buy from Tan books.
Here's a link in case you want to see what I'm talking about. I wasn't about to spend the money for something like this by someone that I had never heard anything about, but at one point I was making casual conversation with my co-worker and said to him, "Well, everyone else is reading this, you are going to have to let me borrow it one of these days..."
I think I was being more polite than serious, but as you can probably guess...
I came to work a few days later and Volume 1 was sitting on my desk... My co-worker was loaning it to me, as he had now moved onto Volume 3.
I will continue my story in a future post about how reading this book immediately began to touch, well melt might be a better word, my heart.