In my last post I explained how I got my hands on Volume 1 of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich's Biblical Revelations.
I am a reader and always have been. I love non-fiction, and anything that tells a story about something that has actually happened or can expose some kind of truth, especially a shocking one, is especially appealing to me. Up to this point, I had always been attracted to the dark and macabre. For example, during this time, I can think back and one book that I "couldn't put down" was "A Child Called It" by Dave Pelzer. This is a horrifying autobiography of the worst child abuse case in California history and a mother who forces her own son to eat his own vomit, excrement, and bleach, amongst tales of brutal beatings and mental abuse. Sounds nice, right? The other book I had somehow found was, Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper by Diablo Cody, which tells of the real life experiences of the 24 year old neophyte author, as she works in the underground sex arena as a stripper, at a peep show, and for a sex hot line just for fun. You get the idea...
So, I'm pretty open minded, great thing... I pick up Volume 1 of this 2500+ page epic 4 set book which pretty much chronicles main events from the entire Bible, touching on Creation and earlier Old-Testament stories and focusing heavily on the life of our Blessed Mother, and the entire life of Jesus Christ. I know its religious, and I know the Good Catholic people at work are loving it. I decide, what the hell, right? Let's see what the big fuss is about.
I start reading the first chapter, and you know what? IT IS REALLY GOOD! The stories are vaguely familiar, they are our common Bible stories that we all know, but they are infused with great detail and insight and truth. I quickly find that Anne Catherine Emmerich's private revelations are very interesting and very readable. I am surprised that not only is this not at all boring, but extremely easy to read and even enjoyable. (Imagine the Bible re-written as a New York Times Modern Best Seller.) I found that I couldn't wait to get home every day from work so I could read a few more chapters in Volume 1. There were even parts that were appealing to my "dark side" - because she speaks in so much detail about false gods and how people from earlier times loved to worship them and what detrimental effect this has on their souls. It is all very fascinating.
Anyway, there's a lot I could write because it took months and months to read. And in fact, before I would finish all 4 volumes, I would indeed come full circle back into the Catholic Church with a force that I would have never even known was possible. But it is the kind of thing that you don't really ever want to end, and when it does you are a little sad. I remember telling my sister on the phone, trying to explain this new book I was reading, and not doing it any justice, just saying, "I don't really know how to explain this, but I think I am going to become religious..." I remember her saying something like, "Well... Good, I guess..." I started to slowly realize that reading tabloids was a waste of time, and reading things like the aforementioned books about sexual deviancy and child molesters and abusers were interesting, yes, but perhaps not really necessary, perhaps even less than what God would want... Months later, many of the books in my personal collection would be given away or donated to Goodwill. I remember giving away Candy Girl to a younger co-worker, a recent graduate with a nose-ring at my job who thought the author was "cool". I remember saying "Here, you can have this book. I don't want it back." (Maybe I shouldn't have encouraged her, but at the time, it seemed like an OK thing to do.) What should we do with books in this type of situation? Burn them? Throw them out? At the time, I just wanted to pass them onto someone else and get them out of my possession.
Writing out this story is difficult for me. First of all, it has been almost 5 years ago and the order of events tend to overlap, so I am trying to maintain the integrity of my details. And more importantly, I am afraid that it is boring and that nobody particularly cares. I'm going on and on about minutiae. A couple of people have mentioned that I should write this story down, but there are so many small details that have come together to make this all possible, it is not easy to capture everything succinctly. Anyway, if this even serves to help or entertain one person, it will be worth it! I appreciate the encouraging comments I have received thus far.
Next time I will explain further either how the Traditional Latin Mass began to arouse my curiosity and how I first began to pray and seek God even without knowing what I was doing in
The Catholic Mom's Corner: More Reversion: Looking For God