Today’s Guest Contributor is Alex Reed, friend of Bellator Society and new convert to the Catholic Church.
8 Months ago….
It was the first real time I had walked into a Catholic Church. I was on a business trip, and went to church with my boss (a Catholic Deacon at that!). I had no idea what to expect. Society had put in my mind that I should be prepared for worshipping the Pope and Mary. There was no way that that the bread and wine “magically changed” into flesh and blood.
I have never been so glad to be wrong.
When I got back home to Memphis, I gave it another try. It completely knocked my socks off. I noticed during one part (now I know it was the Eucharistic Prayer) that I felt something. I found out later that it was Father Marshall calling down the Holy Spirit to change our gifts of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ.
I was still very skeptical, but I knew I felt the Holy Spirit, and I wanted to feel it again.
A couple of weeks later, I went to my first RCIA class. This class was taught by Deacon Bill Pettit. What a blessing it is to know this good man. His humility and love for Christ, and the Church, was very visible in the way he communicated.
Was I very skeptical? Yes. Did I ask a million questions expecting to stump them? Yes. Did I ever stump them? No.
What I learned through the process was everything in the Catholic Mass is all about Jesus.
I was initially hooked due to the fact that I felt a sense of community with everyone else there. I knew that we were all in this together. Just as we state in our prayers for our brothers and sisters, we are a community united in prayer for each other. I learned that we do not worship Mary, but we do venerate Mary as being the Mother of God in accordance with the scriptures. I learned that the sacrament of confession was one of the most uplifting experiences that I could have with God.
The point is I learned.
I learned about the Church, God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and most of all, I learned about myself. I learned that that bread and wine DO become the Body and Blood of our Savior. I learned about my desire for the Holy Spirit to enter me and protect me. My desire was fulfilled at the Vigil Mass when Bishop David Talley put his thumb in the Chrism and then on my forehead and said “be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Our Holy Mother Church is home, and I am glad to be in this with Tracy, Kerry, Pope Francis, my sponsor, Allison, and all of you. Until next time, “I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God”.
Peace be with you all.
Thank you, Alex, for sharing your story with us! Welcome to the family.
Love, Fran and Tracy