5 Years Later: An Inspired Catholic Convert11
January 6, 2013 by eneubauer
This New Year will bring about my five-year anniversary – coming home to the Catholic Church. I remain inspired and excited about the faith that has brought wholeness and unity to my spiritual life and that of my immediate family. As I have stated before, this is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I look forward to serving Christ and His Church in 2013 and beyond. This is how I intend to keep my fire burning.
I have themed this year the year to finish what I have been afraid to do, what I have left undone or been unwilling to do. This is my year to finish things that I have started, intended or been inspired to do. I desire to find myself lingering in the Will of God – so here is my plan.
What I suffer from more often than not is inconsistency in my spiritual life. With all the distractions in our hyper connected world and with voices abounding at every turn I seek to simplify. I commit to consistency in my spiritual rhythm (each day) that I may hear more clearly, deepen my understand of God’s call and further develop the inner man. One could say I desire to become more like Jesus as exemplified by my patron Seraphin of Montegranaro. I seek to be consistent in prayer, participation in the faith, knowledge acquisition, and action. May God have Mercy!
Elimination of Distractions:
In order to become more consistent I am seeking to eliminate distractions in my life. I was reminded while studying the history of Advent and Lent that removing those things which distract or dissuade me from becoming the man I have always dreamed of being are essential for my spiritual development. There are so many things that I am inspired towards or intend on doing in this New Year that I have come to realize – I cannot afford to fail. Therefore I will be making some hard choices as to what is really important. Evaluating carefully what deserves my full attention and time each day. Therefore, I will be taking the necessary steps to return to the basics which include the elimination of distractions, the embrace of healthy choices (mind-body), and a commitment to fasting in this Year of Faith (development). May God have Mercy!
Sitting At the Master’s Feet:
I am also making some choices to develop my personal, intellectual capacity through a commitment to “sit at the Master’s feet.” What do I mean by this? I intend to study with greater purpose sacred scripture, church history and the life of St. Francis of Assisi. I also commit myself, at the direction of my spiritual director, to incorporate fiction / fun reading into my rhythm as well as a study of great authors who write on a variety of subjects. Generally speaking – I intend to pursue a 2013 that is quiet, reflective / introspective and filled with true intellectual stimulation. May God have Mercy!
In addition, in my public life, I hope to find myself working more closely with others to get “the job / project” done. I love the idea of collaboration and the sharing of ideas among equals in order to harness the best of the whole. However, I am also experienced enough to realize that collaboration only works if I purposefully / intentionally embrace the process and allow others to tackle that which they were created to do. Often I find myself finishing a task because, “it’s just easier if I do it myself.” This may work in the short run but will not allow for an individual to grow beyond their own capacity to do a thing or complete a project. I will seek to embrace a more collaborative approach to my work and home life. May God have Mercy!
I love to encourage others! I make the special effort to encourage those I work with whether they are volunteers or paid staff. Embracing a spirit of, “thanks” is the appropriate model for life in community with others. However, those we are in closest proximity to are often the last to hear thank you and often the least encouraged by our presence. I seek to change this. As an example my wife of 17 years is a wonderful artist in the world of mixed-media and found-object sculpture. I dedicate this year to encouraging her pursuit of art, the development of new projects and her abilities. At the end of this year I pray that she is truly encouraged by my presence, support and action. She has spent many years encouraging and inspiring me – it’s time to pay it forward.
May 2013 find you growing closer to Christ and the Catholic Church in whatever way the Lord wills it to be done.
Thanks, Eric. Have you identified the specifics of those distractions? I can resemble those remarks and have been far more focussed over the last few months. Blessings Micha
I have identified them for myself but did not give specifics in my post. I really wanted folks to discern for themselves what they need to add and remove for the benefit of their own spiritual development.
For me distractions come in many forms. One big one is the amount of TV I seem to keep up with. Beginning last week I eliminated TV from my weekday routine and committed to a reading rhythm that I have been longing for. More silence, time to read, reflect and write.
I love and think of you two often.
Thanks son – You inspire me each day, and I also hope I can grow closer to GOD in 2013.
Well said, Eric. Thank you taking the time to articulate your thoughts and share your heart. You encourage me to see life and people through our Savior’s eyes.
Thank you Eric – you have inspired me to reflect and adjust my directions in 2013. Miss and love you. Your aunt Sue
May God have mercy! You have set yourself goals that will bring not just yourself, but those with whom you live and work, closer to God.
When I look at those goals and apply them to my own life, one question becomes, “What are the real distractions and how do I avoid them”. I guess we each have to find the honesty to identify and eliminate them.
Thank you for sharing such a wonderful plan Eric! Our Heavenly Father will surely be on your side helping you complete all that you intend to do for His glory and honor. God bless you and your family!
Thanks for sharing, Eric! I know I’ve found difficulty in almost everything you mentioned in recent months, particularly consistency (especially with regard to spiritual rhythm), eliminating distractions, and encouraging others. These are things I have personally strived to do better at, but simply failed. Your example, as usual, helps to motivate for more effort on my part. God bless…..
I’m so glad that I read this. Bless you dear friend. I am inspired.
What did you feel was lacking in your relationship with Christ? Brian Hail.
In relation to my personal relationship with Jesus – nothing but I felt as if there was more. Specifically, more to church than I had been experiencing.
There are two basic reasons for my becoming Catholic.
First and foremost, I felt called. I specifically felt called by Christ, through the Holy Spirit, to study the history of religious orders. Once I began studying church history in depth I discovered its roots. The Universal Church – universal is simply what Catholic means.
Second, there is a richness to the Catholic faith expression in and through the sacraments that was and is attractive to me. If my goal is to become more like Christ, to draw closer to Him in personal relationship than a conduit like the sacramental life of the Church is a blessing.
I guess it’s not only the decision but it is the fruit. This decision has been nothing short of revival for me and my family. We feel happy, home and excited about our Christian faith. We are sharing our faith, expressing our faith and living it out at home. In total – it has been great. Not perfect – but really, really great.
I also recognize that this is our journey / our story. I am happy that you were concerned / interested enough to ask.
I hope all is well with you and the family.