I am baptized Catholic, but I wasn’t all that religious. I believe in spirituality, though. I don’t necessarily agree with all Catholic teachings (such as, women still not allowed to be priest, contraception, not accepting LGBT, etc) but I never had any bad feelings on Catholicism itself. In fact, I admire what sisters and fathers are doing in some of the poorest and most dangerous places of this world.
But I stopped going mass. I am not a morning person at all. And, even if I went to Catholic college, I didn’t go to mass. I was busy doing my works and papers. I didn’t feel it was all that necessary.
Today, I went to the local community service organized by my college alum club here. The church is located in one of the poorest neighborhood, and it is run by a Franciscan father, who is also an alum. We started off with a mass.
As I mumble prayers (CCK’s catch: in addition to not really remembering prayers, I get mixed up with Korean and English prayer), out of blue, I thought: this is home. This is where I belong. The thought grew stronger as people finish the mass with my school’s alma mater song (which, obviously, is almost like hymn and about praising Mother Mary).
When I was living in Japan, my wonderful host family – without them, my Japan experience would not have been this great – were Christian.
My best friend, whom I met in high school in Michigan, was also Catholic. We didn’t ask “hey, are you Catholic?” right away. After we got close, we found out that we are all Catholic.
When I first moved to Indiana, a great local family who made my life in college so much easier was also Catholic.
As I entered the Church today, everything was so familiar. Fathers, Eucharist, big sculpture of Jesus and Mary – all that. Then I thought, maybe, it is something I can’t escape. Something I must accept.
After I came back from the church, a neighbor down the hallway knocked at my door. Red, a cheerful retired man, was at my door. He has been very friendly ever since I moved to South Jersey. He took my package and wrote me a card. He came to check whether I’m doing alright, and got all the furniture I need.
“Oh, yeah, mostly. I got them from Ikea.”
“Ikea!” Red replied, “No, you shouldn’t by that cheap stuff! Come on, I’ll show you my furniture and pictures, and let me give you some furniture shop address.”
As we walk down the hallway, he asked what I did today. I said I bid farewell to my mom and aunt, and went to the local church for community service.
“Oh, you Catholic?” said Red, “I’m too. I go to St. Andrews, you should come along for a mass there.”
I felt like crying. This entity/system/religion/spirit/God/whatever has been watching me and following me for my entire journey up to now, helping out whenever it can. Yet I never really paid attention. I’ve been taking it for granted.
I can’t escape this. And I’ll be happy to accept it. I felt destiny.