A Seeking Soul

 

As most people, I was raised in the religious way. My Mother is a deeply devoted Roman Catholic who married a Catholic man, but he does not really practice his faith anymore. I would not say I was not religious, because I was forced to go to church until I was 13 or 14 years old. This is the time when one is confirm in to the Roman Catholic church and became a full member of the church. I am not sure, that I did not believe in God. But I was tired of the strict rules of the Roman Catholic Church, which were almost impossible fully to do. Sin is sin, rather then degrees of sins as in the roman Church. Just about every thing could be seen as sin, and maybe there is some truth in that statement by the Church.

The Roman Catholic Church did not even encourage one to read the Bible, unless at the church. One can not forget you need to get only a Bible that the Catholic Church has approved. This is one of the major issues, I had with this church. Many of it teaching were not back up by the Bible. When you question the Church, you were not a good Catholic anymore. This Church tells you what to do and how to think without question the Church.

 I found myself going to a high school in my freshman year, with a bus driver who was deeply religious, but A born again Christian. She told me and another student about the Bible. She show me the book of revelations, which scare me to death.   This book kept me up all night and at this point of time; I only thought the Bible was totally pure fact. It was over time I came to realized that the Bible is in part fact and part myth. Myth did not mean that the Bible was all made up, but that something are just unexplainable to one.  I stay up that whole night up set and I came to read the passage from Matthew from Chapters twenty-Eight verse sixteen to twenty. “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

I knew after reading this I was called to the  service of God in the church and at this time I thought it was in the Roman Catholic church, but over time learned otherwise.  The passage that stood out that night and I would even dare to say now was when Lord Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” At the same time, I thought this met I was called to the priesthood and was looking into it. A Father Francis Hoffman and other local priests were heroes to me. I never  really felt  apart of the church , because it seem to only pick some people over other people. For Example Father Albert Audette was the first priest, I really felt had a connection with the people. He was a married man, before his wife would pass away. So he knew how the real world work compare to other priests. He knew what it was like to be a husband and father. I think many Catholic’s priest miss out and cannot fully do their job. Father Audette is the very reason, I want to be a priest. We sadly had a falling out, when I left the church, but I guess this is how it goes. Catholic for most part do not realized all churches are preaching the same gospel, but without the pope.  I really did not get attach with in the church, until I went Protestant. My Mother always felt that I had a calling, because when I talk about the Bible it was as those, I was not the same person. It is as if the Holy Ghost was speaking through me and I was just the tool to do so. At first I was not sure, if I could agree, but over time I must say I did. There is a presents with me, when come to Bible. My Mother of course felt I was called to Roman Catholic Church, but Protestantism overtime made more sense to me.  I knew over time many of the Roman Catholic teaching was man made and not base on the Bible. There was a church just a cross the street from a grocery store in my home town, but I never knew its name before. It was old fashion and very simpler to The Roman Catholic Church. 

This was Saint Thomas Episcopal Church and over time I would become a member. I thought I was met to be a priest within this tradition.  The Episcopal Church was not the right match for me and over time I look else where. I would say around the age of 18 years old, I started reading all books on theological or just spiritual matters. I never fully felt one church spoke for God over the other, but each one claims that their church was the true church for me. I just know all these churches were preaching the gospel, so they were all doing the same thing. I read some works of Luther and Calvin. I read still many Catholic books and felt a connect with St Francis of Assisi. Later on this connection would lead me to third order of Franciscans. This order would welcome me in and allow me to keep some of my Catholic devotional that other churches would not. In the middle of my college days, I became to be involved with the Third Order of Franciscan, which is an Episcopal order, but allowed Lutheran of ELCA to be members. In this community of I am require to do Daily office, either in the morning or evening, but it must be done. I must follow a rule of life,that I promise to do as example of following Jesus Christ as Saint Francis did back in his time period.  I came to learn about Lutheranism founding out that my great grand uncle was a Lutheran minister in the Germany. I came to enjoy Lutheranism, but the church teaching are not question as much as in other Protestant traditions. This is not say questioning is not good, but it can hurt. Martin Luther’s story spoke to me, because he was once a Roman Catholic too, but felt that some of the teaching were not Bible base. I try to follow the Bible as much as possible and to keep the basic.  I am very active with the church being a lector and usher, when needed so a greeting too, but not as much. People do not realized how a greeting can make church seem friendlier.

 I was going to college, first at Norwalk Community College and then just finished Western Connecticut State University. Coming up this spring of 09, I will have my degree in History. I have come to believe that I am called to Deacon within a church and this why I am writing to you. I am offer my body and soul to the service of the living God and I want to do his service with in this tradition and in this ministry. I would love to work at hospital chaplain , but I could also see myself being  caring soul to those in need at hospital both patient and employee.. I knew when Jesus said these words, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” I have no choice in this, because it God’s will over mine and I must do his will. There was a point in time that I did not really want to talk about God, but somehow his present would come up again and again. Was this God doing or my own will? I like to think both, because, as I said I know I must do his will over my.

My Current understanding on Deacon is a position to make Jesus Christ known, not only in the church, but outside the church walls. Many seem to forget that church building is not the church, but just building. I feel that over time with right training and studying I will be able to express this over time better.   I like that fact that one can do many things with in this ministry. I love to focus on Hospital Chaplian , but I would not mind doing anything else on side service the church. I feel the African American church these days, are doing more with their members.  Men like Dr King and even Jesse Jackson and other great black ministers. Many of them unknown to most people, but God know who they are. Their rewards await them in paradise up above.  I am of course willing to change over time and move into other area, if the church needs it. I know I am just one of many preaching the crucified Christ message and what great message is it. I hope to be a tool for the church, maybe being type that go between churches. Because, I do not mine trying new things and learning new ways of worship. Then the possible sharing with other within our church.

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