Yes I know in my previous post I mentioned that I attended a conference which has literally changed my life. What’s sooo great about this conference you might ask? Heck sometimes I too wonder to myself why this conference had such a great impact on me! I mean it’s because of this wonderful church conference I attended my whole life has changed – I’ve stopped swearing, I’ve begun to develop a deep desire and hunger for the Eucharist and sacraments, I’ve started to religiously read books which calls to defense the Catholic faith, I’ve started to say the rosary and attend mass daily (or at least whenever I get off work early!) I’m also attending a course in my church on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, digging deeper into the Catholic teachings and faith.
Yes I kid you not, I am doing all of those things above, and I’m not proudly displaying my faith-in-action just to win your admiration or envy or to appear holier than you. Vanity is not my goal here. No, far from all of that, I’m sharing all of this is because I believe God can work anyone’s heart, He can turn lost, confused and resigned souls and renew them with His grace, strength, wisdom and love.
The last time I ever felt like this was nearly 2 and a half years ago. Fresh out of uni, with a persuit to please God and launch my career, I used to read the bible EVERYDAY and pray every morning and night. The intimacy we was beauitful and wonderful. It was peaceful. Then work started, and things began changing. I began innocently questioning the behavior of my peers, thinking to myself whether issues such as promiscious sex, viewing pornography, excessive swearing, late-night pubbing and partying was the norm in the working world. I was always deemed as the innocent guy among my circles, often mocked and teased for my insistance that pre-marital sex was wrong, that viewing porn was a sin etc. It was hard for me sometimes to sit among my group of friends and hear them talking about the last porn movie they swapped each other. Hearing them describe it was tolerable to a certain degree, but sometimes I would just shake my head.
But the thing was I didn’t know exactly why porn was bad, why pre-marital sex is wrong, I mean sure I read the works of fundamentalist christian authors who attempted to valiantly and dutifuly write to young adults like myself on sex and porn, but to be honest, I was never satisfied with their answers, to me, their answers, their solutions were rather preachy and it was just words. There was no heart to it, there was no theological explaination to it. Reading a christian author’s book was sometimes akin to reading his own view points. Sure, throw in some scripture verses here and there, expound on a couple of verses, and viola, you have a christian-flavoured book. For me, maybe at one point it used to work, but not anymore, hence, it was a tough battle for me. And at times I was living a false facade, under a false mask, especially during moments where I would shake my head whenever I caught my colleagues talking about a female employee in a sexually explicit way. Like I was any better at it. Maybe I didn’t comment openly on sex and porn, but behind close doors, I had my own set of temptations, which was hard and at it often made me feel like a hypocrite. Guilt feelings, feeling of betrayal to God, anxiety and fear that perhaps God is so pissed of at me, that maybe he’s somewhat given up on me.
Note: I know given my plight, it may not sound so grave, and I am just being a drama king, but believe me, I was struggling for my soul. I wanted God’s love, that same love we shared when I was looking out for my job just after uni. I craved for those moments, often reminiscing the times I was close to God. I know this because I had a prayer journal back then, and I would pen down my thoughts before I ended the day and each page was filled with the activities I did during the day, primarily focusing on what God was trying to teach me in His word and some reflections. Soon after I started work, this habit became non-existant.
And this went on for about a year plus, I did very little to change my ways, to seek new answers to my problem. So sometimes I just went with the flow, being purposefuly ignorant of His word and His commandmants. By God’s grace I did not do anything grave or that bore serious consequences to others, but my soul was on the line. I knew if I didn’t do anything to rectify my spiritual condition, things would get worse, I would sink in deeper and deeper into sin. In fact at one point, the numbness got to me. I began asking why should I quit watching porn? Why should I quit my deviant ways, (I used to cuss quite badly at work, something which I got heavily influenced by my friends)… the numbness effect began working on me, it got to the point where I didn’t really care that much anymore.
And then Mum got sick.