It’s True! It’s True!

27 Mar

In 1934, at the ripe old age of 10 days, I was baptized. From age six to twelve, I attended catechism lessons and at my mother’s knee I learned all the answers to very important questions: Who made you? Why did God make you? And on and on. I often say that I had the right answers long before I understood the questions or their importance. Those answers served me well in later life.

At age 12, I was confirmed and in that sacrament I was to receive the Holy Spirit in full measure and be enriched by the transforming gifts of the Spirit (Isaiah 11:1-3). I believe that I did indeed receive the Spirit in full measure at that time, but the gifts lay somewhat dormant until many years later.

Married a month before my 18th birthday (it was not a shotgun wedding), Peg and I reared seven children. We attended Mass regularly. I worked full time in the Catholic press from 1969 to my retirement in 1999.

But, you guessed it, there was something missing. I had not yet made a total commitment to the Lord. I had not surrendered my life to him. I believed everything I knew about him in Scripture and in the marvelous tradition and doctrines of our Catholic Church. But it seems, with hindsight, I believed in Truth as something “way out there,” beyond my reach. I didn’t realize that God wanted me to know him in a deeply intimate way.

On Sunday morning, October 31, 1976, when I was 42, God knocked down all the walls.  A dear friend, Franciscan Sister Briege McKenna, prayed with me asking God to open me to the fullness of his love. As she prayed, she mentioned three concerns in my life that I had not told her about. In those words, God told me, “Look, Henry, I do know you and I do love you!” I was weeping and sobbing uncontrollably. What I had never really believed was true! God did love me!

Me! God loves me! It’s true! It’s true!

And it is true for you!

Through the cross the faithful receive strength from weakness, glory from dishonor, life from death.

                                                                                                                                                             (Pope St. Leo the Great, d. 461)

Next: How Scripture enriches my life.



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