Sometimes, significant dates just slip by, but Sunday, June 20, 2010 grabbed me. It was a mother date, with just me at the evening mass because my husband and 14 year old daughter were doing a soccer weekend. Just before I went up for the Eucharist; however, I glanced at the bulletin date, and realized I'd asked Christ into my heart only 34 years before.
You see, 34 years ago, at age 27, on June 20, 1976, in my West Virginia bedroom, I asked Christ into my heart. My 27 years had been mostly spent in the First Presbyterian Church in Huntington WV, but Jesus was only in my actions and not in my being. Hard times from a divorce had driven me astray from religion, and on that day I contemplated ending my life. Fortunately, my cousin, Alan Wild, who had been quite WILD, had asked Jesus into his heart a few years before, and had become a changed man; so I visited Alan and learned that I could drink wine, laugh, and still be myself yet know Christ intimately. There was nothing to fear in asking Jesus to take control.
That evening after visiting Alan, I sat on my bed and asked Christ to come into my heart. He quietly did.
Nothing dramatic happened. Billowing curtains did not flow as I had hoped, and the room did not illuminate. But yet the next day, I had a desire to read the Bible; and that daily hunger for God’s word has persisted for 34 years. From that craving, I understood that I was missing something. For years, I'd secretly asked The Blessed Mother for help; secretly because Protestants do not revere Mary as Catholics do. I longed for a closer walk with Jesus, and I wanted to respond the way she responded by wholly taking Him in.
The FULLNESS of my Christian faith has now been achieved in the Roman Catholic Church. I can read 46 books of the Old Testament Sacred Scriptures just as Jesus had rather than just 39, as the Protestants use. The fullness is also found in the Seven Sacraments, 2000 years of Sacred Tradition, the Magisterium of The Church, and, above all else, the Eucharist. All of these are what I celebrated on my 34th birthday as I walked forward and ate His true flesh and drank His true blood.
It was also my first Christian birthday communion as an active Catholic. Knowing His sacrifice, His love for me–a sinner, His unwavering desire to please His Father, and His Sacred Heart, to partake of The Eucharist was the greatest gift any girl could receive.
Psalm 23: 1 A Psalm of David “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want; he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. (RSV)