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March 30, 2005

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fidens

Around this time last year, as a cradle (and formally rather lukewarm) Catholic, I reached a bit of a crossroads. My girlfriend, a Baptist, broke up with me, partly (I believe) because of the difference in faith. In my pain I came to realise that I was really only a Catholic 'culturally' and that I had made no intellectual or spiritual commitment to the Church. Secretly hoping I could reasonably and in good faith abandon the Catholic Church and rejoin the woman I loved, I started a personal internal pilgrimage to find out: what is truth?

During this period of reflection I undertook a long-planned journey to Europe. While there I participated in masses in French, Spanish, Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Slovenian, Croatian and Italian. I had a pocket Bible (Good News - blech!) and could follow the readings, the Gospel and the Liturgy of the Eucharist (well, most of the time).

The point being? No matter what country I was in and how alien the language and customs seemed, no matter how far I was from family and friends, when I went to mass... I was at home. Not merely in the sense of knowing the liturgy by rote, of familiarity, but more especially in receiving the Eucharist. God was with me.

Happy to say that this (along with many other factors) helped renew my faith. Participating in a mass in a foreign language can be a richly rewarding spiritual exercise.

fidens

I hasten to add that Jimmy and his online Catholic compadres played no small role in my spiritual renewal as well.

Thanks Jimmy, keep up the fantastic work.

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