Yay I'm Catholic. Now what?

If you had walked into St. Joseph the Saturday night before Easter (April 11), you would have seen me grinning from ear to ear.
Was it because I stood at the altar in front of a priest with a beautiful girl by my side, repeating the words 'I do?' No, but the bells of matrimony that moment put in my head was a fun in itself. Even if it was for confirmation and not my dream wedding.
No, my toothy smile came right after Fr. George Spangenburg told the parishioners to welcome the new Catholics into the faith. There was applause, there were tears of joy, and there was free cake afterwards.
I truly felt blessed in that moment. The journey had come to a close, and with the indescribable joy I felt after becoming a member of The Church, I had truly arrived into a place of wonder. Nothing could ever go wrong.
Yeah, that is, if you believe in fairy tales.
Yes, Saturday's Easter Vigil was a highlight of my life. But all through the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, I had to continuously remind myself that I was not finishing anything by completing the class. Rather, the journey was just beginning, and wouldn't be complete until my death (hopefully 80 years from now, peacefully in my bed).
I say this because by Tuesday, the high had faded. I had to force myself to read the Bible, something I couldn't wait to do all last week. I found myself starting to slip back into those same bad habits as before.
Is that normal? Am I the worst new Catholic that's ever been confirmed into The Church?
I flipped the Bible open to First Kings, and found out that I wasn't alone. After Elijah's great victory over the prophets of Baal in chapter 18 (the story where God sends fire down from heaven and burns Elijah's sacrifice), he prays for his own death in chapter 19. "This is enough, O Lord!" Elijah says in verse 4. "Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers."
A prophet of God coming off of one of the biggest victories in Judeo-Christian history, feeling sorrow? Seemingly unheard of, especially from a great man like Elijah.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not hoping for my life to end. But it was comforting to read about a man who went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.
There are many other stories of people who follow up on great things with stupid decisions. After floating around in an Ark, Noah gets hammered in Genesis 9. Samson asks God if he'll die of thirst right after God helped him kill 1,000 men with the jawbone of an ass. And after Jesus hands Peter the keys to The Church, he tries to rebuke Christ and gets the "Get behind me, Satan!" speech.
There's a lesson to be learned. No matter how great of a victory you have, sooner or later, you'll feel tired and discouraged.
As beautiful as joining The Church was on Saturday, I'd be a fool to think that all of my problems are magically solved. If anything, the tendency to stumble is greater. I don't think the demons are down in Hell thinking to themselves, "Oh he's a new Catholic. Yay!" No, more than likely, they are plotting ways to make me stumble and fall with even greater frequency.
And I probably will. The Christian walk isn't a clear, paved road. It's a road full of potholes, rocks, thorns, things to make your journey a difficult one.
Psalm 88 is something I look to when I'm feeling discouraged. Why? Because the author felt the same way! "Lord, my God, I call out by day; at night I cry aloud in your presence. Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry. For my soul is filled with troubles ... I am weak, without strength."
Fortunately, as I joined the Catholic Church on Saturday, I was reminded that this isn't a journey I have to go on by myself. When times get tough, I have God to carry me through the worst of it.
And based on the applause and encouraging Facebook messages Saturday night, I've got a great group of believers to lean on as well.


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    About This Blog

    A blog for the masses, if by masses you mean myself and family members who probably read this out of pity.

    I'm dustin Faber, the 16-bit Catholic. This blog is an amusing, sometimes thought-provoking look at my life and the world around me. Poetry, cooking recipes, gaming, faith, things that make me go awww, things that make me go grrr, and my obsession with a good glass of root beer can be found here.

    If you're looking for gaming-centered posts, check out catholicvideogamers.blogspot.com. If you seek the blog I keep with my fiance, check out thecatholiclovebirds.blogspot.com

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