“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your request known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard you hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-7.
This Scripture passage became my life source. Plagued by anxiety, worry, or doubt I recited this passage and remembered to pray—lifting my burdens up, I was assured I would be filled with peace transcending human comprehension.
For years I unsuccessfully sought peace through many avenues; I denied the Prince of Peace and my soul ached for rest. “My soul rests in God alone” Psalm 62:2. When I first contemplated coming back to the Church, I was conflicted. My family had left in my teens and I had been attending non-denominational faiths for more than half my life. I was met with opposition from those I worked beside in ministry, and was questioned by others with whom I shared close relationship and deeply respect. At times I was spiritually attacked. In the face of these obstacles, the magnetism I felt toward the Catholic faith was undeniable. Each time I opened God’s Word, I saw the Church’s teaching. When I prayed to God for guidance He confirmed the call.
I finally attended Mass and felt the peace of our God like never before. The Holy Spirit was so permeable all the weight of daily life seeped from me. As the Mass began I heard God’s voice from the Gospel of Matthew, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” At that moment I truly understood God’s pleasure. The smell of the incense, blessing myself with the Sign of the Cross, witnessing the power of the Holy Eucharist—these were things my soul had yearned for. The peace God promises in Scripture is felt each time I enter His Sanctuary. Adoring and worshipping the Blessed Sacrament is one of the most beautiful and spiritually enriching experiences we have as Christians. “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28.
By God’s grace, my husband, Adam, and I were united in this decision. When I first mentioned returning to the Catholic Church he brushed it aside. Neither of us could have foreseen this—especially me as the instigator. I had been wrapped up in Sola Scriptura for the past several years. Tradition, Mary and the Saints were things I often condemned. As I dug into the faith and sought answers to my many questions, Adam came alongside me. We listened to conversion stories, watched catholic vs. protestant debates, and he patiently listened as I rattled off doctrine after doctrine that was adding up in numerous passages from several Catholic authors. Each night, after tucking in our two beautiful daughters, we came together in our quest for Truth.
Our meetings with Fr. Moe solidified our decision and gave us hours of intimate conversation and spiritual peace. Adam’s stoic confidence in our decision gave me the ability to withstand the scrutiny and attacks of those who thought we were making a mistake.
In July our marriage was blessed and we entered into full communion with the Catholic Church. There were tears in both of our eyes as we spoke our vows, eight years after our wedding day, each holding the hand of one of our precious daughters, as we realized this is what was missing.
Before returning to the Church I knew God’s love, but being home I am wrapped in His peace and have learned the blessing of adoption into His family. The love and comfort of the Blessed Mother, the peace continually offered through the redemptive Son, our savior Jesus Christ, and the joy of our Heavenly Father, imparted through the Holy Spirit. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” John 14:27.