Like many people I have struggled with my efforts to reconnect with the church. Without any relevant reason I have drifted away from attending mass and participating in the sacraments. I began to rationalize why it happened and shifted the reason to the church rather than myself. Through the Symbolon program I found that my experience wasn’t unique. As the program continued, I began to appreciate the education and explanation of many of the conflicts I have felt with my own faith.
Throughout my years of attending church I had lost that sense of the church being more than the building and the priest, rather than a community of fellow seekers of God’s grace. The education portion of the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit were particularly inspiring to me. This segment seemed to tie up many issues of the relevance of having Jesus in our lives. It also made me feel he is present even when I don’t sense his presence. Sometimes we see such bad things happen around us in the world and sometimes very close to home, reflecting back on these lessons has brought me some peace.
Our parish has been welcoming and nonjudgmental as I venture on my path back to the church, even though it has not always been a straight line. I am not a perfect parishioner but I am inspired to continue on the journey towards having Jesus be a part of my daily life.
By Jim Benedetto, Parishioner at The Christ Initiative