Recently I was given the task of writing a short testimony of my Spiritual life and I thought I might as well post it here and see what response it would get. The reason that it is written in an anonymous manner was that it was going to be shown to many strangers and I was to keep it short without mention of names of people or places that are alive or real; (ie I mention Thomas Merton that was acceptable.) Any way here it is please tell me what you think of it, yes I know are atheists here, but we are all human and it is our own choice to accept God or not.
I was baptised in a local Church of England Church as a baby. I went to school without really encountering God, mainly as I never went to a church and my parents never really encouraged me to go as they were severely brought up to attend church regularly and did not want to enforce it on me. While at my secondary school I did encounter God through religious education, where I was once forced to pray for the bullies that attacked me, it put me off God. So I left school and started work and soon settled into a pagan type lifestyle, mainly drink.
The next time I encountered God was when I was thirty years of age at the local hospital where I worked, some nurses ran a Christian fellowship group and I was encouraged to go along. (It was only a long time afterwards that one of the nurses said they had prayed for me to join.) Of course I was very apprehensive and did not want in at first. I was encouraged to read the bible, however I had a King James version and because like all books I read it from the beginning and found it hard going. The fellowship then encouraged me to read the New Testament, here I discovered Jesus, who soon became my best mate. I was still struggling with my reading until someone introduced me to a modern translation of the bible.
I soon went to the church that I was baptised in and soon became a Christian, I do not like the words born again they just do not feel right. I started to learn to love God and his Son, and then most glorious for me the Holy Spirit. I soon felt forgiven for rejecting God at school.
I then went onto learn about retreats and soon found them a refreshing way of meeting God. In 1997 I finally decided I wanted to do a thirty-day retreat at a Catholic retreat centre just outside London. Here I discovered a man called Thomas Merton through his autobiography, 'A Seven Storey Mountain.' I recognised something in him that I was very similar to me, and then I started investigating monasteries and the Catholic Church.
Finally in 1999 I was received into the Roman Catholic Church, it was a new start for me I was starting look more seriously into becoming a monk; then it happened my health took a nose dive. At first I thought God was punishing me for running too fast into a ministry for myself instead of God. The monks at two of the monasteries I visited started to pray for me, my health did not improve and I was way past the joining up age.
Jesus is still my mate and Thomas Merton's work still inspires me, my prayer life has taken a tumble as has my bible reading.
By the way I am in no kind of way an orthodox Christian or Catholic. I believe in a realist point of view in life, because that is where we have to live. And at forty-nine years of age (yes nearly fifty), that is the way I live. I have now worked at that hospital for thirty-two plus years and I meet all kinds of people each day, and some of them challenge me in how I live.
My profile picture is of Aylesbury at night, which is where I live, the picture is of the town centre.
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