“Our spirit holds the answer of who we truly are; an
unveiling of our truth is our ultimate peace.”
My first spiritual connection that I can recall was my baptism at the Panther Lake Chapel when I was about seven years old. I remember wearing a beautiful blue dress my mother had thoughtfully sewn for me for this special occasion.
My excitement was high with expectations of celebration, being honored with this gift from God. I was also taken by the physical simplicity of this place as I knelt on the old pine bench. My Grandmother played the organ, as she did every Sunday morning. It was a relatively small church, filled with hand crafted furniture and clear, tall windows that welcomed the skies and surrounding scotch pines. The chapel, I had been told, was built by hard-working men who were lumberjacks, hunting guides and farmers by trade. It gave this little rural community a sense of pride and a haven for when difficulties came into their demanding lives.
It never occurred to me to ask my mother why she waited until I was seven to baptize me.
We lived in Syracuse during for most of my early life. During this time I had an incredible yearning to be near God. I felt that if I could reach out and find a church in which to worship it would help. I was lucky enough to live near a Presbyterian church where my parents registered us for Sunday school. I remember how thrilled I was when the church school teacher gave me my first copy of the New Testament. It was red leatherette and I kept it in the top drawer of the bureau that I shared with my sister.
At about that time I started having an image of a golden cross during my silent prayers before falling to sleep. It was awesome and comforting to me. I knew, too, that it was a special gift from God.
We moved again and I became acquainted with a girl in my new neighborhood who said she was Catholic. I asked her about her church. I had an incredible curiosity, almost a longing, to learn more about spirituality. One day she took me to her church. It was incredibly grand, with big arches and a huge marble altar. Holy figures dressed the walls and intricately designed stained glass graced the windows.
We went up onto the altar and she showed me the sacred place where Jesus was ‘kept’. I was in awe and incredibly afraid, all at the same time. I kept thinking that the Reverend would come and surely punish us for being so intrusive in this sacred place. My friend had a glass jar and put it under a spigot, drawing water from a jug marked Holy Water. She put some on my hand and I felt magical. I’m embarrassed to say that we took that holy water and drove down the street on our bikes, sprinkling small children and whoever happened to be on the sidewalk at the time, with the water. We actually shouted out our blessings to them. I truly thought we were doing God’s work; I believe now that He was working on me.
My soul finally found a peaceful and satisfying haven by the time I was twenty years old. I converted to Catholicism. I still thank my husband for having encouraged me to attend mass with him through our seven years of courtship.
It’s been a lifelong journey for me, this seeking of spirit. I still embrace anything and everything that furthers my insight and saturates the sacred spaces of my life. Nothing in God’s world is random, of this I am convinced; nor are there accidents or coincidences.
You have the opportunity to find the grace that resides in your soul. We can call it at any time.
It longs for your interruption. It slumbers from worldly distraction.]
Seek the light for your guidance. Thank God for your blessings at sun up and at the moon of night. Be aware of your sign posts. Listen. Awaken.