Sunday, October 22, 2006

Who am I? (Part 4 - the '70s)

The Seventies were wild years even though I spent the first half of the decade studying. I went up to university in '71 and graduated in '75. I was a bright student and as always I got excellent marks. But if I'd hoped for a new start in my personal life (and I don't know that I did) it wasn't to be. The campus was a hotbed for everything. It was like a pressure cooker about to explode and as soon as I arrived I dived right in!
I started living with a girl. We were only eighteen at the time but before long she gave birth to a child. And although I should have been there for her I kept indulging my passion for shows, especially for anything morbid or obscene.

I was getting worse. I was always on the look out for new 'experiences'. I began to take pleasure in making people suffer and started developing an interest in evil. I used to hang out with a gang. We called ourselves 'The Destroyers'. When I look back I didn't really enjoy much of their jokes or the way they took the mickey out of each other, and yet I liked being with them. It was an escape. We had the wrong name. We should have been called 'The Perverters'.
I finished university quite well. I had never had a problem with studies. I worked for a few years and then went back to visit my home town. While I was there something unexpected happened that shook me completely. One of my best friends took ill and, despite everything that was done for him, he just seemed to keep getting worse. His sickness brought about a deep change in him and eventually he embraced the Christian faith. Not long after that he died.

That sudden death shocked me deeply. I was saddened to the the very core of my being. I couldn't bear the pain of remaining in that town. I couldn't stay at home. Everything made me suffer. Everything reminded me of him. It was a continuous torment. I felt as if he should still be there but when I looked he was gone. In the end I hated everything about that place.
I remembered his faith and I began to think: "Trust, hope in God!" But God was seemed to me to be a waking dream, an unreal phantasm! I desperately sought consolation but found it only in my tears.


Anonymous said...

Hi - you posted my comment and your reply on part 2 of this. (Hope this doesn't sound patronising) but I was most impressed by your reply. I'm still convinced it's St Augustine - no sensitivity about whether you publish this or not - just thought you might like to know someone out there is following this. In fact someone (female) considering religious life. IT IS ST AUGUSTINE!!! I'll say some prayers to him asking for his intercession and blessings on your vocations work.

Fr Stephen said...

Thanks for the comment. Prayers to St Augustine never go astray! As to the identity of our mystery guest, I wonder what others think?
I'll keep you in my prayers - I often think it's harder for women discerning a vocation to religious life than it is for men & the priesthood.