Sunday, November 19, 2006
Who am I (Part 7 - Still in the Eighties)
On one of my journies I heard tell of a Catholic bishop who was very highly regarded. I went to listen to him, still quite dismissive towards Christianity. In truth, I only went out of an intellectual curiosity but bit by bit I found myself getting imperceptibly closer to the faith and the Church. It seemed to me that the bishop had a different way of explaining the very scriptural texts that I used to make fun of in my classes. Somehow the things he preached, which were the things taught by the Church, began to seem defensible.
Nevertheless, it didn't seem to me that I should folow the Catholic way. If Catholic teaching no longer seemed defeated, nor did it appear defeating. I kept studying, comparing, questioning - in a perpetual doubt. I was walking in darkness, looking for the truth outside of me. I began to feel I would never find it, I began to depair.
What did I think about Jesus Christ? Just that he was a good man, extraordinarily wise, hard to beat, but nothing more. I couldn't begin to suspect the great mystery implied by the words: And the Word was made flesh... I didn't pray that God would help me. My mind was too preoccupied and distracted with questions and arguments.
Matters were made worse by the fact that my parents had come to live with me and were insisting that I get married. I was getting more and more miserable but, despite this, God was drawing closer and closer to me. He wanted to rescue me from the quicksands I had fallen into, although I didn't realise it at the time.
In my moral life, of course, I just kept on doing whatever I felt like. But I wasn't happy with that. I wanted to escape from that immorality, but at the same time I felt unable to. Once you let yourself be carried away by these passions, at first it becomes a habit and then it becomes a slavery. I was a slave and I knew it. In this situation I began to feel, with a growing intensity, a great longing for God. Interiorly I was looking for truth with all my strength. But I didn't feel able to end with certain customs, with my passion. I felt oppressed by the need for pleasure. Inwardly I became convinced that to live with God would make me happier than all the sexual satisfactions put together, but everytime I thought about it I would say: I'll do it soon. I'll just wait a little longer.
This 'soon' never seemed to arrive while the 'little longer' kept getting drawn out further.