I believe we are all subtlety and silently called back to the faith of our childhoods.
The fond memories of praying together before meals, attending church as a family — the sacred moments of feeling God touch our hearts with His gentle and soothing grace — all remain deeply embedded in our memory.
“Attending Mass and saying the prayers I said as a child has felt like coming home.”
My experience in working with so many people indicates that most adults who leave the faith often drift away without even realizing it. The frenetic busyness of life and work or the numbing pleasures of the world can have a negative effect on spirituality over time.
“I rediscovered my faith six years ago, after not practicing Catholicism for 30 years. One could easily think that something dramatic had occurred in my life to bring about this change — but the truth is, I had a slow realization of what was causing me to feel incomplete,” said Jamie Dorros of Chevy Chase, Maryland.
“I knew I was being pulled toward something and a friend suggested I meet with a priest she knew. After our first meeting, I knew I had found my missing piece. The first confession after 30 years was a long one, to put it mildly! I am so grateful for the peace and strength that my faith in God provides me,” Dorros continued.
“Attending Mass and saying the prayers I said as a child has felt like coming home. The church provides comfort to me as a wife and mother, and I know I can pray for guidance when things become overwhelming. I believe Jesus was waiting patiently for me, never giving up hope that I would return. His love is the greatest gift of all,” Dorros concluded.
My last four years of priestly ministry have been spent in New York City, so I thought one of our Manhattan business leaders from the Lumen Institute, Enrique Corredor, could shed some light on this concept:
“Rediscovering my Catholicism implies that my Catholicism became lost. This wasn’t entirely the case for me. I never stopped being a Catholic, but I did prioritize other material pursuits ahead of my faith,” said Corredor. “Upon graduating from business school, I engaged in the clichéd, stereotypical ‘Wall Street behavior’ – chasing the dollar and alleviating the subsequent stress in unhealthy ways. A decade flew by before I realized that I was living an empty life. With a priest’s help, I reset my priorities and rekindled my faith.”
“So how did my life change? I still work on Wall Street. And I still ‘chase the dollar’ — but I do so in a different way,” Corredor continued. “Today I draw inspiration from my relationship with God and the teachings of the Catholic Church. In giving Jesus a prominent role in my life again, I became happy. Truly happy. And happiness is infectious. I met my wife. I was promoted at work. I began working out. Simply put, my renewed Catholicism gave me balance. And as my favorite fictional football coach likes to say, ‘Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.'”
Is a new “springtime for evangelization” developing in modern society? If you have faith, please don’t be afraid to share it with those around you.
You just never know what might spark a rediscovery or renewed interest in bringing others close to God.
Fr. Michael Sliney, LC, is a Catholic priest who is the New York chaplain of the Lumen Institute, an association of business and cultural leaders.