from the combox:
|I returned to the church 4 years ago after 30 years of non-beleif, I could never quite make the move from agnostic to atheist because I couldn’t completely ignore some experiences I’d had!
One in particular stuck in my mind,
I was doing a deep diving scuba course at over 80 metres depth in an alpine lake!
At such a depth you experience ‘nitrogen narcosis’ or ‘raptures of the deep’ a potentially fatal sense of euphoria!
I was ready to stay there!,
I experienced the light at the end of the tunnel and a sense of bliss!
But then I was in the presence of a brilliant ‘other’ who calmly told me ‘everything is going to be alright’
My senses cleared and I began a safe ascent, on the way up (as a decompression dive it took over 90 minutes)
I had a really strong that Jesus had just spoken to me!
However by the time i reached the surface I convinced myself it was just a result of being ‘Narced’
I spent more years wondering in the darkness but that wee spark remained, my return wasn’t the result of a deep theological search, but rather a smack on the side of the head when I was at a low point in my life, I was walking past a church I passed nearly every day and I was called to knock on the door and ask for a priest to tell me how to come home!
FrBarry Scannell from St Mary of the Angels saw me and showed me the way, I went to mass that sunday and I truly heard the mass for the first time in my life, I found myself weeping uncontrollably up until the prayer just before communion ‘Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but just say the word and my soul shall be healed’ I felt the bliss I felt under Lake Taupo and everything was OK
That was 4 years ago and my journey continues every day, your blog is one thing that keeps me pointed in the right direction, My two boys have been baptised and I’m trying hard to help them nurture an enduring faith.
One feature of my journey has been a number of amazing priests who bring the faith alive, I’ve had some amazing experiences (often Masses) that range from Latin chanting at St Mary of the Angels, a maori mass in the Hokianga on the anniversary of the first mass said in New Zealand said by Bp Pompallier followed by the exposition of his casket! and then in France this year being part of a mass at Taize that I think used at least 17 languages!
To me God is real, Jesus and the Holy Spirit have acted in my life and I give thanks every day.