30 Aug I ran away from Home
“And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.” – Luke 15:21-24
When I was younger, my mom would dress me up in fancy, frilly dresses when we would go to mass together with our family. I didn’t understand it back then, but it was something that we often did so I never questioned it. Then later when my mom was in Canada, my dad made my sister and I join the youth choir in our parish in the Philippines. This helped me realize the importance of hymns in mass and how to be confident in my musical abilities. Years later, my family and I joined the Church choir so we could serve together while attending mass every Saturday.
However, this changed when I stepped up in my service in my church youth group. Most events that we had would be on Saturdays so I would often miss singing with my family. At first, I didn’t think this was a big deal. I was serving the Lord in a different way, right?
But after that, I would often make excuses to deliberately miss mass (even when I was serving for camps or events). This went on for weeks, months and now, years. I don’t remember the last time I went to mass with my family joyfully. My mom would often be the one to remind us all to go together when there wouldn’t be an event. But it got to the point where it wasn’t just me that didn’t go to mass, my dad didn’t want to go either.
My mom stopped trying altogether. She didn’t tell us when she and my sister would leave to go to mass, they would just leave. It upsets me that it got this way. I used to genuinely love going to mass and all that came with it; singing with my family, trying to stay awake for the homily by writing down notes, and being in the presence of the Lord.
I make excuses because I feel unworthy to come back-like a child who ran away from home because they’re scared of facing the consequences. I feel like a huge hypocrite at times, because I serve Him outside the church by leading music ministry and creating websites to evangelize to the youth, yet I can’t even spend an hour to be with Him?
This has been my greatest struggle for the past few years. I love the Lord, but I lost the incentive to be with Him at mass. I forgot how beautiful and sacred it is. Because of this, I’ve become different. Spiritual warfare would take its toll on me because my soul didn’t have the spiritual nourishment that it needed. I haven’t felt like myself in a really long time.
I’m not saying that serving and stepping up in service for your youth church group is bad, but if it’s something that is taking you away from the Church instead of bringing you to it then something is wrong. The community’s purpose is to bring you closer to Christ and what better way for you to do that than to spend time with Him?
I humbly ask you to please pray for me. There has been many obstacles and hindrances that keep me from going to mass. I am writing this post as a promise and a testimony of my own journey. I really do want to go (and I will go); not to please my parents or the people who are accountable for me, but because I love Him. He’s done so much for me and all I’ve done is ran away from Him. I’ve been away from home too long.
I hope that you, dear reader, wouldn’t find yourself in the same situation. But if you do, I urge you to go to your nearest parish, go to confession and go to mass .. with your family. I know that it will be tough after being away for so long, but trust me when I say that when you do go, the Lord will be there waiting for you with open arms.