It’s called Lukewarm. I was lukewarm. Lukewarm. That word doesn’t sound too bad; until you really think about it. It’s not quite hot, but warmer than cold. It’s not really something I’d want to submerge myself in because I’d just end up feeling kind of chilled. It’s not where I’d want to be in my faith or love of God, but there I was, LUKEWARM. I was just there; a typical American Catholic, at least I’d consider myself typical. Of course I went to Mass pretty regularly and I made it to confession my obligatory once a year. I went to Catholic school and made all my Sacraments; however, I had no real relationship with Our Lord and no real understanding of His Church. I was just going with the flow; in other words, lukewarm.
The Bible says, “I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” (Rv 3:15-16) As a Dental Hygienist for over 27 years, hearing that I’d be spit out of Jesus’ mouth is a visual that really had a resounding effect on me. I didn’t want to be something distasteful, or unpleasant so as to be spit out; however, I didn’t know where to begin to turn things around. I like to be orderly, organized and have a plan of action; however, I had no idea where to begin. So, I said a little prayer that had something to do with guiding me in the right direction, and then waited. Apparently, I thought I’d be given an epiphany or have some sort of revelation that would set me straight on the path of wherever I was supposed to go, yeah, not so much.
I remember during this time of wanting to do something to improve my “temperature;” that I was confronted by someone who left the Catholic Church and they gave a reference to the reformation and all the atrocities and corruption that occurred during that era. I was left feeling upset that I couldn’t refute what they were saying with any reasoning because I really didn’t know what went on during the history of the Catholic Church. So, I added the reformation to my list of things to investigate regarding the Church.
The turning point of my life and relationship with Our Lord, came during a joyous time in my life. I had re-married, this time in the Catholic Church, became a first time Grandmother, built a new home with my husband and life was the best it had ever been. Then I was slammed with news that took me down hard and fast. I won’t go into details; however, it was something that no one ever wants to hear and I was angry, resentful and filled with hate. Everything good I had in my life no longer mattered and I had to work hard to function day-to-day. My husband worried about me daily and nothing pulled me out of the pit I was in. I felt an ache in my soul that just wouldn’t go away and I was drowning. I don’t even remember if I prayed; but if I did, it was probably something like, “Help Me!”
I remember going to Mass; however, something usually set me off to crying and I’d not remember anything about what was read or any of the Homilies given by the new priest until one special Sunday. Our new priest wanted to do a special Mother’s Day blessing for all the mothers in attendance and this wasn’t unusual; however, unlike the typical blessing at the end of Mass, he wanted to do it at the beginning and he didn’t want the women to stand like we’d normally do, but he wanted the men to stand and extend their hands over the seated women while he read the blessing. This was the longest blessing I’ve ever heard. I remember feeling overwhelmed and then something like an electrical current moving from my toes to the top of my head. The current wasn’t painful but it was causing my body to shake pretty substantially. I was crying like usual and trying to wipe my nose with my tissue; however, I was shaking so badly it was difficult. I remember after the current left my head, I had a peace come over me like I’ve never felt before and I instantly stopped crying. My husband hadn’t turned around to look at me yet, but later he said, “I thought you’d have been a bawling mess after that blessing.” I just knew that the Holy Spirit infused me with the peace and love of Our Lord at that moment and I would never be the same. My soul no longer ached, my hatred was dissolved, my heart was opened and I longed to begin my journey of loving the Lord and learning about the Church that He established by saying, “That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell should not prevail against it.” ( Mat 16:18) In other words, I just had an infusion of some hot water and I was beginning to warm up to my Catholic faith.