February 15, 2014

Regina Magazine: Megan In the Mirror

Regina Magazine (a fine on-line publication which I highly recommend) posted this true story from a child of divorce that hits home on many points and reflects the many-tentacled arms of no-fault divorce, but ultimately shows the Beauty and Truth of God's work, as stated by Aquinas in the Summa Theologica:  

For God allows evils to happen in order to bring a greater good therefrom; hence it is written (Romans 5:20): "Where sin abounded, grace did more abound."  (Citation here.)

Clearly, with Megan, Grace was bountiful, but it is also apparent she was ripe for its harvest through her acceptance of the gift offered by her Creator.

 Deo Gratias!




February 10, 2014   

Megan in the Mirror

Posted by 


“I am happier than I have ever been in my whole life. And I attribute all of it to going to the Latin Mass and having an opportunity to receive the Sacraments so frequently.”
At 31, Megan (not her real name) is a beautiful woman by anyone’s standards. It’s not just her long blonde hair, her ready smile or the elegant way she wears her clothes. She’s also happily married, and a blissful new mother in America’s Midwest.
Some might think Megan a ‘golden girl,’ whose every step in life has been charmed. But this would be very misleading, because the truth is far more complicated.  Here’s beautiful Megan’s story, in an exclusive interview withRegina Magazine.

Like many people in your generation, your parents were divorced.

My parents’ divorce was one of the worst tragedies of my life and yet it brought me closer to God. I think because I knew there had to be something better than what I was living in, and so I searched for the truth.
Or the Truth found me, because the Truth is a person.

Do you have siblings?

I have a sister; she’s one year older than me, now 32. She is into drugs. She’s had one abortion, and then had a baby. That baby was taken away by the State. Our dad adopted my niece.
I pray for my sister every day. She asked me once why our lives turned out so differently and I tell her it’s because I prayed and became Catholic. I think she might finally start to see it.
The hardest thing is convincing my family that it’s more than just prayer, that it’s Confession, the Eucharist and all the sacraments. There is healing there and the grace to fight evil.

My sister is into drugs. She’s had one abortion, and then had a baby. That baby was taken away by the State.

Were you brought up Catholic?

My parents converted to Catholicism when we were young but they fell away. My sister and I were baptized, but they stopped going to church. When my parents were divorcing my dad took us to St. Louis and we visited the Cathedral Basilica.
I prayed and wept there. I was ten years old.

What happened after the divorce?

My mother re-married, to the man she had an affair with. He was from a Polish background, and his mother was very Catholic. He kept a rosary around the house.

So the Faith was still there somehow, in the background of your life?

In my preteen years we went on a trip to Indianapolis and we stopped by a Catholic bookstore. They told me I could get whatever I wanted so I went to the kids section and I looked around a bit. There was a kids’ book about the lives of the Saints, a small book on how to pray the rosary and little rosaries here and there. So I grabbed a couple of items.
From the small books I taught myself how to pray the rosary. At first I prayed all the Mysteries: joyful, sorrowful etc and thought, ‘man this is LONG to do in one sitting.’ LOL. I didn’t realize that you only had to pick one Mystery, until a little later.
I got this really neat mirror and wall stand. I made myself a little altar with candles and the rosary. I started praying occasionally, and then I just had this inspiration to join the Catholic Church. Like a super-strong desire.

I made myself a little altar with candles and the rosary. I started praying occasionally, and then I just had this inspiration to join the Catholic Church.

What was your life like?

I was living in sin. Following my sister, experimenting with drugs, numerous terrible boyfriends, losing my virginity at a young age. All things that were killing my soul.
I was a product of the MTV generation, where society and youth culture is saying these things are fun and make you happy.  Meanwhile I’m so unhappy and killing my soul.

I was living in sin. Following my sister, experimenting with drugs, numerous terrible boyfriends, losing my virginity at a young age. All things that were killing my soul.

Did you abandon the idea of being Catholic?

No.  I called St. Charles Catholic church and asked if I could take classes. They put me with the adults and paired me up with a sponsor. I was a senior in high school.

So did your life settle down?

No. My mother divorced her second husband and things got really bad at home. She started dating this really, really, bad guy and he was absolutely terrible. A drunk, etc. It was sooo bad.
My dad was meanwhile dating so many different women and I hated them all. He was also verbally and somewhat physically abusive to my sister and me after their divorce.
After her second divorce my mother was verbally abusive and I would fight with her because her lifestyle was disgusting and I couldn’t believe all the bad stuff she was doing to our family.
So I got kicked out of her house and have to live with my Dad. I didn’t agree with his lifestyle –with all the women he is dating –and so then I got kicked out of his house.
So now I had nowhere to go.

My mother divorced her second husband and things got really bad at home. She started dating this really, really, bad guy and he was absolutely terrible.

That’s a scary situation at age 17.

Yes, but my mother was less strict than my dad, so of course thinking like a teenager, I opted to live with her. I made a decision to swallow my pride, shut my mouth, and apologize to her for all of the things I said about her sinful life.
I really didn’t ever feel that I had a place to call home, that felt like home. Too many bad memories in either house.

I really didn’t ever feel that I had a place to call home, that felt like home. Too many bad memories in either house.

You still didn't abandon the idea of being Catholic?

No, I was still in the RCIA program and trying to finish my senior year of high school. So I’m still not an angel, but I feel this STRONG desire to receive the sacraments. I look forward to this class every two weeks and am so excited to go. I ask so many questions to the teacher lady, and when the priest came from time to time I would ask him questions also.
My number one question was, “what will it feel like to take communion”?
He told me, “I’m not sure you will feel any differently, but I will pray that you have this miraculous experience for your first time.”

Interesting that you focused on the ‘feeling.’

Yes, at my first confession I felt this incredible sensation after he gave me absolution. Like I was touched by the Holy Spirit and I could fly. A true weight, not some sentimental figurative thing, but a true feeling in my whole body of warmth and love and weightless feeling.
The same thing happened at my Confirmation a few weeks later, after I received Holy Communion for the first time. I remember being really cold because I didn’t have on the right kind of sweater and I was wearing sandals.
But when I took Communion, this incredible warmth came over me. It was amazing. It wasn’t my imagination but a true miracle.
I have never experienced it since.

At my first confession I felt this incredible sensation after he gave me absolution. Like I was touched by the Holy Spirit and I could fly.

So you finished high school…

…yes, but my mom’s house was not working out, unsurprisingly. I moved in with my Dad. I was not sure where to go to college but my Dad, of all people, knew of this Catholic college book that I could get at school. So I checked it out.
There was a small Catholic Junior college in Illinois. It didn’t look too hard to get into.  So I took the risk, applied, got in and moved there for college.
Meanwhile Easter was the last time I went to Mass. When I was in RCIA they never really said, ‘now you have to start coming on Sundays.’ I don’t know why I didn’t go but they never really followed up with me.
I thought “I’m Catholic now” like it was a one-time thing. You would have thought that the miracle feeling would have made me go back, but I was young and still had some problems.

Easter was the last time I went to Mass. When I was in RCIA they never really said, ‘now you have to start coming on Sundays.’

What happened at college?

So I’m at college and I immediately start dating this terrible guy. He pushes me down the stairs and gets kicked out of school. It was bad. I probably dated terrible guys because I had low self- esteem and psychological problems from my childhood and previous sinful behavior.
So in my sophomore year I make friends with Sister Judy (she doesn’t wear the habit) and she helps me get into an all-girl Catholic College. I go there for my Junior and Senior year.
I continued partying and drinking. I meet this guy Tom from a neighboring co-ed Catholic University. We start dating, sleeping together etc. I graduated and moved to a small Midwestern city, because that is where is he from and he is going to medical school there.

I’m at college and I immediately start dating this terrible guy. He pushes me down the stairs and gets kicked out of school. It was bad.

Tom was a ‘catch,’ huh?

Tom’s family is SUPER Catholic and I liked them a lot. His dad is SUPER devout and introduced me to the Latin Mass. They go to Mass every Sunday.
Then Tom cheated on me with a girl in his medical school class. I broke up with him.

How disappointing! How did you cope?

I promptly started dating this guy who worked near me at the airport.
This was a diabolical relationship. We started sleeping together and then he starts treating me like crap. Won’t accept my phone calls and is super mean. I felt used and unwanted so I got really depressed, and I started drinking.
One night I thought if I took a bunch of pills and told him, he would come running back and we would be together. (My sister did this before, so I learned this from her.)

I felt used and unwanted so I got really depressed, and I started drinking. One night I thought if I took a bunch of pills and told him, he would come running back and we would be together.

Oh that is terrible!

Well that didn’t happen, and I had to call Tom and ask him to drive me to the hospital to get my stomach pumped. So now I was in the worst shape of my life.
In this hospital I called out to God. I asked Him ‘why is this all happening to me? Would He help me? Please?’

In this hospital I called out to God. I asked Him why is this all happening to me? Would He help me? Please?

What happened next?

So after I am released, I see that there is a position open in a different city. I apply for the job and I get it!
After I moved, I began to slowly cut ties with my sinful life. I also had this voice say to me one morning, “Obey the 10 commandments.” It was weird.
I wondered if there was a cool church that offers the Latin Mass in my new city. I love music so much, and the town where I grew up has one of the best music schools in the world.
I remembered that the Latin Mass church where Tom’s dad took me had an amazing choir. So I looked up the Latin Mass in my new city and I found one. It was run by a religious order of priests, dedicated to the Latin Mass. 
When I entered the church, I saw all these people in line for Confession, so I went too. The priest asked me, are you ready to change your ways?
I said ‘I think I am.’ I prayed in that moment, “God, please send me someone to marry. Clearly I cannot choose, so please choose for me. Your will be done, not mine.”
That’s when I met my future husband.

The priest asked me, are you ready to change your ways? I say I think I am. I pray in that moment, “God, please send me someone to marry. Clearly I cannot choose, so please choose for me. Your will be done, not mine.”

How did you meet him?

One of my best friends growing up moved to the same city in which I was now living. She invited me to a Christmas party and that’s where I met Rob.  He asked for my phone number and I told him I’m not interested in dating anyone, but thanks.
Unbeknownst to me, my friend gave Rob my phone number. He called one day and we agreed to go to dinner but on one condition-only as friends.
Something about him though seemed different than other guys I dated in the past. His demeanor is super respectful, caring and kind. He seemed genuinely interested in me as a person, so I decided to give it a shot.

Rob’s demeanor is super respectful, caring and kind. He seems genuinely interested in me as a person, so I decide to give it a shot. I asked him if he wanted to start going to Mass with me, for Lent.

I asked him if he wanted to start going to Mass with me, for Lent. He is Catholic and so he agreed. We started going to the church down the street. Then I started bringing him to the Latin Mass with me.
He hated it. Over time, though, he started to meet people, understand the Mass, and liked it.
We got married there, and now we have a baby. : )

How did you get involved at the Oratory?

I decided to register at the church. I’m sitting in the office, wearing a black shirt, hot pink knee length shorts and sandals, and in walks this tall 6 foot 4 tall priest in a long cassock.
I’m 5’3. I looked up and am like ‘oh my goodness.’ I was terrified.
He takes me to his office and starts asking a few questions, “your name” and he writes it down with his left hand. He asks me how I found the Oratory and I tell him, I’m not really sure but I looked it up online and I liked the music.
He says this is most unusual and normally people come because they have heard about it from someone else. I didn’t really have this “I’m fed up with the Novus Ordo Mass and that’s why I’m coming to the Latin Mass” thing like some people do.
I came because it was beautiful and it seemed holy.

I didn’t really have this “I’m fed up with the Novus Ordo Mass and that’s why I’m coming to the Latin Mass” thing like some people do.  I came because it was beautiful and it seemed holy.

As I’m leaving, on the way home, I get cussed out by some homeless man who bangs on my window. He screams “hey b****” and bangs on my window. Luckily my doors were locked, the light changed, and I sped off.

Wow, so it was very welcoming, but scary too.

Another time I was visiting, while I was walking into the building, a group of thug-looking people started yelling at me so I ran fast and was able to make it inside the building.
I also experienced extreme anxiety driving to the Oratory, and also in the church, and in line for Confession. That feeling has since gone away but it took several months. I also had several experiences where a voice told me to spit out the Communion while it was in my mouth. I WAS TERRIFIED!
But I read somewhere that a few saints had this, St. Faustina in particular, and the Lord told her they were temptations and as long as she didn’t listen or take any pleasure in them, it was not sinful.

Did you tell a priest about these supernatural things?

At the time I remember they were pretty amazing, some scary, but I never really told anyone. I think I told the priest about the Eucharist experience and asked him why that might have happened.
He said perhaps because the Lord wanted to show me what the other side is like. What was hidden behind the veil, the Sacraments, like a doorway. So I would remember.
After all of my bad experiences, he said that he was surprised I ever came back. Clearly, the devil did NOT want me there!

My supernatural experiences were pretty amazing, some scary, but I never told anyone.  I told the priest about the Eucharist experience and asked him why that might have happened. He said perhaps because the Lord wanted to show me what the other side is like. So that I would remember.

What is your life like now?

Now I am a regular at Confession, every two weeks. I help out at the Church, I go to Mass every Sunday, and I receive Communion with reverence and deeply pray.
I am still very much a sinner, but I try to steer clear of mortal sins. It is VERY hard to come to the church once you are in the pit of mortal sin, but I had some divine assistance.

I am still very much a sinner, but I try to steer clear of mortal sins. It is VERY hard to come to the church once you are in the pit of mortal sin, but I had some divine assistance.

What about the future?

What gives me great hope is that there are saints like Magdalen and Augustine who were very close to our Lord. My hope is to raise my children closer to spiritual innocence, like our Lady and St. Therese were raised.
My Dad is also back in the church. He remarried, and they have some issues, but he prays and goes to Mass sometimes. I pray for him.
megan bottom
 What gives me great hope is that there are saints like Magdalen and Augustine who were very close to our Lord. My hope is to raise my children closer to spiritual innocence, like our Lady and St. Therese were raised.





Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved



No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome, just keep them civil and within Catholic Charity. Any comments made assume permission is granted for re-posting. I and Blogger determine what is spam or otherwise not fit to be published here and will act accordingly. Differences of opinion are welcomed; emotional only arguments are not. Corrections willingly accepted of anything I post, especially if contrary to Catholic doctrine.