RCIA after a year

On April 7, 2012 after a year and a half long process of reflecting, discussing, and allowing myself to be open to all that the Catholic Church had to offer me, I finally received my Sacraments and became an official member of the Catholic Church. The process itself was not an easy one – it took much motivation, discipline, and willingness to take time out of my day to do things I wouldn’t normally bother doing. However, all of the struggles I faced staying committed to the Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) program here at SCU were nothing compared to the struggles I have been facing, and still continue to face, for the past year or so.

About 2 or 3 months after I received my Sacraments of Baptism, First Eucharist, and Confirmation I found myself attending mass less and less. At first it was mainly because of the fact that the church I attended at home was so far away from my house, but after a few weeks it was mainly because I was just too lazy to go. I would find excuses, or find myself being happy when I had excuse, to not go to mass every Sunday. For a while, I began to think that it was no big deal and that I would pick it up again when I got back to SCU for the beginning of the new year. But that was not the case.

When I got back to school, I continued to skip mass every Sunday, but instead of thinking that it was okay and I would make it up later, I found myself feeling guilty and almost as if the entire RCIA process that I had worked so hard throughout had gone to waste. I was disappointed and mad at myself for not showing more commitment to my faith especially when I did hold my faith as a high priority. I began to develop more and more a sense of loneliness that I hadn’t felt when I was attending mass because going to mass always made me feel part of a larger community. At the same time, I was much less involved in other on campus clubs, such as MCC clubs, and was not doing anything with my time besides homework and working two on campus jobs. Basically, I was in my own stress-filled bubble and was doing nothing to get out of it.

Attending mass on a weekly basis had given me a sense of belonging and an outlet to relieve any stress I had pent up from the week before. Being able to walk up to receive Eucharist during Mass also made me feel great about myself and how hard I worked to achieve that goal. Without it, I began to feel less satisfied with myself and it made me realize that not only had I given up my church community, but I had given up on establishing relationships in other communities that could greatly benefit my well-being as well as assist in achieving my future goals. I tell myself every day that I need to get back on it, but saying things and doing things are so completely different.