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I was raised Catholic.... but that didn’t help one day when my life came to a dead-end. I couldn’t work so I drove to Huntington Beach in southern California and paced up and down the water’s edge out of view of the traffic on Pacific Coast Highway. 25 years old, willful, self-centered, and alone; no connection with God or Church. No love or meaning in my life: “What’s left to live for?”
I struggled two years for an answer; none came. While walking back to the car, I felt like someone tapped me on my right shoulder so I turned around. No one. I stopped and stared at the low clouds hovering above the Pacific. Suddenly, I knew I wasn’t alone, God was there. My mind and heart filled with peace, like I was now in the presence of God the Father. I wanted to fall on my knees but in a business suit and now in full view of the highway, I was too embarrassed. At the car my heart was pounding and my mind racing. Now there was hope!
Then I recalled a nun in the 8th grade telling us about “the dumb ox” who became a great saint and teacher: St. Tho-mas Aquinas. I drove to a library and found a copy of his Summa Theologica. After a few weeks of reading about God, I made my first good confession in ten years. Finally at peace in mind and heart I thought: I want to give my life to God!” Searching, I found the Church had a new way for a man to consecrate his life to God: secular institutes. Exactly what I wanted and needed: to give my life to God but to stay right where I was, just as I was in the world.
On May 1st, I promised my life to God forever. I was 26. At the time there were no secular institutes for men in the U.S.A. After years of praying, searching and stumbling, I found this institute. I’m never alone, Jesus is with me, healing my heart so that I can reflect a little of His love in my life: in my parish, social life and work here in California.