Finding a new home

a San Diego sunset last week
This post is pretty difficult for me to write because it's a source of guilt, shame, anxiety, confusion, and sadness.  Over the last couple years, I just haven't felt as close to my faith as I did before.  There's a feeling of disconnect, and it makes me feel very disappointed in myself over it.  It's largely due to the fact that I no longer live at home and am therefore unable to go to my parish, Santa Clara de Asis (a simply wonderful community, a place I feel like I belong).

I won't blame anyone but myself.  I just don't really know how to get back into it.  It's not that I've lost my faith, or I've stopped believing, but I have become a bad Catholic.  My prayers are few and far between.  I don't attend mass unless I'm visiting my parents in Orange County.  I lead a selfish life.  I rarely pray the rosary.  I haven't been to confession in a very, very long time although I know it's mandatory to attend once a year (I had a very bad experience last time, which turned me off it).

I've decided this week to find a church in Los Angeles.  This is very difficult for me - when I was in college, I tried out a couple churches, even participating in the on-campus ministry - but nothing really clicked for me.  Coming from a family of six, it's sometimes hard to attend mass alone.  I watch the other families, couples, and friends together and it makes me feel isolated.  I like holding my mom's hand during mass, putting my head on my brother's shoulder, or rubbing my sister's back while listening to the readings.  I love being surrounded by families who feel as close as blood, talking with priests who have known me for years, and listening to a music ministry I have come to really enjoy.

This past year has been all about bettering myself, about slowly transforming into the person I want to be.  Of course, this will be a work in progress my entire life.  I've decided that I'm not going to wait any longer - I will once again be a regular at mass.  I will try to live my life in Christ.  I will count my blessings, show kindness to everyone, and do good.

I will find where I belong.