A Sharing by Monique Burgos, SFL Cavite
On Two Roads
I grew up in a family with two religions. My father is a Protestant, while my mother is a Roman Catholic. It may seem unusual that these two people, with their own respective families, could really get along despite the distinctions of their spiritual beliefs, but they somehow pulled it off. They were allowed to marry each other in a Catholic Church, because among the different kinds of Protestants, my father’s is the closest to the Catholic’s. On the other hand, my sister and I were baptized in a Protestant Church, making us both Protestants. Believing in the fact that we all have one God to love and to serve gave us the comfort of having two religions to consider one at a time. When we were younger, we attended Protestant services, as well as other activities during their anniversaries and presentations. Alternatively, we also attended the Holy Mass and were exposed to the Catholic faith while attending school. Both sides were given due consideration, and wasn’t a big issue at all.
As I grew up, I got myself more involved with the practice of the Catholic faith. Though Protestant by baptism, I’ve always loved serving during the Holy Mass. I started singing in a choir when I was young, then eventually became a lector and commentator. I embraced the sacraments of the Catholic Church. By this time, I already knew that I can relate myself to God in this religion – I knew, in my heart that I am in love. My service flourished even more when I joined a Campus Ministry Club in High School for 3 years, which the Lord allowed me to serve and lead. My club adviser and some members used to ask me how I can serve so actively in the Catholic church when I am a Protestant. My answer is always smile. I really don’t know why. Maybe it was my schooling, or a passion, a story that I cannot put into words. By then, my mother and I have been inquiring how to be fully “converted” to Catholicism, and in God’s grace, were told that the baptism ‘rights’ used before were almost the same as the Catholic Church, and since there can only be one baptism, there’s no need for us to get baptized again.
Surrendering to God
This moment changed our lives. As grace-filled as it is to be able to fully serve as a Catholic, this change did not come without consequences. My Father grew concerned. We barely attend their services and activities we hardly, almost never, had the chance to attend the mass together as a family. This has been our current situation up until now. A hard fight indeed, but through the grace of God, little by little, this struggle is now turning to be an inspiration – an inspiration to lay and surrender everything to God, the author of life, the ultimate defender of families and our Promise Keeper.
We are still very thankful, that though we are physically being separated by our differences, we know that spiritually, we are all united in the Lord. Our circumstances may hurt, but these pains mold in us bigger and stronger hearts that allow us to forgive, understand and love each other even more. We may be pushed down by life’s situations, but the Lord will always stay victorious in our lives.
We are all given our own struggles, and as Catholic Christians, we are to see the gift that comes with it. Our faith and families will always be the best gifts God has given us. We are to cherish it. As emissaries of His great love and mercy, of His immense desire to protect life and the lives of families, let us continue to support and pray for each other that we, with the community, will inspire and bring forth integrity into this mission that is for God’s greater glory.
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