As some of you may have noticed, I am new to this forum, and have posted on a few of the other message boards, but I thought I would give you good people a little introduction and let you know how I came to know our Lady of Medjugorje the Queen of Peace.
To start with, when I was a kid and a teen, I had a morbid fear of going to hell and spending the rest of eternity suffering. I was focused on the punishment that would befall those who didn't "make it," and thought very little about Heaven or Eternal Life. I also had, and still have I must confess, a "morbid" preoccupation with end time prophecies, predictions and stories. Films like the "Planet of the Ape" series, "When Worlds Collide," "The Omen" "Left Behind" "On the Beach" and a whole host of others were my absolute favorites.
Anyway, I went thrugh high school living in this horible fear, and then when I graduated from high school, I entered college, started hanging with some of the wrong people, was introduced to alcohol and marijuana and that fear and my faith started to wain. By the time I graduated from College, I only was attending Holy Mass at Christmas and Easter.
Back in 1985, I was about a year into my career as a professional photographer at our local Community College. My faith was at it's weakest point by then. I still believed in God and in Jesus Christ, but I had serious questions about the validity of any organized religion. I guess I was what you would call a Non Denominational, though I hardly ever prayed, or went to any of their meetings. The three most important things in my life back then were my car, my stereo and marijuana. I lived to get high, cruiz around, and crank out my music.
In January of 1986, my mom handed me a video caseette about Medjugorje. I was told that it was about end time predictions, and that morbie preoccupation got the better of me, so I popped it into the VCR. I watched with total interest as I puffed away on a joint, not quite buying into the story as a whole, but I decided that it would be worth making a trip to Medjugorje to see if was all for real. So in March of 86, I contacted "The Center for Peace," and I booked a reservation on the pilgrimage for that month. While I was there I had such a profound sense of peace and happiness that I didn't want to go home. While climbing the Mountain of the Cross, I caught myself praying the "Hail Mary," as though I was in the habbit of it all my life. I didn't even know I was doing it! I was also NOT in the habbit of praying back then like I am today.
My life has not been the same since. I still smoked pot and drank a little after I got back, but more and more I was pulled away from it. Gradualy, my focus was diverted from my personal possessions, and placed on going to Heaven. I started going to Mass every Sunday again, and my faith grew stronger and stronger. Today, I pray the Rosary twice a day. I am seriously considering entering the Priesthood, and I haven't touched drink or pot in a very long time. The last time I smoked pot, I had a horifying experience which I won't go into at this time.
My faith now, is based on a more positive outlook. Instead of fearing going to hell, I am excited about going to Heaven. Instead of feeling scared all the time, I feel happy, and that God and Mary are on my side ane are pulling for me all the way. Yes, I still like to blast my stereo once in a while, and recently I fell in love with riding motorcycles, but my number one love in life is God, and my main priority in life is getting to heaven. I still enjoy a good "end of the world" tale or prediction, and I must confess that I still tend to be morbidly curious about these things, but all in all, thanks to God and our Holy Blessed Mother, I have a much better outlook on life.
I realize this was a long post, so I will end it here. If any of you have any questions feel free to ask. Thank you for being so patient and reading this long post.
Peace to all