Perhaps you have been wondered why I call myself the “Wayward Catholic”. Perhaps you haven’t. Either way you will now learn the answer. According to Merriam-Webster.com, Wayward is defined as
1: following one’s own capricious, wanton, or depraved inclinations : ungovernable <a wayward child>2: following no clear principle or law : unpredictable
3: opposite to what is desired or expected :untoward
I subscribe mostly to the third definition, as I have done what is opposite of what my Catholic faith desires or expects.
Early on in my life I decided, like many others of my generation I am sure, that I knew better than Catholic Church and their teachings. I decided that I knew better what God wanted than they did. I didn’t need to go to church, i didn’t need to pray, after all if God is truly everywhere and if He truly sees all and knows everything I am thinking, then why do I need church, confession and prayer?
Some thirty or so years later I realize how wrong I was.
I know I can’t turn the clock back, and i try hard not to dwell on the past. I know I have made some bad decisions, some bad choices and I have to live with them. And when I look back at all those bad choices I realize there is one thing which would have made a difference in them. Had I had faith, had I listened to what is taught in scripture, I would have made better choices. It is hard to explain what I mean by that other than I do believe one bad choice, one sin, dictated the course of my life.
The first sin is always the easiest. Once Satan gets you to sin once, he has got you. He got me and after that it was easier and easier to repeat my sins.
Did it matter? I believe it did. So often the Bible tells us we reap what we sow. Read Matthew 13:1-23, “The Parable of the Sower”. I have looked at myself as falling into the category which Jesus explains in verse 22:
“As for what was sown among thorns, that is he who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” – RSV CE
The good news is you can remove these thorns, clear out the weeds and grow again. For those who have strayed from the narrow path (Matthew 7:13) we can still make our way back to it. God will welcome us back. Even those of us who are Wayward for:
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape; that you may be able to endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13
What difference would it have made? Stay tuned and you will learn.