From young, my sisters who went to a Methodist church brought me with them. However as a very naughty boy, I skipped Sunday Classes and ended up missing services too as I simply didn’t believe much in the faith. Even when I attended church, it would be because I was largely forced to, which made me even unhappier. I still believed in God but didn’t pray or read the Bible.

When I reached my secondary school years, I discovered something incredible: no one forced me to be a Christian. So I stopped attending church and even developed a strong dislike for Christianity.

At that time, I focused only on my friends and social life, neglecting anything spiritual. Although all that was a lot of fun to me, I felt a "God-shaped" hole within and rarely felt fulfilled or happy. This emptiness prodded me to open my mind to the value of faith. I knew I wanted to follow Jesus, but I wasn’t exactly sure where or how I would do it.

In my third year at Polytechnic, a close friend brought me to a Charismatic Church when I told him I was a free thinker. However after the sessions, I just felt that something is missing.

Things at home started to fall apart sometime around 2006, especially with my dad who died that year. I was totally depressed. Work and school didn’t go well as I kept thinking about him. I felt I was blamed for everything even though I tried to get back on track with my life. Oddly enough, during this time, I went to a Catholic Mass.

To this day, I can’t think of any rational reason that compelled me, who had never been to a Catholic service before (outside of a wedding), to attend a Mass. I believe it was the Holy Spirit nudging me, however gently, towards the Catholic Church.

And this is how I got into RCIA at Church of St. Stephen. I found that Catholic theology was spiritually and theologically satisfying. I went through an entire year to learn in RCIA with a very understanding Parish Priest, Catechists and Sponsors. The Catholic faith is not always easy, but that is one of the things that attracted me to it. My spiritual life no longer requires self-regulation, but I am accountable to God and the Church in confession. Rather than being a burden, it is freeing to know that I’m forgiven and on the path (however long) towards holiness. For the first time I’m tackling habitual sins and I’m not doing it alone, but have the prayers of Mary, the Saints, the Sacraments, the Apostles, and the time-tested prayers of the Church. n

 

Theodore Yam, 26,

St. Stephen

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