God needs you!

 

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We would be very happy to publish your story. It needs to be:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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" A blinding light on the road to Damascus is not something I have experienced… my faith is more of the imperceptibly growing seed variety."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pause for thought: If you had to sum-up what your faith means to you in a sentence, what would you say?

 

 

 

 

 

Faith Stories

One of the principle ways through which the Church grew in the early centuries A.D. was through simple faith sharing. Testimony giving is a powerful way through which we can proclaim to others the Good News of Jesus Christ. It is very attractive to see someone sincerely speaking from the heart.

However, faith sharing is not something most Catholics are used to or are familiar doing. This page is designed to help individuals and Catholic groups get over this barrier. The more we can begin to share our faith within our own Catholic community with confidence, the more able we will feel, to proclaim the Good News to those outside of it.

Each month we will feature a short faith story. This month, CASE Team Member, Clare Ford:

 

October 2004

Clare Ford

photo of Clare FordI tend to feel a little self-conscious when asked to tell my “faith story” as I’m all too aware of how overwhelmingly uneventful it is.   When I first began to hear other people’s dramatic testimonies of life-changing encounters with Jesus, I wondered if my own steady, somewhat plodding, journey in faith was inadequate.   Could I really be a ‘proper’ Christian if I couldn’t identify a very significant moment of conversion?

I was reassured to find G.K. Chesterton describe two ways of being at Home in the Catholic Church: one was to journey so far away you could see what you were missing, the other was to not leave in the first place.

Thankfully, I’ve always found it easy to believe in God’s love for me.   My faith hasn’t meant problems in my life magically disappear, but I’ve always been able to receive the strength God wants to give me to cope with whatever I need to face.   I am thirty-five years old and a committed, enthusiastic member of the Catholic Church.   I was born and brought up in Liverpool , where a stable, loving family background gave me a firm foundation in the faith. My dad is a retired teacher, my mum a retired midwife, and I am the second of four children.     I love still going to Mass together as a family, enlarged and enlivened as we are by a growing collection of nieces and nephews.

             

For me, the parish community always seemed a very natural extension of the family, and from my schooldays, I have been totally involved in a wide variety of Church-related activities.   I was an energetic participant in all manner of youth groups; I played every possible parish-simulation game and attended all the liturgical music workshops I could.   However, I was aware of an emptiness inside.   I was thirsting to know Jesus more intimately, to develop a deeper prayer life that would balance the social dimension of my faith that was maturing nicely.

The diverse experience of two gap years before University: the first in a busy parish in the northern industrial town of St Helen’s, the second in a Bernardine Cistercian monastery in Slough , introduced me to the vibrancy of Catholic Charismatic Renewal and the enduring treasures of the monastic tradition of silently contemplating the face of Christ. The practical expression of my spiritual growth has continued through my belonging to the Sion Community as an associate member, and participating in school/parish missions that present our faith as the dynamic, life-changing force that it is.

Before I began to work for the Catholic Agency to Support Evangelisation, I had been teaching for just over ten years.   After four extremely happy years as a primary teacher in Hartlepool , I sensed a call to put all my professional energies and time into Religious Education, so I switched to secondary teaching and worked in two very different Catholic Comprehensive Schools in Birmingham .   I was very fortunate to thoroughly enjoy teaching, but as life-giving as I found it, I felt as if God was calling me to have an even clearer focus on evangelisation, so I applied for the post of CASE Team Member. Working full-time for the Church is not without its challenges, but I sometimes wonder if I am in Heaven already as I get paid to tell people that God loves them!   As so many people are unaware of this, there is plenty of scope for creativity, and I feel really excited at the thought of someone else’s faith coming to life through my responding to the gifts God has given me.

It is difficult for me to describe the role faith plays in my life as its influence is so fundamental to how I make sense of the world.   I would not say I am constantly aware of a warm, fuzzy feeling of “Jesus Joy,” but more that my decision to believe in and act on God’s love for me gives me peace and purpose.   My own personal relationship with the Father, experienced through Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is central in my life, and the energy given by my faith makes me eager to share its joys with other people.  

Despite not having had one particular road to Damascus type of experience, my faith, my relationship with Jesus lived out through His Body the Church, is nonetheless life-changing.   As I have sought to respond to God’s love for me by sharing that good news with others, I have moved from the northwest to the northeast, from the midlands to the south, and I have taught at primary, secondary and tertiary level both at home and abroad.   Along the way, there have been many smaller, apparently insignificant, moments of conversion that bring me to where I am today, and I’m sure there will be many more to come.

 

Please feel free to send us your faith story. Email: faithstories@caseresources.org

For Faith Stories Archive - click here.