Testimony of faith.  The freedom of the outdoors

Testimony of faith. The freedom of the outdoors

As a child, I went to mass because that was how it was in my family. Sitting in front, I looked at my shoes, I listened to the sermons without understanding anything. Around 15, I said stop. I lived my adult life far from that. I have had children whose mother and I did not have them baptized, on the grounds of giving them the choice that I had not had. Then we separated.

Eight years ago, I met a woman. Involved in the Scouts and Guides of France, very religious, she wanted me to discover this activity. Otherwise, she thought, we would be out of step. In my head, a big red light came on: “It’s Catholic, I don’t want it!” But to please him, I ended up accompanying him to a weekend. The weather was nice, the young people were setting up tents in the middle of nature, the place was superb. I hear: “The chaplain is coming to say mass.” I think, “Oh damn!” The priest arrives, dressed in a scout shirt covered with badges. The kids come running, happy to see him. They set up a wooden cross at the top of the meadow, propping it up with stones. The mass begins in a beautiful light at the end of the day. I remember the calm that settled within me. I was happy to be there. The music, the songs, the simplicity of the words used for the homily struck me. For the first time in my life, I understood the message – probably because the priest was speaking to young people. It spoke to my childish heart. I was filled with joy and sadness at the same time. I said to myself: “It’s so simple, so beautiful! Why are we making it so difficult to access?” I felt peace, gentleness, calming. In fact, I felt loved. And in my place. This open-air mass came to repair the rejection of faith in which I was: I felt free to live it as I wished.

Since then, I have tried to relive the joy of that day. My faith is now part of my daily life. It involves meditation, walking in nature, and involvement in an association. Several times a week, I listen Morning prayer, on RCF. This short and simple format, which goes straight to the point, suits me. I often find myself crying while listening to it. And now, when I enter a church, it is to pray.

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