Josh De Jong: To an extent I’m often in a state of prayer. When you’re thinking consciously about things, I’d call that prayer. I am an electrical engineer and when things go wrong, I often think to myself, “Please let this work.” It helps me begin problem solving.
If the problem is with a colleague, I usually consult a friend without mentioning names. It gives me another perspective. I often try to tap into this perspective when I reflect and pray about the issue at hand.
I was a special minister in high school. After that I became an Acolyte because I wanted to serve the Church and my parish further. Through being an Acolyte I find I can pray at a much deeper level during Mass, than when I’m with the family or friends. I find I’m able to ‘zone in’ on the Word and Father’s words. This helps me apply them to my own life. I find I get more out of the Mass if I play an active role.
Everyday I ask myself, “What does my faith mean to me?” Some days I feel I could die for my faith. Other days I feel I’ve come up against a brick wall. It’s so dynamic, constantly growing and evolving. It is very precious to me. I feel like I have achieved something spiritually so far. However, there is so much more to learn.
Some people find their faith goes out the door when the realities of the material world hit them. They don’t seek the answers to life’s questions.
Yet these are the questions that God can answer for you, if you let Him. Recently I attended the Theology of the Body course which helped put a number of things into a neat little box and answer some of those deeper questions.
I realise now that God is Love and understand what love between humans could ideally be like. It’s helped realign my goals in this area.
My parish youth group and I went to WYD08. Our faith has grown deeper as a result. At WYD08 there was this young boy who was rebellious and mischievous.
We were going to the Stations of the Cross at the main docks and had got separated from the main group with a few others. He started punching the air and he accidentally hit me in the nose.
I grabbed his fist, looked him straight in the eye and said, “Don’t do that again!” It was like I had this connection with him. He stopped showing off and took my hand so that together we could get to the docks safely. We joined hands with the others too because the crowd was so intense and fast moving.
I guess it was amazing because I began to understand what Christ had done when he was leading His disciples. It was as though I was seeing the Gospel fulfilled. It was an amazingly warm experience. In that split second the boy had grown up and was a bit wiser then he was before.
During the Stations of the Cross I could only see the top of the Cross coming through the crowds.
However, I could hear the sound of the Cross scraping against the bitumen floor and it made the hairs on my back stand up.
That was all I needed to make it feel real.