Hello!
#1
Hello everyone!

I've just recently found my way back to the Church after a brief but troublesome self-imposed separation and rebellion. I'm 24 years old, and was referred to this website by my good friend, who I believe posts here as Matamoros. Anyway, let me give a background of myself first.

I was born to a very wealthy family in 1983. My mom told me, when I was baptised, the family chapel was decorated with the most expensive heirlooms in our collection: there were antique candelabras, seven foot tall candlesticks, gold crucifixes and what have you. From my mother's side, I stand to inherit a very old and very vast sugar and coffee fortune, while my dad is the scion of one of Manila's premiere banking and legal families (I am a very distant cousin of Enrique Iglesias through his mother, hehe). From an early age, I grew up with luxury. My parents owned houses in San Francisco (Praesidio Heights), Hawaii, Madrid, Lake Como in Italy, an apartment in NY's Upper East, and a villa in France. I was introduced to business also at an early age, and when I was seven, dad gifted me with my first Rolex, the very first one he owned in fact.

They sent me to the best schools, themselves filled with the country's elite. But I guess I always had a bit more than the others. When I graduated from elementary school, my parents paid for a six month tour of Europe, where I visited relatives and friends at leisure. Come high school, well, I dated only the prettiest girls. I guess this is where I really started to become a hedonist-- I gifted my girls with rare bottles of cognac which I purloined from my dad's study and even had a huge fountain placed in our garden just to impress a particular one which I liked very much. I made up for my excesses with my charisma, becoming one of the most popular guys in high school. I also did not do too bad in my studies, either, since I was consitently in the director's list and even got three medals. When I finally graduated at the age of 17, my parents again paid for my vacation, this time a Mediterranean cruise. They also gave me my first Mercedes Benz, an apartment in one of Manila's poshest districts, an Audemars Piguet, and other wonderful things.

My mother was a particulary religious woman, coming from a family that was well-known for its piety. Indeed, her sister is a member of the SMOM while the rest are affiliated with the Opus Dei. My dad was also intensely religious, but had his vices, particularly gambling. By the grace of God, though, he finally put a stop to it. My parents always reminded me never to forget to pray the rosary, but being young, hedonistic and, well, good-looking, it was the least of my concerns. I was more concerned with binging, hooking up with girls, and indulging every excess I can think of. In college, I did just that, and in no time at all, I was gradually losing my faith. I grew to detest the Church, even calling it the biggest blight in Philippine soil. Of course, I was still enamored with beautiful works of art, and try as I might, I just couldn;t bring myself to hate beautiful things, especially beautiful churches.

I graduated college at the age of 20, magna cum laude, around four years ago. I was still convinced that the Church was the worst thing to happen to the country in its history. I would have gone to law school immediately, but I again took a vacation, this time for a whole year. I stayed in Colorado for four months before hopping off to Brazil. There I met some of the most beautiful girls I ever laid eyes on. I had a minor relationship that I thought would blossom to something better, but quickly abandoned it. Even there I enjoyed luxury, staying in the best hotels when relatives were too far away. Then I came to France, and stayed at the legendary Hotel Plaza Athenee in Paris.It was here that I became hooked on drugs, a problem which would persist to the next few years of my life.

When I came back to my parents, I was almost disinherited after they learned the awful truth about their son. I became increasingly antisocial, and hated the company of people. Thus, to save me, they had to intervene, and sent me off to a rehabilitaion center. For almost two years, I was in and out of it, until the day came that I examined my life earnestly. I didn'y want to spend the rest of my years as a slave to my passions. I don't want to tarnish the name of my parents, who have worked so hard to give me everything I ever wanted. When I finally became really sober, I took my car out for a drive, and by some miracle, I found myself passing through one of the seediest, most depressed area in all the Philippines. There I saw entire families, sometimes up to 18 children, wallowing in the streets, rummaging through trash bins for a day's meal. I felt like Jesus when he was passing through the lepers., and for the first time in years, I began to pray really hard.

To cut a very long story short, I began to attend Mass again. I saw the beauty of the liturgy in ways I had never seen before, and fell in love more and more with God. Admittedly, I am still very much a wretch today; I am still prone to sin, and as they say, old habits die hard. In fact, one of the reasons I came to this forum was because I still have trouble with some of the Church's teachings. But that, I believe, is something that prayer can remedy. I must stop now, since I've already written enough, and I think that I am already sounding like a 42yo instead of a 24yo. I have 'felt' God, and that is all it takes for me to believe. I hope that my stay here will prove very helpful. God really does work in mysterious ways, and I am thankful that we have such a God as he is.

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#2
Welcome to the forum, and Deo gratias you are going to Mass and are repairing both yourself and your relationship with God :)
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#3
Next thing you know, Paris Hilton will be posting here.  Is this a troll?[Image: salute.gif][Image: asianbow.gif]
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#4
StephenF,

I know my story is a bit hard to believe, but I assure you I'm not a troll, hehe (I do get that alot, though, even from longtime friends). :)

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#5
Welcome to FE, zipp0! :rose:
S.A.G. ~ Kathy ~ Sanguine-choleric. Have fun...or else.

Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi, quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.
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#6
Welcome. :)
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#7
Welcome, my follow Catholic and repentent sinner, I pray all the more grace to thy soul.
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#8
Glad to see you here, Zip! Hope everything is going ok. Now go clean your room! LOL
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#9
Welcome to FISHEASTERS!

With all your families money, why don't you encourage them to donate to traditional religious orders..... especially SSPX.

With wealth comes power and responsibility, so you definately can use it to help with many causes....
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#10
Welcome Zip. I suggest you attend one of the SSPX's 5-day Ignatian Retreats. (see sspx.org for more info). It will help you see your soul as God sees It, make a General Confession over your whole life, plan your future as God would like it to be.

God Bless,

Bruno
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