G'day from WA
Hi All,

As per netiquette guidelines I have been lurking for a while.

Was baptised Catholic as a baby and left the faith as I entered adulthood. After spending many years being involved in various spiritual/philosophical systems such as Rudolf Steiner's Anthroposophy I had a void in my heart that wouldn't go away but an acute pain that was getting worse. One day about 3 years ago I found myself driving to Mass for the first time as an adult of my own volition, when I got out of the car I actually found I had to restrain myself from running into the church. I plunged into Catholicism and began saying rosary and attending Mass whenever I could. For the first month attending NO Mass was a bit of a novelty but very soon I felt something wasn't right, I thought perhaps the Lord was purging all the darkness from my soul and eventually Mass would be a more fulfilling experience, however as time passed that same pain was still present. I thought Mass and the Eucharist were the pinnacle of what the church had to offer on earth. What about the great saints who spoke about Mass being the greatest thing this side of heaven, how did they find something so beautiful that I found bland and sterile? Perhaps they were a bit "boring" or maybe I wasn't worthy of the graces to appreciate it.

I prayed hard for God's grace, did some brutal confessions and tried to immerse myself in all the responses which felt strange, forced and almost cultish "May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands ......". There were some odd moments during the NO such as one Sunday when praying the Our Father I found myself holding hands with two fellow men, on one side a guy I didn't know and on the other my cousin a hot blooded Croat who is almost 2 metres tall and weighs 110 kgs, nervous tension was running high.  On weekdays I was attending NO Mass in the city during lunch breaks and noticed that people received communion kneeling which I found a bit "intense", however I didnt want to be the odd one out so joined in. Eventually I found going to my local parish on Sundays that I couldn't go in line and put my hands in front of the priest so tried a compromise so at not to look like a freak and would receive OTT standing, however this was fraught with danger as I am also 2m tall and was worried there may be a mishap with the sacred species and it just felt plain odd standing above the priest and the Eucharist.

Despite having an excellent priest in the city parish I was attending during weekdays something was horribly wrong so I met with this good faithful Father (reputedly a powerful exorcist), spilled my heart out to him how I wasn't receiving the spiritual sustenance I was expecting from Mass, and in fact found it downright painful and that I perhaps was even in need of an exorcism as I thought only demons or those severely afflicted by them would find Holy Mass painful. He said he would pray for me. About 18 months into my Catholic journey I had enough and could no longer attend NO Mass (my pain threshold isn't that great). I briefly flirted with a charismatic Catholic movement but felt things were contrived and not quite natural despite the best intentions of the people involved, we were all reaching out for something that wasn't there. 

Luck had it around this time I bumped into a fellow Catholic family who invited me to the TLM at the local SSPX parish in Perth for their daughter's first Holy Communion. Previously I had heard about the traditional Mass and thought that it was probably the same NO liturgy done in Latin perhaps with a couple of small differences but now felt a sense of hope this was what I was looking for. Heading into it I felt this was my last hope and there was a vague underlying anxiety that it would be another dead end. When I got into the church building I felt something hard core Catholic about it, something of a bygone era that had been lost and I liked it. After absorbing that day I understood Catholicism, it finally clicked and made sense. The saints were not mad and I began to think perhaps neither was I. Since then I have been attending Mass at the TLM parish established by the local archdiocese. Unlike all the NO parishes I had been to there are young people present, there is genuine fervour and a real church militancy. Everyone waits until Mass is well over before leaving the sanctuary.

Anyhow if you got through that you did well. This forum has been very useful for me to understand what has happened to the church and why it has happened, there are some very knowledgeable posters and I appreciate the input!

God Bless
Well, I got all excited 'cuz I thought WA meant you were from Washington State in the USA  :grin: but after reading discovered that in the context WA meant Western Australia  :blush: (and in context I was wondering what priest you might be meaning, not putting it in context to any priest I knew of).

But, welcome to Fish Eaters, happy to have you here.  Hope the community helps to sustain you in the Faith and thank you for your story!
Another Aussie! Welcome, Jamey!
No, you're definitely not mad Jamey.  And I'm glad to hear you found one of the seemngly few remaining slivers of sanity left in the Church!

Welcome to FE.
So many AUSSIES! 

Hi. :) I really enjoy reading peoples stories. Thankyou for sharing! I am familiar with that feeling you had when you said you wanted to run into the church. I still feel that way every time I go to Mass. I can't wait to get there, and I get sad when it's time to leave. It's because Our Lord is truly present there.

Anyway.... welcome!
Welcome! :)
Hey mate, great to see another Aussie here in the tank! Soon we'll take over FE, mwahahahaha!
Thank you all for the warm welcome!

moneil, I thought that may cause abit of confusion. It is difficult trying to find out which priests perform exorcisms the church keeps it quiet.

Aragon, where are you located?

Pheo I certainly do feel like I found gold with the TLM, and lots of it.

College Catholic and symphony8, I was in Hawaii a few years back and the amount of Aussies I came across surprised me, one night outside my hotel room at 3am I heard the chant of Aussie, Aussie, Aussie go up and looked outside to see someone climbing a street post - we certainly get around for a relatively small populace nation.

Jen51 I read your story it was interesting, it is a surprise in this current climate to find Catholicism is correct. Nice dog!

MaidenofGod thank you!
Deo Gratias

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