Dear Bishop Garcia,
“God loves you.”
This is the statement of love that I get from my grandparents every time I see them. In fact, they only recently started saying “I love you” to me, without the intercession of God. Thus, needless to say, God and religion have been a large force in my life. Baptisms and first communions and even funerals, the few I have gone to, are celebrations when the whole family comes together. However, I think for a long time this was all religion meant to me–a few rituals and a time for me to see my family. I have taken significant pride in my contribution in church as an altar server, but I didn’t know precisely what any of it symbolizes and what exactly the Church’s teachings are. I knew to treat others the way you want to be treated. I knew to offer up your sufferings for your sins, which was told to me by my mother any time I was in pain or complaining.
Recently, I have come to really appreciate all the teachings that the Catholic Church has for us as followers. The unending and undiscriminating love preached from the Gospels and Catholic social teaching have inspired me to think deeper about my actions, my understandings, and my relationships with others. Not too long ago, I heard something that really struck a chord with me:
when you are in a relationship, you may be tempted to think it is a give-and-take relationship when really, it should only be giving, you giving all you can with nothing expected in return.
The unselfish and pure love and respect of the Catholic Church I think is demonstrated in those few words. Keep giving what you can, being the best version of yourself you can be, and expect nothing back.
Confirmation class has really given me a chance to think about my role as a person under the teachings of the Catholic Church, and I am excited to live my life out in a kind and loving way.