"When every life meets another life, something will be born"
I remember when I, as an secular agnostic generally hostile to organized religion, initially walked to [my parish] to observe out a sense of nostalgia the Mass as a spectator not an engaged participant. I thought my political and scientific views and my autistic personality would preclude me from befriending any of the parishioners, and I want to interact minimally with them so I sat aloofly in the back pew, physically present but detached from the Celebration and the congregation. During my second visit, on New Year's Day of 2012, I met [Ericka of Celadon] as she approached me before Mass commenced and offered to sit with me during Mass, and we bantered until the 12 o' clock bell rang. I initially did not think there was anything significant to the serendipitous encounter as I walked home pondering and reflecting after our first Mass together, and I left with a pleasant mood as I appreciated her charming and pleasing personality. While she was glorifying God by singing canorous canticles during Mass, in contrast, a few weeks ago my thoughts towards the faith and its practices were that of invidious indignation, disdain, and doubt.
As we met on subsequent Masses in January, this servant of God eventually made an impression on me with her faith, kindness, and love -- indubitably fruits of the Spirit. We sat by each other at on a bench near a statue of the Virgin Mary after Mass during the Father [Blaine of Cinnabar] birthday party on the penultimate weekend of the 2012 Super Bowl, and there she gave me an emotionally moving testimony of God's love and forgiveness in her life. I felt her life was an example of God's immanence in our world and lives, as opposed to Him being an absentee creator deity, and a tantalizing prequel of the beatific vision. I remarked that she is a "superior woman" due to her admirable faith; that is an allusion to Khan Noonien Singh's complement to Marla McGivers on "Space Seed" of Star Trek: The Original Series
. My mind deduced that if God loves her, then by extension God loves me. During the following weeks as my soul yearned for Him while my mind was not satisfied, I earnestly approached God in prayer to send his Spirit to give me the gift of faith and banish my doubts so I could be able to imitate her. My hostile skepticism and recalcitrant resistance faded noticeably throughout the following Lent, and my body and soul became a receptive vessel for his grace. Our encounter gave birth to faith, not merely a monotone recitation of tenets and mere bodily presence during religious services; hope in treasures in heaven and Kingdom of God, although it is currently not yet fully realized; and love for God and others. We might not be friends in the normal sense since we do not share intellectual or cultural interests, but there is definitely a connection, a bond, between us.
The quote was from two Pokemon episodes, DP 40 and 188, but I found it so profound, inspiring, reflective, and relevant to my life that it extends beyond my interest with the Pokemon media franchise. I played that scene about 30 times yesterday
(start playing at 19:00; I liked the background music and the conciliation between Paul and Ash)
I don't normally watch the Diamond and Pearl episodes as I don't care for the new Pokemon, but I am glad I found that episode after my first Communion.