Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday. L’asissez bon temps rouler! Love that feeling, love that energy. Mardi Gras always makes me think of St. Augustine. “Give me chastity and continence, but not yet. ” There is always the desire to indulge in pleasure just before you become your best self. That is exactly how I used to think about Mardi Gras and my life. Before motherhood my thoughts veered to everything that felt good FOR ME. Trust and believe I did not hold back. Indulgence and luxury were my specialty! Fine wine, fine food, fine arts only the best would do! That’s right I enjoyed and experienced all three not just once, nah, for me I went about the glamorous lifestyle for years. Over a decade I led the lifestyle that many only dream of and I did so without being a wealthy woman. God blessed me with my heart’s desire: a charmed life.
Then the moment came, just like my favorite St. Augustine, it wasn’t enough. I was not satisfied. I was still hungry. I found myself asking the classic existential question. Is that all there is? Was I born just to have fun? If so why wasn’t I having fun anymore? I found myself feeling very, very empty. I wanted to feel good again. I wanted the good times to keep going forever!
I felt this way one afternoon as I was leaving my favorite watering hole. During my usual stroll home, walking up the steepest hill in my city (great for the legs!), an unforgettable moment happened. A moment that existed outside of time and space. A moment that wasn’t brought about by the one glass of mediocre sauvignon blanc I had finished. A moment of transcendence.
The Holy Spirit spoke to me. “It’s time to go home.” I looked to my right and saw the Catholic church that I had passed by many times. “It’s time to go home.” I received instructions. Right there on the street. By myself. There were no flashing lights but it was the clearest moment of my entire life.
I walked back to my place. Opened the door. Picked up the phone. Called the church. “Hello, I’d like to join the Catholic Church. Can we begin the process?”