It has been gratifying for me to read so many comments and emails from readers who have returned to God in these tumultuous times. In that sense, we are fortunate indeed to be alive in this moment so that our souls may benefit from a return to faith. Not only that, but the internet as a resource enables us to both discover true information and find like minded men so that although we may be physically alone, we are not so spiritually.
I do not argue with those who comment or email expressing negativity or disdain for my faith. To do so would be hypocritical as I myself was in that same position only a couple of years ago. And I know that anyone who argued with me back then or who would have tried to ‘make me see the light’ would have only caused me to further strengthen my outer atheist defenses.
I did not return to God because of political and social upheavals, but rather due to personal circumstance following the collapse of my former secular marriage. I will not lie; not a day goes by where I do not think of my ex-wife. But if I examine myself in a spiritual and moral sense then I find that I am light years away from where I was only a year ago. As it was my decision to return to God, and provoked by sheer desperation, I did not make any demands that He prove His own existence to me.
I follow a prayer routine that I have come up with for myself. It consists of reading one of the psalms in the morning, while in the evening I pray the Rosary. I make a point of saying the words out loud. That is because words have power, and we need all the power that we can get. Sometimes I miss a day of the Rosary here and there. When I do I notice the difference in my worldly affairs.
The benefits of this prayer regimen in everyday life have been noticeable for me. I am much calmer in my interactions with those around me. I have more patience. I am more able to see things clearly, to get to the heart of the matter with little effort. I do not get bound up in things in an emotional manner. I do not invent scenarios in my head when things turn slightly against me. I simply try to do my best and to improve with each passing day.
If I pray directly to God I make a point of not asking for things. I personally find that to be obtuse and presumptuous. I am not on this earth to make demands of God so that I may receive petty trinkets or experiences, nor to bend those around me to my will. I already have the power to influence others and to obtain what I need to survive by the gifts which God has already bestowed upon me. Rather, when I pray I express gratitude to God for how well I managed to do during the day and I ask Him for patience and for forgiveness for any lapses that I made, and for the courage to be able to do better next time.
Since I returned to the Church I have only asked God for direct guidance on a single decision, and He clearly answered me within a very short period of time. But as I have already stated, I did not require this as proof of his existence, although I will admit to a sense of wonder when my question was answered so clearly and promptly.
The benefits of prayer and of believing in God are so noticeable to me and so profound that I look back on the last thirty years of my life with a sense of disbelief. But it was not wasted time, on the contrary; without those years I would not have been able to arrive at the point where I am today. After all, we are each and every one of us on that same journey, and several billion souls have several billion unique ways of getting or not getting there.