The World or Jesus
Name: Michael Spriet
Location: London, Ontario
When I made consecration: April 28, 2012
Favorite Saints: St. Jean Vianney, St. Padre Pio, St. Therese de Liseux,
I thought I should write my conversion story on how I came to Jesus Christ; because with Him in your life you have such joy. I want to share this joy with others. With Jesus in your life, your conscience doesn’t bother you and you have such deep peace no matter what comes your way. One priest said it best; when he said, put Jesus in the driver’s seat and you will go places. It will be an amazing adventure you will never regret.
Well, I grew up in a Catholic family more in name than actually taking it serious. I was baptized as a baby and as a family we went to Mass every Sunday. That was it; we never prayed together or prayed the daily Rosary as every family should do. I do not even remember my first Confession or first Communion. I probably did not even believe in the real Presence of the Eucharist until after my conversion at the age of 21. The Real Presence means that Catholics receive the actual Body and Blood of Jesus Christ at Mass; it is both a reality and a mystery.
Sports became almost an idol to me as a growing boy. I played many different sports such as baseball, tennis, soccer and hockey. During the summer, I was involved in sports at least 4 nights a week. I had many friends during my public school years. On top of that, I loved watching all kinds of sports on TV and took that very serious. Because I was not taking my faith seriously during public school years, I became friends with others who drew me away from my faith. Instead of helping me grow closer to God, they influenced me in bad ways.
When it came to high school especially grade 10 and on, I became very shy. Looking back at it, I was shy because all my friends were not religious. I wanted to impress them, so I followed their ways in talk and action. If I would have had good Catholic friends or friends who at least encouraged me to stay away from sin, things may have been different. I say that because I probably would not have been shy as you can just be yourself around good Catholic people or other people who at least respect your beliefs. In other words, you do not have look for ways to impress your friends, if these people are striving to be holy as well.
When it came to grade 13, things really changed. I started to care so much about my appearance. I would buy the nicest clothes and also wanted the best hairstyle. I had to wear contact lenses as I was too afraid to wear glasses. I would go to school dances and when I reached university I would go to the bars at least once or twice a month. I wasn’t really thinking about God during these years and probably was too embarrassed to talk about Him to others. I could have had some girlfriends during this time, but God was so great, He never let me have one. I am grateful to my mother who told me how sex before marriage was always wrong. Thankfully I never got drunk when going to the bars. During those
years, I went to Mass most Sundays and because of this and other things I did, I thought I was a good person. But I even remember one time during university; I missed Mass four Sundays in a row.
When I reached university, the shyness became more severe, so I decided to see a Catholic deacon for spiritual advice as to why God made me so shy. My mom recommended I should see him as he was at her Church at the time. I was upset at God and was probably mad at Him for making me the way I was. God’s ways are not our ways and I am so grateful for that. I think if I was less shy, I probably would have fallen into more sins, so God used that to protect me.
I had no idea what it meant to be HOLY. I did not know you had to have a vibrant prayer life and that everything flows from that. St. Alphonsus said those who pray will be saved and those who do not pray will not be saved. Having a personal relationship with Jesus means you spend time with Him every day in prayer. What kind of friend would you be if you never took time to be with your friend? Well Jesus is the greatest friend you could ever have. I probably thought I loved God, but did I really? Did I talk about Him with my friends, did I spend a good 45 minutes with Him each day in prayer; did I accept everything He taught? Was I proud to be a follower of Christ? Was HE the most important person in my life? Looking back now, these are the sort of questions I should have asked myself on where my life was
heading, as I do now.
Something started to happen when I reached around the age of 20. I kept on getting the same thought over and over to be a priest. I would say to God, I do not want to be a priest, I want to get married. That same persistent thought kept coming to me. I did not like it. I never told my twin brother about these thoughts and then I remember one day my brother came home from Windsor University. I got out of the shower and overheard my brother saying he felt called to the priesthood too. We did not discuss this at that time.
Anyways, I heard of a Come and See Weekend (a weekend to discern a possible calling to the priesthood) at the local seminary. No priest told me to go to this weekend, I decided to go myself. I said to myself, “I will go there that weekend and find out for sure I am not called to be a priest, so then I can move on”. I wanted to put it out of my mind. Well, on that Saturday night at the seminary, we watched a movie called the “Fourth Wise Man.” After the movie, I could not stop crying, I was bawling. That was probably the first time I cried that much.
That was the beginning of my conversion. The following Tuesday night (November 25, 1997), I was kneeling in my mother’s bedroom. All of a sudden, I felt the presence of Jesus go through me; it is hard to explain but it was a deep peace. I turned to my mom and said mom, I now want to do God’s will. I had a complete change of heart. The next day, I went to Confession for the first time. I also started to read the messages of the Virgin Mary. The Virgin Mary is Jesus’ mother and she appears from time to time to people to give messages from Heaven. These messages tell us to go Mass frequently, to pray the Rosary every day, go to Confession often and so on. Mary has appeared in France, Portugal, and Japan and all over the world. From then on, I prayed the Rosary every day, and started to attend daily Mass and would go to Confession at least once a month. Needless to say, these messages had a profound impact on my life. I thought to myself, “if Jesus’ mother was saying all these things and I did not heed them, then what excuse would I have on judgment day. Jesus could very well ask me why I did not listen to His mother.”
Before my conversion, I never knew about mortal sin and how if one commits one they are no longer in God’s friendship and thus if it is unrepented, they go to hell forever. I do not think I even knew what the Gospel was. I was absolutely clueless. Well, I then had to basically give up some of my former friends who were bad influences. I stopped going to bars and finally found some good friends.
I discerned that I am not called to the priesthood, but I believe God used those thoughts about being a priest before my conversion to bring me to the Church. I then challenged my twin brother about the faith and asked him if he prayed at all. About 2 months later, he had a profound conversion as well.
I will discuss now how I knew I was called to the consecrated single life. One priest said, “God in one way or another has to let you know your vocation in life. He just has too.” Well, I have had a spiritual director in my life for about the past six years or so. I would meet with him for about every 6 weeks and discuss how the Lord was working in my life. We discussed both the priesthood and marriage. Marriage is a beautiful sacrament but I never felt drawn to the married life. With regards to the priesthood, my spiritual director felt I do not have the qualities to be a priest. As Catholics, we believe that God works through spiritual directors and this is pretty much the only way we know God’s will, by obedience to our directors. So if you want to know God’s will especially with regards to your vocation, then pick a holy priest and obey him and be totally honest with him.
About a year ago I met a female named “Mary” who told me how she made private vows for the single life. I also heard one would receive more glory in Heaven if you chose this state in life. I brought this state of life up with my spiritual director around 8 months ago and we thought it over for a while before making the vows. We discussed this in our meetings together and I could see myself living this way of life.
Well on the feast of St. Louis de Montfort on April 28 of 2012, I went to the private chapel of this priest and recited a formula making promises of poverty, chastity and obedience. The priest wants this to be done a year at a time. So, God willing next April, I will make the private vows again.
God knows best. I do have great peace and joy in living this state of life. It allows me to pray more than if I was married or had a family to take care of. I consider myself married to the Lord so I can focus all my intention on Him whatever I do. I can attend daily Mass with no difficulty and do other works such as protesting against abortion and pornography on a weekly basis.
I would like to finish with the final two paragraphs.
I have been on both sides of the spectrum. I now have peace with Christ and no one can take that away from me. One could have a billion dollars and if they don’t have Christ, they lack everything. Or one could be the poorest person in the world and if they have Christ, they lack nothing.
God must influence every part of your life and you can’t be ashamed of Him or He will be ashamed of you. It blows my mind how awesome God is. You live for Him for about 80 years and then you get to be with Him for all eternity. In Heaven, you have one joy and then another and then another. You would have to be a fool not to want this happiness. Sadly, in 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal said souls fall into Hell like snowflakes. So we all have a choice to make. Do we want Heaven bad enough? Will God be our number 1 like HE should be? If you want Heaven, you will go there and if you do not want Heaven, you will end up in Hell forever. The choice is ours. So why not give Jesus a try. We chase after everything the world offers and the world can never bring us true happiness. Jesus is in our Hearts, so we do not have to go far. What will it be: the world or Jesus?