The Power of Women

“You married women must obey your husbands, so that any of them who do not believe in the word of the gospel may be won over apart from preaching, through their wives’ conduct.” ~ 1 Peter 3: 1-2

Women have always been very influential in my life starting with my seven sisters and my Mom. Women have provided me with counsel, protection, love, and forgiveness. In many ways, it is because of their strong influence that I have become who I am. I consider women to be the strong sex because of the intelligence, fortitude, compassion, and willpower. The scripture above reminds me of that; especially as I now experience it through my wife. She has had a dramatic impact in my life.

My wife have saved me from myself and brought me back to God. For over 25 years I struggled with who I was, especially with my faith. I let myself be carried away by pessimism, self pity, and loathing as I struggled to adjust to life in the United States, tried to fit in, and learned English. During that time, I was unkind to some women when I used them in selfish ways. I also blamed God for my misfortunes; thus I walked away from him.

I was blessed when my wife walked in into my life. She has helped me heal. During the most difficult times in our marriage, it was her who kept us together. Her determination and insistence moved me to come back to the Church and God. She is one of the reasons why I am discerning to become a deacon. It is from her conduct that I have become a believer once again. Her example of love has helped me become a better husband, father, and man.

I thank God for the gift of women, especially for my wife. I pray in our Lord Jesus’ name that our marriage and family continue to blossom.

© hectorortiz 2013. All rights reserved.

The reasons for my religious postings

If you have read my blog lately, you are probably wondering why all of the sudden I am writing these religious postings. Here is the long answer.

After many years of being away from my Catholic faith, in January 2010, I attended a retreat at St. Theresa Catholic Church, called Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP). This retreat marked the beginning of my spiritual transformation.

Since that experience, I attended and helped organize six subsequent CRHP retreats, serving as spiritual director for the CRHP team about one year ago.  I have also rediscovered daily prayer, scripture, and the Eucharist; I have become inspired by the likes of Fr. Robert Barron, Fr. Larry Richards, Dr. Scott Hahn, Matthew Kelly and Steve Bollman. I have volunteered my time with the parish as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and become more generous towards others.  I have encouraged my friends to participate in the faith. In other words, I have been unknowingly practicing what Matthew Kelly calls the four signs of a Dynamic Catholic: Prayer, Studying, Generosity, and Evangelization. All these elements have helped me to revive my faith, strengthen my commitment, and draw closer to God.

Now that you know why the tone of this blog has changed, I want to share with you the news that I feel called to apply for the Dioceses of Austin Diaconate Program to become a deacon. For months I’ve shared this news with only a few friends and family members. Since then, however, I’ve felt compelled to make my discernment public. Here is why:

I realized that the reason I was keeping my discernment quiet was because of fear. I worried that I wasn’t worthy of this call. I struggled with what my friends would say. I dreaded what personal revelations would come to light. Of course, I was also concerned with the possibility of ultimately not being accepted into the Diaconate Program. When I really thought about these fears, I realized they are all a form of pride. Pride – one of the seven deadly sins – was holding me back from joyfully sharing my discernment. I can’t truthfully say I am without fear.  But the feeling of fear I experience is better described as reverence for the call I feel to become a deacon and reverence for the serious and extensive discernment process in front of me and my family.  This is a six-year process and we are only at the beginning. We turn to you in humility and ask for your prayers and support.  Please pray that we have the necessary strength and determination on this journey. We ask that God fill us with peace no matter the outcome of the discernment process. Moreover, please pray that it is a true call; one that is for the benefit and the glory of God and not for vainglory.