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Taking a Risk

By Elyse Paul

I was raised in a Catholic family. Each Sunday we would go to Mass, pray before meals, and attend religious education classes. As I grew older and attended college, I continued these practices as my parents had taught me. I didn’t take many “risks” in continuing to form my faith as a young adult outside what I had been taught growing up, nor was I even aware of the idea of discussing my faith journey openly with others.


After graduating from college, I accepted a job in South Bend and remained in the area. Many of my college friends had moved away, so I felt quite lonely. Instead of going to dorm Mass with all my friends, I went to Mass alone each Sunday and didn’t do much beyond that. My faith felt stagnant without anyone to push me to grow further.


However, an invitation to join Ablaze Mission’s Wednesday night Bible study came at a moment I least expected, but most needed it. It was truly Divine Providence. The Lord made sure my Wednesday was free and gave me no excuse to decline the invitation. That Wednesday night, I attended my first Bible study ever and realized you don't need to be a biblical scholar to get something out of studying scripture. I met other young adults who were vulnerably opening up about how scripture was speaking to their personal lives, which was a notion beyond my belief. The Lord stirred something inside of me that brought me back each Wednesday night for more and to be in communion with these young adults who were seeking what I had been seeking all along – a closer relationship with God.


What I’ve experienced from attending Ablaze Mission’s weekly Bible study is a community of young adults on a journey to knowing and loving God better. I’ve not only made connections with others, but it's also changed my experience attending Mass on Sundays. Since joining the Bible study, I’ve gone deeper in my personal study as a writer for Ablaze Mission’s weekly scripture reflections. I’ve spent the most time I’ve ever spent praying with scripture, which helps me write my reflections and better prepares me to participate in Sunday Mass with a deeper understanding. I’ve deepened my relationship with God because I have a better understanding of Him and a better understanding of how He speaks to me each day through His teachings.


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