John Peter is a pseudonym for a young man who got into all sorts of illegal activities to get rich quickly. Then, in his search for easy money, he found a friend who led him back to the Church.
Like any regular Catholic, John Peter grew up attending the Mass every Sunday with his family. But John Peter went to an-other Christian school and also attended a weekly Christian ser-vice. As he was more exposed to the Christian teaching, he began to doubt the Catholic doctrines and didn’t appreciate the Mass.
WHEN I was a kid, I didn’t really see the church as a home or a place of refuge. The Catholic doctrines and my Christian school’s practice and teaching didn’t jive. I was confused.
I thought to myself, “Why do I have to go to Mass when I can talk to God directly?”
In high school, I considered it cool to go on a drinking spree with my friends. But the weekly school allowance that my parents gave me was not enough for my vice. I had to find ways to make money.
I was a teenager. I didn’t think much about the conse-quences of my actions. To earn money, I resorted to gambling, like cockfighting, different kinds of illegal drugs, women, guns.
I didn’t find it difficult to get into these illegal businesses. They were not uncommon where I lived. It was easy to find clients and suppliers within my circle. And it was easy to evade the law. My family had connections.
During those times, I really didn’t think much about what was at stake, including my morals. I was simply in it for the money, easy money. This kind of life lasted for a couple of years.
But gradually, I began to let go of my illegal businesses. There were various reasons for getting out of it all. One operation died a natural death. I grew older and I realized what I got myself into. I grew a conscience and it nagged. I started thinking about my future. But my major motivation for completely turning away from my old life is my attendance at The Feast.
Finding The Feast
My good old friend Marjorie, a regular at Feast PICC, invited me to check out this prayer gathering. She had witnessed my roller-coaster life over the past 10 years, so she suggested that I check out The Feast. I agreed. I thought, here’s someone who thinks my life can change. So, why not give it a try?
I first went to Feast PICC in January of 2014. I came in late so I didn’t get to sit beside Marjorie. But it did me well to be by myself then, for it turned out to be a defining moment between me and God.
How uncanny that the talk series at the time was about money!
“There’s no such thing as easy money,” Bro. Bo boomed.
And I felt like he was talking directly to me!
Bro. Bo’s talk got me thinking. How can ill-gotten money be easy when it corrupts your soul? That doesn’t sound like it made things easy for you at all.
Bro. Bo called his financial principle “Truly Rich.” I under-stood that we ought to work hard for the good things we desire, and our motivation to be rich should be to be able to serve God and His people, especially the poor.
I have not reached the point where I am financially stable, but I am now venturing into legal businesses. My family has a van for rent and I usually do the driving for the booked trips. I am also starting a restaurant bar business. Following Bro. Bo’s Truly Rich principle, I want to be rich but through the work of my hands, through legal means, and for the right purpose.
Back to the Church
It is almost two years now since I have been regularly at-tending and enjoying The Feast, including the Mass. I go to con-fession and I now receive Jesus through the Holy Communion. I have also learned to pray the Holy Rosary.
I now consider attending Mass as a non-negotiable date with God. I appreciate that The Feast helps me not only in my spiritual formation, but in other areas of my life as well. I have learned to tithe. I now give not out of obligation, but from a grateful heart.
I am glad that I made a decision to give The Feast a try. I thought I was deep in the quagmire of sin and I was left there without a second chance to survive. But God met me where I was, forgiving me and pouring out His abundant love for me. Now, I am on my way to become the best version of me.
I may have a shameful past but I have learned to push it right behind me as I look forward to a beautiful future that awaits me.