by Mike Lorenzo
My cannonball moment happened on July 26th, 2008 in Middle of Nowhere, South Texas. I was a freshly Catholic eighteen-year-old boy at a small parish youth retreat, and on a normal Saturday morning my life changed forever when I met Jesus Christ in Eucharistic adoration. I’m 24 now and my faith is the center of my life, its taken me all over the world, introduced me to some amazing people, and helped me discover gifts and talents I never knew I had, but it might never have happened if it wasn’t for that encounter in adoration.
I wasn’t raised Catholic, I received my sacraments when I was about 16 years old. When people ask me now what I converted from I just say “unhappiness”. My parents divorced when I was 10, eventually leading to my Dad coming back to God in a big way, and my Mom spiraling deep into the hell of alcoholism. Growing up I was constantly juggling the two realities I saw before me: my Dad’s passionate relationship with Christ, and my Mom’s nihilistic despair, and it was hard for me to know what was real and good. I couldn’t deny that God was there, I just worried he wasn’t for me. On my bad days, I doubted he was ever there at all. When I agreed to go on this retreat, I did so because I hoped in what God had done for my Dad, and I desperately wanted that same peace.
BOOM, I sat in front of a monstrance, broken and bruised, and the Lord of the Universe told me that I was loved, that I was good, and that he had a great plan for me. I was sitting there and all of a sudden God wasn’t just a character in a book, or some cold rituals on an altar, he was REAL and he loved me! Nothing in my life has ever made that much sense before or since that moment, it was like watching all of the threads of my life come together at this one point of beautiful clarity.
My life definitely hasn’t been perfect since then, but its been a whole lot better! Finding Christ in his Church has completely transformed who I am, and I couldn’t be happier. I went into that retreat hoping for maybe a bouncy ball. I thank God everyday he sent me a cannonball instead.
Mike Lorenzo is a young, passionate Catholic with a zeal for discipleship and evangelization in the modern world. After a powerful conversion experience, Mike’s strong passion for Christ has taken root in several different ministry avenues and opportunities in the United States and Ireland, where he’s served as a youth and music minister. He now lives and works in St. John, IN where he happily serves as the Director of Evangelization for St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. When not working in ministry Mike loves playing guitar, reading good books, going to the zoo with his girlfriend, and watching the San Antonio Spurs play basketball.