Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 12 April |
Saint of the Day: St. Teresa of the Andes
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

I Didn’t Want to Live Anymore, Then I Met Him…

Silvia Sala

Carly Andrews - published on 06/19/14

How Jesus in the Eucharist saved me.

Today is the feast of Corpus Christi: the Holy Body of Christ.

There was a time, not too long ago, when I thought all was lost in my life and I couldn’t go on living any more. It was the Body of Christ that saved me.

I was raised in a pretty normal albeit free-range family. My mum was Catholic so raised us in the faith. I was really close to my family, I had great friends and a happy and easy school life. I had a strong faith and sense of morality, which kept me firm and grounded as a young adult. In other words, life was good.

I went to Peru after high school and lived with some sisters in a shantytown on the outskirts of Lima, where I worked as a missionary in the community. It was a fantastic experience, and I went to mass daily, which took me further along in my faith, even if – although I didn’t realise at the time – something fundamental was missing.

Then I was off to university to study philosophy – very elegant but very secular philosophy. In fact, I am ashamed to say that in three whole years, the notion of ‘God’ was barely brought up once. They taught ancient Greek philosophy, then skipped the whole of the patristic and medieval periods (i.e. no Augustine and no Aquinas along with many other great Catholic thinkers who are milestones in the history of thought) and went straight into modern and contemporary philosophy.

Through studying this very secular philosophy as well as being immersed in such a secular environment (and having my fair share of wild university fun), I saw a gradual decline in my faith. I never renounced it, even to myself, but in my heart of hearts I didn’t believe.

The main problem was my arrogance. In selfish pride  I put myself with my own rational capability in God’s place, at the centre of existence, as judge and juror, and as a result I slowly became closed to His grace.

Now, while I was going through this crisis of faith, which had become to occupy the forefront of my thought, my life completely fell apart.  I lived through a terrible trauma, which actually lasted for many years. At the beginning of this difficult time I found myself living in London, with no money, no job, no friends, dire family circumstances, I felt completely alone in the world, and I found that I had no faith to turn to, no hope. I went to church and felt nothing when I received the Eucharist. I felt dead inside and entered into a state of total despair. 

I stayed inside for days at a time, didn’t dress, barely said a word and drank a lot of alcohol. I just couldn’t see a way forward in life and completely gave up.

Then after a little while of not seeing a reason for living, I thought: ‘enough of this! I want to get my faith back; I want to find some other Catholics, and I want to escape from this despair.’

So I said to myself ‘where are all the Catholics?’

‘Well, the Pope is in Rome,’ I answered. ‘So I’m bound to find some there!’

I subsequently typed in Google: “masters in philosophy and science in Rome” and one of the first links that came up took me to a Licentiate (masters) at the Gregorian Pontifical University. After looking at the syllabus, I thought to myself ‘that will do!’ So I packed my bags and immediately made for Rome.

After having got lost, fined 50 euro on the metro for not stamping my ticket properly, and getting done over by the taxi man, I finally found my way to the bed and breakfast I had booked into for the first week, while I looked for somewhere to live. It was ran by the sisters of St Joseph – the very same order who I lived with in Peru. And to my everlasting surprise, who turned out to be living there? But the mother superior I had lived with, and loved dearly, four years earlier in the shantytowns of Lima!

“OK Lord” I said once I picked myself up off the floor from shock, “I’m listening!"

Then about a week later I met a magnificent girl, Rebecca, from Chicago, who invited me along to an international youth centre that she frequented, the Centro San Lorenzo (CSL), founded by Saint John Paul II. Being completely alone, I gladly said yes.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
11 Interesting facts about the late Prince Philip
Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ
A simple test to see if you really believe Christ is risen
Archbishop Georg Gänswein
I.Media for Aleteia
Gänswein: Benedict XVI expected to live only a few months after r...
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
Here’s how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at home
Philip Kosloski
Why you can eat meat on Easter Friday
Sister Bhagya
Saji Thomas-ACN
Catholic nun faces conversion charges in central India
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.