I am a terrible Catholic.
Although I was born and raised Catholic, I spent a decade as a Mormon convert before resigning from the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints.
I was even worse at being a Mormon than a Catholic.
During my stint as a Mormon, I was urged to pray about everything. I didn’t mind that; I like to pray. What I don’t like is proselytizing and delivering casseroles door to door like some kind of Electrolux/casserole salesman.
I refused to knock on doors and ring doorbells in an attempt to sell my religion, but I did expand upon my habit of prayer. Since I’d regularly prayed as a Catholic, it wasn’t difficult to adapt my prayer habits to my Mormon lifestyle.
Praying while Mormon was basically the same as praying while Catholic — minus all those pesky Catholic saints. We didn’t believe in those.
I missed saying my Hail Marys. Other than that, I adapted wonderfully.
One night, as I lay in bed praying for a sign, I felt a tingling numbness start at the crown of my head and move down my body until it passed through the soles of my feet. The experience left me feeling warm and awestruck.
I decided it could only be the sign for which I’d prayed, and I was convinced the sensation was the Holy Ghost passing through my body.
Was it the Holy Ghost? Honestly, I have no idea, but that wasn’t the only time I experienced something I couldn’t explain in response to a prayer for a sign.
Around the same time as my Holy Ghost experience, when my conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints was still new, I read a passage in the Book of Mormon that encouraged prayer — even over the beasts in the fields. I’m paraphrasing because I donated my copy of the Book of Mormon to the Goodwill. You’re welcome.
I was so inspired that I even prayed one day as I drove my car to the market. Suddenly, it looked like white feathers were falling from the sky.
The tiny white feathers filled the air as far as the eye could see. I couldn’t find their source, and it was several long minutes before the storm of feathers ended.
It was a warm spring day, and what I saw could not be explained away by snowflakes. I don’t know if I saw pollen in the air or some type of leaves, blossoms, or flowers being carried on the breeze — but they looked just like small white feathers, and I could think of nothing but angels while watching them fall.
Like the previous experience with the traveling tingling and numbness in my body, I attributed the feather storm to divine intervention — an answer to my prayer.
Today, I’m not so sure. I’m tempted to pray for showers of feathers or signs from the Holy Ghost just to test the hypothesis, but I don’t think faith is something you are supposed to test. So I haven’t done it — but that won’t stop me from looking for signs.