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Considering it all, I've been saved through grace; a fact I cherish beyond all measure

I was once a man apart from God...I had a marriage, a home, a good job; I thought I had all that life could offer. I believed that nothing could happen to disturb my wonderful life...but nothing is too impossible for God.

Stripped of my family, home and job, I found myself on the streets of Washington, D.C., without any visible means of support. Afraid of what might happen to me, and concerned for my bodily safety and integrity, I wandered about the Washington, D.C. area...until I came to a little church in Silver Spring, Md. that offered Evening Prayer on weekdays. Cold and in need of something to believe in, I went inside.

Inside, Father Emmet, a friendly man with a blond beard and sparkling blue eyes, welcomed me up to the front of the church. I opened a copy of the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, and began to join him..."Oh God, make speed to save us; oh Lord make haste to help us."

After prayer had concluded, Father Emmet took some time to talk with me. I told him of my predicament. He handed me a copy of the Prayer Book Office (A monastic text, which includes all the prayers that constitute the Daily Office, the prayer discipline which Anglican monks follow). "Say these prayers each day, and God will protect you, God will sustain you, and God will lift you up." In addition, he gave me a list a list of shelters and soup kitchens in the area. He told me not to worry about physical needs, and to put my trust in God.

It's been a few years since that day. But since that day, I have never suffered for lack of food, or clothing, or warmth, or place to sleep. I now have my own apartment in Southern Maryland, and am back to work as a substitute teacher in the local school system here. I am an active member in my local Episcopal Church.

Oh yes...and I still say those prayers each day.

Over the years, I have been drawn closer to monasticism, and am presently an Associate Member of the Order of the Holy Cross, located in West Park, N.Y. I have so much to be thankful to God for, so I have decided to apply to the Novitiate of my order, to become a monk "full-time" so to speak. I am presently in preparation for that, as I expect to have all my obligations put away by June of 2002.

Unfortunately, I was informed by my fellow brothers within the order on February, 2001 that I was past the age limit for postulancy. The cutoff age for new postulants is 50. At this writing, I still remain an associate of the Order of the Holy Cross, and I continue to serve as a substitute teacher in my local school system.

I've come a long way since my days of homelessness, and the greater my faith becomes, the more His mercy and love continues to touch my life. Yes, His grace has saved me, and His love continues to reach out to me each day. Without a doubt, God is the greatest!

Michael Kolenick
46395B Shining Willow Lane
Lexington Park, Md. 20653
United States

My List of Links

To get glance at my resume, click here:: This site offers a rundown of my educational and vocational background.
Mike's alternate home page! For a glimpse at this creative effort, click here:: This is my treatise on the dilemma of being deemed useless in a world which glorifies youth and devalues age.

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