Your Kingdom Come!
Matthew Reinhardt Vocational Testimony
I lived what I
would call a normal childhood. I went to a Catholic
grade school and a Catholic middle school. There was neither
ECYD (the young person’s version of Regnum Christi) nor
Regnum Christi in Littleton, Colorado, but I feel God
inspired in me a personal type of ECYD program. As
a youngster I read the Bible, went to Mass and
said nightly prayers. I even occasionally prayed the Rosary. I
was almost living the life of an ECYD member without
even knowing it.
In a public high school the priorities of
my life soon fanned out. Sports, study and the desire
to become “a star” filled my life. I saw these
goals becoming reality going into my senior year: a 3.5
grade point average, captain of the football, basketball and track
teams and a scholarship to an up-and-coming major college football
team. A tough schedule ran roughshod over my devout childhood
habits and I fell into the trap of, “I do
not have time for God.” The truth is I didn’t
have time to get into a lot of trouble either.
It seemed like somehow I always missed the ‘greatest’ parties.
“I have a track meet tomorrow, I can’t go out.
Basketball practice tonight, sorry guys. I really need to rest
for the big game this weekend, maybe next time” My
active life and God’s grace somehow kept me away from
so many “good times”.
In March of 1993 I was filled
with joy as I accepted a full ride scholarship to
play football for the University of Oregon, the Fighting Ducks.
My childhood dreams were becoming a reality. I remember very
well the first Sunday in Eugene, Oregon. Far from home
for the first time, a new city, no parents, no
brothers or sisters, I was free! I woke up with
nothing to do when suddenly I remembered, “Today is Sunday,
and my parents are not here to tell me to
go to Mass. I don’t really feel like going to
Mass.” As my head hit the pillow again I suddenly
saw my life flash before my eyes and thought, “If
I don’t go to Mass today, the first Sunday I
am on my own, little by little I will fall
away from the Church and loose my faith.” So I
got out the yellow pages and my fingers did the
walking. I found a nearby Catholic Church and walked to
Mass that morning. I can now see this as a
first big step to my vocation. But don’t think that
was all: this first step upward was followed by continuous
falls and stumbles. God was fighting to keep me Catholic,
to keep me faithful and to keep me childlike, but
the pressures and temptations of university life were slowly distancing
my relations with Him. Soon I was living in an
off campus apartment, and somehow I fit into my schedule
all the parties I couldn’t’ fit in during high school.
The Oregon football team was at an all-time high. As
only a sophomore I played in every game. One victory
after another. Hopes of winning the PAC 10 championship became
a reality after a late season victory of the University
of Washington. A PAC 10 championship meant a date with
Penn State in the “Granddaddy of them all,” the Rose
January 2nd, 1995: I will never forget the emotion of
running onto the field and seeing a green and yellow
ocean of Oregon Duck fans. 105,000 screaming supporters packed the
southern California stadium and the idea of millions more watching
on TV swept me off my feet. Playing in the
Rose Bowl, what else could a college football player ask
for? Maybe winning the Rose Bowl. We won… second place.
Truly I had everything the world could offer at my
fingertips. But even then, having everything, somehow I felt empty.
After the games and parties ended I would lay on
my bed and thing, “Is this it? Is this all
there is to life? I have everything, I should be
happy,” but I wasn’t. Something was mission.
During my football years
at Oregon, I came in contact with a guy… a
member of Regnum Christi. He encouraged me to get involved
in Church activities, to do some apostolic work and give
Christ the first place in my life. Though at certain
moments I felt on top of the world, little by
little I realized that the successes of this life do
not last long. So I started going to Mass a
few times during the week, to Confession and I started
participating in the activities at the Neumann Center on campus.
Little by little my interest in Regnum Christi grew and
I heard of the great hope the Church and the
Holy Father have in the Movement. God was battling for
my love and when I felt the call to consecrate
myself to Christ I decided to give Him the long
awaited first place in my life. So I gave away
my bike, my beloved fishing pole, the off campus house
and the Saturday afternoon games for a life of dedication
to the Church and the Movement.
What I have learned over
the last few years is that I have left nothing
and received everything.
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