I was actually baptised as Danny, the abbreviated version (also on my birth certificate) as my mother preferred the name over Daniel.
I was born into my faith, along with my siblings, and always felt close to God as far as I can remember, learning from my mother our reason for being on earth, the unfathomable sacrifice our Saviour made for us and the type of life I am supposed to live.
My mother is of Lebanese Maronite lineage and, if you trace far back enough, this is the same lineage as Christ himself. My mother's father spoke Aramaic which is the native language of Christ and am proud to be of middle Eastern decent. My father is a Persian Iranian who was forced into being named 'Muslim' by the current tyrannical regime in Iran, known as the Moolahs; the leader being called the 'Ayatollah'.
My father always renounced his forced faith, which is why I'm a cradle Catholic but, slowly, slowly, am trying (with the help of my mother) to show him the light of Christ. To this day, he has a deep stubbornness about him that refuses to accept that Christ truly came down for our salvation and that we must go to church to receive the Blessed Sacrament, not to mention keeping the Sabbath Day holy! He has come to church many times in his life but we all pray he takes that next step and picks up his cross and follows Christ to Calvary. I know in my heart he will.
In my teens, I lost my way a little, being Catholic Christian only by name and not going to church. I was still praying a lot on my own and felt I didn't need to go (oh I couldn't be more WRONG!) I always had a desire to read the Bible to more deeply understand my faith, and set out to do this at my own pace. I started doing this at about the age of 21 and finished by 24. This is when my faith completely changed; I felt incredibly blessed to read a book so holy it would change my life forever. During and after reading it, the grace of God touched me in a way that I beg you experience when you read it!
I have a plan to pick it up again and read it from cover to cover.
Fast forward to about 10 years later, where I now go to church every Sunday, try hard to be a deep defender of our Faith and slowly introduce my many sinful but good friends (some of those I cannot reveal, the severity of their sins) into the light of Christ all the while battling my own sinful nature.
Through our faith, I found a love so deep that my little human brain cannot comprehend and that it sometimes reduces me to tears to find out our creator has sent his only begotten son to die for our sins so that we may live an everlasting life.
I say this to us all: there is nothing our Lord cannot do and through prayer and action; absolutely anything is achievable.
I personally believe us men (a lot of us) are sleeping in our faith and almost leave it to the women to help raise the children, which is why I have such respect for women who take this responsibility on their own!
God bless you good, good men of Christ and I thank you for setting up this group. I've longed to find a group of strong Catholic men that talk about and defend our faith.