My New Sangha

On this Feast of St Raphael the Healer, I share my reply to an email that came from my old Buddhist community (sangha) after several years of silence:


St Raphael the Archangel

Thanks for letting me know about the retreat places.  I’ve been on a lot of retreats with [my old Buddhist sangha].  I’m very grateful for everything I learned and experienced there.  However, I would like to remove my name from your lists because I am no longer Buddhist.  I have found my true sangha with God and all His angels and saints and saints-in-the-making.  I can no longer kneel in front of statues of the Buddha: a man who never claimed to be a god, who died like any other man no matter how enlightened he was.  I no longer meditate like a lump, trying to detach myself from suffering.  I embrace suffering and am glad to offer it up for souls.  Prayer can be difficult but I’m never alone.  I can talk with my Maker or any number of my friends in Heaven, or I can just rest in their company.  I can kneel in contemplation resting in the peace that only Our Lord can give – like a baby in its mother’s arms.  I write all this not to condemn Buddhism but to be a signpost for you and for anybody else you wish to share this with.  Those of you who live near to Galway and Limerick have a great treasure at your disposal.  I urge you, if you have fallen away from the Faith, to attend traditional Latin Masses with the Institute of Christ the King or to speak with their wonderful priests.  Their church in Limerick is the Sacred Heart church on The Crescent (, and they also celebrate Mass every Sunday at the Claddagh Church (Dominican Priory), Galway, at 2:30.
Yours in Christ,

Posted on October 24, 2018, in Buddhism, Christianity and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Very heartfelt and honest. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Sarah, What a gentle and lovely letter! I have a niece, baptized Catholic, who now practices buddhism since college. What was it that drew you back to the Faith? (Please say a prayer for her – her name is Jessica.) +Peace and blessings, Pat

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Patricia. I will certainly pray for Jessica. I understand your concern. You could point out to her that Christian contemplation is like Buddhist meditation on steroids! Sorry, she’ll probably just roll her eyes at you! 🙂
      You have asked a difficult question! I wasn’t baptised as a child and although the women in my family had a lingering and tenuous link to Christianity I didn’t have a particularly religious upbringing. I led a lonely, secular and selfish life until I moved to Ireland in 2000. My dislike of the Church grew here because it is so much more visible. The battle began in earnest. My spiritual yearnings led me to Buddhism but there was still something missing. I can’t really say what finally converted me: a combination of my husband’s apologetics, God’s patient knocking, St Therese’s prayers. I finally decided to learn more about what the Church says about herself rather than what her critics tell us. When I read the Truth I was angry that such a treasure had been hidden from me for so long. Your neice’s problem is probably rooted in a lack of understanding of the Faith and knowledge of how to do mental prayer. How was she catechised?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sadly, like most baptized Catholics of the past, recent decades — the answer to “how was she catechized” is – poorly. Like, her parents, and all my siblings; she made it to her First Communion and it was downhill from there. For myself, I had to relearn the faith of my childhood as an adult. But, your response actually gives me so much hope! Truly, your long journey demonstrates the power of God’s grace and call! I will keep praying for her to come home. God bless you always!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I suspected that was the case. It seems to be a very common story. It happens all the time in Ireland nowadays. One of our priests calls Confirmation the Sacrament of Exit. Congratulations on holding on to your faith in this challenging time. I’m glad my story gives you hope. With God all things are possible. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. smiling to your
    faithful convictions, Sarah 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, David. I thought of you before I published this but trusted that you would understand. I don’t want to hurt anyone, only to help them get to Heaven. God bless you for your smile. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s a very touching letter, Sarah. I salute your faithful trust in Christ, our Lord.


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