The Australian soldier Dillon Beatson used to be a lapsed Catholic and self-proclaimed atheist who was drinking and ridiculing religion.
His life changed during a helicopter crash while on a training mission in the Middle East. The accident caused a close encounter with death (CatholicNewsAgency.com, January 21). One soldier died.
During the event, Beatson was pushed into the sand. The propeller blades were spinning around him. He thought: "This is it." Then, to his surprise, he cried out: “God, please don’t let me die.” Until then he believed that God was a fairytale.
After the accident, Beatson started looking for religion, "I went into the Latin Mass - I didn’t even know there was such a thing as Latin Mass - and I just fell in love." Beatson became a practicing Catholic who considers Faith “a treasure.”
Now, he feels “like my childhood was robbed in a way, that I didn’t get to grow up with the love of Christ, and didn’t get to have a lot of the teachings and morals instilled in me from a young age.”