Andres Angulo was always the kind of person people looked up to. He's good looking, intelligent, a great athlete, and popular among his peers. More importantly, his journey as a child allowed him to experience several different cultures because his father managed many multi-nationals companies in countries such as Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, and the U.S.A. (Texas).
Throughout different cities and schools, Andres left an impact everywhere he went. He has always been a natural leader indeed, cultured and talented in many ways, he always found himself pulling his friends into ideas and adventures that would pop up in his mind.
But although Andres was gifted with many talents and had the privilege of a great life, he shares with us his journey of spiraling downward. He began to idolize pop-culture including celebrities who promoted lustful desires, objectivize women, hoarded materialistic things, and promoted that money, partying sex and drugs were the goods things in life.
Angulo would move to Texas where his worldly desires would continue.
He had no trouble adjusting to life in the States. He attracted people with his open-mind and soccer skills. When he was a senior in high school he seemed to have it all, the hot girlfriend, cool friends and won MVP for the varsity soccer team after winning the state championship game. The team ranked #1 in the nation.
Andres graduated and continued his legacy, if you will, in college. He attempted playing soccer for a year but his desire to party and prove himself to be cool, returned him home to attend University of North Texas where he joined a fraternity. This is where pop-cultures would really get the best of him. His grades suffered tremendously, for the next three years he would drop a handful of courses and scrape the margin of passing in courses he didn't drop. What's sad is in the eyes of most rowdy college kids, someone could have easily said, "He has all the girls and popularity who cares about good grades".
In 2011, everything would change. He mentioned to an old friend from high school that he had this lack of fulfillment with his life. He also mentioned how sad he felt on the inside despite people thinking he was this oh so happy, fun person. His friend felt the same about his own personal life, even about to graduate from the University of Oklahoma. The two friends decide to make a change that would hopefully take their life in a better direction.
Both, who came from great upper-middle class families, decided to drop everything and leave it behind in search for an answer as to why they felt so empty. They left in the middle of the night, only taking a backpack filled with clothes and things they thought necessary for survival.
Hitchhiking across the country in search of answers soon became their new way of life. They shared many memories in their journey, mentioning psychedelic drum circles, sleeping under bridges, along the coast, or anywhere their feet took them in the middle of the night. Looking back, the day they left would be the day that would changed their life forever.
This journey would define Andres Angulo who "died" and Andres Maria of the Cross was born. Bottom line is that once Andres took the initiative to find answers for purpose in his life with an open heart, he found a life that no one would have expected from the "cool" kid back at school.
To learn more about what happened in Andres journey in becoming Andres Maria of the Cross, please check out the full podcast.
Andres is now a full-time monk at a community in Chiapas, Mexico where he is working hard to becoming an ordained priest. He took a sacred vow of poverty, service and study of the teachings of Jesus. The contrast of Andres Angulo and Andres Maria of the Cross are like night and day. Could this person leave behind a life of pop-culture and worldly desires to live a life of poverty and service and be more happy than before? Could he have really found answers worth discussing? And can contemporary people learn from a Catholic Monk? Check out the full podcast and find out how one can find happiness outside of this secular society that everyone seems to embrace.
Written by Juan Angulo