I am in the process of telling a new friend of mine my conversion story. Well, as much of it as I feel comfortable telling. :P I’ve already warned her how long and rambly and involved and intricate and winding it is, and how it will take me forever to tell it to her. So I edit. ;) But in all seriousness, I know I could most likely write an entire book on my “story.” In fact, it would be more like a memoir or autobiography than just a book telling my conversion, as this involves my entire life. Indeed, yes, one could say my whole life thus far has been leading up to my entry into the Holy Catholic Church, and afterwards, going ever deeper.
This is why the Protestant notion of a single “moment” of conversion or salvation (ie: being “saved”) is so erroneous. Conversion simply cannot be relegated to a single moment! That’s ridiculous. Conversion takes an entire life. It is an entire life. To constantly refocus, realign one’s life with God’s will, to always be getting back up after stumbling, always seeking out the light in the darkness, always absorbing and seeking out a deeper understanding of the Christian Mysteries, of the Faith. Always going deeper and deeper into the Heart of Love – Christ’s Heart.
Reading that may come as a surprise to a few of the people I know occasionally visit this blog-in-forming. They have no inkling I’m a convert whatsoever. I don’t exactly advertise the fact, and sometimes I’ve even felt rather embarrassed or ashamed of it. Which is ridiculous. I know it is. I have no reason to feel that way. I shouldn’t feel that way sometimes. But I do. More on that later…
Others will only be semi-surprised, having been told of me being a convert many moons ago and having since more-or-less forgotten.
And still others will find this as no surprise at all, with my conversion being very out in the open with them. :)
Why do I sometimes feel almost ashamed to be a convert? Is it because that sometimes I let myself think that being a convert and not a “cradle Catholic” somehow makes me less Catholic? Is it because I fear what others may think – that I will not be devoted to my Faith, not care, know next to nothing, don’t belong here – something?? Is it because I really don’t feel like launching into the discussion of the how’s and why’s and when’s of my conversion?
Ohhhhhhhh….how stupid! How silly! I have NO REASON to think those things. I should be proud, even. I made a conscious choice – to enter the Catholic Church. After what I’ve sometimes seen called the “emotional conversion” came my “intellectual conversion” – I studied, I read, read, read, I researched, I did so much research online of even ‘little’ things. I wanted to know all I could about even just the basic things. I wanted to understand as best I could all the Catholic doctrines and dogmas I would have to accept. “Have to” – sounds like being forced, but I wasn’t. They all make sense to me.
I should feel honored and blessed – as I do – for being a convert. I have come home! “This is home, now I’m finally where I belong…” I sing. As I have been told by others, I am in some ways lucky, because I will never take my Faith for granted now that I have it. I know what it’s like not to have it.
Being Catholic now is as much a part of me as … as being me. :P
Rachel is Catholic. It is part and parcel of my identity now. I would be woefully lost and adrift without it. I don’t even want to think about that. “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”
So, yes. I am a convert. My “emotional” conversion was throughout all my life, really, but more-or-less “happened” in the beginning of 2006. Then throughout the rest of 2006 and into 2007 was the majority of my basic “intellectual conversion.” And since then has been the ever-deepening, ever-growing, ever-learning journey of my Catholic life. Just when I think I can go no deeper, God surprises me. And so it will always be. (Thank God!) :)