As a convert, I get a real kick out of reading the conversion stories of others. And at this time of the year, there are so many wonderful stories out there.
Owen is a talented artist and a clergy convert. I have sitting in front of me a work of his - right on my desk where I can see is. Rosary Madonna is a limited edition print (I have 7/20) of his acrylic on canvas work) and it is right here where I can contemplate and meditate. And yet to be framed, I have his pen and ink drawing "Here is my soul". Knowing Owen through the internet and the blogosphere had been a wonderful blessing. He created this beautiful icon to welcome those (including himself and his family) who have come home to the church this year.
There are so many! Dawn Eden, whose blog I have been reading almost as long as I have been blogging.
My British blog-buddy UKOK's mom is coming into the church also.
So many wonderful stories, and yet so very much pain. Those of us who have walked this path have come from so many different places to get here, and yet we are all also still on the journey. And even those cradle Catholics who never left the church, the reverts, those of our Christian cousins and brethren with whom we are in imperfect communion - we are all trying to walk the same path with our Saviour - even when that path is the way of the cross.
I never had any doubts that there is a God. And the only God that made any sense to me was the God of the Jewish/Christian tradition. I actually looked very closely at the Jewish tradition – I babysat for a year for an Orthodox Jewish family and I learned a lot about their beliefs and practices. Ask me about that sometime if you are interested. However, I became convinced that the evidence of history and scripture proved that Jesus of Nazareth, son of Mary, was indeed the Christ, the Messiah, the everlasting son of God. And eventually, I came to believe that this Jesus did indeed intend to found a church and that church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. And here I am. It's been more than 32 years now - a lifetime for some. My biggest regrets were the years that I spent in rebellion as a cafeteria Catholic. Would that I could take them back! But I know that I am forgiven and I pray that my time in Purgatory with be short.
I do have a question/concern. I know that there are 'ripple effects' from some of my sins of the past. What is the best way that I can try to mitigate them? Prayer and fasting are key - but is there anything else?