Monday, October 22, 2007

Why I stayed-A Catholic Conversion

Aimee at her blog Historical Catholic brought forward a very interesting topic 'Are We Catholic Enough'. Please do read her thoughts on this and the commentary following it.

Below is the reason why I stayed.

There are some Catholics who feel that the Church belongs solely to those born into it and fail to understand what being Catholic means. The dictionary defines the word Catholic as "universal in extent; involving all." If a Catholic uses such statements as 'that person is not quite 'Catholic' enough' then they need to understand that they are the one's out of step with what Catholicism truly represents.

If you wish to understand what happened within my Parish, then feel free to read my post, 'No Converts Please We're Catholics'. Within this topic you will discover that my former Parish is indeed dysfunctional and very unwelcoming to Converts.

The reason for this post is to let the reader know why I stayed. The most important point is not what happened to me, no matter how hurtful or painful. It is why I stayed within the fold of the Catholic Church.

During this most painful time when many within my Parish were making it obvious they did not consider Converts as 'real Catholics' my family discovered that my mother had terminal cancer. My mother had a great devotion to Our Lady. I feel her love for our Blessed Mother was Divinely inspired in that my mother was too ill to read about her, but she spent hours praying her Rosary or simply gazing at a picture of Our Lady. Thankfully before she died the Priest did agree to Baptize my mother into the Catholic Church.

During this tumultuous time, my heart at times felt torn asunder. My Mother was dying and the Catholics within my Parish were making it obvious they would not accept me or any other 'ingrates'.

Rather than be overcome and leave, I discovered something greater, something more meaningful and depthful. I asked myself the question, why am I staying? I then discovered the answer, for God alone.

I could not walk away from The Eucharist or the Sacraments of the Catholic Church, nor could I leave Our Lady and our great Saints.

God is a dangerous Lover, He seduces the soul until we can no longer be satiated by the trivialities of the world. It is a thirst that only The Divine can quench yet we are still like deer that panteth after the water.

What I went through, scorched away my own superficiality in that I did not have to face those who opposed me, I instead faced my own weakness and fears.

I found myself in the Fire of God's Divine Love, but God's love does not destroy us. It instead refines and strengthens that which is weakest in our frail human nature.

Where I was weak God steeled me to remain where He wished me to be. When I suffered hurt God helped me realise that it was my Ego that was paining and not the inner sanctum of my soul. When I vaccilated, God helped me realise who was I following Him or people? When I wished to flee God helped me understand to whom was I running from, people or God Himself?

I finally understood that to follow Christ comes at a price. We are not meant to be safe or comfortable or look for safe havens. The only way to Christ is through the Cross.

Faith has nothing to do with how nice people are or if they are welcoming. Faith is staying the course, it is steeling yourself to run the good race. It is to run into the Unknowing and trusting that God knows the Way better than you. It is to love God for Himself alone and not for what He gives you or how you are treated.

Faith is not about gaining it is about giving and to give till it costs. Faith IS God's Love working within YOU.

"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (Jn 6: 68).

This is why I stayed.