Saturday, 26 January 2008

Conversion

I dare say there are more than a few people who think that
since I came have decided leave the cafeteria for the fullness
of the faith that I am off my trolley. Well I am in pretty
good company on that; St Paul was off his horse.

The process of my own conversion was a long one and there were times I wondered why God didn't just knock me off my own high horse a few times. Well, in fact He did actually, but I had a nasty habit of trying to climb straight back up there.

Paul was struck blind after the horse falling incident and had to go and find someone to heal him. That person was Ananias who understandably treated God's command to go and meet Saul with some healthy trepidation. However he did go and through him Saul was received into the Church and became one of her greatest saints.

Here's another story; it isn't finished yet and could go either way, so your prayers would be much appreciated.

Once upon a time there lived a young lady who became friends with her brother's Catholic girlfriend. The young lady, we'll call her Cally, was a deeply hurt person who made life worse for herself by making some pretty awful choices.

Meanwhile her brother and the Catholic girl married. Some time later Cally too married, but she married a really awful man; a marriage that would only increase Cally's self destructive behaviour.

Nothing improved for a very long time-but throughout it all she remained friends (not necessarily close because she wasn't capable of that) with her Catholic sister-in-law. The SIL had not been a particularly good Catholic but she discovered her faith and was renewed in her commitment. During this time she would make suggestions to Cally that were never acted on.

On returning to the Church the Catholic SIL found herself with some 'good' Catholics who advised her to drop all friends and family who were either lapsed or not Catholic or leading immoral lives. She was also told plainly just how inferior protestant husband's were. Fortunately she realised this was not truly 'good' Catholic behaviour and rather than ditching her less than Catholic friends and family-she ditched this group.

Some long time later Cally reached the point that forced her to reassess her life. She began to turn things around. In order to do this though Cally began, very reluctantly it seems, to acknowledge that if she was ever going to get free of the ditch she had dug for herself, she would need God.

Her SIL has been inviting her to Mass-which she occasionally attends and feels welcome there. She is also learning to pray. Her SIL is quietly supporting her in this. Nothing too in-yer-face as that would frighten her off. Cally is doing things at her own pace.

This conversion is still ongoing and it is very, very fragile. Slowly Cally is turning into a new person who hopefully will find a real relationship with God and go wherever He leads.

She didn't fall off a horse as such, but she did fall-hard; and only then did she start the long process of conversion and healing. God has put people into her life now who are helping her.

Pray for her.

14 comments:

Rita said...

Not so much becoming a "new person" but becoming free to be the person who has always been there.

To me,it is about breaking free of the slavery to which we have become accustomed.

"Scales falling from eyes" can take years, but is is worth every false start and set-back!

Prayers are being said.

Mac McLernon said...

Prayers as requested.

And the Catholic SIL was right to ignore the "extreme" group... but what sometimes happens when you start to take your Faith seriously is that others (lapsed Catholics or non-Catholics... lapsed Catholics are worst) find that your way of life is a challenge, and may reject YOU because they feel uncomfortable at what they recognise is the way they should live...

God bless you as you experience your slow-but-sure conversion!

Marie said...

I think all conversions are on going as one never stops growing in their faith.

That's the wonderful thing about the Catholic Church one learns everyday something new, something noble, something Mighty....Faith is an ongoing process.

Peace to you:)

Marie

gemoftheocean said...

Hi. I tag you on a new book meme.

WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

Thank you for the prayers. It is a beautiful thing to be in the process of conversion- but it is stunning to watch someone elses journey.
Mac; I think one of the most difficult things for the SIL in my story was she found herself no longer belonging and sought others she thought she could trust-instead they turned out to be worse than the cafeteria/lapsed she no longer belonged to. Very, very bad things happened because of those women. She is grateful to be free of them and that worse did not befall.

God bless everyone. I will add this-online I have found some truly inpsiring people who have helped me in my own conversion. Thank you.

AutumnRose said...

I will certainly pray!

marcella said...

I am astonished that Catholics could ever behave like that extremist group. I have had personal experience of that kind of thing with rampant evangelicals who would divide the world into 'christians' (meaning evangelicals) and non-christians (meaning non-evangelicals) and regard the non-'christians' as hellbound near-satanists. Ghastly.
The wonderful thing is that God rises above the foolishness of human beings.
Marcella

On the side of the angels said...

Praying all the time for you and yours and your prayers.....
Re The novel - it's now on a new blog...
http://ppriest.blogspot.com [have complete the prologue [had a funeral today and was incapacitated over the weekend with a split open skull]
Thanks for your advice re Lulu - I have it on favourites already. I might actually 'vanity' publish it if I get a few hours overtime one month...

What's more - thankyou for your very kind words - I think the way I worded it on my blog was a little too fort, but some have been a little curt in their replies to me recently on other blogs [ a la 'who the hell do you think you are ?' kind of thing - and it upsets me a little...]

anyway - a lot, lot more to cre the story - it's not very good now that I see it on the screen - but it is a roller coaster ride full of twists and turns so however badly written - it is kinda cool [if atrocious]
thankyou.
Paul

On the side of the angels said...

sorry , that was 'have yet to complete the prologue' but there is some new stuff...

Joyful Catholics said...

Marcella I agree with you, at least from my corner of the world, the true, faithful, devout, orthodox Catholics I know would never treat others that way. I have found it more the way you described about SOME Evangelicals. Not all, but some. We are all so dang full of ourselves. I pray to not fall into the 'smug' attitude who point fingers. They seem to forget the 3 that point back to themselves. There but for the grace of God....

Will pray for "Cally"...

Great post.

marcella said...

My own experience of conversion is that it is bought with pain, and that one has sometimes to be refined in the fire in order to have all the dross burned off and emerge cleansed. This can really hurt. But I see it rather like the labour pains of a woman bringing a child to birth - rather like Our Lady in fact...
Marcella

WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

Aumtumn Rose-thank you.

Marcella & Susie- The SIL was astonished too. Like you she had seen it in some protestant churches, but for Catholics to behave like this was new to her. Hopefully it is rare among Catholics.
She had only recently returned fully to the Church at that time and had been through her own 'refining fire' which has been good-but like you say Marcella, painful.

Cally was brought up Christian but it all got lost somewhere and she never regained it. She says she feels welcome when she goes to Mass and there is another Catholic lady in her life who I think is a great help to her.
Rita's comment about her becoming the person she really is rather than a 'new person' is very true.

Paul, thank you for your prayers and writing. Keep bloggin'on.

marcella said...

The idea of 'becoming free to be the person who has always been there', as Rita says - the realisation that there was a 'me' lying dormant beneath the 'me' of role-play was an important turning-point in my own conversion story. But I am still 'becoming free': I am not yet fully free. Conversion is ongoing.
Marcella

ukok said...

prayers ascend.