Tuesday, July 10, 2012

After Conversion

I ran across this article by David Paul Deavel from the Coming Home Network and thought it was excellent. It wanders a bit, but in wandering it hits upon several different points that I think are important. He addresses the need for continuing conversion within the Church, and for an attitude of humility towards non-Catholics. I felt like these points resonated with what I wrote in a post a couple months ago. Here's a quote from Deavel's article:

"When you come into the Church from somewhere else, particularly if friends and family from somewhere else have given you trouble about it, it is easy to become harsh and impatient about others’ not seeing what you see. It is altogether too easy to become wrapped up in what non-Catholics haven’t got and not be thankful for what they do have. This doesn’t mean squishy ecumenism, but a generosity of the sort Newman demonstrated in a letter to an Evangelical Anglican:
I believe what you do—but I believe more. I rejoice to think that you with all your heart and soul believe our Lord Jesus Christ to be the Saviour of the world, and of every soul who comes to him for salvation; and the sole Saviour. I wish you believed the whole counsel of God. But in this bad time, when there are so many unbelievers, I rejoice to think that you are not one of them."

He also had some good insights into the potential for "converts" to have a condescending attitude towards cradle Catholics. 

"Converts are often garrulously fluent about their faith in a way that impresses cradle Catholics. And yet what I’ve come to see is how often I’ve misjudged Catholics because they don’t talk about their faith in the same way I do. I don’t mean to suggest that many Catholics couldn’t benefit from a more thorough intellectual grounding in their faith. They could. But what I’ve discovered so often to my shame is a quiet consistency of life, worship, and behavior that makes my own seem paltry. Newman preached late in his life, “Perfection does not lie in heroic deeds, or in great fervor, or in anything extraordinary—many, even good men, are unequal—but in consistency. This is what old Catholics have when good, in opposition to converts.” 

And good commentary also about the "trial of alienation" from friends and family who don't choose to also become Catholic.

Anyways, I thought it was an article worth passing on and reflecting on.

Update: I graduated from Notre Dame in May. I then proceeded to attend two weddings and travel around a fair bit. I am now in Kailua Kona, Hawaii, planning on living here with my parents through the fall for the next season of my life.