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30 June 2007

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Amber

Oh what a fantastic quote! That's it exactly, isn't it. We all need to be converts - we just don't think about it in the case of people who grow up in the faith. The need seems more obvious for the unchurched, but it is something that must happen to all of us.

It is interesting - of all the cradle Catholics on the RCIA team at my church, they all described going through an experience like this, something that deepened their faith and made it real to them. I'm not really sure how you manufacture this for our kids, but perhaps knowing that this needs to happen can help us to try to help them have those sorts of opportunities.

Although come to think of it all the people on the RCIA team came to this through some sort of big adversity... but there has got to be other ways of coming to conversion than that!

Thanks for sharing the quote, I am glad this book is next up on my reading list!

Julie

Conversion is needed for every single one of us...excluding those who might be Saints. (Padre Pio, St. Therese of Lisieux, etc., who seemed to have special graces). But with that, they still had moments of conversion which continued to lead them closer to God.

I see this as a caution against becoming complacent. We can't sit back and pat ourselves on the back for being Catholic. Holiness is work, it requires not only grace, but our cooperation with grace, and it requires true humility. As heaven rejoices at the return of a prodigal, we also must rejoice and recognize that the prodigal may far surpass us in holiness and favor to God.

As a "pseudo-revert" myself, I can testify that my faith is stronger for my having fallen away. I fear that had I not had to struggle with so many questions and against so many attacks (by anti-Catholics), I would not be where I am today...although I still have so far to go.

It is a path for all of us, and conversion is a LIFETIME process. It's not a one-time moment. It is unto death.

Ray from MN

In my family, I was the oldest son, but I was the one who ran away (to get away from Dad).

Ultimately, thanks be to God, I did come back as a Prodigal Son.

My next youngest brother also fled, and then returned.

Interestingly, my youngest brother stayed at home and was the obedient one, subject to the "Law." But he ended up as the estranged brother in a delayed and more serious estrangement from the Church and from the other siblings.

And I don't know how to get him back.

Your post and Pope Benedict's quote have given me some insight that I may be able to use. There is still plenty of time.

I need to pray for and help him with his conversion path.

Thank you, Erin.

Catholic Wife and Mother

Isn't this the problem with fallen-away Catholics? They haven't come to the "obedience out of love," and view the Church only as a set of rules that should be followed.

I agree with Julie, conversion is continual and life-long.

On a personal level, I know that when I'm doing something that's right, just because it's the Right Thing to do (i.e. being kind to someone who drives me up the wall), I do tend to get resentful. Very much "Oldest Son." When I'm going through a period of spiritual growth, I don't feel that resentment, even towards the same person who can drive me up the wall, because I'm concentrating only on the fact that you do what is right for the love of God. In those instances, I'm neither Oldest Son nor Youngest, but acting more like the Father.

Sarahndipity

Catholic Wife and Mother, I also tend to get resentful when I'm doing something purely because it's the Right Thing to Do. A perfect example is NFP - I've had a lot of problems with it (including an unplanned pregnancy) and the only reason I use it is because I'm scared of going to hell. There's no way I'd use it if I wasn't Catholic. I do tend to get resentful of it at times. I'm not sure how to change this, though. Maybe it's just one of those things I need to accept as a cross.

arkanabar t'verrick ilarsadin

I think the Holy Father is dead on with this one.

Sarahndipity, accepting rules as a cross is good, IMO. Trusting in the overwhelming love of God likewise helps me. My joy in obedience comes entirely from my surety that Jesus loves me and that God makes all things work together for the good with/for those who love Him.

And as Sister Mary Martha regularly suggests (http://asksistermarymartha.blogspot.com) you can always offer up your suffering for the souls in Purgatory.

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