I don’t have a dramatic conversion story. I suppose you could call me, as one blogger put it, an “unvert.” No particularly salacious past, no years of questioning and study that led me to discover with the early Church Fathers the truth of the Catholic faith. I was born into a Catholic family and raised in a Catholic home. I was brought up to know and love Jesus and the Catholic faith and I am so grateful for that gift.
But I do have a conversion story. And I wouldn’t call myself an “unvert,” because even though it may not have been dramatic, there was a point in my life when I had to decide to make my faith my own. There was a point when I had to decide that Jesus was going to be who I lived for above all else, and most of all – there was a moment when Jesus became more than someone my parents talked about or told me stories about. He became a friend, someone with whom I could converse and share the deepest desires and longings of my heart.
Maybe it didn’t look like a dramatic life change to those around me. I didn’t suddenly start going to church after years of being away. I didn’t suddenly start taking “the rules” of the Catholic faith seriously. By the grace of God, I never truly harbored any disrespect or contempt for “the rules.” But at some point they became more than rules. They became opportunities for me to express my love to my beloved.
I write this post because I know how easy it can be—especially for us Catholics—to sort of hide behind a love of the knowledge and an appreciation of the beauty of our faith while holding back from a relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. When it comes down to it, it’s easy to learn the rules and the theology. It can be awkward to step out in faith, enter into silence, and ask Jesus—the real person who lived 2,000 years ago and lives today—to reveal Himself to us.
If you have never taken that first awkward step, consider this your invitation. It doesn’t matter if you hold an advanced degree in theology or if your shadow has never darkened the door of a church. Jesus wants to be more than rules, more than a character in a book. He wants to enter into relationship with you.