Sunday, March 11, 2007

Do Converts Make Better Catholics?

Have you ever noticed how converts to the Catholic faith often seem to really be on fire with knowledge of the faith and love of God? They don't come to the Catholic Church by accident, rather, they arrive there by their study of the truth, a path that causes them to read the writings of the early Church fathers and the saints. In the process, they fall in love with the mysteries, the truths and the ancient history of the Catholic faith, and it shows in their expressions, their conversations and their interactions with others. It's as though they have discovered the pearl of great value and want to share it with everyone they meet.

I met such a person eleven years ago when I rediscovered my Catholic faith. She showered me with books about the faith I grew up with but knew so little about, and the learning process that should have been fostered and nourished in me as a child began for me as an adult.

I am a cradle Catholic, and I learned more from her than I ever did from all my years growing up Catholic. Oh, I went through the motions of being Catholic without the understanding of what it means to actually be Catholic. What is it about so many cradle Catholics? Do we take for granted that we have been born into the faith of our fathers, so never really feel the desire or the inclination to explore or fall in love with our religion?

I might add that reverts to the faith show the same deep love and understanding of Catholicism that converts do. Maybe God in His wisdom, is giving us the foundation of knowledge to be built on later in life when we are more disposed to treasure it and nourish it to its full potential.

10 comments:

Rob said...

I'm a revert. I actually came back to the church in my late twenties, when I was already married and had two kids. I am trying to raise my family so that the kids don't lose the faith like I did.

paramedicgirl said...

Rob, if you can instill in your children a deep love of the Catholic faith, they will always have it to hold on to. Even if they take a different road for awhile, they will have the foundation to draw them back and build upon again. God bless.

Angela Messenger said...

Hi, my name is Angela and I am a revert. LOL!

While my years wandering in the desert are exruciatingly painful to recount there is no resurrection without crucifixion.

When I finally came back to the Church (you can read my conversion story on my blog) I could not receive the Sacraments for 18 very long months. It was the best thing in the world. I learned SO much about the faith in that time. It made Mass so much more meaningful. I have over 60 orthodox Catholic books in my personal library that explain the faith. From Scott Hahn to Fr. Benedict Groeschel - it's been a real eye opener. But I have to thank the Holy Spirit for opening my heart. Without the gift of faith it would just be words on a page.

Adoro te Devote said...

I'm a revert, too, from a fallen-away status.

Thank God that he doesn't let us go so easily.

After having to fight to come back home (the largest battles with myself, of course), I have fallen in love.

Now I am seeking entry into a grad program, a MA in Pastoral Theology (still discerning this path). Only a few years ago, I wasn't even attending Mass every Sunday.

When we open our hearts to God, he opens the floodgates and gives us His kingdom. All we have to do is say "yes".

Romanist Ryan said...

Revert. :)

Born and raised into a Christmas and Easter Catholic home. Found my way back in college, then left again for another decade.

Happily home. Not going anywhere.

God Bless,
RyanL

Mark said...

Oh yes, pearl of great price indeed!

What I love about cradle Catholics, even the C&E variety, is that they have what the secular world calls "institutional memory," which I can only read about, or have you tell me about.

Every soul not in love with Jesus is but dry tinder, unknowingly awaiting, and actually yearning for the spark of fire by which the Holy Spirit desires to set the world aflame in Divine Love; it is rightly said that "the world loves a lover;" be madly in love with the Lord, and fear not to be thought mad! (St. Escriva, "The Way" #796)

Tiber Jumper said...

I am a revert after 30 years of devout evangelicalism. Finding Catholcism to be true was like having the veil lifted from my eyes. I always had a sense that something wasn't quite right, but never could put my finger on it. Perhaps the reason we are so onfire for Christ and the Church is the sense of discovery, immense and late.
Nice blog, God bless you

Jeffrey Smith said...

I'm the oddball in the crowd, a bit of them all. My father was a non-practising Protestant from a Catholic family and my mother was a non-practising Catholic from a Protestant family. I grew up with a fair amount of knowledge of the Church and converted when I was about 13. Over the ensueing decades, I fell away and reverted twice. One of the reasons I like being so publically Catholic is that it makes very well sure I won't fall away again.

Frank said...

I don't know if converts make better Catholics than reverts do. I am a sort of recent convert myself.

I know it is pretty exciting to learn about God and the Church after a lifetime as an evolutionist!

I think my wife's reversion has been just as exciting as my conversion.

We talk about the faith daily, and we try to live the faith as best we can.

It is also nice to be a married couple who attends Church together.

We share our deep love for the faith and we pray together. so I think conversion is the same awesomeness as it is for reversion.

paramedicgirl said...

Hi Frank,

Yes, you are right that reverts make for Catholics who are just as on fire for their faith as converts. It's like we have woken up to the great gift that God has granted us from birth, and are finally able to see the value of this most wonderful gift of faith that we simply took for granted before.