Conversion stories

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Conversion stories

Post  VicarJoe on Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:31 am

Recently, I've been undergoing a bit of a re-conversion process. I converted pretty seriously about ten years ago, and when I joined the Syracuse dot com religion forum around 5 years ago, I was a pretty serious Catholic who was interested in discussing issues of faith with others on the same or other paths. Unfortunately, that didn't last very long--maybe a year or so--before it just became stupid. I feel like the last few years I got lost a bit on the path, because I was giving all my attention to distractions and diversions over there that I knew were pointless.

I was feeling a bit lost, so I decided to revisit some of the books that got me on the right path in the first place. For starters, I re-read Patrick Madrid's collection of the conversion stories of eleven converts to Catholicism, Surprised by Truth. I have a funny story about getting in a blowout argument with Patrick Madrid around the same time I started going to syracuse dot com, but I absolutely love his series of conversion accounts. (There is also a volume 2 and a volume 3.)

Something about reading conversion stories is so moving and so inspiring. Another great book that traces the path to the Church is Scott Hahn's Rome Sweet Home.

I think one thing I especially love about conversion stories is how seriously people take their faith. They experience the whole range of emotions from dread to horror to elation to sorrow to fascination. But they never come across as apathetic. They never come across as fence-sitting. And another thing I find really inspiring is simply how "out" they are about their faith, and how much they're willing to lose by making public professions of faith. Jobs, family, friends, etc. It makes me very aware of how cowardly I have been when I haven't been so willing to proclaim the faith at times when there were costs involved.

So after these last few years of distraction and digression, I find myself converting yet again, back to the faith (as opposed to turning back once again to making its critics the center of my experience). I've kinda decided to stick with the positive for awhile, well aware that there will always be people who hate the faith no matter what I do or say. I even had a dream last night, where I saw the atheist and neo-pagan hostility to the faith as a house, and it was literally rotting away and pieces were falling off of it. And I asked myself in the dream, "Is this what I've been battling? Why?"

I wonder if others have found so much solace and inspiration in accounts of conversion. Smile

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Thanks for the books

Post  stihl on Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:48 pm

Hey Joe,

Thanks for mentioning the books.

It is interesting that you used the phrase "getting off the fence". That is what I have done. I think I got sold (for awhile) on the notion that getting along and being nice is the true mark of a Christian.

I have explored that atheist websites and their associated links. I have read their arguments for atheism and against theism. I haven't found anything that I can respect as a valid argument. What it reminds me of are a bunch of monkies coating themsleves with frosting and then marveling at themselves.

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I'm happy for you Joe

Post  Thereforeiam on Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:52 pm

and I'm glad that you realize once and for all that the "usual suspects" do not have to be the center of your experience. It's a futile cause with almost all of them and can't possibly be worth all the annoyance and aggravation. May your spiritual journey and experience be true.

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