Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Essentials of Conversion

The following come from Dr. Kenneth J. Howell at the Coming Home Network:
Becoming a Catholic can be a difficult row to hoe. The process of conversion is a complex one that involves almost every aspect of a person’s life. When people experience internal struggles of faith, marital discord because of possible conversion, the alienation of family members, or the loss of employment, the inherent obstacles of conversion hit them right in the face.
Yet, those who come as adults to the Catholic Church from another background do not have proprietary rights on the title of convert. The word “convert” derives from the Latin verb convertere and literally means “to turn to be with” (con = with, vertere = turn). It expresses the same meaning as the Greek word metanoia, the word used in the New Testament regularly translated as “repentance.” Converts are people who have changed their life and have moved closer to God through faith and repentance. Conversion in the Catholic sense is a lifelong process of repentance (metanoia), faith, and good works that yields a profound internal change of heart, ultimately leading to final union with God. In the final analysis, becoming Catholic is not about changing churches or adopting a new religion; it is a movement from Here to Eternity.
Whether one is a cradle Catholic or from outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church, conversion involves a process of change in one’s worldview that reaches to the core of one’s being. It is not for the faint of heart. Hidden beneath the process of conversion lie other more subtle obstacles that can be easily missed by those drawn to the Church. In their enthusiasm for a new-found faith or expression of the faith, potential converts can sometimes miss what a deep conversion really consists of. In this and following months, I would like to point to five areas that are both stumbling blocks and stepping stones for converts to the Catholic Faith.

No comments: