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Sunday, June 21, 2009

It is good to be back

This is a repost from my other blog, Calling Rome Home. I hope it will help to explain the inactivity of the Catholic Converts blog over the past few months. Please bear with me as I start the process of catching up while trying to stay focused on my own relationship with Christ.

It's been just over 14 months (about 10 months here) since my last post. It's amazing how quickly time goes by.The past year has been one of spiritual struggle which reached a cresendo about eight months ago when I stopped going to confession, a month later stopped going to Mass, and fell back into some old, and into some new, sinful ways.I reached a point where I felt as though my prayers weren't being heard, or possibly even ignored, because I felt like I wasn't getting any answers. I let bitterness take over and turned away. Over the last few months God has gently guided me to the realization that maybe I wasn't hearing any answers because I was listening too intently for what I wanted to hear instead of what he was saying. This realization came through a series of nudges from God when I wasn't thinking about Him, on the way to work, while eating dinner, etc. Just little thoughts that would pop into my head.I made my first confession in 8 months yesterday afternoon. I have never felt more vulnerable nor more emboldened than when my confessor spoke about it being the grace of God that prevented my faith from being destroyed and lead back to the sacraments.I'm not sure yet what God has to say to me, but I pray and ask you friends to pray for me, that I may put aside what I want to hear and listen to Him.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Journey in Prayer

By Randy Hain

I was recently reflecting on my faith journey over the last few years. I converted to Catholicism in 2006 with my wife. I was raised in the Baptist church until I stopped attending as a 15 year old and had no relationship with God until I experienced a powerful personal conversion in late 2005 while attending my second mass. My 23 years in the “spiritual wilderness” were challenging in that my life revolved around only work and then after my marriage, family and work. God was always watching over me during these years, but I didn’t have a relationship with Him and I certainly didn’t pray to Him until after my conversion and surrender to His will.

Before I began my RCIA classes in the Fall of 2006, I studied the Catholic faith in earnest. I tend to intellectualize everything and my first thoughts were to learn everything I could about our faith. I quickly realized there was more to our wonderful Faith than knowledge, history and tradition! I then began to focus on being the best Catholic I could be and started on my true faith journey, versus simply immersing myself in books. One of the biggest obstacles for me in those days was my lack of prayer life. I knew I needed to pray, but I couldn’t ever remember sincerely praying about anything. I was struggling with the typical male challenge of asking for help, especially asking God for help! Who was I to bother Him with my petty problems?

I went to one of our Deacons, shared my prayer challenges with him and asked for guidance. He looked at me with some amusement and said I was approaching prayer in the wrong way. “Don’t worry about asking for help just yet,” he said. Simply go to the Lord with thanks and be grateful for the blessings in my life. Eventually, I learned to ask God for help and guidance, but my prayer life started by offering thanks to Him. The light bulb went off and I finally got it! I now understood that my faith journey would never grow unless I had an active prayer life. This was the beginning of my prayer journey that has continued to unfold and grow with each passing day. I would like to share with you the stages of my prayer journey as a Catholic, lessons I have learned and insights into how I pray in hopes you will find my experiences to be helpful.

Stage One of my prayer life was learning to thank God and be grateful. Going to Him in prayer and reflecting on the blessings and burdens in my life every day is how I learned to appreciate and acknowledge the Lord’s role in my life. To this day I never start a prayer without thanking Him.

Stage Two for me was learning to ask for forgiveness. I go to reconciliation frequently, but it is still important for me to ask the Lord for his pardon and forgiveness when I commit a sin-which is more frequent than I care to admit! It has become a daily Examination of Conscience for me to reflect on where I have failed Him and ask for forgiveness and the grace to not commit that sin again.

Stage Three was asking for His help and guidance. This stage of prayer is also when I also learned to pray for others and their needs. I think men in general struggle with asking for help and I am no exception. My growing prayer life and deepening faith journey has given me the humility to realize that I don’t have all the answers and that Jesus absolutely wants to help me. Early on I would tentatively ask for help with the BIG stuff like getting my family into Heaven, blessing our Priests and Deacons, giving our government leaders wisdom and so on. Now, I am very comfortable asking for His help and guidance in every facet of my life. But, first I had to gain the humility to recognize that without our Lord I am nothing and I need His strength.

Stage Four in my prayer journey has been learning to completely unburden myself to the Lord. This has occurred only in the last several months. I have always been inclined to carry my stress, frustrations, worries and fears like a secret weight around my neck. As I got better at asking the Lord for help, I began asking for His help to lighten these mental and emotional burdens. I am so grateful that I now can go to Him and absolutely give Him whatever is weighing me down, from work stress, to concern about my children’s future. Whatever it is, I share it with Jesus as he asked us to in Matthew 11:28-29, “Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon your shoulders and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. Your souls will find rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden light.”

I am confident that there will be more and evolving stages of prayer growth for me if I am humble and focused on deepening my relationship with Christ. St. Teresa of Avila wrote frequently on the stages of prayer, especially in her book The Interior Castle. I hope to reach the contemplative and mystical prayer life she describes in her works and pray that Jesus will lead me there.

Some important lessons I have learned (and keep learning!) in my prayer life and would like to share include:

* Make time for prayer-just do it! If you don’t schedule prayer time and stick to it, it will not happen. Starting the day with prayer is often best and it builds slowly from there. Ask yourself if you would be willing to spend only 30 minutes a day with your loved ones. Hopefully the answer is a resounding NO! Ok, then why do we struggle to give the Lord at least 30 minutes a day in prayer? How you do it is not nearly as important as the act of doing it!
* Have the proper disposition before praying. It is important to have the right attitudes of humility and faith that God can and will help us before we start praying. Reading scripture or a book of meditations such as In Conversation With God or Imitation of Christ every day before prayer will help prepare our heads and hearts to approach the Lord in a deeper and more meaningful way.
* Work through the “dry patches.” We all experience dryness in our prayers or have trouble focusing. We may feel that God is not listening. We may fall into the trap of asking God to validate what we want instead of submitting to His will. I am certain that you will experience this, but keep at it! Mother Teresa’s book revealed decades of dryness and despair in her prayer life and yet she persevered!
* Eucharistic Adoration is a gift. We are so fortunate to have perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in our parish. Going before the Blessed Sacrament and having quiet prayer time in the presence of Christ often energizes you and becomes a catalyst for dramatically growing your prayer life.
* Practice more listening and less talking in prayer. Adoration is the perfect place to listen to the Lord in complete silence. We are often so busy talking that we fail to hear Him which detracts from our quality prayer time.
* We can’t grow our Faith Journey without growing our Prayer Life! We simply will not grow our relationship with Christ unless we do so through prayer. According to the Catechism (2744): Prayer is the lifeblood of your faith. Without prayer, your faith will die.

Finally, I would like to share some insights on how I pray in hopes that it will inspire you and help you deepen your own prayer lives:

* I start every day by reading the bible or the Magnificat and the scripture for the mass that day. I then read In Conversation With God by Francis Fernandez and reflect on the meditation it contains and how it applies to my life. I follow with prayer and offer the day up to God.

* I have been a Eucharistic Guardian since January of 2007 and this is the best hour of my week. No matter what is happening in my life, I can come into the True presence of Christ and open up to Him in prayer. It is absolutely uplifting and energizing and a great way to start my day.

* I started praying the Rosary just three weeks ago and typically pray it on my way to work or while on the treadmill. I put praying the Rosary off for so long, but it is becoming a critical part of my prayer life and a true blessing. This goes hand in hand with my ever deepening love and appreciation for Mary and asking for her intercession and prayers.

* The Daily Examen, developed by the Jesuits, is a critical part of my daily routine. Basically, we are asked to stop five times throughout the day for a few minutes of reflection and prayer. Each stopping point has a specific purpose such as the Prayer of Thanksgiving, Praying for Insight, Praying that you will find God in all things that day, Praying for your desires and what you seek from God and finally a Prayer about the Future and what you will resolve to do tomorrow. It is best to actually put these 5-minute blocks on your calendar throughout the day so you will be reminded.

* Pray at every meal-public and private. It is important for us be thankful and acknowledge Christ and ask for His blessing.

* My wife and I pray with our children every night. It is important for them to develop their own prayer lives, but they see our example and we also grow by sharing our prayer lives with them.

Brothers and sisters, I certainly don’t have all the answers and I am no expert on prayer. I simply want to share with you as someone who struggles with the same issues and obstacles, that my prayer life and my faith journey have grown together. I didn’t have any kind of prayer life just three years ago and now I couldn’t imagine living a life without one. To me prayer is anytime that I turn my attention to God and away from myself alone. It can be accomplished in a variety of ways and acts. Feeling worthy or inspired is not a great barometer for measuring our prayer life. Praying for….the desire for prayer is worthwhile and a good start.

Big Update

I apologize for being gone for so long. There have been a lot of links submitted since I last updated. Here they are:

Todd: Waiting in Joyful Hope
Reversion Story:Why I am Catholic

Dan: Beatus Vir
Conversion Story: How I Became the Catholic I Wasn't

J.R. Benedicite, Pater reverende

Deana: Simple Joys
Conversion Story: My Faith Journey to the Catholic Church from Fundamentalism/Evangelicalism

Jennifer: Running the Race

Leslie: The Young and Once Good Pundit

Katie: Just Another Catholic Mom

Christian: Viking Vocation

Serena: Reason Supports Belief

Joanna: Everyday Catholic Woman

Sarah: My Wonderful Life

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Travel (leaving tomorrow for another work trip), moving to a new office across town and a new puppy have kept me pretty busy lately. I have an email inbox full of new sites to add to the blogroll and promise I will get them up this weekend.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Seeking Lazarus

Seeking Lazarus

By Randy Hain

I find this to be a difficult and complex topic: Being good stewards of God’s blessings and truly helping those in need. Donating money to good causes is very important, but actually lifting the burdens of the Lazarus in your life is even more essential. If you will recall Jesus’ parable in Luke 16:19-31, Lazarus was the poor man covered with sores lying outside the door of the Rich Man. Lazarus would have been content with simply the scraps from his table, but the Rich Man did not take notice of Lazarus until it was too late-then Lazarus was in Heaven with Abraham while the Rich Man was tormented in Hell.

Proverbs 21:13 says, “He that stops his ear against the cry of the poor shall also cry himself, and shall not be heard.” Let’s prayerfully consider how we can return to basic human interaction with our brothers and sisters in Christ who are struggling and share not only through charitable giving, but also through love, prayer, witness, listening or even a warm embrace. Let’s also expand our definition of Lazarus to include not only the countless poor, sick, homeless and hungry of the world, but also more locally: the jobless neighbor, depressed co-worker, sick relative, financially struggling friend or special needs child that attends school with your own. Lazarus is everywhere in our lives…if we have the courage to seek him.

Consider the possibility that in today’s society our problem is not that we don’t see Lazarus. We see him, accept his plight and either throw money at him or ignore him. I realize that sounds harsh, especially in light of these statistics from a 2006 report written by Giving USA on American philanthropy:

  • In 2006, Americans gave $295.02 billion to their favorite causes, an estimated $11.97 billion more than they gave in 2005. This accounts for a 4.2 percent increase over the previous year.
  • The greatest portion of charitable giving, $222.89 billion, was given by individuals or household donors. In 2006, gifts from individuals represented 76 percent of all contributed dollars.

We obviously live in a financially-generous country. The enormous sums of money that flow from individuals and corporations to good causes is overwhelming. So, what is the problem? I recognize that many people generously give their time, talent and treasure to good causes and they are truly a blessing. But, many of us may be hiding behind walls of our own creation from which we only dispense money to address the problems of the world or worse, we do nothing at all.

As I thought and prayed about this article, I recalled Christ’s words in Matthew 25:35-46: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?' And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.' Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.' Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?' He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.' And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

This scripture is the source of the Catholic Church’s teaching on the 7 Corporal Works of Mercy, which have helped me more deeply understand our obligation, as instructed by Christ, to help the less fortunate. They are:

To feed the hungry
To give drink to the thirsty
To clothe the naked
To shelter the homeless
To visit the sick
To visit the imprisoned
To bury the dead

Nowhere in the scripture or this list do I see instructions to “write a check” or “donate online.” I recently took stock of my own stewardship and was surprised and disappointed that most of what I do consists of raising money for charities, writing personal checks and attending non-profit board meetings. Less than a quarter of my time actually placed me in front of those who needed me the most. I care very much about the charities and groups I help, but I have allowed a wall to be formed around me that keeps me from the personal interaction needed to really make a difference. I know the money I raise and the influence I wield is important, but “showing up” and really ministering to the people in need is what is required. Using our expanded definition of Lazarus, I have countless opportunities around me on a daily basis to help others, but I own the responsibility to be more proactive and reach out. “If a brother or sister be naked, and want daily food, and one of you say to them: Go in peace, be you warmed and filled, yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit?” James 2: 15-16.

If you reflect on the many references to almsgiving in scripture, you must remember that in biblical times, people were most likely seeing, touching and talking directly with the people to whom they were giving alms and showing mercy. Today, however, the size of the world’s population, the economic segregation within our cities, the distance between us and advances in technology often reduces our almsgiving and acts of mercy to a “point and click” exercise on the computer. I know full well that the counter-argument to this article will be that I am negating the impact of financial giving and that there is not enough time to physically be present and reach out to others. I strongly and respectfully disagree. We are running the risk of losing our basic humanity if we continue to avoid the personal interaction I am advocating.

Again, donating money is very important, but showing up and lifting or sharing the burdens of the Lazarus in your life is even more important. My friend and fellow St. Peter Chanel parishioner John Ruane, author of Parish the Thought, An Inspirational Memoir of Growing Up Catholic in the 1960s, gave me his thoughts on the struggles he faces with this issue, “We are all so busy dealing with our own schedules and problems that it has become very easy to walk by Lazarus without seeing him. I find it very easy to recognize and help Lazarus when he or she approaches me on the street asking for food or money. We get into our own pace in life. We have our own habits, our priorities and focus. I have got to get a hundred things done today. I just have to get it done. We are focused on our mission. Taking time to stop, step outside of our habits, our pace - to recognize and help Lazarus, is the new habit I am working to develop.”

How do we reach beyond the cultural, emotional and spiritual walls we have created to show mercy to Lazarus as Christ intended? How do we meet our obligations to help our brothers and sisters in Christ? Are we overwhelmed by the world’s problems or do we feel that they don’t affect us? Is it uncomfortable to be vulnerable enough to admit the problem and act on it? Are we afraid that people will want more from us than we can give? Do we even know where to start? I struggle with these answers myself, but humbly and prayerfully encourage everyone to embrace the following actions or ideas to help us develop the courage and commitment to change our attitude towards Lazarus and make a difference:

· Pray
Pray for the clarity of sight to see Lazarus all around you. Pray for the courage to break free of the silos we have created and help Lazarus. Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide your actions. I am grateful for this insight from my friend and fellow Catholic Charlie Douglas, author of Rich Where It Counts and Awaken the American Dream, “Prayer today is so often about informing God of our wishes and our will. The truth is, however, that prayer is about conforming our will to God's. Jesus made this clear in the Garden of Gethsemane when he earnestly prayed that above all his Father's will be done. And part of our Father's will is to sacrificially carry our crosses in service to the homeless, the poor, the despondent and the unloved. To be the hands and feet of Christ to the Lazarus' all around us is a beautiful prayer.”

· Be Present….and Act Today
Watch, listen and act. Look daily for the presence of Lazarus in your family, friends, co-workers and strangers. Someone is struggling at this very moment with any number of personal ailments or challenges. In fact, we spend the majority of our adult lives at work, so your best opportunity to directly help others may be through your work colleagues. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern who needs your help today….don’t wait until tomorrow. Francis Fernandez shares this insight from In Conversation With God, “We cannot let a single chance of doing good slip through our hands. Today does not come round again, ever, and God expects us to fill it with love and with little acts of service towards others.”

· Love Your Neighbor
God is love. He loves everyone the same without prejudice. From Genesis 5:1-2 we know God created man in his own likeness. We need to remember this as we regain our humanity through the loving generosity we show our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus shares the Great Commandment in Luke 10:27, "First is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. Second is to love your neighbor as yourself."

· Practice and Encourage Generosity
Consider another passage from In Conversation With God, “The greatness of soul our Lord asks of his own will lead us not only to be very generous with our own time and economic means, but also to assist others to feel moved themselves to help, according to their own means, for the good of their fellow man. Generosity always leads people closer to God. On countless occasions this is the greatest favor we can do our friends-encourage and foster their generosity." Scripture says the Lord loves a “cheerful giver.” We must let the love for Jesus that we feel in our hearts be obvious to all we encounter. Forced giving or obligatory assistance to others is not pleasing to Christ and absolutely runs counter to His teachings.

· Faith Without Works is Dead
Get involved by physically being there. There are countless ministries and charities that need help, not just money. Serving at soup kitchens, visiting the elderly, participating in prison ministry, volunteering with the Special Olympics, building homes and schools in Haiti are some of the countless opportunities available. My friend Glen Jackson, head of an Atlanta based PR firm and a faithful servant of Christ recently shared these thoughts with me: “In the Book of James in the New Testament, we read an often quoted and discussed passage: ‘For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead.’ This scripture reminds us that as the body of Christ, we are to work-really work- for our Lord. We are to be men and women of action and joy because the Holy Spirit lives in us.But how should we work? James gives us the answer in a later passage when he says ‘show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.’ It is the type of work that it’s recipients respect, appreciate and are touched by because of its unforced sincerity. Now, you simply can't do this by just sending a check. Our time on earth is a mist that appears for a little while and vanishes. So make the most of it. A prayer to say to help us stay focused is: ‘Lord, help me make a difference for you that is utterly disproportionate to who I am.’ Amen to that and let's press on and be about our work of advancing the kingdom with our time, talent and treasure.”

· Practice Detachment
This may well be the hardest for us to accomplish-detach ourselves from the pursuit of wealth for wealth’s sake and put more time and energy into our relationship with Christ and helping others. Remember Lazarus and the Rich Man? The Rich Man’s wealth and abundance blinded him to the plight of Lazarus and in the end he lost everything while Lazarus was comforted in Heaven. Pope Benedict XVI says, “According to the teaching of the Gospel, we are not owners but rather administrators of the goods we possess: these, then, are not to be considered as our exclusive possession, but means through which the Lord calls each one of us to act as a steward of His providence for our neighbor. In the Gospel, Jesus explicitly admonishes the one who possesses and uses earthly riches only for self. In the face of the multitudes, who, lacking everything, suffer hunger, the words of Saint John acquire the tone of a ringing rebuke: ‘How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses to help?’ (1 John 3:17). In those countries whose population is majority Christian, the call to share is even more urgent, since their responsibility toward the many who suffer poverty and abandonment is even greater. To come to their aid is a duty of justice even prior to being an act of charity.”

· Serve Quietly
We can’t honestly provide aid to Lazarus and honor the Lord if the motivation is recognition and glory for ourselves. As Christ said in Mathew 6:1-4, "(But) take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”

My friend Jacqui Welch, VP of Human Resources for a local Atlanta company and a devout Christian, gave me her thoughts on this topic: “I've found in my own life that the most frequent and uncomplicated opportunities to embody Christ are when only you, Christ and "Lazarus" are watching. Rather than seek opportunities for a "BIG" impact, what has been most fulfilling for me (fulfilling in terms of where I've best exemplified what I think Christ teaches us) have been those quiet moments in the shadows- clasping hands in prayer with a fellow believer, silently wiping tears and simply bearing witness. The checks are necessary but they aren't sufficient. To experience what Christ experienced we have to vigilantly seek those opportunities to serve quietly, to roll up our sleeves and get in the muck and mire of humanity.”

It is a sad indictment of our times that the more perceived gain we see from technology and the pursuit of wealth, the more distant we are becoming from the less fortunate. I have explored the scriptural basis and moral imperative for helping Lazarus, but we are also encouraged to do so through countless scriptural references to “blessings we will receive” and the “building up of treasure in heaven.” Consider the simple and compelling scripture references found in Proverbs 14:21, “He that shows mercy to the poor shall be blessed.” and Proverbs 11:24-25, “Some give freely, yet grow all the richer, others withhold what is due, and only suffer want. A generous person will be enriched.” Hebrews 13:16 says, “Do not forget to do good and to impart; for by such sacrifices God’s favor is obtained.”

God will show us the way if we only ask it and His pleasure is clear and unmistakable when we give freely of ourselves and our treasure to those in need. Jim Schippers, my close friend and the founder of the St. Peter Chanel Business Association, recently shared with me a touching story about his encounter with a homeless person in downtown Atlanta and the struggles he had leading up to that encounter, “Let us be real with God… The more we are honest with God the greater our graces will be. I realize that is such a simple statement, but let me explain what I mean. I work in downtown Atlanta and as I walk to and from work, and during my lunch break, I come across a number of homeless people. As I walk by each and every one of them, conflicts and reasons for not giving rise up within me. What will this person do with the money? I can’t give to every “beggar” that comes across my path, right? Or, I have left my wallet in the office- so no guilt there… I have struggled with this, and interestingly enough as I pass by each homeless person, I find it difficult looking them in the eye. Yes, I have these excuses per se, and after much struggle and stubbornness on my part I asked Christ to help me – I gave to Him my doubts, the whole lot of my feelings (good and bad) regarding this situation. A few nights later I was leaving a Braves game and a homeless person asked me for money. I looked him in the eye and gave him a dollar. He smiled, I smiled back, and peace entered my soul. It took awhile for me to get there, but Christ was with me prodding me along the whole way, all I had to do was be honest with myself and ask for His graces.”

In conclusion, I would again ask that we broaden our definition of Lazarus to include those people you see every day as well as the less fortunate in our community and around the world. Avoid the trap the Rich Man fell in, which cost him a life in torment. As my friend Dr. Ron Young observed, “Most of us are more like the Rich Man than the beggar, Lazarus. We have abundance, especially when compared to the rest of the world. There is so much we can do to reach out to those in need in our everyday lives, but unfortunately we can become so consumed with the trappings of success and relative prosperity (emotional and financial) that we fail to see the people who need us most.” I believe a majority of us want to help and that most are well intended. Try to reflect at different points each day on your actions towards others and examine those missed opportunities to help someone who is struggling, so you can rectify them later. Expanded horizons and active engagement is what is required. Let’s evolve our good intentions to a higher standard where we begin to recognize Lazarus more clearly and frequently and our first words are “please let me help you.” Also, remember that we all have the potential to be Lazarus some day-“There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Catching up

I apologize for not posting in a month. To be honest I didn't check the email but a couple of times during the last month. I needed a break from the blog. In a way I had started feeling hypocritical by keeping up with this blog devoted to converts to the Catholic Faith while I myself was doing little to actually practice it. I think it is important to remember that many converts have their ups and downs, from the sometimes overwhelming zeal of a new convert to the general spiritual apathy that I've been going through the last few months. It is important that we all remember to pray for each other on this spiritual journey.

All that being said, here is what I found in the inbox:

The House of Big Cheese

Today's Catholic

Of Priests and Paramedics with conversion story here


and from Deborah Conversion to Orthodox Catholicism

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Rosary for Vocations. We didn't have quite as many people as hoped and didn't cover the full 24 hours but with prayer a few can accomplish great things.

I wanted to pass along this email I received from a reader however. I think it made the effort worth it just getting this message.

Just wanted to let y'all know that we here at St Thomas Aquinas in Charlottesville, VA are participating a bit early--we started our Adoration for Vocations last night at 6 and are ending around 5 (when Mass starts) tonight--we're the prequel, if you will, to your 24-hr Rosary :) (a good bit of those 23 hours were filled by converts--some fresh out of RCIA this year!) I saw your first post on the Rosary for Vocations and took the idea to my parish, but bc having Adoration and Mass at the same time doesn't really work, we had to go a day early. So thank you for the idea!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

24 Hour Rosary for Vocations: Starting Soon!

If you haven't signed up to participate in praying the Rosary for Vocations, please consider doing so. April 13 is World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Since we are going off the time in Vatican City it starts at 6:00 PM tonight on the US East Coast.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Monday, April 07, 2008

Jennifer's Conversion Story

Jennifer at "ET TU?" share's her conversion storyfrom atheism to Christianity and the Catholic Church.