• Ed The Protestant

I Didn't See This Coming

My approach to Catholicism (as a lifelong Protestant) has been pretty much intellectual, not emotional—trying to understand the theology, airing my concerns, getting my questions answered and so forth. I thought that if I did end up converting, it would be because I was satisfied with all that. Greg pointed out a while back that not everyone comes to the Catholic Church intellectually, but through many avenues—through the beauty of the liturgy, the reassuring structure, etc. I thought, ‘Well, that’s fine, I can see that, but that’s not my way into all this.’

Until the Mary podcast.

I was moved by the Mass I attended earlier this year, but it was kind of a one time deal. I didn’t stay moved very long after. But this Mary thing--I was just so…compelled by the picture Greg painted of a young woman given a once-in-history chance to partner with God in the redeeming back of mankind. I was moved by the image of that young woman saying ‘yes’ to God. The feeling surprised me. I didn’t see it coming.

As we wrapped up the recording, I thought, ‘I want very badly to be a part of this. I want IN on this.’ It wasn’t something I had to think over, not something I went home and considered. I wanted right then to belong to that group of people who counted Mary as their spiritual mother, the Second Eve. The thought that she is still alive, doing that thing that God gave her to do, still Jesus’ mother, still talking with him—it was an overwhelming thing. A much, much bigger thing than expected, and I could see myself as part of it.

When the podcast came out, I listened again, and came away still compelled, still wanting in. I think that if (or when) I do convert to Catholicism, I’ll look back at that afternoon and say, ‘That’s where I tipped over the edge’.

I thought Catholicism would come in through the front door, all polite and formal. Turns out it's coming in through the kitchen, bringing something that smells so good I just have to partake.