I am a convert to Catholicism; born and baptized in the Methodist Church but lived a life as a suburban secularist – God just wasn’t important. But, as I was trying to understand better why the Catholic church was an anathema to the human race I began to realize the great lie of secularists. The only way that God wasn’t important is if you ignored Him. He was and is there, He was and is in love with me. He was and is who always makes me more human. This process of coming to terms with, and growing in the real truth was my road home to Catholicism.
That road was paved with great people and great words. I owe my understanding of the faith to, primarily, the writings of Pope St. John Paul the great, Dr. Peter Kreeft, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger among others. The authors of my conversion were the great points of clarity. But as great as they were (and are) they are points in time. I step back from life to read and understand. But as Peter, James and John had to come down from Mt. Tabor I needed to put the books and papers down and go back into my life. This connection, this taking the truths and using them in my life was helped by another – a little nun in Northern Alabama. Mother Angelica’s EWTN was the connection between these great writers and leaders and living a life in society. Her enthusiasm for our God radiated through her television station and deep into my soul. Through her and the programming of EWTN, I found that life could be lived within the faith joyfully. I came to know that my life lived in Christ didn’t mean a life of repression and boredom but a life of true freedom and vigor. The great truths of our faith didn’t hinder me but gave me fullness. And of course, her ministry showed me that entertainment could be more than mind numbing titillation that left you empty and hungry, it could be life altering and empowering.
Thank you Lord for the gift of Mother Angelica from the very first years of my conversion and for her EWTN legacy. May I, in some small way, pass forward what she and her community gave to this former ‘suburban secularist’ – a life in Christ.
Requiescat in pace Mother Angelica