Entering the Fullness of Faith

Suddenly the world isn’t what it used to be.  You notice that the way people talk is overwhelmingly vulgar, because now your ears are accustomed to the sweet song of Christ.  When the Lord’s name is taken in vain, you wince, or feel a pang in your heart.  When the Blessed Virgin is treated as a mere baby-producing vehicle, or as a secret adulteress, your heart sheds a bit of blood.

Friends are noticing something different about you.  They notice that you don’t swear as much as you used to, that your interests have changed, that suddenly you  have grown quiet – “sullen” they call it.  Death is much more real – not only loss, but gain.

The pleasures of the world – the frivolity, the obsession with celebrity, the emptying of the soul through all kinds of temporal things – these suddenly taste as acid to the palate.  You notice the vulgarity of the mass media in all its forms, sin as all-encompassing all around you but also most of all within yourself.

People wonder why you don’t eat meat on Fridays anymore, or why little sufferings don’t bother you but make a smile light up your face.  Suddenly, you feel outraged at society’s callousness towards life – the young, the weak, the old, the sick.  Society’s values are no longer your own.  There is a pressing weight on your soul, the weight of the cross bearing down in your heart.

But it’s not just the world – even other Christians have questions and comments.  Other Christians do not accept you either.  To some, you are a heretic or worse.  To some, you are a follower of antichrist and an idolater.  Others mock the fact that you think religion itself is important.

You find that all things suddenly point to God or away from Him – either way, He is inescapeable.  No longer can you run on down the years as you flee that hound of heaven – you are trapped.  You have surrendered.  Your life is no longer your own, and you can feel Someone directing it.  You are the boat in the storm, the rickety little raft, but Someone is directing you along.  Someone has control over those waves that lash the side of your soul.

Holy Communion is greatly looked forward to – you feel like your heart is collapsing in on itself as you receive the very God who made you and who will one day be your Judge, but also your defender in the heavenly courts.

You no longer hide your icons and your rosaries, but hang them in places where they are always seen  You look in ardor and longing upon that passionate Heart of Christ and the tender Heart of Mary as comforts in your life.  You pray at the drop of a hat.

Life is no longer what it used to be.  It used to be long dark nights, full of rage, Luciferian rebellion, hedonism, nothingness, long lines of tombs and hallways and atheist commentaries; a constant, continual wrestle with God.

But all this is behind you now.  You are a new creature in Christ, by virtue of your baptism.  What shall you do now?  Where shall you go?  What can you say?  Can you shine like a gem in the great edifice of the Church?  Will you attain your goal, which is Christ?  Or will you fall short?  What will become of you now?

To be sure, the life of a convert is ever-changing, continually rollicking, seemingly foundationless.  But your foundation is solid: Christ, the sturdy stone.  You stand upon the Rock.  You are a member of the household of Jesus; you are guided by the Spirit.  Nothing can separate you from Christ but your own will.

What will you do? Continue to follow Christ until the end — no matter what befalls you!

Jason Liske, who blogs under the name "The Idler," is a writer and poor sinner who converted to the Catholic faith from Seventh-Day Adventism.
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