Another long Lenten journey has come to a close. Tonight we celebrate the great Easter Vigil. Thousands of people will be welcomed into the Catholic Church around America. Wow! What an exciting moment. I know it is one that will never be forgotten for the many catechumens and candidates who will be welcomed into full communion this night.
This always makes me recount my own faith journey. Though I was not born into the Catholic Church, we joined when I was too young to remember otherwise. I vaguely recall going to a couple of other churches when I was very young, but I still consider myself a cradle Catholic. That being said, I think that far too many cradle Catholics take their faith for granted. For many, it is much more of a cultural thing. After a while if they go to church at all, it may be just at Christmas and Easter. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not throwing rocks. I used to be one myself!
That is why I love to talk with these converts. They have made a conscious decision to come into the Church. They desire to learn about what Holy Mother Church really teaches and believes. And they must agree with those teachings and beliefs. Otherwise, why join? Those of us who are cradle Catholics must make that conscious decision, too. In fact, we must decide every day whether we wish to follow Christ and His Church or follow someone or something else. Let us welcome our new brothers and sisters in Christ, and try to be the example to them that they are to us.
Father, we pray for all those “newly minted” Catholics. May they flourish in your Church, and help the Church to flourish in the world. Amen.
Amen Gus – and a very Happy and Blessed Easter to you and your family!
Thank you for being such a big part of my faith journey! I come here every day, continue with Fr. Mike and the Bible in a Year, and do other things to learn and grow.
Converts to the faith played a big role in getting me going. Here I am, a cradle Catholic with 13 years of parochial school, and I knew less about my faith than many “newcomers.” Much like my wife’s cousin who passed her citizenship exam – and then started asking all of us who were born here some of the questions that were put to her! No surprise that she knew more than the 30 or so of us combined who were at her party!
You also reminded me of our Amish sisters and brothers who get baptized when they are young adults (late teens to early twenties) when they have a full knowledge of the faith. Food for thought.