A Conversion Update
Hey, for those of you who are subscribers, thank you for reading and subscribing. For those who are readers, thank you for reading. For those who want to know more about my personal life, you’re gonna get a treat.
I have a hard time opening up sometimes, but I want you to know that things are well. I feel satisfied, and fulfilled. I still miss my church, and the people I used to lead. It’s not easy going from Baptist pastor to Catholic layman sometimes, but I am managing and Kassie always helps.
I sometimes feel that maybe I waited too long to convert, the journey now has a more contemplative and somber tone, instead of the fire that was so ardent in my interior life two years ago. I think that it’s for the best though, that I be made sober. I am full of joy, it’s just hidden much of the time, I am not worried, or in pain, just sober-minded and vigilant.
I feel as though something is waiting to be discovered, and I’m not sure what it is, but when i find it, I will let you know.
Anyways, I wanted to say that life is good. I feel that I’m spiritually developing, and that this is very, very good. I feel connected to the Church at large and to all the saints. Recently, I have started to look into working for Catholic Charities, maybe with immigration or some other place where my bilingual skills could be best put to service.
If you follow me on twitter you’ll notice I’ve been watching lots of movies, mostly because film is a way for me to clarify my thoughts and engage reality on another level. There’s nothing like watching movies to me, and I feel hard pressed to find something as soothing or as contemplative as watching films.
Christmas is right around the corner and it’s the first time I’ll ever have spent Christmas itself away from home. I have always spent Christmas with my family, except once before. This time rings of permanence, and change, and that’s a bittersweet thing. I miss my family, but I’m also excited to be spending it with Kassie’s family, who are jovial and good-natured people full of light and love and welcome.
I think the biggest challenge I face related to conversion right now is the waiting. I cannot express how long the waiting seems to be taking, but if Jesus had to wait, I know I must also. I’m trying to see the good in waiting, even if it frustrates me at times. I know that God is with me, the Holy Spirit has worked through my friends and fellow converting colleagues to work in all of us a network of support, guidance and love, and I know we are all benefitting.
The following are things I have been thinking on. The first is one that has popped up this week is a line from scripture: “My flesh is real food” -Jesus in John ch. 6
I have been meditating on this, and how, if these words are historically accurate, they have profound existential meaning for the life of Jesus. “My flesh is real food,” he was fully aware of what was going to take place, the anguish and the sorrow of his very self he connects to the meal, making himself the passover, the One who allows God to spare Israel. He is saying that He is the manna of God, the bread which brings life to those in the wilderness.
That’s deep, troubling, and illuminating all at once. It is concurrent with the repeated appearance of the line: “O come, O come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel.” It is my Advent meditation, to think on how the infant Jesus, becomes a man, and bears for us all, the weight of sin, to bring to us the hope of glory. “My flesh is real food,” he says. He offers us Himself, and it struck me.
The sorrow of this Jesus, it hit me afresh the other day, and never before have I felt so deep a pain when thinking on those words.
This other line is from an Orthodox prayer:
“…[T]hou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ Our God...”
This line happens in a prayer before reading the gospel/scripture, and asks for God’s illumination. The food, from the above meditation, has echoed in my mind with this line of this prayer, and I think it’s for the best. Christmas is indeed a time of illumination, a time of welcoming God into our lives once again, and making room for God to once again reshape us, to refashion us, to illuminate us.
Come Holy Spirit, kindle your fire in the hearts of the faithful, bring us to Christ, the King of All Worlds.