"Allowing God to be original in His work of converting souls," was the subject of the sermon by our priest a while back. It's one that stuck with me. Whether it's due to eagerness to help, or lack of humility, we all at times want to use our own experience to teach, to show "the way." This, the sermon warned, could put us in danger of interfering with God's unique plan for each individual.
To know the difference of giving spiritual counsel, and to stand out of God's way, calls for Prudence, Prince of all virtues.
I knew what God did for me, but I never thought in terms of His "originality." Once I place my memories in that lens, I marvel at all the wonders God had placed at each turn of that pilgrim's path. "How original, He had been with me!" Ten years sitting in the Sunday masses, frightened by what I might read in the Bible, charmed by secular learning and prestige, pestered by the Marxian mantra that "religion is the opiate of the masses", surrounded by a crowd who prided itself in "subversive" behavior and "de-constructionist" worldview...I resisted change.
I had a Catholic husband, with whom I sat in the pew for ten year. He never lifted a finger to proselytise anyone, including me. I caught him watch mass on EWTN a few times, and felt like an intruder into private space. I made an announcement one day that I would no longer go to mass with him, stating that I did not belong to either the Church or its congregation. He said it would be okay if that was how I felt, but he had to and really liked to go to mass, and he just really liked for me to be there with him at mass. Yes, he said, he just liked it that way.
The following Sunday, I got up and went with him again. I did not make another similar announcement, but would not become a Catholic until at least six years later.
I did not mean to write a conversion story here. Many have assumed that I became Catholic simply because I'm married to one. I don't attempt to dispute their assumption, nor speculate what would have been had I married a Baptist, a Quaker, or a vegetarian, but God did seem to have a purpose in planting me in a Catholic pew first, with a Catholic who did not try to convert me.
And the conversion was not a simple outcome of mystifying twists and turns in circumstances, but rather brought into fruition by death and destruction. That's just another part of the whole story of which I will get into later.
I would not be able to stop if I don't put a brake on this right now. All I wanted to show, is in what utter originality, even bewilderingly so, God had steered me. And all this, was brought on by a brief conversation I had with a friend yesterday about faith and Catholicism.
To be continued...