To the Converts and the Curious

 

 

I’ve told you all before: I’m a cradle Catholic. 

 

That’s what they call those of us who were born, raised, and remain Catholic. Fitting, as we are also one of the Christian denominations that practices infant baptism.

 

rosary

 

Cradle Catholics grow up in the church, typically sitting there in the pew, right beside our parents. In general, Catholicism doesn’t lend itself toward “church nurseries” and the kids remain right there throughout the Mass.

 

We attend church school classes, which we often call CCD, and we go to Mass with varying regularity– some, like me, are raised in a family that attends every Sunday, even when away on vacation. Others might only grace the inside of a church for the major holidays. That’s just the way it goes.

 

But, either way, this is what I really want you to know–

 

The people who have arguably taught me the most about my faith? The people who have helped me resolve the tough questions? The people who’ve strengthened my convictions and helped me feel more confident in what I believe?

 

They’re not who you think.

 

They’re not the other cradle Catholics.

 

They’re not my former church school teachers.

 

They’re not even the priests.

 

Though all those people definitely had an important role in my faith journey, they’re not the ones I credit with helping me grow the most.

 

The ones who’ve helped me learn and grow and question the most?

 

Are the converts.

 

The converts– and the curious– teach us so very much.

 

I cannot begin to express my appreciation and gratitude to those who, as adults, begin to wonder about Catholicism and venture through that door. These are the people who allow themselves to explore and learn and decide, not as tiny children or adolescents or even teens, typically, but as grown-ups.

 

Their “CCD” experience is different. Their exploration is different. Their questions are different.

 

And they teach us so very much.

 

So today, as a most-definite cradle Catholic, I extend my sincerest thanks to the converts and the curious–

 

you make a beautiful difference in the world.

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2 comments to To the Converts and the Curious

  • Marcia

    As an RCIA Catholic, I have to say that my appreciation of the Catholic faith comes from watching it play out daily in the lives of my husband’s family, and now our family. I didn’t convert until I was pregnant with our first, but due to the influence the Church had on my husband through his saintly parents, we were married in the Church five years prior. I was raised Baptist, so in the early days when we were dating, frequently we’d call his mom to settle some theological point for us. She continued (and still does to this day) to pray for our family. When I decided to go through RCIA, I could have chosen my husband for my sponsor, but I chose my MIL. She has been a Godly witness to living the faith daily to me. She raised eight children. Of those, four have fallen away, but she continues to pray for them daily. In her eighties now, she still attends Mass at least weekly and on all Holy days of obligation. I can only hope to be a pale imitation of this wonderful, Cradle Catholic woman. I feel that someday a spouse of one of your children feel something similar about you. Your love of your God and your faith are one of the things that keep me reading your blog daily.

    • Marcia… I’ve spent the last several days lingering over your comment and trying to come up with an adequate response, but I’ve been unable to formulate anything eloquent. Please just know that I truly cherish your words. They struck me deeply and they make me aspire to do better and grow more. I am so grateful to you for sharing the story of your mother-in-law and the amazing example she has served. Thank you. xo-JL

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