Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Trouble With Converts...

Jeff Tucker writes about his feelings in his article, I Hate Converts on Beliefnet. A little bit of generalizing, but he has some good points. Jeff is himself a former Southern Baptist, like myself.
The life of a new Catholic begins with confession and then reception of the Holy Eucharist at the Easter Vigil, when many converts receive the first communion they have ever received in their lives. They are the center of the entire congregation's attention, and the grandeur of the Easter liturgy seems designed for them alone. They are the toast of the Catholic town.

That's also when the trouble starts. Gone is the humility of the confessional, as the pride of having grabbed the brass ring takes over. Many new converts make the mistake of believing that there is nothing else to learn, no more questions to ask, no issues in dispute. Since all seems settled and done with, it is time take on the world?the Catholic world especially. They become know-it-alls who appoint themselves as the fixer-uppers of the whole faith

... Converts should remember that after the Easter of baptism comes the Second Sunday of Easter. In past times, that day was sometimes called Quasimodo Sunday because the traditional Latin entrance hymn of the Mass says: Quasi modo geniti infantes, rationabiles, sine dolo lac concupiscite. That means that converts should be like newborn infants guilelessly drinking sweet milk from God.

Newborn infants. That?s the message. Remember the old adage that children should speak only when spoken to? You don't have to take it literally, but it's good cautionary advice. I suggest that converts first live the real day-to-to-day lives of Catholics for a while--and it's not always easy?before they dictate to the rest of us how to live.
This is why I have some problems with certain converts being hired as official Catholic apologists or Master Catechists in their parishes during their first year of being Catholic... I know there is a temptation to want to tell the world about the beauty of the Catholic faith, and that is something we shoudn't suppress at all! But we should be humble about it. In living the faith out, we come to a much more solid and realistic appreciation for it... and speaking from personal experience (as a convert know-it-all), I recommend that some converts seek spiritual direction after their reception into the Church. In fact, I would almost say it should be required that each convert be assigned a spiritual director. I would recommend the same for any Catholic who is serious about developing his/her spiritual life.

It's really sad to see some converts resort to being bitter and critical of the Church and its leaders within only one month after their reception of the sacraments. What does that really say?

Friday, October 13, 2006

All Saints Day Meme

Alas, I was tagged for this meme by Custos Fidei...

1. If you were invited to a Halloween/All Saints Day Costume Party, which saint would you dress up as and why? (The Blessed Virgin Mary,the Mother of God, is not an option.)
St. Thomas Aquinas, if only for the Dominican habit alone! being married will make it a little awkward... but, I don't think the wife'll mind too much!
2. Which saint or other person would accompany you to the party?
Meister Eckhart, St. Augustine of Hippo, Martin Luther, and a beer or two. There's your party right there.
3. What famous quote would help others identify you?
Sciences are differentiated according to the various means through which knowledge is obtained. For the astronomer and the physicist both may prove the same conclusion: that the earth, for instance, is round: the astronomer by means of mathematics (i.e. abstracting from matter), but the physicist by means of matter itself. Hence there is no reason why those things which may be learned from philosophical science, so far as they can be known by natural reason, may not also be taught us by another science so far as they fall within revelation. Hence theology included in sacred doctrine differs in kind from that theology which is part of philosophy.

They'll never forget who I am.
4. Describe your costume.
the Dominican habit... or some likeness... that's all I need.
5. Which movie or film best depicts the life of this saint?
I don't believe there is a movie or film... hmm...
6. What is your favorite book written about this saint or that he or she has written?
The Summa Theologica...


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