Thursday, March 13, 2008

Amazing Grace – The Sacraments and My Conversion

I was raised in the Catholic Church, sort of. Here is part of my conversion story on Steve Ray's web site. We attended Church but didn’t really live the faith at home, and it was not a particularly loving home, so the Good News of a loving God become man to guide us into heaven wasn’t really a message that sunk in. By the time I was done with college I had some Jungian notion of a collective unconscious. Kind of absorbed the BS along with my BA you might say. While I’m not sure I ever completely tossed the idea of God, he was certainly not a consideration in any of my decision making. But the Lord is loving and patient slow to anger and abounding in love, and he waited for me.

The sholder injuries I speak of in my conversion story on Steve’s site set the stage to soften my heart to God. I was calling out to him and he answered!!!! Still, I didn’t amend my lifestyle in any way, I didn’t run to Jesus or return to God in any way. Then came 9/11. That was the day I converted. That was the day I knew as I watched those toweres fall that evil exists, not as an abstraction but as a very real entity. I knew in an instant that there is a right and a wrong. That sliding scale morality, a morality set by man was a falicy. I knew that the BS I was fed as I was earning my BA was a stinking pile. I knew that truth existed and I set out to find it.

I didn’t spend to long in Prostentanisim, even though I liked it there. I liked the emotional contemporary music. I liked the fellowship, the enthusiasim and the zeel for souls. I liked the young families, I liked being involved in the Children’s ministry. I liked all of the social aspects of the evangelical church we were attending. The doctrine however, not so much. I knew my time there was limited when the head Pastor stated in a sermon that there is no such thing as Original Sin and in the same breath spoke of a “Sin Nature” that we all posses. I believe that would be concupiscence buddy, although I didn’t know that at the time. I also had a bizarre conversation about the Eucherist with the youth pastor where he suggested going to Catholic Church for communion and not believing anything else they taught. It was over, the duplicity was simply to much. You can’t attack and embrace the Church in one sentence. Repackage Her doctrines with your own language and call them your own, and call her apostate in the same breath! Oh Please! That was it, home to Rome, put on your suit honey, we’re swimming the Tiber.

How do the sacraments fit in, in particular my reception of the Sacraments as a child? I didn’t understand them, could not have cared less that I had received them, didn’t thank Jesus for them, did my best to ignore them. And still the seeds of God’s Grace were there!!! Jesus works throught the Sacramental life of his Church. The Holy Spirit takes up residence in our souls when we receive the sacraments. Frankly, that is a huge advantage in this life, even if we do our best to run as fast and as far from God as possible. Even if we are indoctronated into lifestyles and thinking that are opposed to God, still the seeds of the Sacraments remain, and the Hound of Heaven waits patiently to begin watering his garden of souls. God’s Grace in the Sacraments is a huge advantage in the ferreting out of BS. Reception of the Sacraments plants Truth in our souls. Our job as those who’s seeds have sprouted and begun to grow is to live authenticaly Christian lives planting the seeds of God’s Grace into the lives of others, and carrying our watering cans along with way.

Lord, protect and guide your Church. Send your Holy Spirit to instruct us, and your holy angels to protect us. Give us a spirit of boldness to live authentic Christian lives participating fully in the Sacramental life of the Church, and teaching our children to do the same. We ask this through Christ our Lord, amen.

No comments: