Conversion

A Lesson in Three Conversions

The Year of Faith began with a challenge from the Holy Father Emeritus: “We cannot accept that salt should become tasteless or that light be kept hidden.” During this last intense year of renewal, Catholics have been reminded again and again that our age calls for vigilance. For the embers of Western Civilization glow but [...]

Sign of Hope: Anglican Nuns Become Catholic

I have had, as we all have, many good moments in my life as a Catholic (greatly outweighing the inevitable bad ones); but yesterday was one of the very best. Have I ever, I try to recall, had such a vivid sense of how glorious it is to be a Catholic, of the transcendent splendor [...]

Submerged in the Ocean: Challenges Often Arise After Catholic Conversion

By the time I was received into the Catholic Church 15 years ago I had already read a number of stories of conversions to the faith—Newman’s Apologia, Avery Dulles’ A Testimonial to Grace, Scott Hahn’s Rome Sweet Home, and many others in essay or book form. I still love reading conversion stories, not just from [...]

Courage & Conversion: An Interview with Hadley Arkes

Hadley Arkes is the Edward N. Ney Professor in American Institutions at Amherst College and one of the country’s most prominent proponents of natural-law jurisprudence. He is the author of numerous books, including First Things (from which the journal took its name) and Natural Rights and the Right to Choose. His latest is a collection of [...]

Charity in the Face of Opposition

"But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." —Matthew 5:44 That's a tough order, to love your enemy.  But it's direct from Christ and a non-negotiable for a Christian.  I understand the meaning behind Christ's words, but can often struggle in implementing them. When someone spits in your face, [...]

Tim Pawlenty’s Ex-Catholic Piety

Tim Pawlenty had a bad week on the campaign trail, but I can't write him out of the running for the GOP presidential nomination just yet, for one simple reason: Patrick Hynes. Hynes is a friend and former colleague and a major New Hampshire-based political consultant to the Pawlenty campaign who has a very good [...]

There Ain’t No Pure Church

Some people become Catholic because the Church is a communion of sinners and slobs who are losers, oddballs, factory rejects, and broken dunderheads who can't tell their butt from a hole in the ground and who have messed up their lives so badly that they know only God can save them. They don't know from [...]

The Way of Conversion

The emblematic conversion stories have traditionally emphasized drama. As Saul approached Damascus, intending to bring any who belonged to the Way to Jerusalem for judgment by the chief priests, "suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, 'Saul, Saul, why do you [...]

Six Imperfect Metaphors for Conversion

   A friend's therapist once suggested that she consider becoming Episcopalian. Wouldn't that be so much easier than wrestling with all her Catholic angst?   This suggestion made me think about the many misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding religious faith -- and, maybe especially, religious conversion. No metaphor can really capture the wild variety of conversion [...]

Contraception and Conversion

  Sometimes a "progressive" Catholic asks me why my family and I became Catholics. As often rapidly becomes clear, the Episcopal Church we left is his ideal for the Catholic Church. We had married priests, women priests, homosexual priests, no doctrinal restrictions, evolving moral standards, and an official reason to be rude to the pope. [...]

Making the Leap

It’s always touchy discussing a recent religious conversion. But there are times when a conversion is so public that talk is bound to come. Such was the case last month when Francis Beckwith, the president of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS), announced his return to the Catholic Church. Beckwith had been raised Catholic but left [...]

Catholic and Apostolic

If all the converts who entered the Catholic Church were to tell about their road to Rome, it would probably appear that no two of them followed exactly the same route. It does not surprise us, having accepted the claim of the Church to be the "pillar and ground of truth," that as many roads [...]

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