I was a junior in high school when I had my conversion. Sixteen years old and terribly insecure, I was longing for love and acceptance. One spring evening on a Confirmation retreat, I opened my hands and heart and asked Jesus to love me.
Did I mention I’m a cradle Catholic? I grew up in the Church, attended religious education classes and even served in the nursery and as an altar server. I went to Mass every Sunday.
I knew about God. I thought about God. I believed in God. I even loved God.
I had my conversion of heart when I encountered the Person of Jesus. Kneeling uncomfortably on the wooden floor of a retreat house, I finally understood that the God I knew and thought about and believed in and even loved, loved me, too. Had loved me all along.
There was no lightning, and I didn’t fall from a horse, but even though there were no fireworks and I was already a practicing Catholic, my heart was undeniably converted.
What about you? When did you first encounter Jesus?
That’s the kind of conversion I’m talking about here. It doesn’t have to be as dramatic as murderer-turned-evangelist like Saint Paul, whose conversion we celebrate today. I want to know about your conversion from spectator to follower. From Catholic as culture or adjective, to a personal relationship with a Living Person.
From knowing about God to knowing Him intimately.
From loving God to letting God love you.
Christ wants to be your most important relationship and the purpose for your life. It’s the fullness of life He intended for us, and the only satisfaction we will find this side of Heaven.
All you have to do is open your hands to receive it.