Oh Lord, purify me, make me a chalice in which you dwell, offer your sacrifice in me and spread your love through me. Let me shine like gold, adorn me with the jewels of virtue that I may always be open to you. Fill me. Overflow me. Let me be like that most perfect vessel, the Singular Vessel of Devotion, She to whom I cry for protection against the Evil One. I ask this for your glory, for the vessel is nothing without the sustenance inside, the cup nothing unless it is filled. Oh Lord, purify me.

Give me a word, Abba

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Constant Conversion

So, of course one of the things I was most looking forward to on fall break was going to Mass at my parish here in Milwaukee, St. Anthony of Padua. It has always been the most enriching liturgical experience for me and plus we got a new pastor over the summer. And he's awesome.

He does this thing every once in a while, a Faith Formation talk after the 10:00 Mass. He's focusing on Nature and Grace. All well and good. In answer to a question about Conversion, he talked about how St. Paul's conversion wasn't just falling off a horse and hearing a voice in the sky. He kind of had to work on coming closer to, turning toward Christ. A constant conversion. He never stopped working because he knew that he would get sloppy and probably just fall into sin.

Anyone who isn't perfect needs to convert. That's all of us. All the time.

I went to a summer camp two summers ago and the chosen theme was "Saul II Paul" (Somewhat cheesily making the word "to" be roman numerals). It was all about conversion and how even "great" Christians have to convert their lives to Jesus Christ. It's a life-long journey/race/party/what have you.

I was once again reminded of this while reading Conversion Diary (the continuation of "The Reluctant Atheist" I posted about last time). Back in 2007, the author wrote this. It reminded me so much of the kinds of thoughts that pass through my mind concerning the amazingness of creation and the whole "Wow, all this science seems so symbolic of what I believe to be a super-scientific reality". Of course, that got me thinking about the differences and similarities between myself and the author of that blog, and the main one that struck me was she's a "convert" and I'm not. Yet we still have these similar amazing discoveries and thoughts about God and creation. Then it struck me. We are ALL converts. We never stop being, and even though at the time she had already been received into the Church and was pretty gung ho about things, she wasn't done by any long shot. And neither am I. The more we find out about God, the more we want to find out and the more we find that there is to find out. We are never completely there. That's kind of why the Incarnation had to happen, considering our distance from God. He had to become one of us to show us what perfect conversion looked like.

Well, if the life if Jesus is any indication, it's not going to be pretty, but Gosh I am constantly amazed at the beauty of the universe. Suffering can be beautiful too. In fact, it is the topic of so much beautiful art, it's easy to see why. In the "ideal" state of art, suffering is beautiful. In the same way, if we submit ourselves to The Artist, he can write our pain into beauty and the world will no longer look like twisted metal sticking out of irregularly shaped cement blocks, but more like the San Damiano Crucifix. Well, that's probably a topic for a whole 'nother blog post.

Over and out, fellow converts.

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