Thursday, November 8, 2012
Signs That Your Faith Is Changing You
Suddenly, the world isn't what it used to be. You'll begin to notice the way people talk as increasingly vulgar, because now your ears are attuned to the values that separate you from the world. When the Lord's name is taken in vain, you will wince, or feel a pang in your heart. When the Blessed Virgin is treated as a mere baby-producing vehicle and nothing more, or as secretly an adulteress in the world's view, your heart will shed a little blood.
And people will notice that you suddenly aren't the same person anymore. They will notice that you don't swear as much as you used to, that your interests have changed, that suddenly you may have grown quiet - "sullen" they will call it. Death will be much more real - not only loss, but gain.
The pleasures of the world - the frivolity, the obsession with celebrity, the emptying of the soul through all kinds of temporal things - these will all suddenly taste as acid to the palate. You might notice the vulgarity of the mass media in all its forms, sin as all-encompassing all around you but also most of all within yourself.
People will wonder why you don't eat meat on Fridays anymore, or why little sufferings don't bother you but make a smile light up upon your face. Suddenly, you feel abhorred by society's callousness towards life - the young, the weak, the old, the sick. Society's values are no longer your own. There is a pressing weight on your soul, the weight of your cross bearing down in your heart.
But it's not just the world - even other Christians will have questions and comments. Other Christians will not accept you either. To some, you will be a heretic or worse. To some, you will be declared a follower of antichrist and an idolater. To others, they will mock the fact that you think religion itself is important, and espouse themselves as enlightened and spiritual instead.
You might find that all things suddenly point to God or away from Him - but now, He is inescapeable. No longer can you run on down the years as you flee that hound of heaven - you are caught. You have surrendered. Your life is no longer your own, and you can feel Someone directing it. You are the boat in the storm, the rickety little raft, but Someone is directing you along. Someone has control over those waves that lash the side of your soul.
Holy Communion will be something greatly looked forward to - you might feel like your heart is collapsing in on itself as you receive the very God who made you and who will one day be your Judge, but also your defender in the heavenly courts.
You might no longer hide your icons and your rosaries, but hang them in places where they are always seen You will look in ardor and longing upon that passionate Heart of Christ and the tender Heart of Mary as comforts in your life. You will pray at the drop of a hat.
Life will no longer be whatever it used to be. For me, it was long dark nights, full of rage, Luciferian rebellion, hedonism, nothingness, long lines of tombs and hallways and atheist commentaries; a constant, continual wrestle with God.
But all this is behind you and I now. We are new creatures in Christ, by virtue of our baptism. What shall we do now? Where shall we go? What can we say? Can we be shining gems in the great edifice of the Church? Will we attain our goal, who is Christ? Or will we fall short? What will become of us now?
To be sure, the life of a convert is ever-changing, continually rollicking, seemingly foundationless. But our foundation is Christ, the most sure foundation of all. We stand upon the Rock. We are members of the household of Jesus, and are guided by the Spirit. Nothing can separate us from Christ but our own will.
What will you and I do? Follow Christ until the end. No matter what befalls us.