Friday, May 20, 2011

The Underside of Being a Revert

(no reason for the photo here except I took it on Sunday while out on my run and I thought it was beautiful.  The rock formation in the distance to the left is the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater.)

Tonight is my graduation from Biblical School.  I am excited.  I am thrilled to be seeing my classmates again.  I already miss them!  I already miss the necessity of having my nose in my Bible for hours and hours this week.  I will have to replace this somehow.  Somehow.

Back to the graduation... And the title of the post.  I have invited my daughters.  Well, that sounds like a no-brainer.  But it isn't.  You see, I left the church for 25 years.  The precise 25 years that were the most important for a woman to be a Catholic.  The years when I was raising my children.  I made sure my children were baptized, and that was the end of their religious instruction.  In other words, they have had none.   Or virtually none.

When I came back to the church, I was 40, and my children were teenagers.  I dragged them to church, but not for long.

So now my daughters are coming to Mass tonight.  I am so excited about this.  And nervous.  And frightened.  One of my daughters (the recovering addict and alcoholic) is absolutely covered in tattoos and piercings. I told her she must wear long sleeves and something that comes up to her neck.  I fear that she will find an excuse instead for not coming.

One of my dear friends is coming to the graduation and has agreed to sit with my daughters and coach them on what to do.  I have known this woman for 17 years, and last night as I talked to her I realized she never knew that I ever left the church.  She had no idea that I had ever left the church and therefore didn't raise my kids in the faith.

My real prayer?  That tonight my daughters will see the church the way I see it, with love.  And won't see it the way they have seen it in the past.

This is certainly not too big of a miracle to ask for....


  1. Mary Christine, I lived something along those same lines. At this date, some of mine have converted and some have not. My teens all go to Sunday mass regardless. Here is my belief: 1.they will see what change Jesus in His Church has wrought in me--real, lasting change, so there is a patience and time component--and 2. by attending mass they will be exposed to the presence of Christ, and that alone cannot ever be a futile thing. Regardless of a persons disposition. Certainly, on a natural plane, if a receptive person and a non receptive person both go before His presence; we would be more likely to see an outcome for the receptive one. But since we do not see everything on the spiritual plane, we don't know how the Lord touched that other heart. All I know is that I've seen it, lived it, and wholly believe that a person that encounters the living Christ does not come away unchanged. Yes, I know that there is free will about what actions they will then take, but I am mainly just speaking of the internal. Your daughters will benefit, believe that. And as you already are, live your faith before them. The time for their direct formation may have passed, but now is the time for prayer, sacrifice and most of all, love. God Bless you as you graduate!

  2. May the Lord transform your daughters and Kelly's children. Luckily I did not have children during my stint with atheism, my twenties. But even then i was not an angry atheist like some are today, but one who had made a scientific assessment and regretfully did not see God in the universe. But I would say I was roughly a cultural Catholic, so it would be quite possible I would still have given my children religious instruction. Ironically it was my scientific calculation which brought me back to a belief in God. But that's another story.

    Mary-C, you mentioned bible reading. Out of curiosity, which bible translation did you use in your schooling? Which do you recommend? I like the NAB but it seems difficult for Catholics to settle on a translation.

  3. I so identify with this post. I think the rest of my days will be spent making reparation for any bad examples my past behaviour has set. It follows me round daily.

  4. Thanks Kelly.

    And Manny, it is the Ignatius RSV, 2nd Catholic Ed.

    Ros, it is a lifetime of work to come to terms with the damage we do. But it can be done, of that I am sure.