REAL LIFE CONNECTION
Conversion of Loved Ones
Everyone knows someone who has left the Church, or who we wish would come into the Church. A lot of times these are people we are very close to, and it can be difficult when we don't see eye to eye on the issue of faith.
So what can we do when it comes to these situations?
Sweep Your Own Porch A lot of times it’s easy to have opinions of what others could be doing better with their lives, and when this happens a good phrase to remember is one my first grade teacher always said, “Sweep your own porch.” The best way we can make a case for the faith is leading by example in our own life. Would someone know you were Catholic just by observing your daily routine?
Build a Relationship Building authentic relationships with people around us matter. People are expecting a sermon. Surprise them with love.
The word conversion has gotten a bad rap. In recent years, even leading religious figures have said in so many words that we are not about converting people anymore. This is not true. The last instructions of Christ were, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20) Sharing the faith with others should be a normal part of our life!
Patience and Time Tolstoy had it when he said, “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” Conversion can be the work of a lifetime. I heard a story on the radio of a woman who married a man who did not believe in Jesus. She asked him every Sunday if he wanted to go with her to church. Every Sunday the answer was, “No.” Finally, after decades of this taking place, he said, “Maybe next week.” This response went on for years as well. Then one morning the wife went to ask him if he wanted to come to church, and found him wearing nice clothes, ready to go with her that day. Patience and time won the day. Conversion comes from the Latin word meaning “turned around.” It takes many little steps towards making a full turn to God.
Look at the example of Clotilda and Clovis. Clotilda was smart in that she would capi- talize on positive moments in their relationship, and then bring up the subject of faith. She wasn't afraid to challenge Clovis, but she didn't nag or let those moments turn into blowups.
No doubt this contributed to the admiration Clovis had of Clotilda. He respected her, so he was able to listen to her opinion. I'm sure she would've loved to have had Clovis convert right at the start of their marriage, but that's not what God had in store. You never know how God is going to work on someone's heart. By her patience, Clotilda ultimately won an entire people to Christ.
Not Up to You Ultimately, someone else’s conversion is not up to us. We can only be instruments for God's grace. Step back and entrust the person to the Holy Spirit, the Sacred and Im- maculate Heart, and their patron saint. They want what’s best for the person you love even more than you do!
REFLECTION Ancient prayer to the Holy Spirit
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
Is there someone’s heart and soul you want to entrust to God’s care today?