Three years ago today our little family of four became part of the Catholic Church. These have been three beautiful grace-filled years that warm my heart with gratitude. We are now a family of five. Since our oldest was only two at the time, my husband and I are two converts raising, essentially, three cradlers. I’m grateful for the perspective that we bring to our kids as converts; I think we are less likely to take the Church for granted, and I hope that translates to a deep appreciation of their Church as they grow up.
I’m also a little envious of them; Catholicism will be all they have ever known, a constant in their life of faith and walk with Christ. Yet, living as a family of converts and cradlers together, I see what a gift we are to each other. And I think that all Catholics should embrace this gift. Here are just a few opportunities that I see for each perspective to benefit the other:
Converts can bring a fresh understanding of the sacraments, while cradlers can instill an understanding of sequence in the sacraments.
Converts can give birth to an energized faith; cradlers can embodied a constancy of faith over time.
Converts often bring the awe of discovering Christ in the Eucharist; cradlers have experienced years of meditating on the mystery of the Eucharist.
Converts embrace Church teaching as much-needed guideposts for their walk with Christ; cradlers preserve Church teachings as the pillars that have sustained the Church throughout the ages.
The list could probably go on and on. Whether you are a cradle-Catholic or a convert, you bring a needed perspective to your brothers and sisters in the Church. We can learn from each other’s experiences and we can help edify each other’s faith in unique ways. After all, as the Church, we are just a big family of converts and cradlers living under one roof.
What about you? What are additional ways that you as a cradler have benefited from the perspective of a convert or vice versa? Post in the comments!
I grew up pretty familiar with faith apologetics. That doesn’t mean I was some wiz at it, able to recite Bible verses and creeds off the cuff or reference philosophical proofs for God on demand. But I understood the mandate to “be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). I participated in my share of debate, mock trial, and worldview camps (yes, I was a cool kid), and I learned some principal ways that Christians can defend their faith and make an argument for its truth to others. Continue reading “Conversion Memoir Entry #8: A Living Apologetic…the Domestic Church”→
I still recall from my childhood learning the first question and answer of the Westminster Catechism: What is the chief and highest end of man? Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God and fully to enjoy him forever. This is the catechism used by Reformed churches, but I never heard it in church. My mom thought it would be a good idea for us to try and learn the Catechism (even though we did not attend a Reformed church at the time). The discipline didn’t last very long, and was soon abandoned. But over all these years I have remembered that first line. I also remember being a little confused about what the Catechism was and which churches professed it. I sort of understood that John Calvin and other early Protestant theologians contributed various portions of different versions of Protestant catechisms, but I also got the feeling that these were old documents that newer churches didn’t use that much anymore, because, well, they didn’t. Continue reading “Conversion Memoir Entry #7: The Gift of the Catechism”→