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.