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Thursday, 24 June 2010

Surprising Conversion

As many of my friends will know, I became a Catholic on Tuesday, the 22 of June, converting from Anglicanism.  I had been an Anglican since the age of eighteen.  I have long been an admirer of Catholic thinkers, poets, and saints, not least Graham Greene, my favourite prose writer of the 20th century.  Lowell is one of my favourite poets, as is FT Prince.  My vision of the Church is a broad and open one, and while I am aware of its many actual and perceived faults - many the result of the humanity at the heart of any organisation of global-historical reach - I am also aware of the rich, various and deeply-felt spiritual life that many Catholics live.  I hope to be a part of the Church's ongoing struggle for relevance and renewal in a time of high science and secularism - also a time of environmental and capitalist crisis, when no other world organisation speaks so powerfully against war, pollution, or capitalism's faults.

Yes, I know that some of the official positions of the Church are difficult.  Many Catholics struggle with them.  I also know that the existence of God is open to debate.  I am no stranger to dark nights of the soul.  But the point is, however dark, those nights are of the soul.  I have always sensed the real presence of souls within persons.  I have sensed transcendent possibilities, higher realms.  This idealism, and belief that love is the single most important virtue and gift, made me attentive to the Sermon on the Mount.  Christ is the wisest teacher of all.  And more.  This is my faith, my belief - and it is not one I would ever want to compel another to follow.  But should anyone wonder how to navigate this difficult passage known as life, I would suggest that faith offers as much or more, than abject nihilism.  Despair tastes good on the cynic's tongue for a few hours, but stales in time.
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