Another step in my conversion story – After my visit to the local Catholic Shop in Norristown, I started to secretly say the rosary, praying to Our Lady of Guadalupe to help America after 9/11.  I bought books about her and began to feel something stirring inside me.  Just before the attack on America, I was telling a person (who was Buddhist) about my lack of consistency in faith and he suggested I develop a “practice.”  This rosary was part of my new way of life.  Another thought came to me.  Perhaps I should go to confession.  It had been quite a while. 

For some reason, I wanted to go confession.  I wanted to go to Mass.  What was happening to me?  It wasn’t like I felt the need to go (even though it was great) it was as though I just really wanted to.

I went to confession.  For some reason I mentioned an abortion I had in early 1973.  It was my fourth time confessing it.  The priest told me that God has forgiven me, but it seems I couldn’t forgive myself.  He suggested I go to a place called Rachel’s Vineyard .  With the same inward desire, I did some research and found a weekend retreat.  Again, what was happening to me?  Although I didn’t understand this new perception of my life, I felt a deep gratitude. 

St. Bernard said, “Ingratitude is the enemy of the soul, the destroyer of merit and virtue, causing the loss of favors.  It is a burning wind that dries up the fountain of piety, the dew of mercy, the torrents of grace.”  I had lived a life of ingratitude.  Only now, I was beginning to be grateful and recognize I was receiving graces.  May I continue to glorify God with what remains of my life.

This Thanksgiving, I wish you the wealth of gratitude.