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.