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It started with Noticing the Inconsistencies...

by Susan Formica

At first, my conversion story is nothing spectacular, but if you knew me before I became a Catholic, you would see how amamzing it really is.

I was very anti-Catholic. In fact, for one of my English papers I did in Nursing School, I choose the subject "Adolescents and Religion". I sent out questionnaires to teenagers about their religious practices. Oh...it was wonderful when all of the Catholic ones came back and nobody knew why they did anything. It just backed up my belief that Catholics just did what they were told....no thought behind it.

Anyway....I'll get to the point here....

When my daughter Sarah was born, my husband and I got into a big discussion about her baptism. I wanted her baptized in my Lutheran church...he wanted her baptized in the Roman Catholic Church. We battled for a couple days about it, until a light bulb went off in my head that it didn't matter where she was baptized, she was being baptized a Christian, and that's what mattered. Sarah was baptized in a Roman Catholic Church.

Oh...to back up a little,when we were married (in a Lutheran church, of course), my husband's family was insistent that a priest be present. The priest was wonderful. We had counseling through both churches,and I was so impressed with the way Father talked to us....the questions he asked us. In my church, we were given a form, and counseled through that. My husband had had a bad day the day he filled it out,and my minister thought he needed counseling...there was no room for interpretation. I talked to Father about many of my objections to the Roman Catholic Church,and he answered me with so much patience. I was very upset,though, when husband told me he had to sign a paper stating that he would try everything in his power to raise our children in the Roman Catholic Church. Oh....was I ticked.

Anyway, I would go to my church, and husband just didn't go to church. Icould never understand why he wouldn't go. But he would tell me he would never leave the Roman Catholic Church. It made no sense to me. Once in a great while he would go. But 'I' went every Sunday, and took my little girl with me.

Around Sarah's first birthday, I started to think about the inconsistencies we were showing her. Me going to one church, and daddy going to another. My husband still insisted he would not leave the Roman Catholic Church.

One night...before her 1st birthday, I had a dream....now....mind you, I don't put a lot of credence into dreams, but this one was just a little different.

I dreamed that Satan was trying to come into my life. There were people around me that kept telling me to pray the rosary. I would tell them that I didn't know the rosary..(being Lutheran,I was never taught it). I kept having this same dream. Then Sarah stirred and fussed. I got up to give her a pacifier,and I remember standing in her room and remembering Jeff's grandfather's funeral of several years ago. He was a faithful Navigator in the K of C, so....they said the rosary. I remembered the last part..."holy Mary, Mother of God....".

Anyway, I went back to sleep,and started into the same dream again. In my dream, when the people told me to say the rosary, I turned toward Satan and said,"Holy Mary,Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death, Amen." After that, the people encircled me and told me that Satan would not bother me again.

Okay...next day...

I'm running around getting things for Sarah's party in the car. I was listening to the radio, and a song came on from Cher (gag). I very rarely ever hit the 'seek' button, but I did. The scanner went through all these radio stations, and somehow landed on a station where they were......praying the rosary...."do do do do do do do do' ( theme from the Twighlight Zone).

So, I got to thinking about things....more about the inconsistencies in us going to church...how it would affect our children....you know.

Next weekend.....I'm talking to my mother-in-law who is a devout Catholic and loves Mary and the saints. I asked her about the rosary and what it means. She explained to me how the rosary is a powerful tool against Satan and his evil ways. Then I told her about my dream, and that I was thinking about looking into converting to the Roman Catholic Church.

I had to get up abruptly, (the baby), and the conversation ended. I guess she went downstairs to talk to my husband. He said she looked like she had seen a ghost. Then she told Jeff what I had said. He and I had talked a little about it, so he kind of knew. Then she told him (and later me), that ever since Sarah was born, she has been praying that Sarah would learn to love Mary and the Saints the way that she (my mother-in-law) did. She said she never prayed directly for my conversion, because she knew that I loved God and was happy worshipping in the Lutheran church. But she also knew this was unlikely to happen if I was Lutheran, so she asked for Mary's intercession.

My mother-in-law was my sponsor the following Easter when I joined the Roman Catholic Church. She had the whole line crying....It was so beautiful.

Okay...it's long, but there it is. I still have some problems to overcome. I am so skeptical about some of the devotions to Mary....I don't understand the devotions to the "Immaculate Heart" or the "Sacred Heart". I don't understand why we are devoted to body parts!!!

PS....My husband now goes to church every Sunday...we go as a family, and have gone together ever since I started my RCIA classes.

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