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The Power of A Book

by Rhynnah S Bayne

The youngest of two children, I was raised in a fundamentalist, non-denominational church where my father was an elder and my mother was heavily involved in choir and Sunday school. As far as I can remember, my parents took us to church every time the doors were open.

According to my parents, I first expressed a desire to be Catholic at the age of thirteen. I don't remember saying anything about it but I do remember the first time I knew that there was a faith that I wanted to experience.

An elderly neighbor moved away and we were asked to manage her property while she was in another state. Much of her property was taken with her. Vandals eventually got into her house and scattered the interior. We were told to clear out whatever we might want and the relatives would dispense with the house. We salvaged a few books. One of the books was a Catholic prayer book, very old and filled with these beautiful prayers and pictures. I learned the Hail Mary from that book. I read and treasured the book, eventually putting it away in a safe place.

At 21, I met my husband-to-be. We only dated for 6 months before we married on December 20, 1987. Two children later, I still felt the call to become Catholic. It seemed to follow me everywhere. Seated in my childhood church during Easter Sunday services, I remember looking around myself and suddenly hearing a distinct voice in my ear. "You will not be here next year.How long will you put me off? " I knew then that I had to act upon the desire to enter the Church.

I must say that I was completely ignorant of how the Catholic Church operated. I promptly went to my parent's house and tried to explain that I felt God leading me to the Church. This began a seven hour argument with my parents about the validity of the Catholic Church. To every argument they raised, I could only answer "I don't know" and hold on to the choice I was making. My husband stood with me, equally determined to go with me. Imagine my surprise the next day, when we learned that RCIA would not begin until the following August! I was so disappointed.

But God never leaves us alone, especially when we are trying to do His Will. Within one week, the parish called us back. About twenty other people had called during that week and asked to enter the church. The parish had decided to begin a class out of cycle, were we still interested? An additional blessing came in the form of my father agreeing to baby sit while we attended class. Joyfully, we began RCIA and were accepted into the Church at Easter Vigil 1992.

Only a couple of years ago, I got out that little book that made such a difference in my life. I was thrilled to reread it and very impressed with the content. Now it means so much more to me because I understand it so much better. The book is called "With God" and was written by a man name Father Francis X. Lasance. Originally published in 1911(my copy is a 1927 reprint), the book is now public domain and I hope to copy it onto my computer for placement on the Web. I have learned that it is difficult to locate work by Father Lasance, even in used form, but that this book is virtually impossible to find. I want nothing more than to make it available again because it is so clear and understandable.

I have experienced ups and downs in my faith and this past year has been a very dry one for me but I am encouraged both by my faith and by the Church. I am so glad that I decided to listen to God's direction in my life and even happier that God put this prayer book in my way, so that I might have a glimpse of the reverence and union that I have only found in the Catholic Church.

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