Conversions are funny things. When public figures convert to Catholicism – it is a really big deal. Atheist blogger Leah Libresco has had a medium size atheist following – in the blogosphere where an audience is free to tune in to read exclusively what they agree with, but the media went into a frenzy when she declared that she was beginning RCIA with a Catholic Church. Her decision is a very personal one, and her journey that will likely be played out publicly is one that many undergo each year in one way or another much more privately – struggling to define what belief system adheres closest to reality.
Libresco’s attraction to the faith is, according to her, its claims of an objective moral order that necessarily originates from a personal God. Her current stances are not necessarily in line with the Church’s teachings but it appears she is open to listening. I remember my own attraction to the faith and the claims of objective truth and reality to be very compelling. I, however, also remember my frustration in trying to find an environment where I could satisfy myself with more to learn about this.
I will pray for Miss Libresco and all those who are learning about what the Church has to offer. In our day, it is easy to be let down by the practical experience of a church whose instructors are too cowardly to teach the fullness of the truth, preferring to water it down to make it palatable to those who prefer to hear what we want to hear. It is easy to find it difficult to see the True Presence of the Eucharist in a climate of irreverence. And it’s hard to be inspired by the leaders of the faith when there is much bickering, infighting and hypocrisy. The important thing to remember is that the Church proclaims the truth, and that part of that truth is that the Church is made up of broken people who struggle to keep up with the ideals of their own faith, and whose understanding is confused with the mixed messages of the outside culture.
I pray that Leah Libresco remembers that she has not undertaken the journey to join the Perfect Church but hopefully has found an RCIA program that will satisfy her desire to know the truth that we know to be revealed by God. I pray that all who venture to seek to know God better in His Church, especially at great sacrifice of their reputation and relationships, will find joy and comfort in a welcoming community centered around Christ. And I finally pray that when they have finally arrived at peace in their new home, the Church, their faith will find good soil so as to blossom and help reveal to others the same conclusions. Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for us!