The Conversion Process – “Stirrings”

Monarch emergingThe New Evangelization is a renewed invitation to conversion. Unfortunately, conversion is a word that is often misunderstood. We tend to think of conversion as either the changing from one Christian denomiation to another or a dramatic bolt of lightning in which we hear God’s voice loud and clear, calling us to a major change in life.  As a result of these rather limited understandings, most people don’t feel that they have experienced, are, experiencing, or will be experiencing conversion any time soon.

That’s unfortunate because conversion is what happens to us any time we need to gain new insight in order to respond to one of life’s new challenges. Our lives are filled with conversion moments. These moments arise when we experience a “stirring” – something has come along to disturb our complacency. The disturbance can be profound or subtle and it can be positive or negative. Either way, we find ourselves faced with responding to new circumstances while at the same time realizing that we are ill-equipped to do so.

With that in mind, I wonder if you will help me compile a list of moments in our lives when such stirrings occur? What are typical “disturbances” that place us on the doorstep of conversion? I’ll get us started:

  • loss of a job
  • start of a new job
  • engagement
  • marriage
  • becoming a parent
  • loss of a loved one
  • facing sickness

Get the idea? Please add your thoughts below in the “Leave a Reply” feature so that we can spread the word that opportunities for conversion are all around us!

[photo courtesy of Creative Commons License aussiegall via Compfight]

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12 Responses to “The Conversion Process – “Stirrings””

  1. Debbie Campano Says:

    When a child is being prepared for First Eucharist

    Reply

  2. andrea Says:

    several other stirrings:
    retirement … for yourself and for your spouse
    chlld/spouse/friend sent to war zone
    child moves away from home to college or another state
    aging parent

    Reply

  3. Rachel Caron Says:

    encountering a truly holy person
    hitting rock bottom
    visiting a sacred place
    visiting places of great natural beauty
    divorce or breakup
    facing failure (in work, relationships, etc)
    loneliness
    listening to music / viewing beautiful artwork
    watching other people pray

    Reply

    • Rachel Caron Says:

      near death experiences
      moments of intense joy, pain, sadness or fear
      moments of vulnerability

      Reply

  4. Deborah Says:

    When I catch myself in a sin, especially one with which I’ve been struggling for some time, I pray for “conversion” of my heart — a new perspective and reaction-pattern that comes from the deepest, truest part of me versus a band-aid fix.

    Reply

  5. maureen Says:

    when someone is looking toward retirement….
    when a child, niece,nephew, friend announces they are gay….

    Reply

  6. Nancy Says:

    a very moving homily,
    the opportunity to pray for others in their time of need,
    when others offer to pray for me

    Reply

  7. Joe Says:

    Catherine writes:

    Children leaving home
    Loose your children to drug addiction
    Divorce
    Physical abuse
    Blamed
    Framed
    Moving to new country
    Lonliness

    Rgds
    Catherine

    Reply

  8. Nick Says:

    Hi Joe. Here is a third- or fourth-hand list. On TeamRCIA.com, I quoted Fr. Tony Krisak who quoted Fr. Ron Rolheiser as saying that human beings have essential longings. For example:

    love
    communion
    community
    friendship
    family
    affection
    wholeness
    consummation
    creativity
    self-perpetuation
    immortality
    joy
    delight
    humor
    self-transcendence

    Krisak says that when we are first asking someone to turn to Christ, we are not asking them to assent to Catholic doctrine. We are asking them to consider that Jesus is the answer to what they are longing for.

    Reply

  9. Cristina Says:

    Forgiving or being forgiven.

    Reply

  10. Arl Says:

    Conversion, deep manifestation of wisdom with in. The roots of the soul planting with in the Spirit of The Lord.

    Reply

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