The 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
- 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 aussiegall via Compfight]
When a child is being prepared for First Eucharist
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
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)
listening to music / viewing beautiful artwork
watching other people pray
near death experiences
moments of intense joy, pain, sadness or fear
moments of vulnerability
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.
when someone is looking toward retirement….
when a child, niece,nephew, friend announces they are gay….
a very moving homily,
the opportunity to pray for others in their time of need,
when others offer to pray for me
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:
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.
How true, Nick. Thanks for sharing this list.
Forgiving or being forgiven.
Conversion, deep manifestation of wisdom with in. The roots of the soul planting with in the Spirit of The Lord.