1 Corinthians 15:9-10
The Original Conversion Story…
Some of the most influential leaders in the Catholic faith are converts, and it all began with Paul:
“For I am the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective. Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them; not I, however, but the grace of God (that is) with me.” -1 Corinthians 15:9-10, NAB
Many of the great writers and speakers on the Catholic faith today are converts to the faith. I think of names like Scott Hahn, Patrick Madrid, and Steve Ray – the list goes on. Their books and talks have inspired many to come to the Catholic Church, and they have helped to spread the beauty of the Catholic Church with the world. While their stories are fantastic, they are not the first to share their conversion story; it was Paul.
Paul tells a bit of his past in today’s verse. At one time, he hated the Church and Christians so much that he heavily persecuted them. Just like many of today’s conversion stories, he went beyond not believing in Christianity; he actually made it his mission to seek them out and punish them. Yet, despite his past, he became one of the greatest single writers in Christianity, having authored many of the books of the New Testament.
The conversion stories of Paul and of today’s more modern writers serve as an example for the rest of us. It does not matter where we came from; it only matters where we are going. We may have a long, sorted path with the Catholic Church, but sometimes that prepares us even more to speak out on our faith. By being someone who once rejected the Church, we are better equipped to handle those who still question the Church’s beliefs.
In my own life, there are still those that question me about my conversion. They wonder how someone can go from staunch anti-Catholic to someone who shares his faith daily. Like Paul, it is not by my works, but by the grace that God has given me and the rest of today’s conversion story writers.
You may be going through RCIA now or in the past, and you have a powerful story to tell. You may want to forget your past, but God has brought you from that path for a reason. Now that you’re here, He wants you to share your story. It may be through writing, speaking, or just in conversation with family and friends. No matter what your audience may be, it is a powerful story to tell.