I went through my initial conversion experience to Catholicism at the Easter Vigil celebration in 1989. For the year preceding that evening and for the next three years or so following it I read voraciously. Everything and anything that I could get my hands on.
I spent a lot of time with St. Thomas Aquinas and his Summa Theologica, with Spirago and Clark in the Catechism Explained, Fr. Hardon's Catholic Catechism, books on spiritual warfare, Fr. Schouppe's Purgatory, Apologetics, and the list goes on and on.
I was fortunate that I worked the night audit shift in one of our local hotels so I could spend most of my time reading.
A friend of mine and I were chatting one day about the various books we had read and who our favourite authors were. At one point, he indicated to me that he had stopped reading books a number of years ago. When I asked him why, he told me there were a number of reasons. One was that he realized that the more he knew the less he actually knew, he also realized that the more knowledge he had the more he was responsible for that knowledge, and finally that one could not live one's life out of a book.
That conversation left a very deep impression on me. I looked back over the last few years at that time and realized that I was spending a very significant portion of my time reading. I went to the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament to ask Him what I should do.
I am not sure how long I was there with Him, but I came away with a very deep peace in my heart with the decisions we made together there.
I was to take everything that I had learned over the last number of years and learn to apply that knowledge. I was to take responsibility for what I knew and make sure that I responded to every life situation in the way that the Lord would expect me to. And lastly, as I learned to apply the knowledge to my daily life, I needed to allow it to embed itself into my heart.
Now, I look back on that moment as one of the most significant moments in my Journey with the Lord. Using my friend at that time He spoke a clear call to action. It is that action that lead me to be in the various places that the Lord needed me to be in to make the decisions that would direct my entire life.
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