This Easter is the 19th Easter since becoming Catholic. I remember those first Masses after making my First Communion. The RCIA classes had prepared me with the knowledge and background on what it meant to be Catholic.
However, I remember feeling uncomfortable in the “how” to be Catholic. I was quite nervous. Trying to make sure that I was standing, sitting and kneeling at the right times; for fear of somebody saying something. Because, well, you know, everybody was watching me, the new guy.
Over the years, I had moments like this and still do. I am at lector and am not one to be afraid of being in front of people. But, that first time at the ambo, preparing to proclaim the work of God, I was a little nervous. Would I flub the reading? Was I loud enough? Was I too loud? Did I make enough eye contact with those in the pews?
As time has gone on, I have become more comfortable in my faith. Thank goodness! I didn’t say that I have become complacent in my faith. I have reached a point where a lot of the things we do in Church are, to some degree, “automatic.” The awe that I had when receiving Communion for the first time still exists. I am just not distracted with “doing the right things.”
I have done retreats and gone to conferences in the effort to develop knowledge about myself but also my faith. This is one of the ways that I continue that conversion process that started over twenty years ago. This why I titled this blog, “Ongoing Conversion.” Because, at least for me, this is a continual process. There are always more things that I can do or learn to become a better Catholic.
There’s nothing like being caught flat-footed when your kids ask you something about our faith. It’s a challenge to stay one step ahead of them. My wife, the cradle Catholic, is caught off-guard sometimes too. So, I don’t feel so bad. But, it shows that we must continue to learn about the faith.
A new reading plan
Recently, I have discovered a book titled How to Read Your Way to Heaven by Vicki Burbach (affiliate link). Vicki’s story is very similar to mine. She, too, is a convert to the faith and struggled with some of the same things that I did. The book has a three reading plans that will help you to know and growth in your faith. She’s categorized many of the books by various aspects of our faith, prayer, liturgy, sacraments, etc. Vicki also gives a pretty solid explanation how why developing a spiritual reading plan is important.
I am about to embark upon one of the reading plans. Over the coming weeks and months, I plan to share with you some of the insights that I have discovered.
We have a tremendous gift that we’ve been given in our faith. In the comments below, share some of the ways that you are learning and growing in your faith.