Monday, June 27, 2011

Atheist to Catholic: Stories of Conversion

Atheist to Catholic – Stories of Conversion is a collection of eleven people’s journeys to God.  Many of them, at some point in their lives, went on a more intellectual than spiritual quest for truth, and each ended up being drawn to the Catholic faith.  The Holy Spirit is clearly at work in the lives of these individuals and was showing up in many ways years before some of them recognized that the longing within them was one that neither science, technology, knowledge, nor pleasure could satisfy.
Often the Lord worked through other people to bring these individuals closer to Him.  At times, it was someone’s utter lack of morals or thoughts about life after death that served as a turning point.  For others, it was a close friend or loved one whose example helped inspire their conversion. 
I believe many will be very encouraged by these stories.  Most people have loved ones who aren’t believers, or who believe God exists, but not that He cares about them personally.  I know that one of the most difficult faith struggles I’ve ever been through involved praying for the conversion, or rather reversion, of my then boyfriend, now husband, Kevin.  It’s wonderful to read the other side of the transformation process, especially when it is far too easy, at least, it has been for me, to think that I’m going to have a greater impact on someone’s returning or coming to the faith than God will. 
Of course, this notion is absurd, self-centered, and proud, but it was one I held for a while before God finally got it through my head, heart, and soul that it is best to submit completely to His Will.  Eventually, I accepted that I needed to let Him work in and through me however He wanted, whenever He wanted, if He wanted to use me in bringing about Kevin’s conversion. 
These accounts of coming to the faith show the beauty and power of God to speak directly to His Children.  In addition, it shows a long track record of God using others to be part of the process of turning to the Lord.  Sometimes, it’s been through reading the works of philosophers, saints, or theologians that have been dead for many years that helped ignite the flame of faith in the hearts of non-believers. 
I chose this book to review, imagining that the stories would be interesting to read.  I had to laugh when I opened it up and found that one of the eleven people’s stories included is none other than Jennifer Fulwiler, a very popular Catholic blogger, author of Conversion Diary who I’ve been reading and enjoying for a while now.    
The only thing that left me wanting was that the stories weren’t as long as they could have been for all of the years covered and experiences each person had.  When it comes to a taste of what brought various people from an array of disparate backgrounds to find themselves at home in the Catholic Church, this quick read is superb!
This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Atheist to Catholic - Stories of Conversion. They are also a great source for a Catechism of the Catholic Church or a Catholic Bible.

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