Recently, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa tweeted a link to this testimony by a cradle Catholic who had a life-changing faith experience after participating in Alpha.
I converted to the faith in 1961 when I got married. That’s when I became a “church-goer”. When it was Sunday, I was supposed to go to Mass. It was my parish, so I was supposed to serve. I believed what I was doing was my religious duty—just fulfilling obligations. I see things very black and white, and this was no different in my religious life.
I thought of church like a job, no different than going to work. Even still, I thought I was doing things right and that I was a good Catholic. But in attending Mass on Sunday, never did I think of, “who am I going to Mass for?” In all of my service, I was never thinking of Jesus.
My experience of Catholicism was completely devoid of faith and completely separate from someone to love, or be loved by. This didn’t change until 2018 when I discovered there was more to Catholicism than being a “church-goer”.
By the end of the 10 weeks of Alpha, my view on religion had changed. I realized there was a lot to this faith that I didn’t know. I wanted to continue my journey, so I decided to take Discovery next. It was in Discovery that my idea of God transformed from an outside influence to a partner and a friend. My perspective of religion changed from rules to follow, to a person I understand and know and love. I learned that Jesus knows me and loves me personally.
A verse of Scripture that influenced this second conversion in my life was Revelations 3:20, “Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come into you and eat with you, and you with me.”
I chose to open the door. I chose to place Christ at the centre of my life. I know now He was there on the other side of the door the entire time. For those 57 years, He was waiting for me to let Him in.
Our whole journey as Christians, in prayer, is to constantly and gently place Christ in the centre of our lives, through thick or thin.