Welcome Home, Leah

To bring him back with a twitch upon the thread

 by Leah Libresco

Today, I was recieved into the Catholic Church and was given the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and holy communion.

I had expected, earlier this year, to choose Catherine of Alexandria for my confirmation saint.  After she was converted by a tutor, she king sent various scholars and theologian to argue her out of her belief, and, when she met them in debate, she made converts of them all.  She is the patron saint of apologists, lawyers, philosophers, preachers, students, theologians, and, generally, scrappy people picking fights in charity.  (Also potters, spinners, knife sharpeners, and haberdashers, but they’re a little off the point).  St Catherine of Alexandria is everything I like best about myself.

But she has no extant writings.  I wanted a saint it would be easy for me to get to know as themself, not just my image of them.  I wanted a confirmation saint that I could be more directly surprised and challenged by.  And I wondered if it made sense to pick the person who played to my strengths and my pride, instead of my weaknesses.

After I decided to convert, the book I read next was Augustine’s Confessions.  And the thing that spoke to me most was Augustine’s love affair with Truth.  He sought after his beloved along a long and winding path, but his love and fidelity were powerful enough to give him the strength to walk away from incomplete philosophies. (I was not yet in love, yet I loved to love…I sought what I might love, in love with loving).

I’ve grown attached to Augustine’s prayer “Give what you command, and command what you will.”  Like Augustine, I had people who loved me storming Heaven on my behalf.  (Read more here.)

  • J. H. M. Ortiz

    St. Augustine’s writings (in my opinion) had some very serious flaws. Yet many of his statements are rightly prized as bold statements of immensely great and beautiful truths. One of these is (as I remember it), “the realities we ‘ll one day enjoy are the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” This was stated also in Sunday’s refrain, “You are my inheritance, O Lord.” Yes, nothing less than “You”.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I’m with you. I see things in his writings that I appreciate and even agree with. His statements about rape victims are wonderful, and should be shared with women who have been through that horror. On the other hand, his statements about battered wives are just terrible. Notice, I look at him through a woman’s eyes.

  • Ted Seeber

    “Too Late Have I Loved You”- one of the best songs on Nick Alexander’s comedy CDs (he always includes at least one serious praise song with each CD, and if you wait long enough after “Too Late Have I Loved You”, after about 30 seconds of blank space is the bonus track comedy song “Ecumenical”, which offers diet soda to all the Southern Baptists in the audience). I combined all the tracks from all 3 CDs in my phone, so I’m not real sure which one it is from.

    Leah has given me the Litany of Tarski, which can be phrased as a Christian prayer “Lord, help me believe that which is true, not believe that which is not true, and grant me the wisdom to know the difference”.

    As such, I point atheists wondering about Catholicism to her blog all the time- especially those who find themselves, unequally yoked with Catholics.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I do the same, Ted.

      • Sus

        I’ve spent some time the last week going through Leah’s archives. It’s a great blog. I’ve enjoyed reading about her journey.

  • http://jobowerwrites.wordpress.com Jo Randall Bower

    As a Methodist, I as always encouraged when I see and hear of God working in our lives. When we truly seek, God will lead us to an understanding and relationship we can grasp. Thanks for sharing this. I liked reading St. Augustine but learned long ago not to try to apply our understanding of society and scriptures to the writers of other ages. That doesn’t keep me from from wincing once in a while as I read. May God be our interpreter.

  • http://jobowerwrites.wordpress.com Jo Randall Bower

    As a Methodist, I am always encouraged when I see and hear of God working in our lives. When we truly seek, God will lead us to an understanding and relationship we can grasp. Thanks for sharing this. I liked reading St. Augustine but learned long ago not to try to apply our understanding of society and scriptures to the writers of other ages. That doesn’t keep me from from wincing once in a while as I read. May God be our interpreter.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Good thoughts Jo. Thank you.

  • http://jobowerwrites.wordpress.com Jo Randall Bower

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to post twice… I’m always editing my text.. and I hit post again…. sorry.

  • http://jobowerwrites.wordpress.com Jo Randall Bower

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to post twice… I’m always editing my text.. and I hit post again…. sorry.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      No worries. I do it all the time.

  • http://mywordwall.wordpress.com Imelda

    Welcome home, Leah. :-)

    Thank you for sharing your story.


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