Because I Fell In Love

I have fallen in love twice in my life. The first time was with Katie. I fell in love with my wife two or three years before I got up the courage to ask her out. Once I had asked her out, we had a four-month courtship and twenty-five years of marriage, and counting. I love Katie as much as I ever have. People adore Katie—hey, she’s adorable—and I happen to be the lucky fool she agreed to marry. This picture was taken atop Dun Anghus on the largest of the Aran Islands last March. God willing, we will return to Ireland together many times.

The second time I fell in love it was with a church, the Catholic Church. I was reminded of this last evening, talking with my friend Anujeet about my blog and its central question, Why am I Catholic. That’s simple, Anujeet effectively said, you fell in love. And there it was. The ultimate reason why I am Catholic.

I have always thought it’s impossible for a third party to understand why two people, like Katie and me, fall in love, and how they sustain a marriage. The love and marriage of others is probably unanalyzable. It just is. Let it be.

Converting to the Catholic Church was like that for me. I tried to explain it to my dazed friends and loved ones. I rationalized. I made up stuff. But basically, Ma, I fell in love. And that’s that.

"Vaya con Dios, Leonard; Rest in Peace."

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  • As a fellow convert I can offer a hearty AMEN! I was a happy Protestant and fell in love with a wonderful Catholic. Somewhat reluctantly I decided to explore the Church and here I am so madly in love with our God, the amazing institution he founded on the earth and the depths of knowledge, wisdom and counsel found in its Saints. By the way I found your blog via The Anchoress and just want to say it is great. I have added it to my daily blog stops (which is reserved for the elite few that really move me). Thanks for sharing your journey. I look forward to walking with you.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Webster, A warm, warm welcome to the Catholic Church. The Mystical Body of Christ is truly blessed to have you as one of its members. I found your blob through Fr. Jim Martin and since then, reading it has become an important part of my morning. After daily Mass and breakfast, I head for my computer. Your blogs bring joy to my heart and stimulation to my mind. When you were a boy growing in Hopkins, I was over in St. Paul at St. Catherine's College (where I saw Dorothy Day_ and later, a social worker at St. Paul Catholic Chariies. So, I am one of the pre-Vatican II dinosaurs! Through you, I am being reacquainted with old friends, like Thomas Merton, Flannery O'Connor and Dorothy Day and learning about other holy people. When I was in public high school my English teacher told me to read "Kristin Lavransdatter" so I could impress the nuns at St. Catherine's. I don't think I ever told any of the nuns I had read this book, but Kristin made such a huge impression on me, that years later, when my daughter was born, I named her Kristin. Recently I reread the trilogy, this time with an adult's experiences and maturity, and found such a depth of spirituality and humanity that I surely missed the first reading. I too, love Christ in His Chuch, as you so movingly related. During a difficult adulthood, I was often comforted and always nourished in the Church. And afflicted when it was needed! Now, that I am elderly I can look back at the many times, Christ in his Holy Spirit, was working in my life. And I am most grateful.God bless you and your beautiful family.Janice Johnson

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps the most telling thing you wrote is, "The second time I fell in love it was with a church, the Catholic Church."I'm always bewildered by how many times Catholics use the term "the Church" when they should be saying "Jesus Christ." Jesus Christ is the Saviour of all mankind. It's not a church, not sacraments, not membership in any church or organization. It's a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and with Him alone.In His name,BeckyI am posting as anonymous because I don't have an online ID that your server recognizes.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Becky -Your confusion comes because you separate the Head of the Church (Christ) from its Body (the People). When we speak of the Church – we speak of the whole package.

  • Susan L

    I agree with Anonymous' response to Becky. I fell in love with God hard. I never thought that I would ever fall in love again after my first real love (my husband) but…I did. Yes, I fell in love with God and through him, his Church. I could not believe the incredible depth that was there. I had never seen it before but…wow. You see, Becky, everything in the Church brings us so much closer to God. We're not falling in love with sacraments or bingos or people in the parish (or the Pope, for that matter). We are falling in love with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit through everything that the Church encompasses. It all directly brings us to Our Lord.Took me 10 years of direct journey to become convinced. The absolute best thing I ever did was become Catholic. Thank you, God. (much love).