Lovely! November 18, 2012

Leah Libresco reflects a little bit on her baptism and her choice of patron: Augustine.

One of her readers offers one of my favorite poems from Chesterton.  It still gets me:

The Convert
By G. K. Chesterton
After one moment when I bowed my head

And the whole world turned over and came upright,
And I came out where the old road shone white.
I walked the ways and heard what all men said,
Forests of tongues, like autumn leaves unshed,
Being not unlovable but strange and light;
Old riddles and new creeds, not in despite
But softly, as men smile about the dead

The sages have a hundred maps to give
That trace their crawling cosmos like a tree,
They rattle reason out through many a sieve
That stores the sand and lets the gold go free:
And all these things are less than dust to me
Because my name is Lazarus and I live.

It’s all still true. All still beautiful. All still absurdly undeserved. All still an amazing bolt from the blue that I was born for, made for, looking for all my life–and never saw coming till he stood there in front of me and said, “How about it, pal. I’m your heart’s desire. You want to come with me?” The strangest thing in the world is the sensation of being absolutely free as you choose to do something that feels like everything in your life–everything in history, everything in Creation–has been leading up to. Theologians puzzle out free will vs. predestination. I puzzle it sometimes. But the one moment I really came closest to feeling like the veil was removed and I was staring predestination in the face was the one moment I also felt like I was making the freest choice I ever made. Who would say no to Him? Who would find the love of his life, whom he lost in childhood and thought never to see again, suddenly appearing at his door–and then send her away because a job, or a video game, or a meal, or popularity with the local barflies mattered more? Pearl of great price indeed.

Pray for Leah. She’s going to need copious amounts of grace–as do we all–to face the challenge ahead. But like her patron, she’s really burning with love of the Truth who is Christ–and he burns with love for her. Father, see her safely down the road ahead in union with your Church by the power of the Spirit until she arrives at her Long Home in you. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

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