One of the pleasures of traveling around the country giving talks and conferences is having the opportunity to meet Catholics who are excited and on the march. There have always been such Catholics, I am told, but I think something is going on that doesn't happen all the time.
I can't even tell you how many people came up to me this weekend with a big smile saying "I'm a convert too!" There are thousands of people entering or returning to the Church. There is a revival going on and it is sweeping the country.
Here is a link to a blog written by Oswald Sobrino with his thoughts about the meeting last night in Davison Michigan. It gives an assessment of the evening and a summary of my talk. It was very nice meeting Oswald!
I had one young teenage girl run up to me after my talk. She said, and I paraphrase, "I did NOT want to come tonight. I fought my parents all day but they made me come anyway. I was angry. But I had a great time. Halfway through your talk I was in tears and now I am VERY excited about my faith and tonight you changed my life." And then she gave me a big hug.
Many others were moved and wanted to tell me their stories of converting or returning to the Catholic Church. I find one thing very amazing — think about this. Thousands of people leave the Catholic Church, wander through Protestantism and then come back home to the Catholic Church.
I personally have met hundreds and hundreds of them. BUT, I only know one person who left Protestantism to become Catholic and then left to return to the Protestant world. I'm sure there are many more, but in my experience it is 1000's to 1. I think that says a lot.
It is a joy to fellowship with such wonderful Catholics who love their Lord, their Church, their family and the faith. They are just busting with excitement and wanted to get involved. I had two Protestants come up to me after the meeting–I know there were a good number of others in the church too.
One was a bit testy, but we had a nice talk and I think he went away with a lot to think about — I gave him a copy of my book Crossing the Tiber. Another young Baptist was very seriously interested with good questions and an open heart. We talked for a long time after everyone else left. I have no doubt he will join us soon.
So, keep up the good work everyone! Hold your head high! The Catholic Church is in need of reform and always reforming. She is full of sinners but also full of Christians brimming over with love for the faith and ready to go out and change the world. Not only is our Church a haven for saints, it is also a hospital for sinners — whichi is why my wife and I joined :-) It is a wonderful time to be Catholic!