just after my mother in law died 20yrs ago, I chose to convert to Catholicism
it happened like this: during the funeral, sitting with my baby Sophie on my knee.. I had what would be called 'a religious experience' ~ white light surrounded me, like a mist, a cloud. that is the only way I can explain it.. and I began to cry.. it was like something was washing down over me that bought up emotions that to this day I can still not explain. looking back on it, it all seems so surreal.. and often I wonder if I imagined it.
at that very moment in my life I chose to convert to Catholicism (much to my mothers disgust, but even back then it seems like I was following promptings from my soul)
so began a year long journey with the priest.. on what he called 'the Emmaus journey'... and the beginnings of my relationship with Mary. I remember the priest asking me once, why I wanted to convert to the catholic faith and my words were 'I want to find peace'.....
during that year of travelling the Emmaus road, we met once a week as a group and many 'older' catholics shared their journey and Bunny became my mentor... Bunny was at that time about 80yrs old.. the perfect little old lady.. white hair, wrinkly skin and a eyes that shone with living of life.
Bunny taught me the rosary.. once a week on a Tuesday afternoon, I would jump in my car and drive the short distance to her home and we would sit there with rosary beads in hand.. mine new and shining and hers, shining from years of use. Bunny told me that from day one of her married life, she had grabbed hold of Mary's mantle and not let go.. sometimes, she said that she felt like she was clinging on, in fear of death from worry..
.. I never quite understood what Bunny meant.. but all the while, wishing I did..all the while wishing that I could just hang on to Mary's mantle and go with the flow of life, always believing that She was there to support me.
But I hated to let go of control.. I always felt a need to be in control and always thought that I was.
Mary had other ideas.. she started to make herself known to me while I was walking in the bush.... a rose blooming in the middle of a eucalypt forest while I was praying the rosary.. a dove alighting on a bush as I walked past.. smells of roses in the middle of nowhere... my rosary beads going a golden hue even though I wasn't using them... constantly coming in to my thoughts on a daily basis, infusing me with her presence.. in the way of the vintage icons that I collect. And just this morning while eating my breakfast, I looked up at one of St. Rita and realized that by just looking at these pictures each day and the many prayers that may have been said in front of my icons & how the saints always looked peaceful, i realized that I had become alot more peaceful inside too.. (well, most of the time).. and that is where I find myself today.. at peace inside.. knowing that when ever I get worried, or stressed or anxious.. I just have to go back to centre.. to Mary. and grab hold of that mantle of hers. prayers are always answered, just not in our time frame.. sometimes it can take years. And so it seems my prayer and wish that I mentioned all those years ago of finding peace, are actually coming true & being answered.. I am finally on the road to finding peace of soul