In one of my RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults/classes to join the Catholic church) classes this morning, our facilitator asked in reference to one of the scripture readings of today “What had cultivated our call to Catholicism?” The scripture referred to the parable of the fig tree that after three years had not produced fruit. It was given one more year, with lots of cultivation, just as we, too, are given second chances by God but must produce “fruit” in order to be saved.
That got me to thinking… While I definitely do feel “called” due to the complete change in my beliefs in the last year or so, it made me realize a lot of things have led me to this point all through my life.
So what “cultivated” Catholicism in me? What prepared me to fully jump in with both feet at the age of 38? Here’s a list of some of the things that come to mind over my life:
- My father and his parents (my grandparents), who have always been religious, and made sure I was baptized and exposed to religion, waiting until the time I was ready to accept it. They were consistent and steady without being pushy.
- Wonderful role models like my grandparents (same as above) and in-laws who demonstrated humility, unending kindness, simplicity, gratitude, generosity and love.
- The former priest down the road and his family who took me to a Christian church with them every Sunday during my middle school years.
- A longtime friend who always unknowingly provided a word of encouragement from a distance at so many times when I needed and the sense of acceptance and support provided.
- A father who gave me confidence and belief in myself.
- A supporting husband who introduced me to Catholicism and the fond memories it evokes in him — and now the joy it gives me.
- The many wonderful people on my recent journey to Catholicism who’ve answered my many questions, lent an ear, discussed my concerns, and provided support, reassurance and prayers!
This is just a start but today’s question showed me that perhaps God is starting to put all the puzzle pieces of my life together. Perhaps he’s been working on me for quite some time and decided now was the time in my life to call me to him after all the preparation work he’s done. I still have a long road ahead toward continual conversion of my way of life to better conform to Jesus’ example but I’ve come quite a long way already… I don’t see why I can’t go ahead and finish the marathon one day.