I recently had the privilege of interviewing Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J., about his new book “The Holy Land: An Armchair Pilgrimage” and to get his take on traveling to the Holy Land. But in the course of the interview, he said something that really struck me. I find the way he words things often makes something that, to me, is difficult or complicated, as plain as day :).
In this case he spoke about people who bring along a family member on one of his Holy Land pilgrimages that he leads each year in the hopes of their conversion to Catholicism. I think every true Catholic has someone in their lives they desire to know the joy they have found within the Church and for whom they have cajoled, prayed and done everything they know to do. Father’s take?
“I cannot engineer anybody’s conversion. Conversion is always a management issue. God is the manager. God invokes the grace of conversion. I’m simply in sales.” — Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J.
What a great quote! Funny AND it gets the point across very clearly. It’s not up to us if someone converts; it’s really not up to them either. It’s up to God alone. Pray and then trust that God has the perfect timing. And remember if St. Monica can wait patiently for 30 years for the conversion of her son St. Augustine and be rewarded, so might our patience and trust be rewarded, too.