From Ignorance to Bliss

My Journey to the Catholic Church

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"You Shouldn't Have Done That"

The unease about my lack of a church home grew heavy; I knew that Christ wished us to follow him in communion with others so my lone ranger status bothered me. One Sunday I made a decision I still do not understand: I decided to pray the Rosary every day for a week to see if I would receive any illumination in my struggle. I had never prayed a Rosary and was still uncomfortable with Marian devotion, even if intellectually I accepted that Mary had a pivotal role in salvation history. But I had seen many instances of Catholics praying the Rosary - usually in front of an abortion clinic - and there was a peace about them that I could sense, though not describe. I especially remember a night when a pro-abortion protester stood yelling obscenities at my fellow pro-lifer (who, incidentally, would later become my wife). In response she peacefully prayed a Rosary, while my insides were raging. This image still strikes me today. So one Sunday morning as I sat alone in my dorm room, I picked up a Rosary and a Rosary booklet (both of which my Catholic roommate had the suspicious habit of leaving out on his desk) and knelt at my bed reciting the words. I didn't feel any different after I was finished, but I had decided to give it a week, so that didn't bother me. That night, though, I told my roommate about praying the Rosary. His response shocked me. He'd been trying to convert me for two years but all he said was "you shouldn't have done that." I thought he must have been kidding but then he said, "you don't know what you just got yourself into." Prophetic words.

I prayed (read, actually) the Rosary the next day, and again the next. At the end of that third Rosary, my "week-long" prayer had been answered: I knew that I should become Catholic. After two years of arguments and struggle, it took Mary only three days to show me the path to her son: the Catholic Church.
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