This is a short story about the conversion of two people into the Catholic faith. At what moment does this occur? How complicated is it? Does it take one year, two years, or even twenty? These are questions we all want to know the answer to.
For fourteen years, I was fortunate enough to be part of a group that helped souls seeking to learn about the Catholic faith in the heart of Utah. Through this experience, I continuously learned about what it means to have a relationship with Christ and God. This relationship involves falling but by the grace of God, we get back up.
Recently, while getting my hair cut in a distant location far from Utah and the RCIA, a young woman asked me what it was like living in Utah. I immediately remembered a specific time and place where a young woman came to us searching for a reliable faith that she could understand. Her weekly visits with us paid off, just as they did for me a few years before.
It was an epiphany for her, one that strikes at the core of our being when we encounter love. This is the love that is patient and kind, that does not envy or boast, that is not proud, that never disowns others, that is not self-seeking or easily angered, that keeps no records of wrongs, that always trusts, hopes, and most of all perseveres over evil (1 Corinthians 13:1-13).
I remember her tears, as she realized at that moment that God loved her for who she was, not for who she thought she should be. This love is beyond any human kind of love. This is when the epiphany takes hold and the relationship blossoms, transforming darkness into light, winter into spring, and spring into Easter.
It's not what we do that changes us and makes us better. It's in knowing how much we have always been loved that makes us more whole, more alive, and more attuned to others. Love is the greatest gift given, and we simply pass it on to others.
“Lord, you are not pleased with someone simply because that person is knowledgeable. In fact, it would be possible for one to know everything there is to know in the whole wide world, except for knowing you, and consequently know nothing. Just as another person could live in blissful ignorance of the great sum of human knowledge, but know you, and be both happy and content. After all, who is better placed - the person who owns a tree and gives You thanks for all the good things it provides; or the one who owns a similar tree and knows its weight and dimensions down to the least leaf, but does not realize that You are its Creator and that it is through You that he or she has use of it? In essence, the latter person is ignorant, though full of facts, and the former person wise, though bit short on details.
So in general we can say that the most important knowledge is knowledge of You, O Lord."...St. Augustine