I've been back from my "Branches" meeting earlier this evening about half an hour ago. I would suggest without doubt that it was the most interesting night yet. The talk was about "Brokenness and Healing", but perhaps what intrigued me most was the story of the speaker's conversion from Protestantism to Catholicism. Although people never give me enough details to satisfy my unquenchable thirst, I do know that it was a long journey. From the time she starting flirting with Catholicism to the time when she eventually became Catholic was almost five years.
One of the reasons I found her story so interesting is that it had many similarities to mine, both in her upbringing and by the fact that she was exposed to overzealous evangelicalism in her university days. She also pointed to being strangely drawn to the Eucharist. Upon reflection, I can say this is also true for me. The only major difference is that I that while my mother is Protestant, she would be supportive of my decision should I one day decide to become Catholic. I sense that there was perhaps a time when this may not have been the case, but it seems that her faith have significantly developed since then, just as mine has.
I should point out that it has already been a long journey for me. Some three years ago when I was still living at Ashfield, I discovered that their was a "Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel" open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week at the nearby suburb Belfield. Sometimes, when I would get depressed at night, or could not sleep, I would get in my car and drive the three or four kilometres down to the chapel. Often this would take place at crazy times like three in the morning. When I got to the church, sometimes I would just sit down and reflect, sometimes I'd pray, and sometimes I would read my Bible.
I must admit, I'm not entirely sure how these middle of the night visits led to me deciding to look further into Catholicism, but I'm glad that they did. I can't say for sure that I will become a Catholic, but even if I don't, I'm quite grateful to God that he has been able to help me establish a newfound respect for these special brothers and sisters in Christ. This is something I know I shall never lose.