The First Degree of Conversion


from Deep Conversion/Deep Prayer
Fr. Thomas Dubay

The first degree of conversion, therefore, is a 180-degree reversal:"I renounce my idol, Lord; I want you instead. I am very, very sorry. With your grace I am going to change my life. I freely choose to repent. I shall receive your sacrament of reconciliation." The perfect portrayal of this basic conversion is found in Jesus' parable of the prodigal son (Lk 15:11-32). The fundamental friendship with God is restored.

Some books are not really meant to be read through, even though they CAN be read through quite easily. From the beginning, this book has seemed one of those. One could read it easily, in an hour, perhaps two. But were one to do so, there are a great many things that would be lost and a great deal that could help one's prayer life that would be overlooked.

The passage noted above is fundamental Catholic doctrine; indeed, fundamental doctrine for all Christians worthy of the name. The world is a fallen place, fallen because of our ancestors' sin and each person takes his or her place in that fallen world. Every person who chooses to abandon his or her place in the fallen world and take up the gift of a place in heaven participates in the salvation of the entire world. Such people can say with Paul that they make up in their own bodies what was lacking in the sacrifice of Christ.

Perhaps one can think of it as a shift in the center of gravity. For every person who chooses to take up the Christian life, the balance is shifted toward heaven. Everyone who determines to do more than the mere minimum adds the mass of grace to the position held in the kingdom, the center of gravity shifts more. Those who choose to live truly heroic lives of virtue become so great an attraction that they draw more into the life of grace. The intercession of the saints is an enormous force. There is a constant shifting of mass in this balancing of the center of gravity--writers of old have called this "The War in Heaven," the enormous battle waged for each soul in which all of the might of the Angels and Saints is mustered against the Fallen Ones over each soul. And all of that massing becomes evident in the choice a person makes for or against God.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on June 14, 2006 8:55 AM.

The Egocentrism of Reality as Lived was the previous entry in this blog.

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