h/t Doctors of the Catholic Church and Magnificat
Day by Day
Doing the Will of the Father
But in spite of all these turns, and usually after the lapse of a considerable period of time, the realization finally dawns: God really exist; Christ really exists; the Church has really been founded by his will, and manifest his creative activity in history.
This is not merely a provisional engagement, one that can be revised in the light of subsequent engagement, one that can be revised in the light of subsequent experiences, but a final, irrevocable decision that he makes. He binds his person; by a bond of loyalty, he attaches his inner being to the reality which confronts him. The engagement expresses itself in a profession of faith, and is consummated by the act of baptism, which introduces the new convert to the mystery of an ever-creative God, in the rebirth by water and the Holy Spirit.
Now he bears within him the seed of a new life. He stands upon the threshold of a new existence. A new form of existence presses for recognition, and the life of faith begins, with all its manifold duties…
Faith may be either discovered or rediscovered. In either case, there remains an unpredictable difference. Which Christian reality is experienced the most immediately or most vividly? It may be Christ, whom one first encounters. The seeker then sees in him the essence of everything, its power, its glory; through him he finds the Father; through him he accepts the Church.
Or it may be the Church one discovers first, attracted by the solidity of her permanence, the forcefulness of all that she purports to be, the richness of her spiritual content; but she, too, points to Christ.
Or it may be the living God, who looms before all else in consciousness, and gradually it becomes clearer that truth and holiness, in their pure state, can be had only from the mouth of Christ, and only in the Church does Christ speak with untrammeled freedom.
– Monsignor Romano Guardini (+ 1968) was born in Italy and was a renowned theologian and writer.