Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Into the Clearing

I OFTEN IMAGINE A BOY who, not unlike Prince Caspian of C. S. Lewis's book, had a love for lore, for stories and legends of romance and greatness and great sacrifice for great causes, who chanced upon a clearing and structures ruinous the origins he knew not. It is my favorite kind of story.

Imagine my immense surprise when in my advancing years I found myself the protagonist in that story. It followed years of struggle, of having that kind of Story excised right out of me in the relativist blather of a "liberal arts education" followed by a different kind of relativism - a left-leaning form of Christianity that I call New Age Zen Protestantism.

And yet, here I stood at the age of 47, newly confirmed into full communion with the Holy Catholic Church. The words of Evelyn Waugh - fellow convert - were one with my own heart and mind:

“Conversion is like stepping across the chimney piece out of a Looking-Glass world, where everything is an absurd caricature, into the real world God made; and then begins the delicious process of exploring it limitlessly.”

To this moment, I have found nothing to contradict either the words of Waugh or the wonder of coming into the clearing of the Catholic World from the dark and cruel forest of derelict, atrophy, parody, and sin. And lo - what I had taken for a structure ruinous was not so at all. Rather, it was deeply old and immensely ancient, yet as new and vibrant as a fresh day of Spring and heart's ease. And at its center a lamb as though slain ... and His Mother, our good Lady, His most faithful and first and best disciple.

With all my days - however many or few there are - the best life, the only life, is to serve our good Lord and His good Lady in fealty and service. There is nothing for it but this. For I did not find my way in the Clearing. I got pulled into this Romance, undeservedly. And for that I am grateful.

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