A conversion is never planned or conceived as a personal project.
It is not a prepared item on a life's journey. It may have a time of gestation, but that is difficult to measure. Most souls have no realization until they are near the event itself that they are moving in the direction of a conversion. It is not something ordinarily sought but, rather, seems to seek out a soul. The favor and predilection of God are always behind it. It is as though his eyes linger on certain souls, watching them for a time, before targeting them as a prey of his love.
In truth, therefore, conversions are never entirely sudden, coming out of nowhere, even when they seem to ignite an explosively new force within a life. The hidden chiseling of the hand of God has usually been at work for an unknown time; concealed touches have been laid upon the heart; the trailing of the soul has taken place into its shadowed hours, sometimes for long periods of time, even for years. All these preliminary anticipations only point to the essential truth of a serious conversion. God meets a soul at a crossroad of life and in some unexpected way makes his real presence known. A personal encounter with the real mystery of a personal God is at the heart of every great conversion.
Fr. Donald Haggerty. "As he was entering a village..." Conversion: Spiritual Insights into an Essential Encounter with God (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 2017).
Reprinted with permission from Ignatius Press.
Fr. Donald Haggerty, a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, is currently serving at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. He has been a Professor of Moral Theology at St. Joseph's Seminary in New York and Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Maryland and has a long association as a spiritual director for Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity. He is the author of Conversion: Spiritual Insights into an Essential Encounter with God, as well as Contemplative Provocations and The Contemplative Hunger.Copyright © 2017 Ignatius Press
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