Conversion is not a one-time event. Instead, it is a journey unique to every individual.

There are profound conversion stories among the saints (such as Saints Paul and Augustine), but there are also ordinary stories of simple ways people have found themselves on a journey bringing them closer to Jesus in a unique way.

Here are some things to keep in mind during your ongoing conversion process:

Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

1) Holiness doesn’t happen overnight.

Saint John Vianney said, “The saints did not all begin well, but they all ended well.”

We are all called to holiness. Understanding that the path to holiness may come with many missteps isn’t an excuse for spiritual sloth or reason to grow in complacency. Instead, it is a reminder that you are on a journey to heaven. 

Be patient with yourself and take the time to notice God’s grace working in your life!

2) Never stop learning.

There is so much to know and learn about the Catholic faith.

Whether it’s researching the lives of the saints or digging deeper into scripture, there are various resources available to you!

It is easier to live an authentically Catholic life when you understand the deeper reason for why the Church believes something and the scriptural roots for various liturgical practices.

It is also important to arm yourself with defenses against misunderstandings about the Catholic Church. 

As Venerable Fulton Sheen said: 

“There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing.”

3) Frequent the sacrament of confession.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the sacraments are “efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us” (CCC 1131).

The USCCB says:

“We recognize that the Sacraments have a visible and invisible reality, a reality open to all the human senses but grasped in its God-given depths with the eyes of faith.”
“Through the Sacraments, God shares his holiness with us so that we, in turn, can make the world holier.”

The sacraments of the Catholic Church include the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist), the sacraments of healing (Penance and the Anointing of the Sick), and the sacraments at the service of communion (Marriage and Holy Orders).

Some of these occur only once, such as matrimony, baptism, or ordination, but some sacraments–like the healing sacrament of penance–are available for us to obtain grace and conversion on a regular basis.

Put confession on your calendar and make the nightly examen part of your prayer routine.

You can find our guide to returning to confession here.

4) Find community.

Invite your faith into every part of your daily life, including your friendships and daily interactions with others.

Take the time to introduce yourself to fellow parishioners after Mass or join a prayer group. See if there is an opportunity to serve with other Catholics in your community. There are also various online communities to join if you’re homebound.

5) Live liturgically.

The Church calendar is such a gift!

As the body of Christ, we can participate more deeply in the seasons of penance and celebration. By living liturgically, we align our days with the rhythm of faith.

The USCCB provides a guide for the Church year here.

6) Stay close to the Eucharist.

Whether it's receiving the Lord in the Eucharist during Mass or spending time in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, understanding the power of the Eucharist as the source and summit of our lives is so important.

It’s essential for one’s continued conversion.

Saint John Chrysostom takes it a step further, saying,

"How many of you say: I should like to see His face, His garments, His shoes. You do see Him, you touch Him, you eat Him. He gives Himself to you, not only that you may see Him, but also to be your food and nourishment."

7) Pray for the conversion of sinners.

Saint Padre Pio often said that prayer is our best weapon.

There are so many people–non-believers and lapsed Catholics alike–who could use our prayers!

In fact, Our Lord and His blessed Mother have often instructed us to pray for the conversion of sinners.

In the diary of Saint Faustina, she shares Jesus’ words on the power of praying for the conversion of sinners and his desire to gift them with the grace of conversion.

Our Lady of Fatima echoed these instructions specifically during her third apparition, saying:

“Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say many times, especially when you make a sacrifice, ‘O Jesus, this is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.'” 

This Easter, many catechumens and candidates will join the Catholic Church. Please remember to pray for them, too!

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