When I first became aware of blogs about ten years ago, I wondered why on earth people would waste their time writing open letters about their lives on the internet. Blogging held no appeal for me even though I have always liked to write. I was busy trying to figure out what to do with small children and didn’t have time to even read blogs never mind write one. During my children’s pre-school years, I went from being able to write computer code and design web pages, to becoming someone who struggles to send a text message. My phone is ten years old and I am afraid to update it in case I can’t figure out how to actually use it. Okay, I know. All I have to do is hand the new phone over to the kids and they will have it sorted within minutes. However, they may also download games, redesign the background and set the ring tone to rude noises.
My attitude to blogs has changed. Over the last year or so, I have found myself surfing the web and reading about other people’s experiences on blogs and other sites. I was faced with a difficult decision and by searching the internet, I was hoping to make a connection with others who might have been in the same position.
I had heard a still, small voice suggesting that I should become Catholic. This was not easy to deal with as I had been brought up in Scotland in a very reformed Protestant tradition. For a while, I did nothing and told nobody. After six months, the thought still hadn’t gone away, and so I told my husband, a cradle Catholic. After that I told the parish priest. Apart from a handful of close friends, I told no-one else until I had made a definite decision to be received into the church.
There were no RCIA classes running in my parish, and so I had no opportunity to meet other prospective converts although the local priest was very good about making time to answer my questions. Unable to talk to anyone in the same position or who had recently gone through the same thing, I searched on the internet, looking up the blogs of recent or prospective converts, or reading the many sites which gave conversion stories. Whilst these stories were often helpful, the problem I came up against was that most of these people were living in the United States and came from quite a different culture and outlook even if they had also started in the Protestant tradition. It was very difficult to find stories about people who had come to Catholicism from a Scottish Protestant background.
That little thought about becoming Catholic wouldn’t go away, and I was received into the church very recently. Since then, I have felt joy about this great gift, confusion about what to do with it and loneliness. It’s a difficult thing to talk about. Perhaps these things are easier to share in a reflective way in writing. I’m starting this blog because I want to communicate what happened and what is happening in my life as a new Catholic. Maybe there are a few other people out there who will see some connections with their own experience.