The Elect received the Sacraments of Initiation last night: Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Communion, while the candidates affirmed their belief in all that the Catholic Church teaches and received the Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Communion. Some may have been baptized Catholics and have received their First Holy Communion in the second grade and then fell away from the practice of the Faith: they were confirmed last night. The Elect of last night are the Neophytes of this Easter Sunday Morning.
I know at least two of those who became Catholics last night and I know that G.K. Chesterton played a great role in one of them deciding to become Catholic.
Chesterton thought often about his "conversion" to Catholicism from the Church of England and he wrote about it often, publishing at least four separate works on why he converted:
The Catholic Church and Conversion
Why I Am A Catholic
"Why I am a Catholic" essay in The Thing: Why I Am A Catholic
In The Well and the Shallows, essays on
MY SIX CONVERSIONS
I. THE RELIGION OF FOSSILS
II. WHEN THE WORLD TURNED BACK
III. THE SURRENDER UPON SEX
IV. THE PRAYER-BOOK PROBLEM
V. THE COLLAPSE OF MATERIALISM
VI. THE CASE OF SPAIN
VII. THE WELL AND THE SHALLOWS
Our G.K. Chesterton group has been reading those various essays which Ignatius Press has collected in one volume--and are just about to finish the last three essays, which will combine with reading chapters from The Woman Who Was Chesterton starting in April.
Perhaps these two paragraphs from the "Why I Am a Catholic" essay in The Thing summarize Chesterton's reasons for becoming a Catholic. He just kept finding out that the Catholic Church told the truth:
As I say, this is only one aspect; but it was the first that affected me and it leads on to others. When a hammer has hit the right nail on the head a hundred times, there comes a time when we think it was not altogether by accident. But these historical proofs would be nothing without the human and personal proofs, which would need quite a different sort of description. It is enough to say that those who know the Catholic practice find it not only right, but always right when everything else is wrong; making the Confessional the very throne of candour where the world outside talks nonsense about it as a sort of conspiracy; upholding humility when everybody is praising pride; charged with sentimental charity when the world is talking a brutal utilitarianism; charged with dogmatic harshness when the world is loud and loose with vulgar sentimentalism--as it is to-day. At the place where the roads meet there is no doubt of the convergence. A man may think all sorts of things, most of them honest and many of them true, about the right way to turn in the maze at Hampton Court. But he does not think he is in the centre; he knows.
Welcome home, Neophytes, reverts, and new Catholics! Make yourself at home, all cradle Catholics who renewed our baptismal promises--that perhaps others made for us--last night or will renew them today!
Happy Easter! Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!