In the end, the decision was easier than I thought. It happened during the Easter Vigil. I don’t know exactly how to describe it: a gentle nudge; a subtle shift in perspective so that my thoughts, previously clouded and confused, became clear; a sudden longing to be part of it – really part of it, not just standing outside looking in.
Actually, I know I made up my mind a long time ago. It’s been a long while since I seriously considered any future for myself outside the Catholic Church. But in the end I needed that gentle nudge to push me over the threshold.
During that Vigil, the first Catholic Vigil I have attended, I followed the Light of Christ in its triumphant procession up the nave. I saw it spread gradually and surely throughout the Church, illuminating a hundred lesser lights, touching on the austere beauty of the Crucifix and the dazzling bridal flowers on the altar. I kneeled with a hundred other people in reverence at the supreme moment of the Consecration, and felt the blazing joy of the Easter renewal. And, with a mixture of joy and pain, I watched those people who had made the same decision before me, being received and confirmed in their faith.
At the end, the Priest spoke briefly about the baptisms and confirmations which had taken place that evening. God calls people in His own time, he said. It echoed something another Priest said to me when I was a teenager and told him that I was thinking of converting but just wasn’t sure. God has all the time in the world, he said to me. He will wait.
As I left the Church, I made a vow. God may have all the time in the world, but I don’t. For a long time I have been standing on the threshold looking in, but the door is open, and the light is shining outwards, and there is no reason to wait any longer.
It’s time to come home.