The Joy of Surrender

Then Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the message of eternal life. John 6:68

And so it has begun. The Maundy Thursday Mass was magnificent, and then we moved into the silence and sadness of Good Friday. Now we are waiting with bated breath for the joy of the Resurrection. I was reminded of something our Priest said in RCIA: far from being three unconnected events, the Triduum is the great cycle of salvation – Eucharist, Crucifixion, Resurrection. Obvious perhaps, but it is definitely brought home in the liturgy of the Church at this time.

I’m filled with a mixture of joy and trepidation. For years I have fought against becoming a Catholic, afraid to let God take control of my life, unsure about accepting all those rules, preferring life as a lukewarm Anglican to the prospect of being a committed Catholic with all that entails. But eventually I had to accept that what I was running away from was the Truth – and once you have accepted that, everything else follows.

I went to an interesting talk on Wednesday by Father John Hemer about the Crucifixion. Actually the bit I want to mention was almost an aside at the end. Father Hemer talked about the post-Christian society and how it differed from a pagan society. The key difference, he said, was in the fact that there was no further salvation to look forward to – because we in the Christian world have already been exposed to the Truth in its entirety. That means, of course, that their claim that there is no such thing as truth is perfectly logical – because once you have rejected Truth itself, there can be no other to replace it. Depressing, but it brought home to me how important it is to accept the Truth when you find it.

So, this evening, I will publicly proclaim my acceptance of the truth of the Catholic Church.

I believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again, and sits in glory at the right hand of the Father.

I believe that on earth, He instituted a Church, with Peter at its head, and that He will not let the gates of Hell prevail against it.

I believe that the Church, having taken on authority on earth, has preserved what is true through tradition. I believe that if you accept the Bible as the Word of God, you have to accept the Church which compiled it in the first place.

I believe that the Pope is the successor of Peter, and that in order to be fully a part of Christ’s Church, it is essential to be in communion with him, whether you like him personally or not.

I believe that Priests at the altar stand in persona Christi.

I believe that the Eucharist really is the Body and Blood of Christ. Unlike any of His parables, He never made any attempt to explain away what He had said about the need to eat his flesh and drink His blood, even when it meant that many of his followers left him.

In short, I no longer have a choice but to accept the Truth where I see it. It has been a long journey, but I am finally experiencing the joy of surrender.

Please pray for me tonight as I am received into the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church!

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