8.17.2009

#23. Rome Sweet Home

[For the Rules, click here.]

"I thought I could hardly bear the joy or the pain at the giving of the sign of peace."

Authors: Scott and Kimberley Hahn

Synopsis: Scott was a Protestant pastor and theology professor, a Calvinist, devoted to showing Catholics the Biblical reasons their Church was wrong. Kimberley had a Master's in theology and was happy being a pastor's wife and a mother. When Scott started studying covenant theology, however, he found himself pushed closer and closer to Catholicism--to Kimberley's utter horror. "I feel so betrayed." Scott finally joined the Catholic Church, convicted that delay would be disobedience; Kimberley wondered where God had gone.

They passed a few very lonely, painful years as a couple, Scott trying to keep himself from overwhelming her with his joy and longing for her to share it, Kimberley despairing and crying out to God. Kimberley's father finally helped her pray a prayer of total surrender to God's will, and from there she began to study the Catholic understanding and became convinced of it.

* * *

The above quote comes from Kimberley's narration of her welcome into the Catholic Church, where her husband and her parents all wept in the pew behind her--Scott with joy at her joining him at the Eucharist, her parents with sorrow over her separation from them at the same. Re-reading that part of the story brought me tears. Becoming a Catholic, more than anything else in my life, has taught me that great joy and great pain can exist side by side in the same heart--melded in an impossible, alchemical bond. I look forward to the day when Christ makes us all finally, fully, one in Him.

I read this book after joining the Catholic Church, and after one trip through it turned immediately around and read it again. I was taught the beginnings of covenant theology as a Protestant. It fascinated me to hear Scott talk about it, and in the emotions these two Bible-believing Protestants experienced in "popeing", the heartbreak involving friends and family, I found empathy. And an extra rush of gratitude that my friends and family have stuck with me.

Besides, I always have to smile when Kimberley's Protestant father introduces his Catholic son-in-law to the Pope.

RRR: Patrick Madrid's Surprised by Truth series. I enjoyed the story about the neopagan, the one about the guy who just wanted to serve the Lord "in the ancient church in England", and many others.

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