Convert though I may be, I find myself much more interested in what "cradle Catholics" like Arturo Vasquez of Reditus
and Enbrethiliel of Sancta Sanctis
have been saying of late than any of the converts who make their living in the apologetics industry. I've been reminded of a conversation I had with a Malaysian-Chinese friend in Kuala Lumpur in 1996 when I was still a Protestant.
Mr. Wong was a Methodist, a member of the ecclesial community which baptized me, but not raised me. We were outside his parish, where I had experienced a mystical revelation of the universality of the Church. (Interesting, given William S. Lind's revelation of a response to "Benedict’s Counter-Reformation" suggesting it "may open up ways in which Methodism, whose origins were as a movement in the Church rather than a separate denomination, may find its place in future, as a Church, alongside others within the universal Church" — Come All Ye Faithful
It was around Christmas, and Mr. Wong said to me that I was fortunate to have grown up in a Christian family. I responded, typically, that, no, we were all the same or whatever, but he quickly corrected me, and reminded me of the profound blessing that I had been given being raised by Christians. He had missed out on much being raised by pagans, he said.
A very Catholic response, the Methodist Mr. Wong's! And very different from that of the evangelicals I met abroad, who always seemed hell-bent on determining if I was a "real Christian" according to their tenets, suspect as they were of anyone born into a Christian family and country.
Of course, Christ is manifested in us as individuals, but also as families and cultures and nations. We converts are the poorer for not having been raised Catholic. 'Twould be nice if more professional Catholic converts and their followers humbly recognized this, rather than overreacted with hurt feelings and denunciations.
Labels: Las Américas, Malaysia, Separated Brethren, The Catholic Faith