Friday, February 10, 2006

Back to Life

Judging from his blog, pro-life powerhouse Nathan Sheets has recently had a second-conversion experience. It's affected him profoundly, as you can see from the new intensity he's expressing in his spiritual writings on his blog and elsewhere—including forming a pro-life (or, as his school's newspaper calls it, "anti-abortion") student group and starting a provocative blog campaign, "The Fetal Exception."

Please pray for Nathan as he works to spread the Evangelium Vitae (Gospel of Life) in a hostile environment.

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Here's what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about the second conversion:

Christ's call to conversion continues to resound in the lives of Christians. This second conversion is an uninterrupted task for the whole Church who, "clasping sinners to her bosom, [is] at once holy and always in need of purification, [and] follows constantly the path of penance and renewal." This endeavor of conversion is not just a human work. It is the movement of a "contrite heart," drawn and moved by grace to respond to the merciful love of God who loved us first.

St. Peter's conversion after he had denied his master three times bears witness to this. Jesus' look of infinite mercy drew tears of repentance from Peter and, after the Lord's resurrection, a threefold affirmation of love for him. The second conversion also has a communitarian dimension, as is clear in the Lord's call to a whole Church: "Repent!"

St. Ambrose says of the two conversions that, in the Church, "there are water and tears: the water of Baptism and the tears of repentance."