Friday, August 30, 2013

One Convert Down, One More to Go

There are two famous converts of our tumultuous time in history that I’ve been wanting praying to meet:  Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC and Mother Dolores Heart, OSB.   Both have such amazing stories of an “alien-to-me” life before they found their place in their monastery and convent, and eventually high profile publishing life.   He was a drug addict juvie; she was a famous movie star.  I call them both awesomecool  (Clever auto correct refers to them "as awesome oil.") because they've plumbed a depth of wisdom that a cradle Catholic like myself can only dream of.  Guess it pays off to be married to Christ or His Church.

 Last week, I had the privilege to listen to a condensed version of Mother Dolores’ conversion story when she spoke at a local Theology on Tap gathering.  

Though I’d planned to buy her book on kindle, I couldn’t NOT get the hardbound one and have her sign it for my girls.

Mother is so gracious

The travelling Fr. Donald Calloway has not flown into my neck of the woods yet.  I mean, I’m sure he has been down to Birmingham, taping episodes for EWTN guest shows, but he hadn't come into my radar yet.  Good thing his testimony is on you tube.   So, if you’re looking for a great true story that involves Our Lady, I highly recommend it.

And if you’re looking for a good read over the upcoming long weekend, here’s a couple you won’t regret buying:

1.  No Turning Back by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC.   The introduction is  compellingintriguing (compelling inky, according to the auto corrupt): "When I was a teenager, if someone had told me I would one day be a Roman Catholic priest writing a book about my life and telling a remarkable story of my conversion to people around the world, I would have said: "You're crazy...! I'm going to smoke a joint. Now get out of my face."  Even today, it still amazes me that I'm a priest. 
“What you are about to read is the story of my conversion-- what Jesus and Mary have done to my life, bringing me out of darkness and atheism to the fullness of truth in the One, Holy and Apostolic Church..." I hope you come into our orbit soon, Fr. Donald Calloway.

2.  The Ear of the Heart by Mother Dolores Hart, OSB. She writes on her preface: “…I have presented in these pages the details of my life so far as a response to the question I have been asked countless times:  How could I throw away a promising acting career for the monastic life of a cloistered nun?  I left the world I knew in order to reenter it on a more profound level… A vocation is a call –one you don’t necessarily want.  The only thing I ever wanted to be was an actress. But I was called by God.”  Not since I’ve finished Mother Angelica’s biography have I been glued to another biography.  Thank you for gracing us with your inspiring presence, Mother Dolores.

So…are there any other "awesome oil" converts in the Catholic world I need to know about other than of course that red-head blogger/reality TV star who hosts 7 quick takes?  Thank you for not deleting me out of your link up, Jen @ even though my 7 paragraphs aren’t that quick.


RAnn said...

I enjoyed No Turning Back too. I'll have to look for M. Delores' book.

Anabelle Hazard said...

Hi RAnn, this isn't the first time I've recommended it.

Micaela Darr said...

Wow, I am going to have to check those links. As a cradle Catholic, I learn so much from converts.

Anabelle Hazard said...

I never get tired of hearing Fr. Donald's story, Micaela.

MT McClanahan said...

“What you are about to read is the story of my conversion-- what Jesus and Mary have done to my life, bringing me out of darkness and atheism to the fullness of truth in the One, Holy and Apostolic Church..." This is how I read this Anabelle (per our email conversation on Protestant/Catholic views) (and please not necessary to post this if you don't want--just quickest way to send you a msg, Calloway is saying that it required Mary also to bring him to Truth--Prot don't see it that way--so it makes me curious what exactly he means by Mary bringing him to truth (Mary not being God of course)Does he mean the same as if someone here on earth "led" him to Christ? It seems mnore that he puts them both on the same level in his wording. Apparently Catholics see Prot in the same way vise versa--as their's being the correct path. Hope I'm not beating a dead horse--I have a tendency to do that. I just can't seem to figure out *why* one chooses one way over another--is it a matter of who's right and who's wrong (God doing the leading) or is it a sociological thing? In essence the view seems to be that "I'm right and you're wrong". I think we can all agree that God/Jesus is right; you would think that that would be a good starting point for cohesiveness, but it seems to have the opposite effect. Maybe I need to read more on Martin Luther and the Reformation, I don't know.

Anabelle Hazard said...

Hi Marcus, I’m going to reply on comments so that others with a similar question can eavesdrop and others who have a better answer can chime in. Fr. Calloway is not saying Mary is the only way to Jesus (to God). She is one of the ways, and in Marian Theology explained by St. Louis de Montfort (“True Devotion to Mary”), Mary is the fastest way to Jesus. (Yes just as you said like when a person on earth leads one to find Jesus) Here’s why: Mary is the most perfect of creatures. We Catholics believe she was conceived without sin and remained sinless throughout her life. (The Bible even refers to her as “Blessed among women.”) Being so, she has a distinct rank in heaven that no one else can ever attain. With her seat in heaven (as Queen of heaven because she is mother to the King), she has “powers” /graces that she always uses when she intercedes to Jesus for us on earth. So if we ask her to intercede for us (like asking our earthly mothers to pray for us), she has a better vantage point of obtaining our requests or obtaining spiritual graces we don’t even know to ask for. (again like a mother who can ask her husband on behalf of her children e.g. child needs a this or that thing) Fr. Calloway put them in the same sentence (I would assume for editorial purposes) but it does not mean they are co-equal. The correct theological terminology to use is “to Jesus through Mary,” Jesus being the way to the Father (which Protestants and Catholics both agree on). Catholic Marian devotees however, invoke the aid/intercession of our Heavenly Mother (The bible says she was given to us at the foot of the cross, “Son, behold thy Mother.”) because we know from the examples and teachings of the saints that she has access to Jesus no one else in heaven does, and that Jesus is more likely, even pleased, to grant his mother heavenly gifts (even if the final recipient isn’t “worthy” of receiving it.) We also know Mary only ever asks for gifts for us that would help us become more like Jesus. The bible story of the Wedding Feast at Cana shows this clearly: Mary intercedes for the couple to Jesus, and even though it wasn’t Jesus time, he acceded because of the simple reason she asked. Mary’s reply and desire was and is always to point to Jesus. “Do whatever He tells you,” she told the servants, just as she tells us today to follow Jesus. Always glad to hear from you Marcus, you are always humble in the way you seek answers.