Becoming Catholic was never my dream or intent. It is still an all too vivid memory to me, sitting alone at age 40 in a half-lit basement, having resigned from the pastorate. I ached for having abandoned the weekly privilege of a pulpit from which to proclaim God’s truth. Would I ever have this privilege again? Will I ever again have a pulpit? Now they estimate that each week from the “pulpit” of The Journey Home television program I speak to a potential audience of over a billion viewers and listeners. In one night I speak to more people than I ever could have in my entire career as a Protestant minister. This is the humor of our merciful God. Before I converted I had no idea whatsoever how I would support my family let alone how I would continue in ministry. But this is getting way ahead of myself.
Orestes Augustus Brownson (1803–1876) was a New England intellectual and activist, preacher, labor organizer, and noted Catholic convert and writer. Brownson was a publicist, a career which spanned his affiliation with the New England Transcendentalists through his subsequent conversion to Roman Catholicism.
Intellectually, I had a strong “faith” in the tenets of Protestantism, particularly as they were expressed in the Calvinist tradition. Yet Calvinism excused my sin as something God Himself did not see, since, so I believed, the righteousness of Christ had been imputed to me because of my genuine faith, covering over my sins so that He was blind to them, at least insofar as my salvation was concerned.
Ron Moffat, a former Scots Calvinist recalls his journey into the Catholic Church. “Peter said simply, ‘Lord to whom shall we go?’ I knew in my heart, there was nowhere else I could go if I wanted a faith that wasn’t subject to change depending on the latest intellectual fads. I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing, but if I wasn’t, I knew there was no better alternative.”