A Convert's Confession

I was converted to the Roman Catholic Church in my adolescence. But I never had a convert's zeal. I never acquired that instinctive deep structure, that internal universe, that is installed in the cradle Catholic from the start -- the spiritual DNA. Half in the church, half out, a kid who read too much Graham Greene and Thomas Merton, I embraced, it may be, the surface things: the brocaded rituals, the Latin Mass of those days, the rich atmospheres.

Nor did I acquire the true deep structure of the church's doctrinal rationales, its ideals and distastes. The strictures involving family and...

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