The Ripple Effect of Faith
Eleven years ago I sat with my wife at the edge of the baptismal font with our hands on Ryan’s back, along with the priest’s. Three dunks later he was a child of God. It was no small journey. He, like St. Augustine, was a philosopher. His questions flowed like an endless stream over late night beers. He became our dear friend, though we knew he might never become a brother in Christ.
It wasn’t until Holy Thursday that Ryan willed to believe in God. While listening to the Nicene Creed at Mass, he allowed grace a small opening when he asked himself, “Do I believe that? And if not, what do I believe in?” His walls of resistance fell, one after another, as the creed went on, “Yes! I believe in God the Father almighty. …Yes! I believe in the resurrection of the body! ... Yes! I believe in the forgiveness of sin, too! …Yes! I do believe!” Two days later the waters of baptism rippled with yet another convert.
< Five years later Ryan fell in love with a beautiful Taiwanese Buddhist woman. During their engagement they were praying together before a statue of Mary. About to give up their conversations about Christianity, Ryan prayed in the quiet of his heart, "Mary, should I be trying to bring her into the Church? Should she even become Catholic?" A voice filled his soul with a loud and loving, "Yes!" He started weeping. When he noticed that she had been weeping as well he asked what was wrong, she said, "I asked Mary if I should become a Catholic and she said, 'Yes!'"