When Conviction Intrudes on My Plans

I am a convert to the Catholic Church.

One of the things that first attracted me was the Church’s universality, both historical and geographical. I take the Church’s unbroken presence since the apostolic age and its world-wide ministry both to be strong evidences for its claim to be guided and protected by the Holy Spirit. I love the way that the Church has “baptized” cultures, using existing customs to present the Gospel in familiar ways to new peoples, and the way that it has fostered and protected real diversity of worship from country to country. We have surrounded our children with images of Christ from many different countries and times, showing them how much richer our understanding of Our Lord is because of the diversity of presentations.

But I recently learned that my love for the universality 
of our Church ends when it impinges on my Sunday plans.

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Putting Our Words into Action

[Gen, one of our contributors here at Texas Schmexas, 
is blogging from Chennai, India, where she and her family 
are living for a few weeks this summer. You can visit her 
personal blog for more photos and stories about India.]

Recently my husband and I each presented material to the media studies students at Madras Christian College. After our sessions we were escorted to the train station by one of the students in that department who got on the train with us to go home. It was a long ride home so we sat and chatted with the student for a long time. At each stop more people got on and the train became more crowded.

At one point a beggar lady came up to our seat and held out her hand. She didn’t appear poor. She seemed presentable and put together, with make-up and lots of jewelry. There’s never been a time when a beggar had not approached me on the train. But I had never seen this type of beggar.

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Stepping Out

[Gen, one of our new contributors here at Texas Schmexas, 
is blogging from Chennai, India, where she and her family 
are living for a few weeks this summer. You can visit her 
personal blog for more photos and stories about India.]
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I have been to India three times, but every once and a while I get a scared feeling when I walk out on the streets. My heart beats a little faster and my body is a little more tense and uneasy. The feeling doesn’t last long, but every time it happens I feel a bit unsafe for just a moment.

(c) 2013 Gen Alexander Photography. Used by permission.

(c) 2013 Gen Alexander Photography. Used by permission.

Afterwards, I feel silly for even feeling this way.

During these moments, I am taken out of my comfort zone. My focus is narrowed in on my immediate surroundings and all sorts of present dangers.

But then I get back to the reality of why I am here.

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