In this episode of Speaking with Deacons, Dcn. Mike and I talk about the second question that Fr. Mike Scanlan proposes we ask when discerning: “Does it encourage conversion?”
Fr. Mike wrote, “The world is full of ideas and pleasures and values that tug at our hearts. We are always being converted from something old to something new.” Seeing our decisions in light of “conversion” was a new thought for me. In this episode, I reflect on how at one point in my life I was “converted” to being a member of Disney Vacation Club (or, even as some members of DVC call it, “Disney Vacation Cult”!). I was putting too much of my heart into it, and realized it wasn’t something that was healthy or leading me to God. Now, I’m in a much better place (and still enjoy going, BTW).
The key to knowing if something encourages conversion or not is by results, or “fruits”. These can be fruits we imagine will occur (if we are making a new decision) or fruits in the present moment (if we are reconsidering a decision or a situation we find ourselves in). It is so easy to justify our decisions, so taking a sober look at the “fruits” of the decision can really help us in understanding whether or not this is leading us to our ultimate goal: eternal life and union with Jesus Christ.
Sometimes those “fruits” take time to cultivate, and that is why we need have determination to keep at things, even when we want to give up. Mike shares a great story about how he and his children got involved in martial arts and committed to staying in it until being blackbelts (note to self: don’t get Dcn. Mike angry). It was the “future” fruit they were working towards, and it eventually yielded a great result.
I pray you enjoy this episode! As always, if you can support this work, you can buy me a coffee. And thanks for those of you who already have!