Friends in High Places
by Terry Fenwick
As new Catholic Christians, my husband and I came from a very strong Protestant Christian background. You well might imagine we had a lot of stunned friends when we made the move. We were in our seventies. Yes, 70 and 76.
We both had been devout Christian leaders in well-known interdenominational international Bible Studies and very active in our Christian Churches. We were trusted by other members of the faith because of our interdenominational work. Many of these loving friends, who had trusted us, shook their heads for a long time when they heard us say, "We are going to become Catholics!" and then disappeared. Totally disappeared for the most part. Wonderful friends, I might add. Not just acquaintances. Friends we worshiped with, shared our faith with, vacationed with, dined with, traveled with - great friends. Because I am an extrovert, and extroverts simply can't handle losing friends, it was more sad for me than it was for my husband. Extroverts want everyone to like us!
Tom and I both knew many of those in our family, as well as these other great friends, would have difficulty accepting our decision. Even we had been taken by surprise. We had never once considered becoming Catholic. However, by the time we told them of our decision, we were on our way to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and we were positive it was a call of GOD. There was no way we could consider anything but heeding His call. There was no turning back from the truth we had finally found.
In the beginning we had angry emails and calls but we just prayed that time would do the healing. We had no idea how God would fill the gap for us after losing these close friends. Fill the gap He did! Still leaving room for the old friends to return, He gave us, not only Catholic friends with skin on but He gave us these other wonderful new friends - Friends in High Places - the Saints! We had not known about the Saints and their realness. What a surprise!
What a joy they are to us! We have our favorite Saints, of course, but I determined I needed to study about all of them and their lives, as one day, not too far away from now, we will be meeting them and I want to say to them, "Monica! I have loved knowing you and asking for you to beseech the Lord for me for my son!" I know a lot about St. Monica and her son St. Augustine, but I realized that I may know only a line or two about many of the Saints. When the day comes I meet St. John Cardinal Henry Newman and only know that one line, "To be deep in history, is to cease to be a Protestant!" it might be embarrassing. So I have decided to fill my life with these Saints who will greet me one day saying, "We are so glad you became Catholic!" Right now I ask them to pray for my friends who are still shaking their heads! I think when I meet these friends in high places they will actually say to me, "We prayed for you and Tom. Some Catholic 'aquaintances' of yours asked us to pray for you since you were always seeking more of God in different churches. They knew you both really loved the Lord!" How great is this? I say, "Very great!" I love my new friends.
Who are your favorite Saints? Choose 1 or 10 who know your weaknesses. Try St. Augustine for lust! If you are a mother in need for prayer for your children, meet St. Monica. There is a Saint who understands each and every concern you have and, since they are in high places with the Great Intercessor Jesus, they will be praying for you, too. The Saints, having once been just regular men and women, have been where you are in need and would love to pray for you. What a prayer group we have in heaven! Jesus, the Blessed Mother, and all the Saints and Angels.
Terry Fenwick (2/3/04 date we entered into full Communion with the Community of Saints!)
"The Glory of God is a human being fully alive!” St. Irenaeus, the great second-century theologian