- Posted by Lin Wilder
- On August 28, 2014
- 0 Comments
- a search for the sacred, blessing, catholicism, catholocism, christian, conversions, e-mail marketing, god, marketing, sacred, thinking, writing
‘Conversions are always the result, not of some great pitched battle, but of a long series of little efforts carried to a successful conclusion.’
The statement was made by Paul Claudel, called one of the greatest Catholic poets of the last century. The little I know about the life of the poet, statesman, diplomat, lover, tells me that underneath the simple words lies untold anguish, loneliness, loss: an adulterous relationship, a failed attempt to re-kindle his faith at a Benedictine Monastery, ‘successful’ careers as Diplomat, Essayist, Playwright. A life detailing the work of the Catholic convert; a surprisingly large club I belong to.
One of my many careers has been in on-line marketing, advertising. During the seemingly endless learning required, I learned another very different meaning for the word conversion: A metric to measure the switch from shopper to customer.In these days of on- line sales, marketing, the word conversions has morphed to mean the numerical index of people who switch from browsing around web site to those who decide to purchase the product, the book, download the article.
There are some surprising similarities for both the religious and the economic meaning of conversions: they are a result of a decision, a commitment, more and more rare in our post -Christian culture where we can don an amazing variety of life-styles, even genders, we think with impunity.
But today is the Feast day of one of the famous conversions in the Catholic Church:St. Augustine. A man who has mattered to me throughout my life; in the club of Catholic converts I belong to. Back in my many years as an atheist, agnostic, Buddhist, or the majority of those years when I claimed no tradition at all, holding only antagonism and hostility toward institutions, St. Augustine was one of the reasons I claimed for my antipathy toward religion. In my ignorance and rush to judgement of a man I simply criticized, never taking the time to learn about the person, I thought of him as a hypocrite. All of these years later, I have learned how very wrong I was. And celebrate the words of Augustine, grateful for the faith that leads me to love his words from his The Confessions of St Augustine.
Urged to reflect upon myself, I entered under your guidance into the utmost depth of my soul. I was able to do this because you were my helper…Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness, I plunged into the lovely thing which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you.