Back when I had time, I was really into antiques. Buying, admiring, gloating. Anything about antiques. And I bought some. Until I ran out of room in my 3500 square foot house. Then I had to really question every purchase.
At that point I developed a desire to have what I loved the most. Books. Preferably classical or intellectual ones. I especially loved antique books. I put my two desires together.
Until I discovered something I desired even more. I had found traditional Catholic works. And a whole new world of thinking opened up for me. I would go to library book sales, garage sales and answer ads in the newspaper trying to acquire, at a severely reduced price, an immediate library of traditional Catholic works.
Then, one day, I went to an antiques show. I had limited myself to ogling at this point, but I still went. At the show I came across a large book entitled “Catholic Encyclopedia”. It was an old subscription book, from 1906, with hundreds of hand-drawn pictures and photographs. And the price was right. So I walked out of the show with one purchase.
At home, I reviewed my new-found treasure. Within its covers I discovered a series of short books, including “A Catholic Mother Speaks to Her Children” by an author with whom I had no knowledge, Marie, Countess de Flavigny. At the time, I was not interested in the woman, only the message.
And the message was the most straight-forward, simplistic explanation of Catholic thinking that I had ever read. It turned my head around. I suddenly learned how the old Catholics behaved differently than the old agnostics. The slippery slope that began when I was a teenager had so gradually pulled me away from my roots that I did not realize it. At the same time, while growing up in the 50s and 60s, much of the Catholic thinking had already been diluted before I had a chance to learn it.
I had discovered a new life! And I wanted to share it with others.