It is with diffidence that anyone born into the Faith can approach
the tremendous subject of Conversion. Indeed, it is easier
for one still quite unacquainted with the Faith to approach
that subject than it is for one who has had the advantage of
the Faith from childhood. There is at once a sort of impertinence
in approaching an experience other than one's own (necessarily more
imperfectly grasped), and an ignorance of the matter.
Those born into the Faith very often go through an experience
of their own parallel to, and in some way resembling,
that experience whereby original strangers to the Faith come
to see it and to accept it. Those born into the Faith often,
I say, go through an experience of scepticism in youth,
as the years proceed, and it is still a common phenomenon
(though not so often to be observed as it was a lifetime ago)
for men of the Catholic culture, acquainted with the Church
from childhood, to leave it in early manhood and never to return.
But it is nowadays a still more frequent phenomenon--
and it is to this that I allude--for those to whom scepticism
so strongly appealed in youth to discover, by an experience of men
and of reality in all its varied forms, that the transcendental
truths they had been taught in childhood have the highest claims
upon their matured reason.