In my mid 20s, I went through a kind of creeping spiritual crisis that led me into a reconversion to Christ that was neither sudden nor dramatic, although it shook me powerfully and reached the deepest recesses of my heart.
Like a painful, prolonged medical treatment that’s necessary to save a patient’s life, my reconversion entailed pain and uncertainty, but the result, thank God, was a cure — not an instant one, forever banishing the symptoms of the disease we call “sin,” but a cure nonetheless. As St. Paul explained, “Through one man sin entered the world, and through sin, death.” This malaria of sin, contracted in the Garden of Eden through the bite of an apple, courses through our veins with all its deadly effects. Only God’s grace can combat and overcome it. His love is the sole antidote.
At the height of my conversion of heart, I discovered, or more specifically, the Lord showed me, that through years of infrequent and minimal use, I had allowed the “muscles” of my interior life — prayer, mortification, and recollection — to atrophy and wither. My spiritual “arteries” — which carry the love of Christ as the lifeblood of the soul — had hardened and constricted as a result of the lukewarm, halfhearted complacency into which I had settled. . . . (continue reading Patrick Madrid's "Conclusions of a Guilty Bystander")