Husband & Wife Articles


 

Conversion Story

My wife prayed the rosary and Mary came to me

By Christian Meert

My wife, Christine, has shared with me how terrified and panicked she was the night before she had an abortion at the clinic, feeling trapped, as if in a nightmare. The doctor soothed her with lies, told her it was nothing, and that there was no need to cry as he gave her a sedative. She recalled sobbing while waking up from the anesthesia after the abortion, feeling helpless, desperately broken and lonely. Something terrible had happened to her, a part of her had been forever destroyed, and I wasn’t there with her and for her.

I can’t get over this thought.

Seven years later, five years into our marriage, on February 2, 1982, Christine experienced a deep conversion through God the Father pouring out his mercy. She then decided to pray the rosary daily for my conversion.

I was born and raised in a solid Catholic family, but had drifted away as a teenager. Now that we were married, I thought we had a good life. We had three beautiful daughters, good friends, a great house and a job I liked. Still, I felt emptiness within me and couldn’t figure out what was missing.

As a 32 year-old man, I felt I didn’t need the Church. I could have a direct conversation with God. The Mass was complicated. It was hard to understand the sacraments, the roles of the saints, especially the Virgin Mary’s.

That summer, Christine booked us for a one-week retreat and I agreed to participate. The second evening was for reconciliation. I was trying to pray with my eyes closed when I started to shake. I felt as though I was holding high-voltage wires in my bare hands, with waves going all through my body. I thought: “Not me, not me, I didn’t ask for anything, I just came as an onlooker. Not me!" I felt like Zacchaeus, wanting to see and not be seen.

Then someone came to me in a sort of vision. It was the Virgin Mary. She was very young, petite and beautiful. She was gazing at me. I could see her blue eyes, her lips, and her dark hair moving under her veil. She was dressed in a long, dark, almost black, gown, the color of dark storm clouds lit by the setting sun in summer. Her smile was very sad.

I felt embarrassed. I didn’t know how to behave, so I started bringing to her in my mind my whole family and my friends, as though I was presenting this long line of people to my Queen. She started to smile happily. It even seemed like she was restraining herself from laughing. Since she wasn’t talking, I felt as though she wanted to tell me: “You're nice, it’s cute what you are doing, but I know them all already.” She still welcomed everyone I was presenting with a gentle smile. Then, I sensed that she was leading me upward to a spot on my right side. And there I was, immersed in an amazing light like nothing I had seen before, nothing I can even describe.

Yes, it was magnificent! This was where I belonged. This was where I wanted to spend the rest of my life, my eternity. I wanted to stay! I was crying in happiness, but then I felt I had to leave this blessed place, to go back to earth and my daily life.

Some may say it was just a dream, but it was very real to me. So profound was the experience that it took me a whole year to be able to share it with Christine. But I was changed. My whole perspective of life was changed. The healing could begin.

Christian Meert is the co-founder of CatholicMarriagePrep.com. He lives in Colorado with his wife, Christine.