Follow usTwitterFacebook


24 Sep 2015 News USA No comments

Pope canonises Junipero Serra

The Pope said faith is alive only when shared Canonising the 18th-century Spanish missionary, Blessed Junipero Serra, Pope Francis insisted a person’s faith …

Read more

31 Dec 2014 Q&A No comments

Do I have to confess to receive a plenary indulgence?

Full Question I understand that the requirements for a plenary indulgence include confession. Is the requirement for confession contingent on having seriou…

Read more

23 Oct 2014 Vatican No comments

How do we praise God? Pray like Saint Paul, Pope Francis says

Vatican City, Oct 23, 2014 / 05:57 am .- In his homily on Thursday, Pope Francis said no one has the strength to be a Christian without the Holy Spirit, and enc…

Read more

06 Aug 2016 Articles Comments (11)

Why God Can't Command Us to Do Evil

Theists and atheists wield many weapons in the battle over the truth of God’s existence. One such weapon for theists is the moral argument, which asserts moral …

Read more

08 Jul 2015 Articles No comments

The Supreme Court's abuse of its authority

The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the f…

Read more

09 Dec 2015 News Vatican Comments (1)

Cardinal Peter Turkson: "A great deal is at stake for every country"

During the ongoing COP-21 UN Climate Change Summit in Paris which ends on Friday, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Turkson, s…

Read more

22 Jul 2016 Articles Comments (2)

Receiving the Sacraments After Divorce and Remarriage

I recently got a call at Catholic Answers from a woman who had fallen away from the Church many years ago but had come back home after watching EWTN and listeni…

Read more

23 Feb 2016 Americas News No comments

Founder of the EWTN Global Catholic Network remains in "delicate" condition says fellow Nuns

Founder of the EWTN Global Catholic Network, Mother Angelica, remains in a “delicate” condition according to a Feb.22 update from the Nuns at Our Lady of the An…

Read more

11 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (3)

Is the sign of the cross on the forehead, lips, and heart before the Gospel reading for the priest only?

Full Question Is the sign of the cross on the forehead, lips, and heart before the Gospel reading for the priest only? Answer Everyone is instruc…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

A poet’s journey from atheism to Catholicism

  • Written by:
  • 1 Reply

Sally Read explains why she thinks the Mass is a beautiful poem

Poet Sally Read has written an honest and passionate account of her dramatic conversion in 2010 from atheism to Catholicism in her recently published book, Night’s Bright Darkness: A Modern Conversion Story (Ignatius Press). Having already encountered Sally’s articles and poetry, I am keen to tease out the book’s deeper themes.

I asked Sally why she uses the word “poem” to describe the Church. Sally defined a poem as when “ideas and images are coherent and spring from a lucid initial inspiration (Christ in the case of the Church).” She went on to explain:

“They don’t deviate from that inspiration and are not in contradiction to it. In a perfect poem (i.e. the Church), if you mess with any integral part, you lose the sense.”

She added: “The Mass itself is a wonderful poem – the defining drama of our relationship with God. It’s beautiful to see how the language of prayer and scripture is coherent with doctrine and one’s own experience of God.”

How has her faith influenced her poetry and her writing in general? Sally admits “I’ve undergone a crisis of faith with poetry just as I’ve discovered the Faith. The problem with contemporary poetry is that it’s become extremely subjective and thus also somewhat solipsistic.”

“Once the great Truths began to be rejected by society, poets lost a great deal. Poetry, for me, is ultimately about connecting with the Creator (God being the ultimate poet). Once you break that pact, you’re left with something that can be too introspective.”

She added: “Not all contemporary poetry is that way but it’s been a trend over the last fifty years or so…All of which has made me turn to writing non-fiction – my conversion story – and now fiction. People still need stories.”

Which Catholic writers particularly attract her? She tells me her favourites “would include Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, Georges Bernanos, Graham Greene and Flannery O’Connor. O’Connor said that novels are concerned with the soul’s salvation or damnation.” Now, she adds, “I want to discover contemporary Catholic novelists.” She cites the writings of Benedict XVI as an inspiration: “His is such a prophetic voice; so lucid and yet so profound.”

Finally, I ask Sally what advice she would give to those thinking of becoming a Catholic. She replies unhesitatingly and emphatically: “Go to Adoration. Go and sit with the Blessed Sacrament. Go to Mass. Get as close to the Real Presence of Christ as often as you can. And don’t delay the conversion; when you receive the Sacraments they transform you.”



1 comment

  1. Tom Rafferty Reply

    Unless one is able and willing to view reality from an evidential perspective instead of the emotional appeal emblematic of this article, one will never truly face reality.

Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories