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JHN changeIn describing my journey in faith in the last few years (here), I noticed as I’m sure many of you did, that I spoke nearly more about Jessica, than I did myself.

And yet, it is still a valid description of my journey. Why? Because like all of us, I’m not inclined to change, not even if it’s easy, free, good for me, and even non-fattening. Most of us aren’t. Things have to get very bad indeed before we actively seek change.

On yesterday’s Newman Blog, Newman spoke to this very human tendency to resist changing on almost any account.

We are by nature what we are; very sinful and corrupt, we know; however, we like to be what we are, and for many reasons it is very unpleasant to us to change. We cannot change ourselves; this too we know full well, or, at least, a very little experience will teach us. God alone can change us; God alone can give us the desires, affections, principles, views, and tastes which a change implies: this too we know; for I am all along speaking of men who have a sense of religion. What then is it that we who profess religion lack? I repeat it, this: a willingness to be changed, a willingness to suffer (if I may use such a word), to suffer Almighty God to change us. We do not like to let go our old selves; and in whole or part, though all is offered to us freely, we cling hold to our old selves. Though we were promised no trouble at all in the change, though there were no self-denial, no exertion in changing, the case would not be altered. We do not like to be new-made; we are afraid of it; it is throwing us out of all our natural ways, of all that is familiar to us. We feel as if we should not be ourselves any longer, if we do not keep some portion of what we have been hitherto; and much as we profess in general terms to wish to be changed, when it comes to the point when particular instances of change are presented to us, we shrink from them, and are content to remain unchanged.

A willingness to be changed — NEWMAN LECTURES.

He’s right, isn’t he? He surely is for me, and I suspect many of us.

That’s the importance of a well-catechized spiritual guide, often they can make us see why we should make the effort to change, and give us the motivation to do so.

That is the back story of my love and respect for Jessica, and in addition I think, in large measure, of why she established AATW, and why so many of us still love it so much. It is place where we can learn from others, why we should, and how change can, make our faith richer, deeper, and more pleasing to God.