Living Waters: A Video on My Conversion Story

Living Waters – what Our Lord speaks of here and what my conversion story turns on … Illustration: Gustave Dore – Nineteenth Century.

Here is my latest video (below)  – an unusually personal and autobiographical one. In it, I tell my conversion story – which all turns on one night in September 1997 – after which nothing would ever be the same again.

This is so much the case that, as I say on the video, I now see my life in two distinct halves – everything that happened prior to that 1997 night of September 18th and everything that then unfolded afterwards as a direct result of my life-changing experience. And that experience, I say, came from direct contact with the Living Waters of the Church, the living waters referred to, of course, in this passage from the St. John gospel (Douai-Rheims translation):

Then that Samaritan woman saith to him: How dost thou, being a Jew; ask of me to drink, who am a Samaritan woman? For the Jews do not communicate with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her: If thou didst know the gift of God and who He is that saith to thee: Give me to drink; thou per- haps wouldst have asked of him, and He would have given thee living water. The woman saith to him: Sir, thou hast nothing wherein to draw, and the well is deep. From whence then hast thou living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank thereof, himself and his children and his cattle? Jesus answered and said to her: Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but he that shall drink of the water that I will give him shall not thirst for ever. But the water that I will give him shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into life everlasting. The woman said to him: Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst. (John 4:16)

Yes, my conversion story, what happened to me that September night, has all to do with this.

Let me add that I am a convert from the New Age movement to Catholic Christianity (although, initially I turned to Anglicanism, as back in 1997, Catholicism was simply too strange, too alien.) I lived for the best part of three years at Findhorn – probably the most famous New Age community in the world – and then worked as a New Age activist in Cambridge, England. In all, the New Age movement was the greatest inspiration of my life for nearly twenty years (as I talk about in another video here).

In the present video, I also cover other topics related to my story, including the work of the Catholic convert Valentin Tomberg and Eastern influences in the New Age via figures like Eckhart Tolle, as well as the esoteric Theosophy of Helena P. Blavatsky and Alice Bailey. For I contend that the New Age is neither universal, nor all-embracing, nor so “holistic” as it claims – rather it is a far, far more Eastern (and narrow) phenomenon than its advocates care to admit (including to themselves!).

I say this confidently, knowing that before the changes born of that life-changing night, I would have considered the video below completely ridiculous. For I would have certainly believed the New Age represented a universal spirituality, transcending all religion and that Catholicism was an outmoded relic belonging to the Age of Pisces. Thus it was, I thought, utterly unsuited towards the glorious Age of Aquarius we New Agers now avidly proclaimed.

And I would not have had the slightest idea that far, far beyond what Eckhart Tolle calls “The Power of Now”, there existed a world of Living Waters never glimpsed in my two decades of exploring the “holistic” New Age movement and Eastern esotericism.

In short, my former self would be horrified to hear me saying what I say here …

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7 responses to “Living Waters: A Video on My Conversion Story”

  1. Alfred Avatar

    Prayer Request:

    Pray for the conversion of Eric McDonald-
    God Save his Soul:
    “May Jesus in his compassion guide Eric McDonald to the pathways of salvation.May Jesus in his love bless and protect the soul of Eric McDonald.May Jesus the Divine healer, heal Eric in spirit, soul, and body. May Jesus The Divine Redeemer redeem Eric from this world and the devil.May Christ The Savior Save Eric and bring to His holy Kingdom in the name of Jesus Christ Amen!!!”

  2. roger Avatar

    Alfred, I am sorry if I appear to be ignoring your requests, no doubt born of real pain for someone you care deeply for.

    I am very, very behind on responding to you and also many others. Struggling to keep up. But I have registered your pleas and have prayed for Eric McDonald.

  3. Monique Avatar

    Roger, What is the book called, and who is the author, of the book on Catholicism that you felt compelled to purchase, prior to your blessing at communion in the Catholic Church, and prior to your conversion?

    1. roger Avatar

      Monique – I am almost embarrassed to answer, as I now think it is a TERRIBLE book. It is the ultraliberal text on Catholicism by Richard McBrien!

      Two points though – at the time, I was SO progressive myself that I might have reacted violently to anything less progressive. God moves in mysterious ways …

      Second, despite my serious reservations about the book now, the fact remains that the author was an ordained priest and that was a point to the video, the role of the Sacraments. However terrible that book is, the man’s soul remains forever sacramentally changed.

      Finally, my warm thanks for your comments. I am very slow in responding and will be for some time, but I do appreciate them!

      1. Monique Avatar

        Dear Roger,

        Don’t be embarrassed about the book that led you to the Catholic Church. God know that He has to lead us in stages. He did this with me as well, albeit with different steps as I was a cradle Catholic but entrenched in liberal Catholicism. I appreciate the disclaimer about the book and I will take that under consideration. I was interested in the path that you took because my mother and her husband are entrenched in the “I Am” activity which is an American New Age religion. I think it’s so easy to get info. on the internet to see the real truth about it, but my mother doesn’t have a computer, so she is reading the original books, etc. I have the info. but I can’t give it to her yet because she would probably dig in her heels and embrace her false religion even more if I showed her directly that she is wrong. Thank you for sharing this information with me. God Bless you!

  4. Monique Avatar

    There is a book called, “The Price to Pay”, about a Muslim convert to Christianity. He writes about a dream he had where Jesus (he did not know it was Jesus at the time) was on one side of a stream and the Muslim man was on the other side, and Jesus told him that he could not cross to the other side until he drank from the living water ( or something to that effect – I am paraphrasing from memory). It’s the second time that I have heard reference to living water in a conversion story.

    1. roger Avatar

      Most interesting, Monique. I will take a look for that book. Thank you!