In Louise Penny’s latest mystery, A Better Man, she voices a rather profound conundrum in Chapter 25 when a significant character asks, “When does a cucumber become a pickle?” Indeed. At what instance does a chemical reaction create pickles? How long does it take for a conversion to happen? How long must we wait to eat the new creation? On another note, how long does it take to realize that we or a friend have changed? When we examine our lives, as does the character in Penny’s novel, how long before a bad habit is replaced with something better? How long can we stay upset with a friend? And even more profoundly, examining the wonder of conversion reflects a major action for human beings. At what moment does an actual conversion take place? No doubt about it, God is the chemical reaction that changes a human being into a better person.
by Mary Jane Berger, OSB