Anne Rice says of her journey back to faith: ‘In seeking to know everything, I’d been, all of my life, missing the entire point.’ She tells of a time when, having been an atheist for thirty eight years and written a whole lot of popular novels about vampires and witches, she was sitting in her house and having a conversation with herself.
You will have to read her book* yourself to see her original, at-length version of this conversation, which I have summarised in the following way: ‘You know what Anne. A transaction is taking place. On the one hand you have a long list of complaints about the God-world and all the problems with wars, brutality, manipulation—all these unanswered questions, all very mature, adult and supposedly humble. But on the other hand there’s this list of so-called ‘subjective and therefore invalid’ experiences and memories from works of art, music, icons and statues—all very child-like and supposedly naive, where you have felt God saying, “I love you Anne.” And you are about to permanently trade this for that bag of supposedly sensible and responsible complaints and un- answered questions.’
As she thought about all this she became uneasy about the fact that the respect of her educated and skeptical colleagues was now emerging as a major reason for her procrastination and her unwillingness to act. Then she says: ‘I knew the German church of my childhood was perhaps six blocks away from where I was sitting. And perhaps I’d remembered my mother’s words of decades ago: “He is on that altar. Get up and go.” … ‘I didn’t care about the framing of the doctrine, I cared about him. And he was calling me back through his Presence on the altar. He might have used the falling rain, he might have used Vivaldi … but no, he used the doctrine of the Real Presence.’
* Called Out Of Darkness