‘I left university feeling I was searching for something – I didn’t even know what – so I went travelling. At the time, during the hippy movement, that was what you did.
“In Spain I saw a sunset and I knew that God existed. That was 1973. I finished my travels and a search began which lasted for 20 years. It was a journey through all sorts of esoteric teachings and psychology. I was saved from getting lost in it, because behind it was a real search for truth.
“St Edith Stein has this phrase, ‘Whoever seeks the truth is seeking God’. I very much identify with this because I am a searcher for truth, I always have been.
“I kept saying ‘no, no, no’ to all these false teachings for a very long time in my life. But conversion to the true God only happened after my marriage broke down – at the lowest point of my life.
“We separated with three teenage children. Now I know that divorce is a terrible injustice to children and a heavy burden for all their life. Even though I am a child of divorce myself, I was blind to the severe consequences.
“A week after my husband had moved out – it was January 1996 – a young woman came to my door. She lived in a house up the street, and we had just greeted each other. She rang the bell, and she stood at the door with a novena in her hand and said: ‘Pray!’ The novena had the great promises of Jesus, always ending, ‘I am the handmaiden of the Lord, thy will be done’.
“In my despair I prayed the novena in front of a Buddha statue and other things I had collected during these 20 years of searching… and at the end of the novena, I knew beyond any doubt, I would become a Catholic.
“It was really the last thing I was expected to do in my environment, and it meant losing friends, even family members.
“Despite my feeling of certainty, there was fear, like jumping from a 10-metre board and not knowing if there is any water underneath, because I was moving out of this whole frame of mind where I thought I could take my happiness in my own hands. The result was not happiness but the falling apart of my life.
“Now, nearly a quarter of a century later, I am deeply thankful that God opened the door of the Church for me. Despite the deplorable state of the Church, we still have access to the essential nourishment through the sacraments, and the incredible richness of teaching, prayer and the example of the saints and martyrs, to grow in a relationship of love with the living Christ.”
As recorded and edited by Simon Caldwell. Gabriele Kuby is the author of The Global Sexual Revolution, which has been translated into 14 languages