Dan, what you described is a conversion...and I thank you for sharing it, it's lovely.Continued: Regina Born-Again.
Bishop Sheen often alluded to that awakening in the soul in his teachings,whether he limited it to a n infant baptism initiation of sorts,I am not aware,but he knew personally what it was to be born again,and I doubt that he would allude to it if every Catholic was convinced in their soul that such awakened them as well.
It is not an experience that isolates to Protestant or Catholic or Orthodoxy,but to the soul which is called by God to KNOW His Son.Repentance is required,and a believing,and faith,but the Spirit brings about the rebirth,and it is not physical,nor emeshed in the flesh,but Spiritual life,and the beginning of the Eternal life with Christ.
Does it require discipline in KEEPING it stirred up and alive,YES,and most of all it needs the Baptism of fire from the Holy Spirit,later to bring the same soul to the needed MATURITY,God calls us to to serve Him.He does not send a Baby t o do a Man's or woman's work.
Regina,the born-again life requires us to enter into HIM,and that is a life of Jesus,living,Jesus'suffering,J esus crucified,Jesus Died,and finally Jesus resurrected,and IN HIM we live and have our being.NOT possible without being born-again.
Trash the idea that it is some Protestant concoction,it is not,it is the beginning of the rest of your life in Christ.
Conversion is not a one time event. We must essentially go through that conversion process every day. Each morning we awake to the world, and it is good as God proclaimed it in Genesis. And each day we have the free will to follow Him or reject Him. Each day we must be converted to Him. But that is not being 'born again' as set out in the NT. I know Anthony has given you links to some good materials so I hesitate to overload you, but I like this article:
If you're really interested, maybe you can print these things out and read them at your leisure.
Again, I appreciate your explanation and sharing your conversion story. There is more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner...
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph,