My mother was a fallen-away Catholic (birth control issues - my parents had six children, including a daughter with a serious birth defect), so I was raised with little religious structure. Whenever we traveled to the city, she would take us into cathedrals and spend time praying and lighting candles.
Once, as a know-it-all teen, I said something derogatory about the church, and in a very un-characteristic manner, she let me have it between the eyes. I think these experiences had a big effect on me... which says a lot about how powerful the smallest of actions and words can be.
Early in my conversion I met a woman who has been practicing EC, and studying more traditional RC and EO for years. She tosses me books, books and more books... and they all contain the stories and words of great Christian role models: St John Chrysostom, Eckart, Chesterton, St Seraphim of Sarov, Katherine Doherty, Blessed Fr Seraphim Rose, the Optina Frs, St Terese of Lisieux and St Francis.
We've become close friends, and it's inspiring to see her struggle to live every day more and more according to Christ's teaching.
I found a Catholic Church in the next town with a truly wonderful priest who reminds me of John the Baptist.
The richness of role models, in body and in spirit, is beginning to make it hard to comprehend the world outside of Christianity.