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  #1  
Old Apr 16, '11, 8:30 pm
Juliebug108 Juliebug108 is offline
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Question So why did you convert??

Hi everyone!

My question goes both ways: former protestants, what lead you to convert to Catholicism? Former Catholics, what lead you to convert to protestantism?

I'm considering converting to the Catholic Church, so I'm just curious about what lead people to or from the church.

Peace and blessings,
Julie
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Peace and blessings,
Julie


"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy." - St. Francis
  #2  
Old Apr 16, '11, 11:38 pm
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William Pitts William Pitts is offline
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Default Re: So why did you convert??

I was raised Baptist, but left for various reasons many years ago. There were some things I had no answer for, and I felt something was missing. During a health crisis I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me. I had watched the Journey Home for 4 years and was impressed with the testimonies of different converts. The doctrine that spoke to me most was the Eucharist and the Real Presence of Christ. I could not find any other Church that believed, taught or celebrated the Eucharist like the Catholics. I bought a NAB and a Catechism of the Catholic Church and began to study. Once I began to read the Bible through Catholic eyes I saw the things I had been missing. I found nothing in the Catholic Church I couldn't or didn't believe or understand. I was received into the Catholic Church last fall. I have had very few problems and I believe I am where I am supposed to be.

God bless you on your journey.
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  #3  
Old Apr 17, '11, 12:03 am
Roman_Catholic Roman_Catholic is offline
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Default Re: So why did you convert??

I was convinced of the claims of Catholicism so I converted for two reasons; truth and obedience to the Lord. However, I was not protestant before my conversion.

God bless
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  #4  
Old Apr 17, '11, 12:13 am
mardukm mardukm is offline
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Default Re: So why did you convert??

Dear sister Julie,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juliebug108 View Post
Hi everyone!

My question goes both ways: former protestants, what lead you to convert to Catholicism? Former Catholics, what lead you to convert to protestantism?

I'm considering converting to the Catholic Church, so I'm just curious about what lead people to or from the church.
I don't believe I converted. I made a translation from the Coptic Orthodox Church to the Coptic Catholic Church. I joined the Catholic Church not be rejecting my Coptic Orthodox Traditions, but merely because I rejected all the misconceptions I had previously held about the Catholic Church.

Blessings,
Marduk
  #5  
Old Apr 17, '11, 2:00 am
mark avery mark avery is offline
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Default Re: So why did you convert??

High reverence was my lead to the catholic church, which was from an evangelical baptism,and from a church of England (Anglican) conformation.

The denominations both seemed more intent on receiving the holy spirit than in worship to our father, obviously not all.They also used to gather in the church much and converse on many topics which i found to be recalcitrant from, "Few words are best in the house of the lord".

I have been so inspired since i was confirmed into Catholicism and its been very cathartic for my moral standing, but also i should say somewhat difficult at times.

Good blessings.....
  #6  
Old Apr 17, '11, 2:14 am
sea krait sea krait is offline
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Default Re: So why did you convert??

I've converted in spirit at this point, and will hopefully a.s.a.p. have the opportunity to enter the Church physically, so hopefully my testimony counts here.

I'll try to tell this in story form.

My family isn't religious, except for my dad, who practices more or less in secret. I suppose for years, perhaps since the beginning of high school, I considered myself a general "Christian" (it's hard to remember), but I can't remember doing anything aside from sometimes praying. Back then, I didn't really know the first thing about denominational differences except for the propaganda taught to me in history classes, but I guess by sola fide standards I was doing okay. Then the last couple years (I'm finishing my second year of college now) where I actually learned about Christianity in general and even attended a non-denominational church with my friend. But I sinned gravely (if not mortally?) all the time, in a variety of ways, and I almost knew and could feel that I shouldn't, but that was never enough of a reason.

Then, in the midst of one of my toughest semesters ever (last Fall) something caught my eye. My dad usually drops me off at the small college I attend and then continues on to work (and picks me up on the way back), which is a convenient deal, and in the morning on our way there, his lips scarcely move as he stares forward and silently mouths the rosary. I usually just tried not to bother him, but he didn't mind if I did. So -- and I hope to always remember this moment, to burn it into my memory -- we were driving along a semi-rural road in the pre-dawn near-darkness, and I remember looking over at him and seeing his lips (in the light of the dashboard? ) barely moving as usual, and a thought (which, upon later reflection, I realized I've only had a few times in my life total: a very rare thought indeed) crossed my mind: "does praying the rosary actually do anything?" Then, within the same instant (I'd be surprised if the word "anyway" appearing in my mind and the following event were separated by a 1/4 second), a car which was waiting patiently at one of those middle-of-nowhere intersections decides to turn left, pulling out right in front of us. My dad didn't slam the breaks, but he did hit them hard: enough to jerk me forward and wring my adrenal glands, and the guy turning squeaked by. So a few things about this:

1. I'm not embellishing the timing: it was as if the driver ahead deciding to randomly turn when he clearly and obviously shouldn't have overlapped with the very end of that question in my mind.

2. Since this, I usually think of this and like things as "statistical miracles." Of course, people can say anything isn't a miracle, especially what I witnessed (which isn't the wildest thing but it was certainly enough to get the ball rolling), but even with mustard seed-sized faith, I find it hard to dismiss that something was responsible for this statistically interesting event.

3. I try to be reasonable and logical, so naturally I had to then figure out the following: was this a miracle from the Deceiver or from God?


Okay, so that was the catalyst. The ball's rolling. For the next half year roughly, up to this day, I spent an inordinate amount of time researching mainly Catholic and Protestant and (a little) Orthodox apologetics. I slowly became a pattern connoisseur, searching deep and wide for answers. At first especially, it was intensely confusing and a little distressing. I realized that whichever sect (if any in particular) was correct, the less-correct sect(s) would have hundreds or thousands of years (depending on the sect) to muddy the apologetic waters and form all sorts of deceiving counterarguments.

I also started praying a lot and praying consistently (probably for the first time ever). I realized I couldn't do this on my own, but I recognized the true gravity of this decision, and so I tried to clear my mind of all preconceptions and I honestly prayed (on many occasions over those months) something like this:

"God, if any Christian sect holds truest to your truth, or if somehow they all do, or certain ones do, please show me so I know how to best worship you. I want your Truth -- no matter the cost."

And I tried to make sure that I meant it. Each time that I can remember praying that, I got an answer which was along the lines of a "statistical miracle," though not quite as grand as the first, and it always pointed towards Catholicism. I would always feel at peace after this was revealed to me, not because Catholicism is the most comforting choice at a glance (is St Leonard of Port Maurice's (private) revelation, or anything for that matter, more comforting than sola fide?) but because the Truth became clear to me, finally. But I would forget much of what I read as I continued my journey, and slowly I would erode down again into doubt, which is why I ended up praying for the Truth, whatever it may be, so many times. There would be a bi-weekly or monthly peak, then a downward slope until the next peak.

(to be continued...)
  #7  
Old Apr 17, '11, 2:15 am
sea krait sea krait is offline
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Default Re: So why did you convert??

(continued...)

I started to notice a lot of patterns in the apologetics of both sides, just one of many being the character of the apologists on both sides. Now I'm sure this is by no means universally true, but out of the Protestant apologetics sites I explored, only one of them didn't come off as soul-scathingly bitter -- whereas versed Catholics on this forum and Catholic apologists on other sites were very uplifting and almost magnetic in their understanding and kindness. So it's not too surprising that I grew a tentative aversion to Protestant apologetics, especially considering (at best) a little and (at worst) a lot of what they condemned was clearly and plainly just hearsay and nowhere to be found in Catholic resources like the Catechism. And this leads me to an interesting sub-story:

Somewhere in the middle of all this, maybe in December or early January, I remember just sitting back, confused and forlorn for some reason or another, and praying that same thing again. At this point, the best way I could describe how most Protestant apologetics (due to either meanness or fabricated truths) made me feel was how Dignam made Sullivan feel in the end of The Departed. So, quite ironically, and likely not by chance, right after honestly praying for the Truth again, a website link in a search engine caught my eye, and my heart sunk because at that point I felt pretty vulnerable and I swore, from its link, that it was a militant Protestant page. So I hesitated, but I thought about it, remembering that I definitely just asked for the Truth, so I clicked on it, and it ended up being one of the best and unarguably logical Catholic apologetics pages I'd found yet. It's funny how those situations work.

I found even better apologetics later on (I'll try to list some good ones at the end). It became clear that there are a great number of independent routes that demonstrate that the C.C. holds the fullness of truth.

Eventually I dared pray to a Saint, and then Mary, despite all of the threatening things I'd read about it. If the people on one side don't have anything but fluff to back up their threats, and if they can't account for gaps in logic and if they have to, frankly, ignore much of the evidence to prove their points, then be cautious about believing them. I can now pray the rosary in full confidence -- because it turned out to not be the things it's slandered to be, but it is exactly as the Saints say it is: the same experience, the same benefits, the same beauty, the same Jesus-focused meditations and experience with the addition of intercessory requests.




All in all, I found three ways of finding the Truth:

1. Forget your preconceptions because they may be misconceptions, and honestly and deeply (without forgoing the few Christian fundamentals that almost all sects agree upon) pray for the Truth. This is the easiest way, work-wise, although at least one of my friends claims that he did this and still earnestly believes he has the fullness of truth as a non-denominational (I don't understand nor can I account for this).

2. Go the logical route. Spend a considerable amount of time and energy slogging through apologetics until something clicks, and then account for everything that doesn't click. I would imagine this would work well, but it's tiring and sometimes depressing.

3. Believe in love. This is one of the most sincere patterns that I found: that the people who most completely live by the standards of the Catholic Church (the Saints, Blesseds, etc.), who lived in utter happiness and humility despite their (often extreme) sufferings -- and who were the champions of altruism, and who lived closest to the perfection of Jesus himself -- are not a swarm of insane, demon-possessed deceivers but instead will lead you to a supernatural truth. Basically, to believe and have faith in love, I had to leave behind all those bitter conspiracies and mean-spirited baseless dismissals.

Well, I hope you liked my (true) story. It was fun to write. I feel at peace now.


Now for some of the links I promised (the more you read, the more pieces of the puzzle you attain):

http://www.fisheaters.com/responses.html
http://www.scripturecatholic.com
http://www.chnetwork.org/journals/sola/sola1.htm (through sola12.htm)
http://www.catholic.com/library/faith_tracts.asp

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/index.html
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen

Last edited by sea krait; Apr 17, '11 at 2:31 am.
  #8  
Old Apr 17, '11, 2:27 am
Edmundus1581 Edmundus1581 is offline
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Default Re: So why did you convert??

Thank for the question!

I converted to a broad based Christianity first, and was enthusiastic, but with no particular direction. I started reading the Bible voraciously, and found, again and again, that there were passages which pointed towards Catholicism but had no meaning in Protestantism. As I started to become more involved in my Evangelical circles, I could almost "feel" that my raw, personal interpretations of scripture were being re-moulded to the Evangelical orthodoxies of Sola Scriptura, Sola Fides, etc., and I resisted this, thinking "What they are teaching doesn't line up with what I am reading - and they are expecting me to accept it on 'authority'". I became a Catholic after 2 years as a Christian. That was about 30 years ago. In those 30 years most of the sense of scripture I derived as personal interpretation is very close to the sense I have received through Church teaching. (Of course, most of my understandings have matured, and some have changed).

So, my story stands as a contradiction to those who think that if one is to "read the Bible for yourself" then one must cease to be Catholic. I began by reading the Bible for myself - and protestantism jarred with me, and Catholicism seemed to fit.

There was one passage which, more than anything else, moved me deeply.

Quote:
This is how you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh be longs to God,
[1 Jn 4:2]

I saw that Catholicism not only taught this doctrine unambigously, but, by its emphasis on the visible Church, and the hierarchy as successors to the Apostles, not only taught "Jesus Christ come in the flesh", but was the very embodiment of it.
  #9  
Old Apr 17, '11, 3:58 am
Cat Cat is offline
 
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Default Re: So why did you convert??

In 2002, after 47 years of faithful and enthusiastic involvement in many ministries in various evangelical churches (we switched churches whenever we moved to a different city), we were kicked out of an Evangelical Free Church.

A woman pastor in that church leveled heinous and false claims against me specifically, and also against our family. Briefly, we were accused of undermining the authority of that church because of various questions we had raised in private with the pastors, and because of various family practices.

An example of one of these "family practices" is that we encouraged our younger daughter to sit with her boyfriend during church, instead of insisting that she sit with the youth group.

Another example of a "family practice" is that both of our daughters were involved in figure skating and usually missed Sunday morning worship service, although both of them were faithful in attending the Youth Group meetings on Wednesday night.

When she was a Senior in high school, my older daughter asked the Youth Pastor if they the Youth Group could hold a Bible study instead of just a discussion and fellowship time. He told her that most kids would stop attending if they had a Bible study.

Another decision that the Youth Pastor made was to hold a beach camping experience (at a lake--we live in Northern Illinois, so there's no ocean) DURING Vacation Bible school. My older daughter asked the pastor to please hold the beaching camping experience during a different week so that the teenagers could be free to volunteer to work at Vacation Bible school, but the Youth Pastor told her that most teenagers didn't want to help at VBS.

A few months after this, my older daughter met with her Leadership Committee and the Youth Pastor and told them that she was resigning, because it was obvious that they were more interested in socializing rather than learning about God and serving Him.

These were the kinds of things that we did that upset the church pastors.

In addition, the woman pastor accused me of frightening the children, and implied worst things. Thank God I had always held any children's events or meetings with other parents PRESENT, so that there was no proof of what this woman pastor was saying.

A tribunal consisting of men that we didn't even know and who didn't know us, along with this woman pastor, met, tried, and condemned us. None of the parents from my children's ministries were present.

The meeting ended by them asking us to leave.

Forty seven years were gone, and suddenly, we had no life. We went from spending 5-6 days/evenings in the church or involved with a church ministry to nothing.

From then on, most of the members of that church shunned us.

A year later, I learned that the woman pastor had been fired after she was caught in a lie. Apparently she was a pathological liar.

After the woman pastor was fired, no one in that church ever called my husband and me to tell us that they might have made a mistake and to apologize for their cruel treatment of us.

Our daughters stopped attending church after the ousting. They were furious at the church for treating us so badly after all our service.

I refused to enter a Protestant church after that, and it took several years before I was able to walk into a Protestant church for anything other than a concert or a funeral. I had seen a vision as we ran crying out of the Evangelical Free church after the tribunal kicked us out of a huge Bible shearing away, like mica, and I knew that sola Scriptura was a lie created by Satan and his evil human followers here on this earth. So I wouldn't even consider a Protestant church that believed in sola Scriptura. Other Protestant churches , especially the mainlines, have accepted the evil of abortion, gay marriage, and open marriages.

So we had no church for several years. I actually told my husband that I would never join a church again unless we were wooed into it by God Himself.

But we knew that it was wrong for Christians to forsake assembling with other Christians, so we began attending Sat. evening Mass at the parish down the street from us. We had never had any objection to Catholics, mainly because during our years of pro-life work, we came to realize that they were "real" Christians. But we believed, as many other evangelicals do, that Catholics have added man-made rituals to the Bible.

We began to realize that everything we were seeing and hearing in the Catholic Church was in line with the Bible. So we started attending an apologetics class offered by the parish, and eventually we joined RCIA.

This process took two years. We did not easily convert. But we were definitely wooed by God. Both of us, at one point, were spoken to by the Holy Spirit, Who told us, "This is the truth. If you reject it, you are in danger of hellfire. Do you accept My teaching and will you say 'Yes' to the Catholic Church? Or will you reject My teaching?"

We accepted the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and in 2004, we were received into the Catholic Church.

My older daughter was received into the Catholic Church a few years later.

Our younger daughter still does not go to church. We have reason to believe that she may have been molested in some way at that Evangelical Free church.

We love being Catholic! Based on history and theology, we believe that the Catholic Church is the Church that Jesus Christ founded and intended for human beings to be part of. We believe that Protestant churches have a portion of the Gospel and that Protestants have a hope of heaven through their triune baptism and their invincible ignorance. We pray that the Church might one day be ONE, as Jesus prayed in John 17.

I encourage all Protestants to seriously study the Catholic Church, and not to be afraid.

Last edited by Cat; Apr 17, '11 at 4:14 am.
  #10  
Old Apr 17, '11, 4:07 am
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Catholic41506 Catholic41506 is offline
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Default Re: So why did you convert??

Having been several flavors of protestanism, I was on a search for truth. Protestanism cannot give you the truth. Only the Church founded by the Truth can provide that. Oddly enough, that Truth could only be found in the Church I was trying to tear down. God works like that.
  #11  
Old Apr 17, '11, 6:18 am
Brywan Brywan is offline
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Default Re: So why did you convert??

Convert from evangelical Christianity to Catholicism.

short version: certain things about the history of Christianity did not add up to me. But one thing in particular was an overwhelming dilemma: What if the Orthodox and the Catholics had it right with regard to the Eucharist? If the Orthodox and Catholics were right about this, why would any Christian want to be anywhere else?

It took me about 13 years from start to finish--3 years of concerted study--before I was able to disentangle myself from all my misinformation about Catholicism and take the plunge.

That was in 1999.

What's it been like since then?

grace upon grace upon grace upon grace upon grace............

no regrets
  #12  
Old Apr 17, '11, 6:21 am
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Mrs_V Mrs_V is offline
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Default Re: So why did you convert??

Baptist ===> Catholic

The Eucharist and that the Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. I read my way into the Church during my late teens/early 20's.
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  #13  
Old Apr 17, '11, 11:20 am
Juliebug108 Juliebug108 is offline
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Default Re: So why did you convert??

Wow thank you all so much for sharing your stories!

I'm really struck by how similar some of the themes are with what I'm going through right now. I would describe myself as having been anti-Catholic at times and pretty hostile about the Catholic Church. For reasons that I cannot explain or even begin to explain, I began to feel God calling me to the Catholic faith...

This frustrated me...still does...and confuses me. It made me even more adamantly opposed to Catholic teaching in the beginning because it didn't make sense for me to feel called like this. Also, I don't like change..at all.

Around this same time, my Lutheran church started teaching some things that I completely disagreed with; things that didn't make any sense to me. They have been teaching things lately that seem contrary to God's Word, and that don't completely line up with what I read in the Bible. It's like they're only telling part of the truth (Lutheran understanding of justification seems incomplete to me). It's funny considering the Lutheran church is Sola Scriptura...seems like there wouldn't (and shouldn't) be all sorts of holes in the logic then...

So, despite my anti-Catholic leanings (product of my upbringing and the Lutheran church), I began doing some research, stumbled upon this website, checked out a Catholic Catechism from my library.....and here I am today. Once an anti-Catholic, now seriously considering conversion.

Still struggling with some things...still learning...still praying for God's guidance. The thing I'm realizing in my research is that many things just seem like they're missing in the Lutheran church..

Anywho, I'm not sure where this road will definitely take me, but I would appreciate if people would pray for me! It's a confusing time for me right now.

Peace and blessings,
Julie
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Peace and blessings,
Julie


"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy." - St. Francis
  #14  
Old Apr 17, '11, 11:22 am
Juliebug108 Juliebug108 is offline
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Default Re: So why did you convert??

Quote:
Originally Posted by sea krait View Post
Well, I hope you liked my (true) story. It was fun to write. I feel at peace now.


Now for some of the links I promised (the more you read, the more pieces of the puzzle you attain):

http://www.fisheaters.com/responses.html
http://www.scripturecatholic.com
http://www.chnetwork.org/journals/sola/sola1.htm (through sola12.htm)
http://www.catholic.com/library/faith_tracts.asp

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/index.html
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen
Thank you for sharing your story, and for sharing those links! I'm going to check them out right now.

Peace and blessings,
Julie
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Peace and blessings,
Julie


"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy." - St. Francis
  #15  
Old Apr 17, '11, 12:45 pm
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Wandering_Home Wandering_Home is offline
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Default Re: So why did you convert??

Hi Everyone,

I hope you have had a good Palm Sunday. It is one of my favorite masses. I am greatly looking forward to Holy Week. This is an amazing thread! It has been a blessing to read of others conversions.

I myself attended the Episcopal Church growing up but I went to Catholic schools all of my life. For whatever reason, I never confirmed Catholic or Episcopalian. After I left college, thoughts of joining the Catholic church were always rumbling and rolling around in my head. This has now been over 10 years. During my spiritual wanderings. I did attend other Protestant denominations but none ever seemd that everything was there and things seemed lacking. I took a good hard look at the Baptist and Episcopal faiths, but so much was missing and that I could not fully embrace that as the full truth. (My husband is Southern Baptist). I was married in a Baptist church. It was a lovely service but I felt something more should have been there. Fast forward 5 years later, almost everyday I drive by a Catholic church and over these years thoughts would come to me of, "stop by", "you should be going there", "You are welcome here", etc. For whatever reason, one Sunday morning I got up, got myself and my son dressed, and off we were to the Catholic church down the street from me. It was a beautiful experience and I truly felt that I had "Wandered Home" Hence, my handle.

I decided that on Ash Wednesday, that I would embrace the Catholic faith and live as much as I could as a Catholic. It has been an amazing journey full of grace but not without it's trials as well. I did have a very traumatic time of realizing the depths of my sins I had commited when I wandered away from the church. The absolute despair of thinking what life would like be like without God here on earth and my torment in hell if I did not seek the sacrament of confession. I realized there was no reason for living OR dying without God. It was a highly humbling experience. I feel that the Holy Spirit truly led me to that Church and I have since turned my heart and mind to the Catholic faith that the Holy Spirit is residing within me like never before, or maybe it always has and I am just knowledgeable of it now. The world truly looks entirely different and my life is fuller and has more direction and meaning.

I will be going through RCIA next year. I can not believe this time next year, I will be preparing to take Eucharist for the first time and fully becoming Catholic. So much time was wasted wandering but I think I was meant to wander in some way. Now I am ready to go where God leads me and I am grateful for it.

Take care everyone!
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