I’m 29 with a wife and two young children (5 year old and 13-month).
My Christian experience began at a church called “Christian Church.” I guess it was non-denominational. I was a kid and didn’t think much of it at the time. I attended with my grandparents and older brother.
To be bluntly honest, I hated it. We went through ministers very quickly and there was a lot of church politics. I never liked Vacation Bible School because it ate up my Summer break when I could have been playing baseball. One reason I truly disliked the church was probably because of my grandmother who was and is a thoroughly hateful individual. We’d leave church and I remember her verbally berating another church member. I never really felt any Christian love or charity there. I only felt grateful when it was time to go home.
Years later I attended a Lutheran church with my parents. I was much happier there. There was a standard liturgy and the pastor was caring and refused to enter into petty church politics. I was finally baptized (my brother was baptized as an infant, I was not). I enjoyed my time there. Communion was held every week and there was a liturgical calendar. I began to understand the importance of Biblical teachings and the relevance of the liturgy.
I left for university and life changed a lot for me. I stopped attending church, though I thought about it. I suffered from rather serious depression and an anxiety disorder (which I still have). I used (abused) alcohol for self-medication. I still did well as a student, but otherwise disliked life in general.
Meanwhile that same Lutheran church, which my dad still attends changed pastors. It went with a “contemporary service” which was much different. They still offer a regular service which my dad attends, but it is pretty much him and a small group of elderly people.
I got a little better and through some history classes was introduced to the Scholastic writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas and other Catholic intellectuals. Otherwise I’ve mainly followed my heart.
I’ve spoken with my local church about RCIA and was introduced to the Sister in charge of the program. I had a good talk with her and she was very nice and very informative. Unfortunately the classes don’t begin until September.
In the meantime I’ve been reading and studying the Catechism, which has been the book that is mainly responsible for my decision to finally do something about my desire to become a Catholic. I’ve also got a book of prayer and a Catholic Study Bible.
As for obstacles (I apologise for being long-winded). My mom is very much an evangelical and a German Lutheran (I’m half-German) who is a very caring person. Yet, she is as rabid an anti-Catholic as anyone I’ve ever met and I live in a state known for Pentacostals and Southern Baptists. She truly despises the Catholic Church and I don’t know if there is a personal reason for that, or what.
I’ll leave it at that for now
Wow…are we brothers? That story is so similar to my own that it sounds like we might be. I too started our at the "Christian Church. I too had the same experiences throughout my life, and I too started the conversion process at age 29. Finally, and this is where we differ, it was my Father who was the anti-Catholic.
It sounds like you are well on your way, so I will not belabor the point. I am thrilled to hear that you are going to go into RCIA in the fall. You will love it. The program is designed to start at ground zero and take you to a point of faith. The best part is that there is no pressure. You can use the experience to learn all you want without fear of obligation.
Now, there is some stuff that you need to know before you start. There are going to be people out there that are going to toss some stones in your general direction over this decision. My father told me this when I told him I was converting, “If you do this, I will be disappointed in you.” He then left the room, as he was too mad to talk to me. Ouch. It hurt…a lot.
But, I continued to pray. And, I continued to study. Eventually, he and I had several conversations about the subject. I got into the idea of defending my choice and I read some great books on the subject: Rome Sweet Rome, A Biblical Defense of Catholicism, and Catholicism and Fundamentalism (my favorite). They gave me all of the tools to defend my position, and I learned a LOT about Jesus that I did not know. I too was one of those luke warm faithful when I was a kid, and it amazed me how little I really knew.
Well, Dad and I had a little chat, and I laid it all out for him. It took a while but it was worth it. Later in the spring he came to my confirmation. He and Mom have been back to Mass since then, and has even defended Rome to some of the more anti-Catholic people in his community. The moral of this story is that it CAN be done.
What questions do you have about being Catholic?