I want to share a thought with everyone, as naive and obvious as it may seem. In order for me to start to understand the Catholic Church (the Church), as a “cradle protestant”, I had to quit thinking like a protestant.
In brief, I had to change my perspective. Instead of comparing the Church to see how they deviated from my protestant views, I had to see how my views deviated from the Church. That simple change in perspective freed me from a great many biases, misconceptions, negative propaganda (for lack of a better term) and criticism I had acquired over the years. The inverse would apply to “cradle Catholics” trying to understand why protestants believe and act as they do.
It is no simple task to be sure, but well worth the endeavor. To take an old adage from an even older profession, “In order to understand your students, you must think like a student.”
What brought this to mind, was how I set about identifying and understanding those barriers in my own life to Christ’s love for her Church and indeed for the whole world. I did not begin to see those barriers until I was willing to change my perspective.