I hope this is the right forun section to post this in :\ I've lurked this site for a long time but rarely post anything.
First, let me say that I was a 4th generation SDA from my mom's side of the family and a third from my dad's. That should explain a lot right there. ;) I'm not SDA anymore.
Anyway... there is a Catholic church about a 1/4 mile from my house. Every day I hear its bells ringing. As I was driving by and the bells started going off. I don't know why I decided to go in, I've past the church a thousand times and never thought about visiting.
It was the most beautiful church I had ever been in...amazing compared to any church I've visited.
I was a little intimitated because I didn't know what rules there are for entering the church so I just ended up walking in and sitting in the back pew.
I always have a Bible with me in the car (ESV) so I brought it in with me. There were a few other people there praying. I knelt down, prayed, then started to read and a feeling of peace came over me like I've never felt in another church.
More people started coming in and I began to wonder what was going on. Then everyone stood upand a priest walked dowwn the isle. I realized they were doing Mass! I sort of freaked out because I didn't know if I was even supposed to be in there but I thought it rude just to walk out. At least I knew enough that I wasn't supposed to take the bread and wine.
After mass a nun, at least I think she was a nun, came up to me and said I looked a little confused during mass. I told her my story. She took me to her office and gave me a New American Bible, a United states Catechism, and the Catechism of the Catholic church. She wasn't pushy or anything, it was just like she was giving me a gift to be nice. These were some expensive books she had given me.
She took me back into the church and taught me how I should enter and what I should do as a non-catholic at mass. Then invited me back the next day. I've gone 4 days straight now.
Last night I was talking to my father, he's no longer SDA either, telling him about my experience.he seemed to know a lot about the Catholic church because his cousins,aunts,uncles, most of his family other than his parents, were Catholic. My Mom overheard us and flipped out and started crying. She was REALLY upset. I told her about the peace I felt and the nun but she wouldn't listen. I could see that she was very hurt and concerned for me.
I wish I could convince her to go once but she refuses to even step on the church property. My Dad said he would go but he doesn't want to die just yet and my mom would kill him if he did.
So there's my experience for what it's worth. There are a lot of things I don't think I'll ever be able to believe in good conciounce (the Pope, the bread and wine actually being the flesh and blood of Jesus, PLEASE don't take this the wrong way, but what seems to be a total obsession with Mary) but I KNOW for sure I'll be back in that church praying and reading again. I'll even do the sign of the cross thing with the water that kind and giving nun taught me :D