Hey, honest, humble question

I’m gonna ask a quiet question here. I don’t want to attack, to point fingers, or anything like that. I just want to ask. I’m not saying i got it all set either.
You are a catholic. How is your life different?

Great question. I have immense peace due to my time spent at Adoration, Holy Eucharist and in prayer. Far too many people have no true peace.

I have had angels help me resolve problems and assist me with problem people.

[quote=jrabs]Great question. I have immense peace due to my time spent at Adoration, Holy Eucharist and in prayer. Far too many people have no true peace.
[/quote]

I completely agree with you above. But I also derive a great deal of peace in knowing that I am receiving the fullness of the faith as handed down from Christ to the Apostles.

On a more practical level, the breadth and depth of the many spiritualities (Dominican, Franciscan, Carmelite, Benedictine, Montfortian to name but a few) virtually ensures that everyone can find a path to help them on their spiritual journey.

How is my life different because I am Catholic? I can’t even begin to say being Catholic is really good. If I was not Catholic I would of never went to WYD 2002, therfore I would of never gone to Lifeteen. Going to Lifeteen led me to college and college will lead me to the rest of my life…

Being catholic is just having somethin worth living for sometimes, people who really care about me and all that good stuff.

As a convert to the faith from evangelicalism… I can say that I am finally a FULFILLED christian. I have the fullness of the faith, and my catholic faith is better. It is like eating bread and water for years and then being turned loose at Old Country Buffet.
And as mentioned before - PEACE. The peace of forgiveness, being a member of the communion of saints, the eucharist, ,… See! It’s a smorgasboard! Our faith is full, rich, beautiful, and COMPLETE. :thumbsup:

[quote=mtr01]I completely agree with you above. But I also derive a great deal of peace in knowing that I am receiving the fullness of the faith as handed down from Christ to the Apostles.

On a more practical level, the breadth and depth of the many spiritualities (Dominican, Franciscan, Carmelite, Benedictine, Montfortian to name but a few) virtually ensures that everyone can find a path to help them on their spiritual journey.
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[font=Arial]I’ll 2nd that! :thumbsup: [/font]
[font=Arial]And add that when my faith wavers I immediately consider long history of divine revelation. I ponder how this revelation foreshadowed the faith we practice and the graces we receive. How Jesus promised that hell could not prevail against his church. And how all of this was confirmed by the suffering and martyrdom of the apostles. [/font]

Peace,
Jim

I am a convert, 49 years ago. I will say it took more than twenty years to learn to be an adult Catholic.

As a nonCatholic one always has doubts come up, like is my Church really the one Jesus started, am I forgiven?

Since now I know that Jesus started the Catholic Church (Matt 16:18-19) I have something to link me to Jesus. When I confess, I know I am forgiven.

And most of all when I take communion I know that Jesus Christ body, blood and Divinity is present.

Hi,

I guess the main things I have found as a Catholic are that after 1000’s of hours of research, study, prayer and experience I realised that there is only one true Church. The one founded on St Peter, the one time bishop of Rome. There is a sense of belonging to a family which is the Church, and this is very important. I see God as my father. And realise His fatherly providence in my life. And no family is complete without a mother, thats why our Lord gave Mary to us to be our spiritual mother. I experience a strong relationship with the Saints in glory and the Angels. I constantly pray to mine and others guardian Angels. The Church is home for me.
Theres the tremendous sense of peace one gets from being sure ones sins are forgiven in confession, and for doing Gods will.
I very often go to the Church and sit in the presence of Christ in the tabernacle. He is as surely there as He was when He walked the Earth. Theres a presence in the Church, and I know it’s Him. And what a blessing to be able to go there and discuss in prayer anything that concerns me.
As a Catholic, if you take the time to study your faith, you find that there is tons of evidence pointing towards the Church as the one true Church. This is the faith of the first Christians, it is the one established by Christ himself. Not by some man or woman.
It is the faith that was the only one in Christianity for the first 1000 yrs until the fallout with the Orthodox Church’s. And the protestant Church’s are only 450 yrs old. Founded by men who did no miracles as the apostles did when starting the Church.
It is universal and holds the same main doctrines everywhere throughout the world. It is the one that all the early fathers and early Christian writers belonged to. And that brings a lot of reassurance.
Life is worth living. There is Heaven. What a blessing to know that after this miserable life there is a blissful existence awaiting us if we persevere.
In the Church you find such a tremendous wealth of culture, history, tradition etc. The world has been so greatly blessed by the millions of good Catholics through the past 2000 yrs. They have set up schools, universities, hospitals, orphanages and charitable works of every kind throughout the world. As a member of the Church you are a member of the largest charitable organisation in the world by a country mile.
And there is the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have the fullness of the Christian faith.;

This is a beautiful question. And my honest, humble answer is my life is much tougher as a serious Catholic.

The teachings of the Catholic Church require more of me than I want to give at times. I come face to face with issues where I want to say “no” to God. The Church reminds me about the hard parts of Christ’s teachings–the parts I know I’d ignore if left to my own interpretations of Scripture.

But, my life has also been blessed by God in more ways than I can write. Blessings and burdens can be the same things seen from different angles. My children are living proof of the goodness of God brought to me through Church teachings.

Another blessing God gives me through the Catholic Church is His saints. I love to read their writings. I thrive on learning about their lives, how they served Jesus, what struggles they endured, and how God worked through them. My life is different because their example gives me courage to keep following Jesus even when it gets tough. (And as I started out, my life is tougher now as a serious Catholic.)

Thank you for asking.

[quote=gardenswithkids]This is a beautiful question. And my honest, humble answer is my life is much tougher as a serious Catholic.

The teachings of the Catholic Church require more of me than I want to give at times. I come face to face with issues where I want to say “no” to God. The Church reminds me about the hard parts of Christ’s teachings–the parts I know I’d ignore if left to my own interpretations of Scripture.

But, my life has also been blessed by God in more ways than I can write. Blessings and burdens can be the same things seen from different angles. My children are living proof of the goodness of God brought to me through Church teachings.

Another blessing God gives me through the Catholic Church is His saints. I love to read their writings. I thrive on learning about their lives, how they served Jesus, what struggles they endured, and how God worked through them. My life is different because their example gives me courage to keep following Jesus even when it gets tough. (And as I started out, my life is tougher now as a serious Catholic.)

Thank you for asking.
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Yes. I agree. Life is harder. I am still struggling like us all to reach that goal of personal sanctification. I know that those who do, are blissfully happy in the midst of all these trials. The path that our Lord showed us is a narrow one. And hard to stay on. But the devil is a much harder taskmaster if you give up. And there is no other choice. Either you become a follower of Christ or the devil.
As the Apostles said, " To whom shall we turn Lord. You have the words of eternal life.“
St Teresa of Avila said,” Our time in this world is like a bad night in a bad inn.'
St Augustine said,"You have made us for yourself O Lord. And our hearts are restless until they rest in thee."
Death for many is a relief. So long as it is a happy death.
So, as you say, it’s tough.And I know you know this one too. "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. For I am meek and humble of heart. And you will find rest for your souls. "
I know you know this. I am writing for the benefit of anyone who doesn’t.http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon14.gifhttp://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon7.gif

[quote=gardenswithkids]This is a beautiful question. And my honest, humble answer is my life is much tougher as a serious Catholic.

Thank you for asking.
[/quote]

Yeppers! I agree too!
It is a harder way, you betcha. But - that is what I wanted. I was tired of the non-denominational way… Jump around from church to church till you find one to suit your interpretation of things.
Catholicism is hard work, but I love the discipline and bounderies it has brought to my life. Those bring peace. Ahhh… LOVE the sacramental life!

[quote=Egg4christ]I’m gonna ask a quiet question here. I don’t want to attack, to point fingers, or anything like that. I just want to ask. I’m not saying i got it all set either.
You are a catholic. How is your life different?
[/quote]

Hello “Egg”

Good Question. I would second everything said above and summarize my thoughts like this:

Because I am Catholic, I am a member of Christ’s Body - His Church - in the fullest sense that one can experience here on Earth. This places additional responsibilities upon my own body and soul, but rewards me with the ability to experience the real physical presence of Christ my Saviour - Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Like my fellow Catholics, I am given the opportunity to have a truly personal relationship with Christ that transcends anything offered elsewhere. That’s what makes the Catholic life different.

Peace and Charity,

how is my life different than it used to be? or how is my life different than that of a non-Catholic who otherwise is similar to me?

I am a sinner, I know that I am a sinner, I know that God loves me, I know my sin is forgiven, I know that in justice I have forfeited any hope of heaven because of my sin. I know that because God loves me, he gave his only Son, who suffered and died for my sake so that I have been given sonship and the possibility of eternal life. I rejoice every day in God’s mercy. Am I different in the way I behave, think, pray, act because of this knowledge and belief? I hope so, I try to be, I fail most of the time, but because I am Catholic I am in the Church Christ founded, made up of the sinners, sick, and outcasts he came to save. I am loved. Since it is impossible for me to know the mind, heart and soul of any one else, CAtholic or not, I could not say if this makes me different than anyone else. I do know that what I share with everyone else is sinfulness, need for redemption, and the love of God.

egg4christ,

Your question assumes a reference point, so I’m going to have to assume you mean, “From the perspective of being a non-Catholic.” as opposed to “froma tomato” or some such thing. And it is a good question (as long as we are understanding you correctly?)

My life as a PRACTICING Catholic is different in a LOT Of ways. I have to use my friends and my life in the past as reference, but I can tell you this:

My faith teaches me to remain chaste, to not pursue sex outside of marriage (a mistake I made like so many others), to maintain a standard of purity. That makes my life different because now that I know better, I watch my friends go from sexual relationship to another of the same, and it never brings them fulfillment. It brings them emotion,drama, STD’s, children born outside of marriage, an unstable life, a search for truth…and complete chaos.

My days non practicing were filled with darkness. I was searching, I was reading the Bible…but I had no guidance. God listened and guided me…but I still looked the other way trying to do things my way.

Since I have left that life even in my dark hours I see the light of Christ. When I am tired I can go sit in his very presence and let him love me, and show him personally how much I love him.

I can see God in people…I couldn’t before even through I tried. I had nightmares, terrors from which I awoke paralyzed…now those dreams have been banished.

I live in peace. I experience anger, but I find a proper outlet and a proper response.

The list goes on. You ask how my life is different…my life has become enormously better than it has ever been, and that, my friend, is a gift from God. Suffering has a purpose now when it never did before.

That’s what it means to be Catholic (in a proverbial nutshell)

I am a cradle Catholic and a “revert” to the faith after being gone for about 34 years. I had left the Church at about age 17 because I was on drugs and then “got saved” at a Campus Life Bible study that was run by a very cool minister. I had always gone to church but never really taken it seriously or read the Bible, even though it was in the house and other members of my family read it. The lack was not in the church (I see that now) but within me. I began to read the Bible for the first time in my life…(the epistle of St. James) and it really hit home. I have always believed in God, but I saw that that was not enough. I did alright for a couple of years, got married and we moved here to Florida, where I stayed out of establishment churches because I figured they were all messed up and did my thing as a “Jesus freak”, witnessing on the streets and handing out Christian underground papers and tracts, and talking to anyone who would listen.

Eventually I and my little family joined a Baptist church because the preacher convinced me that we believed the same things and he liked my no fear witnessing. That was fine until I admitted that I figured that the gifts of the Holy Spirit did not end with the death of the last apostle. That ended my path to being a Baptist minister so we joined a local Assembly of God where we stayed for many years in spite of some really unscriptural and uncharitable things they did. I became a deacon there, but finally we left after they pulled some really lame stuff and blew me off when I pointed out that what they were doing was unscriptural. My letter telling them why we were leaving was 10 pages long.

I intended to find another church, but we never did and so we remained out of any church for many years.

About 5 years ago I hit a real crisis and decided to turn back to the Lord. I found that Jesus meant every word of the parable of the prodigal son. I began to read the Bible again and got a New American Bible which is about like the NIV except this one has all the books (which I liked even though at the time I was still a Protestant). This particular edition was fairly big, with a bright green paperback cover that said “The Catholic Bible” in big orange letters. I went diddy-bopping into a meeting one day with that in hand and wasn’t in there a hot minute when some guy jumped my case.

“Are you Catholic?’ he asked me. “Well…yeah”, says I, (since technically I was). “You Catholics worship Mary.” “Say what?” I responded. “You Catholics worship Mary. You pray to her.” “Look, I know I I been outta the church for a long time, and we do pray to her but we DON”T worship her and no Catholic that knows his ear from his elbow would ever even SAY such a crazy thing. We worship God alone. End of story, Dude.”

He persisted so severely that I finally told him that I’d get some books, check it out and get back to him with what I found out, and that if he was right then I would never enter a Catholic Church ever again.

I found a great book by a priest named Father Oscar Lukefahr of Catholic Home Study Service (Catholic Home Study Service) and read it carefully and prayerfully. I was happy to find that not only were the Catholics right and that they do not worship anyone but Almighty God, but that their doctrines about Mary are soundly based upon the Bible and that the early Christians believed the very same things. Even the three pillars of the Reformation ( Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli) believed the same things about Mary that Catholics do today. In the end I went back to church and met another Catholic guy, who like myself was returning to the faith as well. We studied and talked and found ourselves having to dig up real answers for people we knew who didn’t like the Catholic Church.

I continued to study Catholic teaching and discovered that a great deal of what I had been taught about the Bible and Christianity was wrong. I found that non-Catholics ignore and “read around” Bible passages that support Catholic teaching and that they completely ignore the history of Christianity prior to the 1500s. Now I know what I believe and why and I will never change, though I promise every non-Catholic that I dialog with that if they can prove that the Catholics are wrong that I’ll be in their church with them every Sunday from now on. No one even comes close…

Now I participate at Mass as often as I can, pray the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet almost every day, abstain from meat on most Fridays (just out of devotion to God), and of course read and study my Bible, as well as other Catholic writings. I am Catholic because I know and believe with all my heart and soul that the Catholic Church IS the New Testament church and I believe that the Eucharist is everything that the church teaches it is, the same as the early church did…all the way back to the last supper and the 6th chapter of the Gospel of St. John. I believe it’s really the body and blood of our risen Lord because St. Paul said that if you take communion while living in sin that you become guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, and that wouldn’t be possible if His body and blood weren’t really present in the form of bread and wine…just like the last supper. It is the most powerful miracle in all of Christianity, and I love it.

My Christian life is stronger than ever before, my prayer life is powerful, and I have great answers to my prayers like never before. I have always been a soul winner and that has not changed at all. God has used me to win some people that I sure couldn’t have won on my own. Some were very anti-Catholic and now are very MUCH Catholic very happy and forthright about their faith. It’s really very humbling…I feel like a raggedy (unworthy) Styrofoam cup at a feast, filled with the very finest wine.

So… God Love ya, That’s it. I’m nothing special. There are thousands of people like me who are returning to the faith each week and many more who are finding their way into it as well. It’s been here for over 2,000 years…it won’t die off or go away, and the very gates of hell have not prevailed (and will not prevail) against it. Jesus promised and he has kept that promise in spite of the human failings of individual members of His one true church.

This is the real thing. The fullness of truth, and the most beautiful Christianity you can possibly imagine. Nothing outside the Catholic Church even comes close. I cry tears of humble joy during the consecration at Mass because I am so wrapped up in worship of my risen Lord and Savior. I don’t care who notices or what they might think. I’m more concerned with making sure that Jesus hears me when I say, “My Lord and my God.”

My life is different because I have a deep, abiding understanding of the privilege of being a child of God, created in His image and likeness, called to cooperation with Him to bring His creation to His Kingdom. I know to the very core of my being that the sanctity of human life is paramount, always. I have lived these truths in worship, living, learning, since my very earliest days (probably from attending Mass & hearing my mother pray the rosary while I was still in the womb.) It is my conscious and subconscious driving force, strengthened by the fullness of God’s grace that He, in His wisdom and mercy, left for each of us in His holy Church.

By returning to the Catholic faith, I have much more hope about life. Sure I still have things to deal with in life that can be challenging to the point of frustration. Instead of growing hopelessness, I feel I can turn to God for help and comfort. I know sticking to my Cathoic faith is the right thing to do.

Even past mistakes can be used for the good since I know without a doubt now that doing in “my way” (without God and outright defying Him) leads to abysmal misery and a very painful emptyness. I thank God everyday for giving me once again the gift of Faith and calling me back Home to the one true faith. BTW, I did repent of those past sins and am trying with God’s grace to amend my life.

I may make a more complete post later, but I have just worked 9 hours (1/2 hour overtime today), and still face a 21 mile drive home (stopping on the way for morning Mass).

The closest analogy I can think of is parenthood. To echo what so many before me have said, faith is so much more of a challenge than I ever anticipated, just like my image of motherhood before children. However, it is so rewarding when done correctly. You rarely get things done right the first time and must patiently try, practice and learn over many years. You are wise (and save yourself many missteps) to seek out guidance from those who have gone down the path before you. You are rewarded with love, companionship, affection, peace of mind and a happy heart. You are repeatedly reminded of the truly important things in life and inspired to try harder and be more persistent, not for your own gain, but out of love for another, higher purpose. Because of the wonder of the experience, you will lovingly encourage others to take the same journey. Finally you learn humility, tolerance and compassion–not of evil or sin, but of honest effort, failure, pain, loss and renewed commitment. Faith is a gift–but it requires human effort to open it up and use it as intended.

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