After reading and pondering, can you know if the Catholic church is the true church. If so, how do you know?
“Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt."
John Henry Cardinal Newman
Question to explore: If, the Catholic Church is the true Church Jesus Christ established, wouldn’t you want to belong to it? Test the evidence.
Read the writings of the early Church. In them you’ll find that all the early Christians were explicitly Catholic in their beliefs. You’ll not find a single doctrine of Catholicism that was not already embraced by all Christians in the first centuries. You will see in this pilgrim Church the marks of the true Church—one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. You’ll see there was a profession of one faith received from the Apostles; common celebration of divine worship, especially of the sacraments; apostolic succession through the sacrament of Holy Orders, maintaining the fraternal concord of God’s family (CCC 815). You’ll also read the words of St. Ignatius (AD 110) who said “where there is Christ Jesus, there is the Catholic Church.” And, you’ll discover that Protestant theology was nowhere to be found.
Look to Scripture. God’s word says that the Church is the pillar and foundation of truth (1 Tim 3:15), and that whoever hears it, hears Jesus himself (Luke 10:16). If Jesus had not provided us the means whereby the truth of what he is and what he did and what he taught could be known infallibly to the end of time, his life would have been wasted! Jesus has given his authority to Peter and his successors, and carries out his promise to speak to us through the pope. In your studies, you’ll discover that the Church existed before the Bible was written, and that it was the Catholic Church who discerned which books were inspired and which were not.
Recognize that the mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit is brought to completion in the Church (CCC 737). For it’s by “his death and Resurrection” that “Jesus is constituted in glory as Lord and Christ (cf. Acts 2:36), and “from his fullness, he poured out the Holy Spirit on the apostles and the Church. And, the Holy Spirit, whom Christ the head pours out on his members, builds, animates, and sanctifies the Church. She is the sacrament of the Holy Trinity’s communion with men. (CCC 746-747).
Look at the four marks of the true Church:The Four Positive Notes of the True Church
There is only one reason for becoming Catholic; no other reason will do. That one reason is that one has become convinced the Church is what she says she is: the true Church established by Jesus Christ, empowered with his authority to declare his truth until the end of time. Get that straight, and everything else falls in place.
A book that was particularly helpful to me in the latter stages of my pilgrimage was Karl Adam’s The Spirit of Catholicism . I think this book is the best single book on the Catholic Church.
Spirit of Catholicism Online copy