I would say that God has answered your prayer. You just don’t know it. What you think is your idea to post on a Catholic forum is God drawing you to Himself. This is how God works much of the time. He’ll plant a little seed of an idea and lets you think it is yours. Then it is up to you. Do you nurture the seed? Or do you let it die? God is the perfect “gentleman”— He stands there knocking at your door, but He is not going to force His way in to have supper with you. So, it would seem you’ve done the first part, which is admit that you are thirsty for more than what the created world has to offer. You just need to keep seeking. God will help you along, but you need to do a lot of work yourself.
Your work is going to start by more than one or two prayers. Start saying prayers regularly. Even if you don’t know Who you are praying to, just get used to talking to God. Also, since faith and reason seem to be difficult for you, there are several good books that discuss that faith and reason do not have to be at odds. If your an intellectual, you can’t go wrong with the works of St. Thomas Aquinas (here is his masterpiece). But his work can be daunting. I think Theology and Sanity by Frank Sheed may be helpful. Though they are not Catholic, The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel are very good.
So, why Catholic? Well, if you are going to be a Christian, you might as well go with the Church that Christ founded. Some quick points: the Bible tells us that Christ founded a Church. He said to Peter “You are Peter and upon this rock I will establish My church”. Peter’s name used to be Simon, Jesus renamed him (renaming by God is rare and extremely significant) Peter, which means “rock”. Peter is the first “pope” of the Catholic Church–though the word “pope” came into use later. Jesus also said the gates of hell would not prevail upon His Church. Then there is a fascinating passage of the Gospel of John. In John 21:11 it is talking about Peter bringing the net of fishes to the Lord and though it was so heavy it did not tear. The net represents the Church, the fish are the believers. What is interesting is that the Greek word for “tear” that was used in the original text, translates to “schizo” which is the root of the word “schism”. So, it makes a strong case for saying that Peter’s Church is not in schism. Oh, and one more historical nugget… the first use of the words “Catholic Church” occur less than 100 years after Our Lord walked the earth. There is a letter from St. Ignatius dated approximately 107ad that says “just as where Jesus Christ is, so to is the Catholic Church”.
Orthodoxy, makes an interesting, but flawed (in my opinion) case against the Catholic Church, and I think history proves them incorrect, especially on the authority given to Peter. Though the roots of the Orthodox go back to the Apostles, I feel that Christ meant for His Church to be united in the “net” of Peter. Protestantism, in all its forms, does not have ancient roots. They go only back to the 1500’s. There are so many problems with protestantism that I don’t have the room on this post to say them all. However, when you read the works of the ancient Christians, their practices are very Catholic-- They believed in the Real Presence of Christ in the Bread and Wine, they gave confessions, and they had a hierarchy (bishops, priests). These are not things that are part of many protestant churches. There are some that are a bit closer to the ancient teachings than others. So, for example the Lutherans believe in a form of “Real Presence” but most of the non-denominational churches do not. Nowadays, if you don’t like what your protestant church teaches, you can just go start your own and preach your interpretation of the Bible. That is why protestantism has fractured into thousands of churches. Catholic and Orthodox are much more stable in that regard.
I have about a bazillion links you could read through to help you along. I have links that support the Catholic church as the true Church, I have links with commentary on the Bible, links about teachings, you name it. Just let me know what you are most interested in. Take one issue at a time, if need be.
Blessings, Prayer Warrior
PS. Two links that are a must: One is the Catholic Catechism which teaches us what the Church really teaches (not the lies and propaganda that have been spread about the Church) and the other is a Catholic Bible. Here is a modern translation, here is an older translation. Happy reading!