But I have a few questions to begin with. I was told this part of the forums was the best place to post. Can someone explain to me the basic tenants of Catholicism? What makes Catholics different from other religions? What makes you different from other Christian denominations? What do you believe happens to people who aren’t Catholic when they die? What do you believe happens to non-Catholic Christians when they die? What are the different types of sins? What is your opinion on Martin Luther? Do you have to confess all of your sins to the priests in booths? Why can’t you confess to God? Can someone explain the last rites to me? What exactly is that phrase they are chanting in Latin? Why does God seem to allow all the Church scandels that have happened recently? You know, with the pedophiles? Why did God allow the Inquisition to happen? Someone told me to begin a RCIA program, but I don’t know how to get started. I am a little anxious about all of this. Also, I tend to be a politically liberal person. Will that matter much? Will I still be welcomed into the Church? What exactly is Mass? What’s communion? What are sacraments? What is the church’s position on all the Mary sightings that seem to take place? Do Catholics believe that you can be possessed by a demon? What do Catholics believe about the whole rapture concept? Will the world truly end some day? How can I be sure that Catholicism is a true church? Sometimes I have a hard time just having faith, I want to be sure, you? Thank you for answering my initial questions.
You have great questions. It is too difficult to answer them all in one thread though.
You may want to go to the Catholic Answers HOME page… in the left corner is a section called “Library.” Most of the subjects you have questions about are answered there.
If you still have questions about a specific subject, I would suggest that you ask a question related to just that one topic in a new thread.
Also, a great resource book you may want to pick up is the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Welcome to the forums! We are glad you are here.
Much to answer here.
Here is a great book that will explain all this fully.
This is our faith - book or (“http://www.catholiccompany.com/product_detail.cfm?ID=8378”)
Originally published in 1951 and brought up to date with current disciplines, the book covers the nature of God, the nature of man, the meaning of life, the nature of religion, the sources of Faith, the necessity of prayer, the duty of belief, the consequences of sin, the Commandments of God, the Holy Trinity, belief in Christ, the Redemption, the nature of the Church, the supremacy of the Pope, his infallibility, the Commandments of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, the Sacraments, the Mass, the priesthood, devotion to Mary and the Saints, what happens after death, the devotional life of a Catholic, etc.
** This Is the Faith covers everything the convert or inquirer needs to know about the Catholic faith, and does so with a thoroughness that is at once completely satisfying, but never trying. **Moreover, its approach is always dignified, reverent and commanding of respect. The result is that the reader will garner a true picture of the reasonableness, thoroughness and beauty of the Catholic religion that - with grace - will all but guarantee the assent of his will if he approaches the book with honesty and integrity. This book belongs in every Catholic home. It is unparalleled as a review, as a catch-up course for the poorly informed, or as an introduction to the truth of the Catholic Faith for converts. Great, sadly needed and destined to do great good in our time!
Best place to start is Catholic Answers. Start with the Pillar of Fire catholic.com/library/Pillar.asp then peruse the library
Thank you for all the replies I have gotten so far. Looks like I have some reading to do. What does Catechism mean? I always hear that word thrown around, but I don’t know what it means.
I believe it comes from the Latin word catechesis, meaning “teaching”.
May I ask how you came to the desire to become Catholic?
Well, I was raised Christian, but I haven’t been to church in over 12 years or so. It’s hard to explain, but I simply want to have a personal relationship with God and get back into Church. Right now, when I try to pray, it seems like I’m just talking to myself. I just don’t know which Christian denomination is correct. Maybe they are all correct? I really don’t know. But I do know that Catholicism has been around for a very long time, and it seems to me their belief systems hasn’t changed very much. Maybe they have they answers I seek? I don’t know really. It just seems as though Christianity is very fractured, and I want to seek a stable church. I just want to find a church that sticks to Biblicical principles, and isnt always in the news for corruption. I hope that makes sense.
Makes perfect sense
I wish you the best of luck with your journey.
THe Catholic Church is a hospital for sinners. Every member is a sinner. There is corruption because us sinners fail to live up to the proposition. However, we keep trying.
Catholicism is about love, growing in love, growing towards God, because God is love.
This is the nature of the trinity, the nature of God. Love is self giving completly.
We are brought into being by God’s love. We exist through his Word. His Word is so real it is a person, Jesus.
That is what sets Christianity apart from all other religions.
Catholics believe that Christ loves us so much he gives us his very flesh to eat and blood to drink, so He is in us in a most intimate way, and we are called to love others to express our love to Him. (John 6, 1 Cor 11, etc)
Everything else comes from there.
Merqutio, say a prayer to the Holy Spirit to aid you in your search for truth.
The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name–he will teach you everything and remind you of all that (I) told you.
**John 14:26 **
After praying, I’d recommend reading the Creed we recite. I have faith it will steer you in the right direction.
**We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.**
Nice post I A .
Become Catholic then, all you have to do is go to a Catholic Church, to the office and say
"I am thinking of becoming Catholic and would like to ask some questions in RCIA"
There you go, you can always put it off and study more and back out. We don’t force you to do anything.
All I can say is Catholicism is about following God’s Will and being honest about yourself. You sin and need a savior, Jesus came to die for you and you will be happy if you trust Him in the end.
Catholicism is perfect, but the people leave something to be desired. We need more people who love truth and are willing to defend it and stand up for it.
It is great being Catholic, unless you like sin (and it is easy to like these days) then it is hard sometimes, but if you want to get to heaven, be Catholic.
Here is the online, phrase searchable Catechism of the Catholic Church: christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/ccc.html
However I find the paperback version (availible most bookstores, even non-catholic ones) MUCH handier
The CCC is VERY well organized and very readable
I am looking through the library, but I haven’t found the answer to one of my questions. Can someone give me an overview of the RCIA program? What does it entail exactly?
You sound just like this girl I knew. When she was 19, she was in the same position you are: searching for the right church. But when she looked around, she saw so many Christian denominations, all teaching different and sometimes contradictory things. Yet they all claimed they were right.
Having nowhere else to turn, she went to the Bible. In the gospel of Matthew, she discovered that Jesus founded a church (16:18) and that this church had authority (18:17). Only one church could trace its ancestry back to Jesus and the apostles, and that is the Catholic Church. So she asked herself, “Why would I want to join a church begun by just a man (like Luther) when I could join the Church begun by Christ?” So she joined the Catholic Church and never looked back.
BTW, that girl was my Mom.
May God bless you in your journey, Merqutio!
I can tell you about the one I attended.
Each week a different subject was covered:
God / The Trinity
Jesus - His life, his death etc.
The History of the Church
Mary - The Saints
There were more … the program ran from September until Easter. It was a great overview of our faith. The instructors used both the Bible & the CCC (Catechism) to support their teaching.
RCIA - Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. When you join this program, you will study what the Catholic Church teaches - starting from the Bible, Tradition, Holy Trinity, Eucharist and ending on social justice. There, you will meet people who will become your guides on your journey. You may have tons of questions, that is fine. They are there to help you. The program normally starts in the early fall and runs until Easter. On the Holy Saturday, all catechumens (people who want to become a part of the Catholic Church) are received to full body of the Church. On that day you would receive Sacraments: Baptism, Eucharist or Confirmation - how many sacraments you would receive depends on your individual situation.
Welcom to the forums and God bless on your journey to the fullness of truth.