In lieu of the sacraments


#1

Hey all. I’ve been raised Baptist, but I’ve made up my mind that that I’m coming home. (More info, if you want it, here, here, and here.) I can’t be open about this yet; I’ve only told a few friends, I’m not independent enough yet that I could take myself to Mass and avoid my Baptist church, but I am making efforts to be basically Catholic in my own private life. But I can’t enter RCIA, go to Mass, etc. So my question is, what now? What do I do in the time between my deciding to cross the Tiber, and the moment when I’m actually capable of doing so? I’m not even a catechumen yet. I cannot participate in the Eucharist, Confession, etc. How do I live as a Catholic while I necessarily must live externally as a Baptist?

Thanks in advance.


#2

Great question! I would say pray and study the faith. Read everything you can about it, and bring your learning and questions to God in prayer. Get a Rosary and pray it everyday. Learn basic Catholic prayers. Watch episodes of The Journey Home, especially those with Baptist converts, on YouTube. Find a Catholic friend to talk with. Blessings on you!


#3

Doing all that! In fact, I found a Catholic friend last year in Spanish, while I was still firmly Baptist. She asked me if I was Catholic one day because she saw my sister at her parish for Mass, but with a Catholic friend of her own!

Thank you though, it’s good to know I’m on the right track :blush:


#4

You can pray for the intercession of Mary and the saints. You can read spiritual books besides the Bible. Catholic tradition is rich to read. The Apostolic Fathers is a good start.


#5

I’ve definitely found the early Church Fathers to be immensely rich! I ordered a book with writings from Clement, Ignatius, etc, and it was delivered about a week ago. I even brought it to church and read when I had downtime :joy:


#6

St Ignatius of Antioch’s first documented use of the term ‘Catholic Church’ goes against the claim of Protestants that our church didn’t exist back then.


#7

You are doing great. A devotion to the Blessed Mother is a fast track to getting close to Jesus, so make sure to cultivate that. There are many Marian feasts you can celebrate: August 15 is a major one, the Assumption.
Can you go to Mass? On weekdays if not Sundays? You can partipate in everything but receiving Holy Communion.
Do you have the free app Laudate? Learn about each day’s saints and feasts as well as prayers and meditations.
Start saying The Liturgy of the Hours.


#8

I can’t see how I’d ever go to Mass until I’m totally independent. Only reason my sister does is her Catholic friend she sometimes goes to Mass with also happens to be her best friend, since 2nd grade.
I don’t know what the Liturgy of the Hours is, but I’m definitely looking it up now! I’ve heard only cursory reference to it. And I’m also definitely getting that app! Thank you :grinning:


#9

Yes, you will like the app. Whoever does the saint of the day (actually multiple saints) gives us a real lesson in Catholic history and culture and diversity everyday! As a lifelong Catholic I learn a lot from it! All those saints are the cloud of witnesses around us; they will befriend us and pray for us if we ask them.
Oh, also while you wait to become independent and join the faith, decide who your confirmation saint will be!


#10

Oh yeah, I’ve heard reference made to that, too! What does this mean? I’ve heard a joke, the priest asking, “Which Francis?” during Confirmation, to a catechumen.
What are confirmation saints?


#11

You get a new name, a patron saint, upon confirmation. You can choose a saint you admire, and that saint will be a person you can seek help from your entire life. For example, you could choose St. Michael the Archangel and be Stephen Michael (I’m not sure if you have a middle name, but the saints name would go after it if you do). Or you could choose St. Thomas the Apostle and be Stephen Thomas. You can even pick a female patron if you want!


#12

When you are Confirmed, you can pick a patron Saint and that will be your Confirmation name. You do not have to do it, but I did. As you learn more about Catholicism and the history of the Church, you will probably find certain Saints that inspire you. You might think of picking one of them as a Confirmation Saint. For example, today is the Feast Day of St. John Vianney, the Cure d’Ars, a great French Priest who often spent a good portion of his day hearing Confessions.

For example: my Confirmation Saint was St. Luke, because his Gospel is very close to my heart (some of my favorite parables like The Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son are only in St. Luke’s Gospel) . If you combine St Luke’s Gospel with the Book of Acts, which is basically the second part in his narrative, you have a wonderful account of both the life and teachings of Jesus, and the founding of the Church.


#13

This is great, but could be too much to soon for you. Morning and evening prayers might be the place to start. Do you have a copy of the Catechism? It is a must read.


#14

Those of us converts who had already been baptized (Baptist) did not get a confirmation saint. I picked St. Monica anyway! Apparently it is now optional.


#15

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