My Story


#1

[Note: This was posted in Meet and Greet, and was told that if I post this here I would get more responses]

Hello,

I just came here and registered today to say that this site has personally impacted me a very big way. Three weeks ago, I was an atheist. After reading this site and some of the responses that members here have given, I’m not so sure anymore.

A little background:

I was raised a protestant and became a fundamentalist Bible-believing Christian in my early twenties. I had big aspirations of becoming a pastor. I believed in sola scriptura, and studied my Bible fervently. I was on fire for the Lord.

In my late twenties I started drinking. I decided to challenge my faith and read up on atheism, and evolution. Prior to this I was a creationist. Long story short, my faith gave way to atheism, and I plunged myself into scientism. I have been an atheist for the past 10 years or so. I told myself I’d never go back to Christianity. I was done.

Life since becoming an atheist has been a disaster. It has been one personal and professional failure after another. I did manage to quit drinking since 2003, but since then I have had many psychiatric issues that have led to job losses. This has led to low-grade depression, because of a mid-life crises. I was suicidal, and planning on taking my life sometime in the future. I swore to myself I wouldn’t grow old.

I spent many years chasing after psychiatric solutions, all of which have either failed or led to things like car accidents. The only one that has worked has been the anti-depressant, but it isn’t a panacea.

For the last two weeks or so I have been reading these forums. I just wanted to say that some of the members here have typed things that have impacted me greatly. It touched my heart and gave me peace and joy. One thread in particular that comes to mind was the girl who was marrying a non-Catholic man and was seeking approval for this. The responses to this girl were amazing.

I am planning on going to a Catholic Church tomorrow. I don’t know what I’ll find or what to expect.

Any input or insights you have would be appreciated.

Thank you,

CRC


#2

The most important Roman Catholic fact is the Eucharist. This is The Body and Blood of Christ, even though it appears to be an unleavened man made wafer. Your job is to find out the 5 W’s-who, what, where, when, and why. The RCIA classes at your parish will open the window to the 5 questions-may even answer a few of them. Try the classes-and you will never be searching again.


#3

Wow, what an interesting story! I assume you are going to Sunday Mass tomorrow? Have you ever been to Mass? It might be difficult to understand everything that’s going on at first, but I just recommend to go with an open heart. Jesus will do the rest.

It is helpful for me if I read the Scripture readings ahead of time. Here’s tomorrow’s readings: usccb.org/bible/readings/072113.cfm

Just sit/stand/kneel when everyone else does. But please do not go up to receive Holy Communion when everyone else does. That is only for Catholics who are in good standing with the Church. But those of us who are unable to receive at that time can still pray for a Spiritual Communion, we ask Jesus to come into our hearts.

I hope you come back and post about your experience!


#4

Please come back and share what you have experienced.

If you keep an open mind and heart and ask God (even if you are not quite sure about Him) to make Himself known to you, He will. The important thing is to quiet your mind and soul and listen. He has a habit of speaking quietly and often through others.

God bless you.


#5

At Mass you can expect two liturgies. First is the Liturgy of the Word followed by the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
Mass begins with a hymn as the priest and servers process in.
This is followed by several prayers and then the reading of the word.
Sunday Mass will consist of three readings. OT, Epistle, Gospel. Also there will be a responsorial psalm. The Homily follows the reading of the gospel.
This is followed by reciting the Creed and a reading of prayer petitions.
Once this is complete, it’s time for the offertory. A hymn will be sung while the Altar is prepared and the basket passed. The Priest says the offertory prayers and invites us to prepare ourselves for the consecration.
Now - being prepared, we are kneeling and the priest reads the appropriate prayers coming to Christ’s words from the last supper…you’ll know…As he reads these words, He raises the Host and then the Chalice. This is the point at which the transubstantiation takes place.
From this point forward God is physically present on the Altar.
Additional prayers are said and then we stand to recite the Our Father…
NOTE:
Since you have a protestant background - be forewarned that the Our Father will end with “deliver us from evil”…the priest then says a short prayer and we respond with the doxology (for thine is the kingdom…)
After this preparations are made to distribute communion. Not being in full communion with the Church you may not receive yet, so simply remain kneeling or standing at your place in the pew. Hymns will be sung during this time.
After communion and some brief prayers, the priest will give a blessing and announce that “The Mass has ended, go in peace to love and serve the Lord” (or something similar). A recessional hymn is sung as the priest and severs leave.

Of course the above is an extremely brief outline…but I hope it gives you a little insight on what to expect.

Peace
James


#6

Keep an open mind and you will truly feel the Lord's presence at the Mass.


#7

Maybe I should attend RCIA first? There’s meetings every Monday at 7pm, all are welcome. Maybe I’ll go to RCIA and then go from there. Seems like a nice starting point.


#8

RCIA is indeed a wonderful idea…but please don’t feel as though you cannot attend mass.

I would feel terrible if my post somehow put you off from attending mass.

Peace
James


#9

You can certainly do both.

You may want to read this story of someone in the same boat:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=10972208#post10972208

*During the Mass I tried to follow along in the book, but I admit it was a bit overwhelming. It was just so different than listening to talks and lessons for three hours like LDS church. I sort of gave up during the Eucharist. I put down the book and just started watching the priest bless the Eucharist. Then the priest held up the host and stated “Behold the Lamb of God” and thank heavens I was kneeling because I might have fallen over otherwise. I knew that Christ was there in the consecrated host. I knew He was there just as surely as I knew the priest was there. After Mass was over I left quickly and went home. I thought, I prayed, I cried. And then I knew the Catholic Church was the truth I had been looking for. The next day I called to make an appointment with the priest and inquire about RCIA classes. I start in September and I haven’t been this happy or at peace in years.
*


#10

Yes, anyone may attend Mass!


#11

Know that God loves you always. Keep that in your heart and all will go well. :)

Deus tibi benedicat.


#12

Peace be with you. May you find a home with us.


#13

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