[quote=se~orcampana]This question is probably for a priest, but I wanna know what y’all think.
Being a protestant, we often use a prayer of repentance and acceptance of Jesus to signify becomming a Christian. This is followed by a Baptism, joining a church, …etc.
My question is this: if I join the Catholic Church, can I still tell people that they can begin their life as a Christian with a similar prayer, or gesture to define the moment of your choice to choose Christ?
I hope this makes sense!
I love the RCC, but can’t bring myself to join! :o
what you are describing we would call “initial conversion”, that movement of the Holy Spirit which guides the individual to seek Christ, to desire deeper knowledge and experience of Him–what you might call a personal relationship with him, and which we also call “sanctifying grace”. We say initial conversion because we believe that pursuit of the Christian life requires ongoing conversion and answering the universal call to holiness.
this movement would gradually lead the person to inquire, to associate with Christians and learn about their worship and way of life, to hear the Word of God in scripture, and to emulate Christians.
If this individual desires to learn more about the Catholic Church, he would go through a period of inquiry–asking questions, getting answers about Catholic worship, practice and doctrine and the Church itself.
Once this person becomes convinced that the Catholic church is the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ through which we on earth receive the graces of his salvific action on our behalf, he would proceed to journey through a period called the Catechumenate, for at least a year, where he studies the doctrine, learns the practice, and most of all is immersed in the message of the Gospel.
this period is punctuated by certain preparatory rites intended to purify him of sinful habits and inclinations and to integrate him into the life of the Christian community. After the Rite of Election and period of Purification and Enlightenment (during Lent) he will be received into the Catholic Church at Easter through the Rites of Christian Initiation for adults, culminating in Baptism, Confirmation and reception of the Eucharist.
He will continue for about a year to meet with the pastoral team who guided his journey to learn more about the “mysteries” and to receive support in the trials common to new Christians. During this period of “mystagogy” he will learn how to deal with the reality that even though Baptism has removed the original sin inherited from our common ancestors, Adam and Eve, and all actual sin, he still has to struggle with ongoing temptations, and being human will likely sin again. He will be taught about Jesus’ great mercy in giving us the sacrament of penance and reconciliation wherein Christ forgives and heals us and restores us to communion with our brethren. he will be taught about the working of grace which Jesus bestows throught the sacramental economy, all flowing from His ultimate gift in the Eucharist. He will join the full public worship of the Church in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, wherein we participate in Christ’s one saving action and resurrection.