My husband is a convert. He became a Catholic in 1968 just before we married. He was raised–somewhat leniently—in the First Christian Church back in Oklahoma, and that is what basically all his family who are still alive are even today.
I fell away from the faith for over 30 years and have been “home” for just over two years now. My husband is a good man and when I got back into the church, he came right along too, as he’s just like that (whatever I do, he’ll do too)–though I’m sure that if I had never come home, that he would never have done so on his own either. Anyway, back when he converted, it was the Vietnam era and he was in the Navy and stationed out of San Diego. I realized almost from day one that he had never been well taught by the little on-base priest that he’d had to go to for something like 5 or 6 weekly visits. He basically converted to please my parents and me–something I’d never advise anyone else to do ever. Spouses really need to convert because their own heart calls them to the Catholic church–and for no other reason.
So anyway, he has some really off-beat ideas, which I am continually trying to re-inform him about. It isn’t easy, as he’s 65 now–and doesn’t even realize that in many cases he wasn’t taught correctly, and he thinks he understands Catholic teaching just fine, thank you. Another words, he’s a typical MAN! For one thing, he doesn’t really think confession is necessary–he feels his sins are between him and God and I can’t seem to get it across to him why confession is necessary–and even good–though I continue working on that, believe me. I’ve been doing a novena of masses this week, so he goes to daily Mass with me willingly–but since he missed a Sunday Mass several months ago, he doesn’t take communion. Frankly, he missed because of illness and I’ve been trying to convince him that this wasn’t even a sin at all–so he could take communion–but the truth is, I haven’t pushed him because unless I can somehow convince him of why confession is good and needed, he will eventually not be able to receive communion anyway, as unless something changes between now and next Easter, he has no intention of going to confession so he won’t make his Easter duty and we will be at this point for real then.
Anyway, on our way home from Mass today, I brought up the subject of communion and the concept of why communion is a “closed” Sacrament for Catholics, in that protestants can’t or shouldn’t receive communion in the Catholic church and why we don’t receive communion in protestant churches—which is when he laid another somewhat odd belief of his on me again. Now understand, he and I were married young (I was 17 and h was 20) and in the 46+ years that we’ve been together, I thought that I’d heard them all. I made the point that in the Catholic church, we believe that at the consecration, the bread and wine actually become the real body and blood of Jesus. He responded “Well, so does every church.” I told him that he was wrong of course that it wasn’t the case–and that in protestant churches, they believe they do it–in the churches that even have some kind of communion service—as a remembrance–not for real. He corrected me and said that in the first Christian Church, they DO believe they are receiving the real body and blood of Jesus at their communion service! I was absolutely speechless–and for me, that is an infrequent happening! I have never heard of any protestant church that believes that their communion is the real deal–but believe me, he isn’t pulling my leg–he firmly believes this! After 30 minutes of arguing the issue, I let it lay for now and decided that the first thing I need to know before I even go there again with him, is to find out if he is correct in what he believes he was taught growing up as a protestant.
I love this old man, of course–but I’m beginning to believe that he was just as clueless as a protestant as he is a Catholic–but before I call in our priest to talk with my hubby, which was next on my list–I decided I need to know for sure what the real truth is: if any of you are protestants and particularly First Christians, or even Catholics with a lot of protestant faith knowledge, please help me–do any protestant churches teach and actually believe that their communion is the genuine, real-deal body and blood of Jesus? This man is driving me nuts! Trying to re-educat a man who, I’m beginning to suspect now, never even knew what he believed as a protestant just may be above my pay grade–and I’m 99% sure that I’d never get him to sign up for RCIA! So, what is the truth about what protestants believe? Maybe I can figure out what to do next!