I wanted to share a little bit of my story, part of it is an appreciation thread towards my protestant brethren, part of it is to show, just how God works in our lives and how we should be more united with our faith especially in today’s times.
I began my quest 20 years ago, disillusioned about where I was going with my faith, all I knew was the Catholic church and was told which was the norm back then, never to attend any other church services that were not Catholic. I was even told not to read the bible, for we cannot interpret it correctly. This was not unusual to hear back then, and now, the times have changed, and yes, even within the Catholic churches official stance.
I ended up playing rebel, biker jacket as well too boot, and I bought and read the entire bible, I went to protestant services instead of mass, I even went to bible study with them including non church times. I was bad, really bad, and I say this with a grin and chuckle about it, for there are far worse things I could be doing in that rebellious state and my intentions were quite sincere in deepening my faith, or more so, understanding of the gospel.
I fell away from all of that after a while, yet always, kept a dialog and my version of limited prayer active, it was just God and me for the next couple of decades in that regards, and looking back in my life, he was the only one to keep me company throughout my life itself.
This year, boy, what a tremendous amount of tribulations I faced, I reached the end of my rope too many times within it, and in all cases, God picked me back up, helped me dust off my knees, and move forward. He did so through people mainly in the protestant denominations, for that is where I sought fellowship with, yet again.
My quest, which did rather end up leaving me flat was renewed, and this time, I opted to explore with a new vigor. This meant finally going back to mass in the end, yet I am forever grateful for the fellowship and guidance I received from my protestant bretheren, they were a great deal more approachable then my Catholic ones, and it’s still the same to this day, yet I am realizing things within the church, what it really stands for, especially during mass, in a whole new light which has given me a great deal more richness and depth of understanding for it. I still go back and will continue to fellowship in protestant churches, but I guess am what you call, double dipping it, and sometimes it takes a great deal of effort to explain my position with both.
The bottom line here, the protestant churches make you feel welcomed, they are more accepting of you, in your raw state, not knowing didly squat about anything spiritually then what I experience in the Catholic church, where you must take classes just to fully participate. There are things I’d love to change within it, at least in this area, and things such as excluding non Catholics from, something can be in place to be suitable for the average joe that just walks in off of the street out of the blue. If there were no protestant churches in existance, and the only thing we have is the Catholic presence locally, my journey home would have been much more difficult, I would likely be still on my quest, and there would be a great deal more non believers of Christ these days.
I just thought I’d post this thread, to say thank you guys, and to extend this gesture of warmth to you in regards to your help and show my gratitude by helping this lost lamb back to the church where he belongs.