Reasons to be Catholic.

You come across someone who is open to hear why you chose to be Catholic (or if you are a cradle catholic, continue) what would you say?

What would you say to sway someone already leaning towards Catholicism?

And, what would you suggest a person to do who wants to join the Church?

Side info…

This person has also heard the negative claims and stories about Catholicism basically being wrong- evil for lack of better words- and feels a little uneasy.

Ultimately, what reading materials and links would you suggest this person to read?

I would use the following.

Do you love God?

Do you believe the Bible is the Word of God?

Do you believe it does not contradict itself?

Let me show you that the Catholic Church is the church which Jesus established. Set aside what man has done, but see what the church has done.

The first thing I would do is invite him/her to mass with me or at least let him know that he is always welcome to attend mass with me.

If this person already has an established faith in God, I would also recommend the person pray frequently and regularly about their concerns. I would recommend that he pray for God’s assistance in making a decision about joining the Church.

I just recommended this book on another thread, but I might also recommend reading This is the Faith by Canon Francis Ripley. It breaks down the teachings of the Church and does an excellent job at explaining and supporting that the Catholic Church is the church established by Christ.

If the person has an affinity for aesthetics, I might also expose the person to beautiful sacred musical works such as Mozart’s Requiem, the Faure Requiem, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, etc. I might also bring him to beautiful cathedrals and the Latin mass.

I would make sure that he has friends, family, acquaintances, or others that he is comfortable posing questions to in open, respectful discussions about Catholicism. If he’s interested in an RCIA program to learn more before making a commitment I would help him find one and support him throughout the learning process.

1000 times yes!!! The Ordinary Form can be done reverently and beautifully as well with music, but if a non-Catholic were to be taken to a High Mass in the EF, surely he would be struck with the beauty of the Liturgy and the fact that everything is done with (obvious?) reverence for God.

Anyway, I would first want to try to get past the fact that he has heard negative stories about the Church. I might try to get into specifics, but at the very least I would propose that perhaps those negative stories were just not true or do not reflect actual Church teaching or actual practicing Catholics.

As for why I continue to remain Catholic, I would first mention that I just realize in my heart that the Catholic Church is the true Church founded by Jesus Christ, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to get hung up on that - I would then emphasize how grateful I am to be able to receive Jesus Himself each time I attend Mass. The Eucharist is, after all, the “source and summit” of our faith, and I would mention how I am confident that Jesus works through me, by my reception of Him into my soul.

Those are a couple bigger things I would want to touch, although there are plenty of other things. I don’t really have anything in the way of suggestions for what to read, but I would suggest that if he has time at all, watch EWTN or listen on the radio to the show - that is a great way to be exposed not only to genuinely Catholic people, but also to potentially have some questions answered.

Catholic and Christian, by Alan Schreck, or What Catholics Really Believe by Karl Keating are both well put together for someone who hs “heard” all about the Catholic Church.

They are also useful to the one dealing with a non-Catholic.

If they asked me what caused me to become Catholic, I’d simply be honest. Not with intent to convert them however as what reasons matter to me don’t necessarily matter to others.

Two things got me into the Church.

  1. The holy Spirit. I prayed about what Church to enter, and I was clearly told the Catholic Church. At the time I was less than impressed. Having grown up pentecostal there were few things worse than been Catholic - it was a decidedly non Christian Church. But I willing to look into it. So I started to research.

  2. I found that a lot I had been taught by the Church was simply wrong. The Pope isn’t perfect. Catholics don’t believe the Eucharist stays in us for 7 days. Catholics don’t worship Mary. This allowed me to seriously consider the move and dwelve into the differences between the denominations and look at which Church was right.

Which lead to:

  1. Authority. The Church had the best case when it came to who had authority to teach. That is what finally got me into the Church. The pentecostal preachers simply had no authority that meant I should listen to them, but I’m no theologian. I don’t feel remotely qualified to simply read the bible and make my own mind up. I want guidance but I’m very iffy about taking it from someone with no authority to teach. Growing up in a church that taught the prosperity doctrine taught me that there are a lot of people teaching who don’t know what they’re talking about.

Based on my experience, I would recommend books that address concerns about the Church not been Christian more so than books that pit Catholicism against Protestanism.

The OP is asking about Christian witness…


  1. What my life was like before Jesus.
  2. How I met Jesus.
  3. What my life was like now that I know Jesus.***

That is Christian witness. Paul gives his witness three times in Acts of the Apostles. I would do the same.

I would speak about how I met Jesus in the words of Scripture and how I met him in the confessional, the healing that comes from knowing Christ in sacrament of reconciliation and the joy that comes from meeting him in the sacrament of the Eucharist.

Every Catholic should be able to explain how their life has changed because of Jesus, the sacraments, prayer, etc. The fact is that if your life hasn’t changed because of it then maybe it should.

-Tim-

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Jesus founded the Catholic Church.
That Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth.

I would invite them to Mass. I would have them listen to this series of podcasts…

theonetruefaith.tv/index.php?nav=03&content=20

As for continuing to be Catholic I would say the words of Peter…

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."

That sounds like me two years ago. When I was at that stage, I needed to believe it was the right Church and I needed to know it spiritually and intellectually. The spiritual part was easy because my life was never the same since the first Mass I attended. There was a need in me to prove the allegations of protestants false. I would spend time Googleing things like, “why are catholics not christian”, “Why do catholics worship idols”, “Why do catholics worship mary”, etc. As you can imagine, I found the most vile websites that had as a sole purpose, to campaign against the Catholic Church. I would take their claims and try to prove them false, which was a lot easier to do than you might think. After a while, when you see a website have 3-4 outright lies about Catholics, you can pretty much assume all they have to say is worthless.

Honestly, from my first Mass as an adult a couple of years ago, I wanted to be Catholic. In my heart, I desired them to be the Church for me and that bias was evident in me. However, I knew it was a serious step and it was important to me to be able to join the Church without reservation. A lot of the questions I had were answered here, at Catholic Answers. The Director of Adult Education at our Church has always made himself available when I needed to talk. In fact, we have a meeting today to discuss some questions I had. Some of the difficult doctrine and dogma, he would work through the processes with me when needed.

One of my friends, that converted two years before me, went about it in a different way. He read the Catechism, looking for things with which he could disagree. He finished without any problem.

This website was very important in my journey, whyimcatholic.com was a favorite too, in fact, I still like that. I discovered that even though there is no Catholic radio station in my area, there are several over the internet and through my phone. I have unlimited data on my phone and some days I listed 8 hours or more.

I would reply that I have always been, am now, and always will be Roman Catholic. It is the one true Church. While there are other Christian denominations, and indeed other religions, none of them, for me, have the depth, tradition and majesty of the Catholic religion. There are other religions, particularly Buddhism, that I respect and admire. Buddhism is very old religion with long traditions and spiritual depth. While this is good, it is not for me. But it obviously is for millions of others. That it is, and that so are other religions, perhaps should not be ignored in this instance.

I do not believe I would attempt to try very hard to encourage a person to actually become Catholic if they had serious reservations about the Church. I sense this could result in more spiritual harm than good, leaving the person in the end utterly confused. If would be better, I think, to first resolve any serious reservations. The Church requires a serious commitment and a faithful following of its teachings.

I am not so sure this is the best thing for one with serious reservations to attempt. I would suggest such an individual first seek a while longer for a spiritual tradition within which he or she is the most comfortable.

  1. I would encourage him/her to dig deep into the history, the origins of the Church, the foundation, when it all began, the early Church fathers and how it flourished.
  2. the origins of the Holy Bible
  3. the origins of the Holy Eucharist/Mass

It contains the fullness of truth which no other Church has and speaks and teaches clearly.

The CCC I highly recommend to begin with and from there its footnotes for deeper reading, thus the Saints and encyclicals.

Peace

If someone asks me why I am a Catholic, my answer is:

I love the Catholic Church.
I love Her history.
I love Jesus.
I love Mary.
I love Her Saints.
I love Her teachings.
I even love the controversies.
I love the smell of incense.
I love the beautiful Catholic art.
I love the fact that She is feminine.
I can not even begin to list everything I love about the Catholic Church.

I love being a Catholic.

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