I’ve been studing all sorts of writings of the early fathers and the Eucharist and find my self leaning towards catholic views. The more I study the more I end up thinking I’ve been wrong to judge catholicism out of hand (not quite like that but you get the point) Recently I asked my pastor a few questions about Scriptures referring to authoritative material out side the scriptures themselves leading to a strong sence that traditions (deposit of faith, magisterium, ect…) of the church do indeed hold a significant roll in the Christian Church. So far I haven’t gotten a responce however this pastor who has a doctorate in theology always gives me insufficient responses to my questions like: “you’re a deep thinker” or " I don’t know however you would like seminary." So I went to a protestant website and asked the same questions. The only answer I got back was a theology student who has my same leanings towards orthodoxy and catholicism. Though I think he leans closer to Orthodox (unsure really). I guess I don’t really have a questions so much as an appreciation for this web site where people will handle difficult questions even though they don’t agree with the premise.
Wow! I applaud your efforts to see the full view of Christendom as a whole, as most people do not seem to go outside their Church. I have read some of the readings of the doctors of the church, namely St. Augustine and St. Therese of Lisuex, which I suggest you look into. Also, never, ever stop asking the questions! There is a ‘why’ to everything, even if you can not find this answer on earth, and if someone here can not tell you, you can always lift this question to God. He always hears you, and will give you an answer, (even if it’s that you can not understand it now, for he will answer it later). Keep seeking this truth! For God is ALL TRUTH!
If you are looking sincerely for the truth, then God is with you.
Here’s a prayer that will help you on your way:
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
V. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray.
O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord.
If I were a Protestant, it seems to me that I would be pretty much disturbed by the end of St.John’s Gospel:
25 There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written
"Always question. And when you get an answer, question that."
Feel free to PM or email me. I have a Ph.D. in church history specializing in the Reformation, and currently teach Bible and Religion at an evangelical college. I have wrestled for more than twelve years with the question of whether I should enter individually into communion with Rome, and have not yet been able to answer that question in the affirmative.
Well, I think it’s important for you to get the answers you seek from your pastor. Perhaps ask him again? Or ask him where he would suggest you look for the answers? You could also ask us There are many Protestants around here who would love to answer your questions (and Catholics who would love to respond to them!)
That’s pretty much how I came to convert to Roman Catholicism myself, through a sincere and objective study of church history. The more legitimate information you uncover about the apostolic Church, that much closer will you be to discovering the answers for yourself. Keep at it and don’t be afraid to ask tough questions…that’s how winning is done.
Unrelated: Contarini, I have a few questions for you…I’ll PM you.
I plan on it. However, the one point I have problems with is that Mass is great for theology and enforcing that but I’m still having problems with the fellowship aspect and the life style aspect. I believe a belief in Jesus is life changing and leads to a righteous life style and God becomes a center point of our lives. However, though this does happen in the catholic church I don’t see it demonstrated so much outside of the clergy. Personal point and probably there are many parishes that are not like that. However, it is an issue for me.
Yes, I have noticed that Protestants go in a lot for the “fellowship” aspect. But it’s all about God, isn’t it?
Still, there are so many Catholic associations and endeavors where you can put your zeal to work in a spirit of faith and charity. Don’t let your sensibilities keep you from the path God wants you to follow.
Hi, Sambo. Just a hello to say that many of us have been where you are now. It’s an adventure! God love ya!
Catholic parishes are often so large that the immediate congregation cannot fulfill the “fellowship” aspect we all need. You will find it in small group activities. My parish, for example runs an annual “Cornerstone” retreat. It is a deeply spiritual experience (especially the men’s version!) and brings people together like brothers. My Cornerstone sisters and I from 2003 are still tight as thieves!
Lenten small groups are also a common thing in the U.S.
Personally the further I read into early Christianity the more I realised the consensus of the fathers was not what it is sold as, and i’ve found the theologies of some of the earliest Christians to be at odds with Rome it has driven me further away while I started as a Missouri synod Lutheran i’ve slid considerably far into the fundamental view of Christianity.
Fellowship and community though important, are not the central aspects of catholicism. The central aspect is the sacrifice of the mass. All else is a side issue, that is not to say all else is of no import but in the hierarchy of things the mass is central.
Having been a cradle catholic and having tried anglicanism, I do understand your concern, for community trumps all in the protestant churches.
Catholics also tend to be more conservative and retiring at and after mass, whereas at other faith services communal gathering afterwards is the norm.
Finally prayer is also done generally quietly at home or amongst family.
Hope this somewhat helps to clarify some things.