Would I be classed as a dissenter/heretic? I was raised Catholic and ‘fell away’ from the Church when I was no longer at home to follow her. (Prior to this I was a Catholic in very good standing with several God-children, and sponsor at some Confirmations, etc). Then my very devout mother fell ill and her faith got stronger (something I hadn’t though possible!) and I thought maybe there was something in it that I hadn’t understood before.
My sister and I accompanied our mother to Lourdes and I felt truly the touch of the Lord there (Mary was always very special to me and was the saint I adopted at my own Confirmation). The Lourdes story rung true and I was fascinated by what happened. At the same time though, it came to my attention that there were those who honoured Mary in place of Jesus (and admitted it too:eek: )
I then kind of fell away again and didn’t give it much thought until after my mum’s death. I became obsessed with whether she made it to Heaven or not and was saddened that many Catholics I knew seemed to think she hadnt due largely to an issue over the Sacrament of the Sick. I then started to question the Church as if someone with the strength and love in Jesus that my mum had/has would not be with Him in Heaven, then someone like me stood no chance;)
I then came across the wonderful world of “anti-Catholicism” and I was ripe for their picking. I was very vulnerable and confused and after not getting answers within the Church (having never found such wonderful places as this) looked outside of her for the stuff I wanted to learn about.
I never really left the Catholic Church anymore than I did in my teens, and never really went to another Church. I attended an evangelical meeting once, which was very prayer orientated, and I found out that several who go there do so on top of their other Church meetings (mostly Anglicans). I have been to Anglican Church with my boyfriend (I don’t know if you can call it Mass); his church is largely the same as a Catholic Church, believing in the Real Presence and the obligation for attendance and receipt of Eucharist when not in state of sin.
I couldn’t understand that people like my boyfriend’s family also weren’t “saved.” I mean his mum has a huge devotion to Christ (as mine did) and she does many good works in Jesus’ name. She has serious health difficulties and still voluntarily runs a Christian bookstore and is a member of various Church committees and is a warden (not sure what that is exactly) but you get the idea…
So here was the Catholic Church telling me that the two people I know/have known who have/had the most fervent love for Jesus Christ were not saved:( These same people were then telling me that those in the Church who were having pre marital sex and some not even believing in Jesus’ Real Presence were saved because they followed the Church and within her salvation was found.
So I started to research why this Church which I had always known to teach truth, appeared to teach error. And like I said, I was ripe for the picking at the hands of the anti’s. They told me I could have a personal relationship with Christ and be saved and not have to worry about it anymore. And it was attractive to someone like me who was so scared and frightened. But I was far from sure because it was too easy. But they weren’t prepared to let me go that easily…