that you really wanted to live the Catholic life? This questions is for converts who took the leap and people who were catholic in name only but decided to, I'm not sure about the word, be fully Catholic if that makes since...was there a specific moment? or incident? something that you read? something that your child said? I'm just curious...thanks for reading :)
It’s been a layer upon layer of new understanding, sometimes even within it, sometimes made the other understanding obsolete.
Do we ever have such a Paul like experience with our Lord, surely I think that should be a prayer for some of the people I’ve encountered in desperate need of, yet, alas, it’s a slower process, one that continues to grow for those of faith.
One I fully understood the Eucharist was the body and blood of Christ and believed the Catholic Church WAS the Church founded by Jesus Christ, even though I LOVED my Evangelical Church and didn't want to become Catholic, when I sat in the Sunday Service I felt like the whole thing was a fake... a fraud.... a cheap imitation of the real thing. My heart just wasn't in it anymore. And so I realized... I couldn't remain there any longer... regardless of what my friends said (you're crazy!) or how much lukewarm liberal Catholics bugged me (so much!) I had to cross over.
And I'm sooooooooooo happy I did. Honestly, several years have passed since that very stressful time in my life and I have ZERO regrets and only complete gratitude that God led me home.
Hi, Malia Belen! It’s good to see you again!
Let’s see. . .I’m a convert and I knew that I would become Catholic after spending time with a good friend of mine and his family, who were all Catholic. His father was also a convert, and I was at their house one day and my friend and I started talking about religion. I explained that I was raised Baptist for a few years, fell away because I felt I hadn’t really connected to that church, and tried to find God again in early adulthood. I went church-hopping and never really felt spiritually fulfilled.
I also wondered how his family were so wholesome, pure, peaceful people. They had something I didn’t, and I wanted that peace. He told me that they were Catholic and simply lived by the teachings of the Church. I had many misperceptions about the Catholic faith, so I was skeptical, but I told him to go on and explain what it was all about.
It sounded good, I had been feeling unfulfilled, and I saw and wanted that same peace and spiritual fulfillment he and his family members all had, so I agreed to go to a Mass with him and his family.
The minute I walked into that Catholic Church, I knew I was in a truly holy place. Watching how reverent the parishioners were, the reverence of the priest while celebrating Mass, even the reverence of the young altar boys, I knew that’s where my friend and his family got their pure hearts, their peacefulness. They were simply very holy and reverent people in a whirlwind of a sinning and anti-God world, and this was how they’d found it–through the true Church of Jesus Christ and living the sacraments.
I still remember my first steps that day into that Catholic Church vividly. I was 19-20 years old and never truly knew the difference between Christmas and Easter. I started RCIA classes and finally learned answers and reasons for the way that Jesus Christ really wants his people to live. I still find fulfillment in the sacraments and by visiting the Blessed Sacrament in his true Church.
It was not all roses, however. I did hit roadblocks: I disagreed with the Church’s teaching on divorce, or felt out of place at Mass because I was one of the few African-Americans in a predominantly Caucasian parish; but I have to remember that I didn’t find this peace by accident. I had to set aside my human thoughts and shortcomings to allow God’s wants and desires to penetrate my heart. When I do that, I remember that I am truly where God wants me to be; I am truly in His Church.
I’m cradle-Catholic, but I went through a period where I started to feel like I was believing just because my family did. It seemed like as soon as I started probing the foundations of faith, my attention was redirected elsewhere, like someone was trying to hide that the whole thing was built of cards and would fall down if I blew to hard.
This intensified until I reached college, got a live-in boyfriend, got a year’s supply of the Pill from PP - but still went to Mass most weeks. A number of things happened within about 6 months that helped me decide for sure that I was Catholic in more than name:
I learned about the Catholic catechism. Finally I had record of what the church really taught about how to understand the Bible, salvation, etc. - and I learned that most of the things I thought I disagreed with the church about were actually misinformation, or Christian Fundamentalism (not Catholicism). I also discovered some online forums for Catholics who actually THOUGHT about their faith, philosophy, etc., instead of just giving lip service, and who really tried to live their faith in every part of their lives. I also started running into some of these people (not the same exact people, just people like them) in the real world for the first time in my life at the Newman Center. Basically, I fianlly knew that Catholicism had a place for people who wanted to use their brains and question and who believed that a REAL faith could handle any sincere question or doubt a human being could throw at it! (I <3 Thomas Aquinas, BTW) Until then, I think I felt like I was supposed to leave my brain at the door to be a good Catholic, and that just didn’t seem right.
The Newman Center started hosting classes on Theology of the Body, and I was invited. At some point, I started going to them.
The relationship with my boyfriend was becoming stressful and I was becoming depressed, and I knew that a large part of the problem was that I still believed sex before marriage was wrong and stupid - but I wasn’t ready to end things myself quite yet.
The priest preached about receiving the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin being a mortal sin, and the wrongness of taking Christ into a body that is practicing mortal sin. Ouch.
My PP year of free BC ended, and I would have had to go back to the office to renew it. Making it very convenient to break off the sinful behavior instead.
The final straw? My boyfriend made things really easy for me. No, he didn’t break up with me. He decided we weren’t having sex anymore, walked me to Confession, and started helping me practice my faith - attending church with me every week, making it to a couple of the Theology of the Body classes with me, reminding me to pray, and so forth. He’s agnostic, but that didn’t keep him from doing the right thing and bringing me back to Christ, once he understood that it really was what I needed (even if he didn’t understand why . . . or that he needs it, too).
I hope I can return the favor some day. We’ve been married five years now. He’s still the most potent sign of Christ’s love in my life. Probably in our children’s lives as well.
I read through each of your posts and I really thought they were interesting and enjoyed reading them.
Each post made me think more about the Catholic faith because to be honest with each passing day for the past one or two weeks I have been feeling like the Catholic faith is not for me. I still feel that way now but your posts have given me a more positive outlook and I may or may not give it another shot where as before I was pretty sure I was done...I had learned about Catholicism...learned enough to know that Catholics don't believe what I thought they believed and that's it...now I think I'll just take a break and maybe I'll explore the Catholic faith again at a later date.
A couple of days after 9/11. I had been reading up of the Catholic church, been listening to a friend talk about it for awhile. But after that it was kind of like Mary spoke to me and I thought…I should be Catholic It still took me awhile before I actually started RCIA though. Just waiting for the right time I guess. Funny thing is, I didnt go to Mass until I started RCIA. I think my entire life I had only gone to 2 or 3 Masses. But it wasnt a total shock because I had converted to Lutheran about 5 yrs before that. So I was some what familiar with a liturgy setting.
Malia Belen, another thing you might want to consider during your discernment might be the book "No Price Too High," by Alex Jones. It's about a Pentecostal preacher, who, through his continued research on and changing his church's worship style to that of early Christian worship, eventually led him to the Catholic Church. His wife, sons, grandchildren, and 62 other members of his old church eventually converted to Catholicism with him.
He dealt with similar struggles along the way and it's an excellent read. He lost much of his family, friends and most of his ministry (he's now a permanent Catholic deacon in Detroit), but he realized that there was no price too high to be a part of the one, true Church.
CA has it on sale in their shop: shop.catholic.com/product.php?productid=133&cat=0&page=1
Praying for you!
Just keep praying, Malia. My conversion process was by no means quick … it was several years actually. And even after I decided to convert I’d still have moments of “WHAT am I thinking?! Am I CRAZY!!!” But through it all I prayed for God’s guidance. I honestly believe He led me here. So pray… ask Him to direct your path and He will.
God bless you!
I haven't read all the posts yet :o but I just wanted to share my little story. I just barely started getting involved with a Pentecostal type church in the beginning of 2008. I use to be Mormon as a child but I mostly had a secular upbringing. Anyway, by the summer of 2008, I was dating a Catholic (although he wasn't practicing) and I was starting to get heavily involved in this Pentecostal church. According to this little church, Catholics weren't "saved" so I was spending a lot of time trying to "convert" my then boyfriend. I kept praying for God to reveal the truth to me and then eventually I found Catholic Answers. All I had to do was read the Library tracts about things like Apostolic tradition, praying to saints, purgatory, etc. And then a light bulb went off in my head you know :newidea: :)
That same day I sent an email to the Director of Religious Education at my then boyfriend's parish. Before I knew it I was registered for RCIA. For about a month after coming to Catholic Answers for the first time, I still felt a little unsure about whether or not I should become Catholic. However it didn't take long for me to fall in love with the Catholic Church. :D
Eventually I ended up having to choose between God and my ex boyfriend. It's too unfortunate that he couldn't see how wonderful a close relationship with God can be. I know that I am at peace when I am close to God.
God bless you on your journey. May God bless you and keep you all the days of your life ;)