WHY are you Catholic?


#1

For my college essay I must find various reasons as to why people are Roman Catholic, so I'm asking for your reasons as to why you believe in, practice the faith of or live as a Roman Catholic, of any kind. Examples are given below...

Is it just in case? As in 'it's not worth risking damnation to not believe'?

Is it because you were brought up by your family as Roman Catholic and have known it all your life?

It it because God helped out in a crisis of life that you had?

Is it because you want an explanation as to WHY things happen?

Is it to fill a gap as to how to live your life morally or the lives of your children?

Or is it something else? Marriage? Convert? etc...

All answers are welcome!!! :D


#2

When I was about 6 or 7 years old my family finally decided to get into church. We never really went before that. We bounced around to many different Protestant denominations, and eventually ended up in the Presbyterian church. We stayed there for about two years, and I recall my brother, mother, and myself never feeling at home. Not sure if my father did or not.

I remember we got in trouble for playing with He-Man figures, cause they were called “the Masters of the Universe”. It had no bearing on us switching denominations though. My father was a Catholic growing up, had gone through a nasty divorce once, and thought he could never go back into the Church. My mother and father ended up deciding to just try out the local Catholic Church, and so we went.

I remember very very strongly the feeling of being home the very first time walking into the doors and attending Mass the first time. Never felt like that at any of the other churches we went to.

Became Catholic around age 9, officially anyway, and stayed within the Church till about age 16 or so. At 16, I met my first wife, and walked away from the faith. She had a nice body, drugs, all the fun things that I cared about at the time.

I would always go back to Mass when my life was at a horribly low point. Always stayed in contact with those that had helped me the most back in my teenage years.

About 7 years later, when I was 23, my life hit rock bottom. Ended up facing a 20 year prison sentence. When I arrived in jail, I looked to God and said “Alright, you win, I can not do things my way anymore”

The only way for me to get bonded out of jail, was from one of my friend’s father. He was hesitant, as he knew me growing up, and I was less than the perfect child. He told me if I would go on a certain retreat, that he would bail me out. I said “I don’t give a s*** what I gotta agree to, just get me out”

I was out for awhile, I stopped doing drugs, started working on getting a steady job, and taking care of the things I needed to. I ended up going on a TEC To Encounter Christ retreat. I can’t honestly say that it was all great and what not, but I do know that I came out of that retreat with a sense of purpose once again.

A few months rolled by, and I got a phone call asking if I would come and be on the next TEC team. I said I would, cause it would surround me with decent people. The very next day the DA wanted to see me and my lawyer. We went down to the courthouse to see him, and he presented me with a folder full of letters that those on TEC, my family, and friends had written him. They described the change in me over the few months.

The DA decided to let me off on a pretrial diversion. Pay back the money I stole, plus some, and do some community service. He asked what more was going on in my life, and I told him I had agreed to work on the next TEC weekend. He told me that would count for my community service. I had 120 hours to do.

I worked the next two TEC weekends, which are easily about 60 hours or more of work per weekend. Paid the money back, and never looked back. I am now a council member of the TEC community, and it has been about 9 years since I made my first TEC.

Long story short, way to late I know, it was home. Felt like home, felt like Christ wanted me there. That Christ wanted me there so badly he was willing to let me do horrible things in attempt to draw me back.


#3

Wow, talk about Gods hand in all of this! Your life experience and what God has done for you will truely help so many others. God Bless You!


#4

[quote="Tips22, post:1, topic:182782"]
For my college essay I must find various reasons as to why people are Roman Catholic, so I'm asking for your reasons as to why you believe in, practice the faith of or live as a Roman Catholic, of any kind. Examples are given below...

Is it just in case? As in 'it's not worth risking damnation to not believe'?

Is it because you were brought up by your family as Roman Catholic and have known it all your life?

It it because God helped out in a crisis of life that you had?

Is it because you want an explanation as to WHY things happen?

Is it to fill a gap as to how to live your life morally or the lives of your children?

Or is it something else? Marriage? Convert? etc...

All answers are welcome!!! :D

[/quote]

You're asking leading questions. What class is this for?


#5

[quote="Tips22, post:1, topic:182782"]
For my college essay I must find various reasons as to why people are Roman Catholic, so I'm asking for your reasons as to why you believe in, practice the faith of or live as a Roman Catholic, of any kind.

[/quote]

because I choose Christ, the Light of the World, each and every day and the Catholic Church is the means He established on earth to be united with Him.


#6

Though I am not Cathlic yet, I will be this Easter.

I have two main reasons I am becoming Catholic.

  1. I was raised in a non-religous household, never baptized, though I was exposed to the baptist religion through my grandparents and I occasionally went to other churches with friends or other family members, though never a Catholic church. I never really felt at home at any of the churches I went to and I never attended regularly. I had many issues with the believes I was exposed too and I did not feel that I got anything out of the hell fire and brimstone services, or the services that stressed giving more and more money to the church etc…I am not saying all these churches where bad, just saying they didn’t fit me and I never felt at home. When I met my fiancee I was still not attending church, had not attended church for many years and had no plans to start attending church, though I did long for the faith that many of my friends had that I could not seem to find, though I did believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, I felt there was not a church out ther for me. My fiancee invited me to Christmas mass with his family and I was instantly drawn to the mass and decided to learn more about the Catholic faith, the more I learned the more I felt that I had finally found the place where I belonged, we started attending Mass together and when the RCIA restarted after the summer break this year I joined the class.

  2. I believe that the husband should be the spiritual leaders of the house and that children should be brought up in a household that is united in their religious beliefs. The Catholic failth is very important to the man I am marrying and I think that for family harmony as well as the formation of faith of my future children it is best if we are both Catholic.

Note that the first reason was for me, which I think is important, and without the first reason I don’t think the second reason would really have mattered to me.

I guess the simply anser is that I am becoming Catholic because there is no other religion for me.


#7

My family was not religious in the least. I always felt there was a God but I knew nothing of Him.. so as a child I'd literally talk up to the sky where I thought God lived asking Him to show me who He was. Through my late teens & 20s I got involved in different religious groups.. some good, some not so good. Finally I joined an Evangelical Church and gave my heart to Jesus. I learned alot about what it meant to be a Christian. Several years later I started reading books about the Catholic Faith - mainly so I could understand and minister to my friends who were Catholic. God began to show me that the Catholic Church was His church and that Jesus was present in the Eucharist. After much prayer I realized this is where He wanted me to be.

I am Catholic because as I child, I asked Him to show me who He was. The road was long and the journey full of difficult stops but I know His hand was guiding me all the way.


#8

1) When you do the historical research, Christianity adds up
2) When you do the historical research, it becomes abondantly apparent that the Church (single) formed by Christ is the Catholic Church.
3) When you study the theology, it becomes abundantly clear the doctrine matters ie "that they may be one as we are one".
4) When you really dig into the faith, you come to realize that schism isn't something to just be accepted, in fact schism was (is) sinful. We should endevor to end it.

I'm sorry to read that you've lost your faith, I hope your stay here will be long and that your faith will be reignited with a burning fire. God Bless


#9

Born and raised Catholic.

After 4 years in the Air Force and a year in Viet Nam I drifted away from the Church, any church. Years later I started reading the bible for the first time ever. I was at that point that any church was just as good as another and even to the point that I didn't even need a church, just the bible. The more I read the bible the more I realized that I, we all needed a church. That Jesus did indeed establish a Church. After careful study and visiting several churches I found that Church He established. I was already a member of it. It was the Catholic Church! I came back home. Hallelujah!


#10

A good answer here:

payingattentiontothesky.com/2009/06/22/called-to-holiness/

And a better conversion story (not mine) here

payingattentiontothesky.com/2009/07/30/conversion-stories-my-bright-abyss/

dj


#11

When I boil all the personal journey "stuff" out of the pot...and off the top...there is one and only one (human) reason to be Catholic...because it is true! (G.K. Chesterton first said this).

I believe that Catholicism (in all matters of faith and morals) is Truth -- and as the late Pope JP-II & now Pope B-XVI have often reminded us: truth is not something...it is someone...a person...Our Lord Jesus Christ...

John 14:6 (English Standard Version)

6*Jesus said* to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

...and.,.in/with/through...the gift of God's grace (the Imperative Catalyst/Cause)...I believe it...I believe everything it teaches in all matters of faith and morals.

Or like G.K. Chesterton said...I became Catholic because** I wanted to have my sins forgiven!...and know, with moral certitude, that they have in fact been forgiven. Or as G.K. Chesterton said (paraphrasing)...I knew that I was in the right place when I walked into the back of a Catholic Church...in the vestibule...there was a big sign saying: "women guard your purse and valuables...you will be among thieves and robbers in the pews...I knew that I had made the right decision...no pretense about being holy...but the truth of being in a Church made up of sinners!** (if you seriously believe and try to follow all that the Catholic Church teaches on matters of faith and morals...you will begin to see and be much more aware of your sinfulness).

Lastly...being Catholic sets me free...from "time" **and **free...from being just a USA citizen/member of the Catholic Church in USA...and free...from this "world"!** As a Catholic...I am in communion** with...the Church Militant (here on earth)...the Church Suffering (souls in purgatory)...and the Church Triumphant (in Heaven in the beatific vision)!!

In conclusion...for my eternal soul, I wanted something better than the pit boss and dealers offer me in the Las Vegas casinos: "...place your bets...and good luck!"

Pax Christi


#12

The short answer is: because it's true. That's the only honest reason for anyone to believe in anything. (I stole this quip from Dr. Peter Kreeft, a Philosophy Professor at Boston College, who evidently stole it from G. K. Chesterton.)

For the long answer, I expound upon that here and continue it here.


#13

In addition to these excellent points, I would like to add that everything around us points to a creator. While I was Christian before I started caring about science, the fact that everything around me is pointing to God helps to reinforce my faith.

Do I base my faith on this science? No, because the one truth of science is that we will never fully understand that which we are studying so our opinions, definitions, and findings will be in a constant state of change. This in and of itself points to something greater than us. Science in and of itself has become its own religion which is dangerous to scientific discovery. You can see this by Darwin evolutionists and anti-ID scientists. We will never fully understand the truth through science, but every legitimate discovery in science reveals God to us and can help deepen faith. Science and God are not at odds as some in society will lead you to believe. Everything originates from the same author.

In terms of my conversion, I am Roman Catholic because I did not feel connected to God, especially Jesus Christ, through any protestant denominations that I was part of. I was not being fed at the feel good, superficial, disconnected protestant churches I was involved with. I have been to Baptist churches, Presbyterian churches, “holy roller” churches, and “mega” churches and all lacked depth. None could go beyond their pastor or their originator which at best was the 16th century. Even when they went back this far, they didn’t agree with half of what was being said back then. The lack of continuity, consistency and history is what ultimately made me realize that they weren’t of God. The truth of the Eucharist is what ultimately made me realize what it meant to be part of Christ’s body. In the end it was unity and truly experiencing Christ that made me be Roman Catholic.

God Bless.


#14

None of the above.

I had been an active devout Mormon for many years…Got to the point that I got out and thought all organized religion was a fraud and a power play for control.

As time when by I felt keenly the void of having God and worship in my life.

I watched PJII’s funeral because I am a news freak and that was a major news story.
One thing was clear; here was a man who, in however he viewed God, served that God the best to his knowledge and abilitiy.

He honestly tried to be a disciple of Christ.
I respected that.

And I learned that there really are people out there in ecclesiastic positions who are authentic in their Christ-like efforts and strivings.

It would be awhile before I would come into full communion with the Catholic Church…I had big time trust issues…(and still am skeptical when it comes to leadership) …

But I had to do something about that void I was feeling about having God and worshipping in my life…


#15

Why am I Catholic?

The answer is SIMPLE. Child simple.

I was born into a nominally-christian/atheist household. Like all young children, I strove to make sense of the world around me. When I was 6, my parents divorced. I remember being called into the livingroom by a lawyer. He showed me my father sitting on one side, and my mother sitting on the other, then asked me to choose whom I wanted to live with. I said “BOTH!”. He told me “both” wasn’t an option. I cried. I was torn apart. I REFUSED to choose. The law placed me with my mother. It was THEN that I KNEW that not all was right with the world. There were UNSEEN forces at work. Something was terribly WRONG.

The next September my Grade 2 public school teacher introduced me to the King James Bible, and to Jesus Christ for the very first time (this was back in the days when Bibles could still be read in schools). This teacher was wonderful, and was well-liked by everyone. I learned what St. Paul calls “the milk of the Word” that year. Suddenly, everthing made sense again. NOW I knew WHY people were so screwed-up. I also totally understood Jesus when He said “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” - Luke 18:16 (KJV) To my mind, nobody else in this world was smarter than JESUS! :slight_smile:

I have considered myself a Christian since then. But I wasn’t churched at all. Not by anyone. As a young adult, I began to think that I needed a church. I tried them ALL, and couldn’t understand why they didn’t AGREE on all matters. When I realized I had to choose (or thought I had to) I chose Anglicanism. Why? Because it seemed the most traditional and also because I never checked out the Roman Catholic Church because everyone else told me that it was in error. :shrug:

Decades later, I have seen my Anglican church slip under the waves of the tidal forces of “progressive liberalism” and worldy thinking. Then, and only THEN did someone who was Catholic point me in the right direction. The more I learned about Catholicism the more I realized that I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN CATHOLIC and just never knew it!

A year ago (when I was still in RCIA classes) I was visiting the town I grew up and just happened to bump into an old teacher. We talked about many htings, and then I mentioned my Grade 2 teacher’s name to her. “I’m just curious… why did she leave the school when she was so well-liked?”. The answer sent shivers down my spine: “Oh, she was Catholic and finally found the job she always wanted teaching in a Catholic School”.

Yes indeed, the Lord works in mysterious ways. :wink:


#16

Born into it. Freely chose it later on in my life, around 11 or 12 because it makes perfect sense.


#17

I suppose there are many reasons - I was raised Catholic, I have been drawn back to the Catholic faith every time I left it in a way too powerrful to be merely my own doing, the Catholic Church can trace itself back to Christ and is the oldest Christian sect, the Catholic Church was practically responsible for salvaging and restoring Western Civilization after the fall of Rome.

But in the end, after all those reasons are comfortably accepted and taken for granted, I feel and believe in the Lord's love and presence when I sit at Mass, kneel before the Blessed Sacrament, and give myself over to Him in faith and loyalty. That is a powerful thing and my words will never be fit enough to properly describe it.


#18

i was raised Catholic but drifted away because i didn’t know my Faith & found it much easier to “have no need for religion because i am a good person!”

i was able to be my own God, my own Pope & decide what was right & wrong, & pretty much rationalize or justify any behavior because in my mind, the ends always justified the means.

This sounds great & was easy for a while, but eventually i bent the rules so far that i believed the people i was working for had cheated me so i was justified in ‘reclaiming’ (STEALING!) the money i felt i was owed.

i ended up depressed & eventually in prison. It was there,at rock bottom that i realized there is right & wrong & there are absolutes, but how could i know them? Obviously i could not rationally decide for myself.

More importantly, i searched for the meaning of life. i had been given everything, a world class education, a loving wife & family, money & possessions, world travel…, but it was never enough!

**One day in prison, lying on my bunk at 3am unable to sleep & trying to pray (beg for help) but only the most painful & agonizing groans would come from my heart.

Romans 8:22 & 26 came into my heart;

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now;… Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.”**

i finally realized that it was not me who was in control, it was God. Once i accepted that fact, everything else became perfectly clear.

Initially, i was still reluctant to return to my Catholic Faith because i didn’t know Sacred Scripture & the teachings of the Church & it was much easier to go the “me & Jesus” route!

i tried to find out the Truth so i could disprove the ‘false teachings of the Catholic Church’ as many of my Protestant friends urged me to do. As i read Sacred Scripture, the Catechism, the Early Church Fathers i realized that the Catholic Church was the only place i could find the Truth, the whole Truth & nothing but the Truth!

Too many people, Catholics included, dismiss the Truth of the Catholic Faith because it’s members & clergy are all sinners & are all flawed human beings. Even Jesus’ chosen Apostles betrayed, denied & abandoned Him at the hour of His Passion & Death, but that did not diminish the Perfection of God & His Word!!!

Being intellectually honest is not easy, but it is what Jesus calls us to be. My Protestant friends were angry & even some family members who were raised Catholic, but were poorly catechized & did not understand what the Church teaches, ridiculed me as being overzealous & desperate?

Long story short, choosing Catholicism is never popular or easy, but it is the Truth of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. Only Jesus provides us with the meaning of life, the key to fulfillment, Love. Not ‘love’ as our society defines it 'sex, power & possessions, but Agape Love, true total self giving Love.

i still struggle & fail daily, but at least now i know of the Love & Infinite mercy of Jesus & strive to do the best i can.

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!

mark


#19

Mark77, what a inspiring story of God’s Grace! Thanks for sharing that :slight_smile:


#20

I followed the same path that you did when I began College. I had been raised Catholic but left the Church in favor of pursuing a life of satisfying every fleshly desire. In my senior year I realized that my life felt empty. I picked up a Bible and began reading the Gospels. This led me to a point at which I had to make a decision. Was Jesus who He said He was or not? I came to the conclusion that I believed that He was who He said He was; the Son of God.

A certain logical sequence followed from making that decision. If I believed that He was truly the Son of God then what did that mean for my life? I began going back to Mass and studying scripture with a priest. There was no doubt about it, Jesus founded a Chruch and promised that He would remain with it “until the end of the age”. He also promised that the gates of hell would not prevail agaisnt it. The only Church that could honestly trace itself historically to Jesus Himself was the Catholic Church; an unbroken line of succession. In fact, I could trace my own priest back to Peter if I wanted to spend the time. No other church on the face of the earth could make this claim.

Your post assumes that there must be some psychological, or sociological reason to believe in Christ and His Church. Yes there may be a moral gap, or I may want an explanation as to why things happen, but that would only prompt one to explore. Coming to the conclusion, first of all, that Jesus was who He said He was and then finding the Church that He founded is quite another thing. More importantly, finding your life being transformed by God’s grace poured out in the sacraments leaves you assured of the reality of His presence in your life and in the world.

That is why I am Catholic. My prayer for you is that your inquiry will lead you into this life with God Himself and not end when you have finished a college project. It is the reason we are alive and I am convinced that your life will be left wanting until you discover the one, true Church which is Christ’s presence on this earth.

God bless you.


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