As we enter into Holy Week, I thought I would take this time to do a little celebratory post! It was a little over 7 years ago that I began my journey into the Catholic faith. In all actuality, it was probably a lot longer ago than that, but actively, consciously- just over 7 years. Prior to this time, I was attending a Southern Baptist Church that I was very happily active in. I had been in this particular church for almost 20 years and all my children grew up in that church. I taught Sunday School, Children's Choir, I was a secretary and I also was the kitchen manager for a couple years, cooking dinners and weddings and catering every kind of event you can imagine.
We were homeschoolers (youngest graduated in 2007) and we were in co-ops and sports groups with several Catholic families. I will have to admit, I was in awe of them. Not only were they fantastic people with more children than I would have the courage to have, there was something ultra wonderful about the way they were in terms of their faith. It was deeper, it was sacred, it was different than what I had.
If I was ever one of those Protestants that thought Catholics were in a cult and "weren't saved"- all that would have been dismissed by knowing these families.
So intrigued was I, and so determined was I to "prove" my faith was the "same" (didn't we love the same Jesus?) that I began to study this wonderful Christ-given entity, The Catholic Church.
I studied on-line, got in touch with an old friend that I had heard became Catholic (I figured she did because her husband had been) because something told me it wasn't just because her husband had been a Catholic. This friend sent me the Catechism, and all kinds of books and set me up to speak to a Priest! Wow! Another Catholic friend took the time (she had 9 children!) to go out to lunch with me and answer all my questions and just be a great witness to the faith. I can't not mention another Catholic friend of mine that I had known by this time 10 plus years-she was also a very good example to me- such great faith and love for the Lord.
All the books and tapes were awesome and speaking to Father Frank probably changed my life, BUT, honestly, really honestly, I didn't have to read but a few paragraphs in my first studies to really know that I should be Catholic.
Sure, I had a few little obstacles like the whole Mary issue. Now, I have to laugh. Issue? Mother of God?? Come on! (Yes, I have a statue of her in my yard and several in the house). Praying to Saints? HUH? No, it isn't praying to saints like praying to God, but to ask intercession. Ok, that works. Communion- the Eucharist IS Christ? Oh, wait, my God can do anything, right?
I still have trouble with incense, but that is just my high intolerance for smells, not for using it.
The first time I entered the Catholic Church, I was so in awe of the peace, the quiet, the total reverence. As my friend had told me long before this "you are Catholic in your heart".
(By the way, did you know that Catholic means Universal, One? Isn't that what the Lord would want? ONE HOLY CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH? Yes, I think so!)
I don't think religion is man-made. I believe the Lord gave the authority to Peter (the first Pope!) to carry on HIS church. The Catholic Church has withstood so many obstacles, but has remained, why? Again, God's authority! I even learned Protestant meant Protest-er against the Catholic Church- Christ's church. Did I really want to protest that?
So, on December 3, 2003 my son and I were baptized into the Catholic Church and my husband followed shortly after. We were all Confirmed at the Easter Vigil 2004 and my youngest daughter converted in 2007. I love being Catholic!
God Bless and have a wonderful Holy Week!