Saturday, April 2, 2016

Starting Fresh

On August 2, 2006, I started a blog: This Catholic Journey. I used the blog to detail my conversion into the Catholic Church from the non-denominational Christianity I grew up in and loved so dearly. I needed an outlet to reveal all that I was learning so quickly and all the changes taking place in my heart. My eyes had been opened to the serious lack of unity and authority within Christianity. I was looking for truth. I was looking for the authority Christ had clearly given the apostles and the unity He called us to as Christians.

It actually started with a very dark time... a "dark night of the soul", if you will. Study, prayer and some honest-to-God light bulb moments where I felt the Holy Spirit was opening up my eyes and heart are what drew me to read early Christian writings, dig deeper into the roots of Christianity and ultimately which drew me into the Catholic faith.

"To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant." 
- John Henry Cardinal Newman -

How true those words can be! Not all who study church history, obviously, find themselves compelled to become Catholic but most will end up, at minimum, in high liturgical churches that bring them ever-closer to Catholicism... some just simply cannot make the leap. There is so much confusion, misconception and flat-out lying about what Catholics actually believe and what the Church actually teaches. And people are content to never question what they're told. They are content to buy whatever has been sold to them by pastors and others they trust. I know this because I lived it!

“There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.” 
- Archbishop Fulton Sheen -

These misconceptions are so damaging and there are people everywhere, especially pastors, who perpetuate these misconceptions. And the biggest victims of all are Catholics, who by no fault of their own, were not properly taught the faith. They become prey to the luring of well-intentioned but badly informed people who genuinely think they are saving Catholics from the fires of hell. Some churches are actually established for this very purpose! 
Folks should stop and think for themselves. Stop looking at what others TELL you about the Catholic Church. Stop TELLING Catholics what you THINK they believe. If you really want to reach Catholics and get them to leave what you feel is a "man-made, rule-oriented, earn-your-way-to-heaven, un-Christian, false religion" then take the time to actually learn what the Catholic Church teaches and speak to THOSE things. It doesn't do any good to argue against your perception of what the Catholic Church teaches.... that's just a straw man.

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