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Catholic testimonies

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Hoonbaba, Apr 18, 2002.

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  1. Hoonbaba

    Hoonbaba Catholic Preterist

    +54
    Catholic
    I was just wondering if any ex-fundamentalists can share their testimonies on how/why they came to the Catholic church. Please do share =)

    God bless!

    -Jason
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. Avila

    Avila Boohoo moomoo, cebu

    +4
    Catholic
    Hee-hee! You may have set yourself up for something.... :D

    I'll go!! :)

    I was raised in your typical, Pentecostal, Fundamentalist home. My parents really drove the fear of God straight into my heart, and I don't mean the good kind of fear. To me, God was this mean, judgemental, horrible being who'd send you to Hell for not practicing the piano enough and for listening to classical music. I honestly thought that if I couldn't find them (like they were late getting home or something), that Jesus had returned and left me behind because I was so bad - issues I still struggle with today. As I grew older, I was able to see the hypocrisy in my parents' churches (we church-hopped so much, it wasn't even funny). They would change at the slightest thing - well, the Spirit wasn't moving with that church; they were getting too cultish; Jesus told us to leave. On and on it went. Finally, in my sophomore year, they settled on the church my grandparents went to - the Church of God. It was a nice normal church, and I finally got back to liking God a little bit better. They still held their wierd ideas and attended "hokey" things, but at least there was some sort of spiritual grounding there. When I went to college, though, I stopped going to church. I didn't have time, and I didn't really care to. I mean, after all, the God that I knew probably would've sent me to Hell for all the things I was doing and I wasn't too concerned about stopping those activities.

    I got my heart broken when I was a freshman, so I swore off the boys that summer. I tried to get back to God (it was easier when I was forced to go to church every Sunday). I was doing pretty well, until time to go back to school. About 2-3 weeks into the semester, I decided not to go to church. My roomie had been on a blind date that Friday, and he called her up. He wanted her to come down to Indy and ride the Sea-doo at his parents house. He asked if she had any friends who were single to keep his roommate company. She volunteered me, even though I had gotten back together with my ex from high school. I agreed, since I didn't have anything pressing to do that day. Well, I met the roommate and we started talking. We talked lots - I mean hours - about faith, God, what our future was. We both just "knew" that we were meant for each other. He had just finished the final application to become a Trappist monk when he met me. He threw away the application and I (by default) broke up with my boyfriend. He was really insistent that I at least learn his faith and the reasoning behind why he did certain things. He gave my "Rome Sweet Home" to read - just to clear things up. Well, it struck a chord with me. I knew the things I was reading were true and that they fit with how I wanted God to be. I didn't want Him to be the way I grew up thinking He was. I did more research and had long, long conversations with Hubby. We got married in December 1997 (on another note, our marriage was sacramentalized December 1998, completing another important step in our life), and I started the RCIA process very shortly after. I have to say that RCIA did nothing for me. They didn't teach me anything at all, but I was in a very liberal parish and the DRE was a puppet in the RCIA leader's hands (I won't go into the juicy details - suffice it to say that they didn't focus on learning the details of the Faith - mainly basics of Christianity). Anyway, I was confirmed on Palm Sunday 1998. It was a joyous day for me. I was finally able to participate in the Eucharist!!! :clap: I kinda let things slip from there, and have only really recently gotten back into learning my faith since the birth of my son, 15 months ago. I love it dearly, and am now learning how to defend it against people like my parents (who think that I'm going to Hell because I let my Hubby drag me into the cesspool of the Catholic Church - no kidding!). It is an awesome thing to learn about the Faith! :) Especially from the knowledgeable ones here.
     
  3. Hoonbaba

    Hoonbaba Catholic Preterist

    +54
    Catholic
    Hi Amy,

    Thanks for sharing! Anyone else have a wonderful story?

    -Jason
     
  4. Annabel Lee

    Annabel Lee Beware the Thought Police

    +1,102
    Christian
    US-Others
    That was a wonderful testimony, Avila...and so romantic!

    Annabel
     
  5. Avila

    Avila Boohoo moomoo, cebu

    +4
    Catholic
    Thanks guys! My conversion and marriage are very intertwined. I don't know if either would've happened without the other.... :)
     
  6. KC Catholic

    KC Catholic Everybody's gone surfin'...Surfin' U.S.A

    +76
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Others
    I was raised in a fairly traditional Methodist church where I was confirmed as a teen. Once my childhood minister was fired from his position then we started the "church hop" - we tried the "Christian" churchs, different Methodist churchs and one non-denom when my parents settled at a liveral Methodist church.

    Things went down hill from there as my parents slowly drifted from the church and I only went to meet girls and be the audio/visiual guy. I dated a Southern Baptist off and on for 5 years and tried to get into that church, but there was too much of the "Rock-n-roll" rebel in me to take that church seriously.

    For a time I went through the "born again" phase, which drove my parents batty and I eventually burned out on, because I couldn't be myself. I enjoy secular music and find Christian music - corny and fake sounding.

    Then I basically drifted with no church, no Christ, nothing for about 5 years. I'd have horrible panic attacks very late at night about "eternity" and my mortality, stuff like that. At 20 years old, I was so scared at night I'd sleep with the closet light on - not to macho for a Disc Jockey from the local Rock Station.

    I married my wife when I was 23 and she was a Catholic that had basically fallen away from the church. After we got married, she started going back to church on a fairly regular basis. I'd go with her sometimes, but after what the priest who married us put me through during pre-marital counseling - I had resentful feelings towards the church.

    I'd think about going back to the Methodist church...I'd even watch and trying an participate during the weekly televised Methodist service on the local TV station. Nothing was working - at all. And my wife and I would have ferocious fights about the "truths" of the Catholic Church.

    I mean, I probably sounded like the "trolls" who love to visit here - I was pretty much against anything Catholic.

    So what changed? Well, it was NOT an overnight change - but the Eucharist is the "key" to my entry into the house that Christ established with Peter. I had always believed the bread and wine were the body and blood of Christ. Although I had no concept of transubstantiation or the true teachings behind it. Plus in the Methodist church - grape juice and a loaf of bread.

    I was at a service where the guest priest began talking about the Eucharist and Eucharistic Adoration. I was really into the idea of spending time with Christ for one hour a week. I shocked my wife and mother-in-law by signing up for Perpetual Adoration at 3AM once a week. I LOVED IT! I never felt closer to Christ - but I was NOT becoming a Catolic. ;)

    Then we moved to a different parish and I continued with Adoration. I began praing for spiritual direction because I was NOT going to become a Catholic - no matter what. The Holy Spirit on the other hand had different plans for me. And on Pentacost Sunday in 1996 our priest gave this rousing homily about the responsibilities and duties of Catholic Christians and how we must always take a stand on the teachings of the Church.

    I was so moved by the homily that I turned to my wife and asked her when they sign up folks for RCIA, because I was ready. We had a great RCIA class, with lots of discussion and debate. We even started an evening class to discuss the day's lesson and listen to Scott Hahn tapes. The fuse was lit and I was on fire for Christ and his church.

    I spent a year walking up to the priest and receiving a blessing since I was not ready for communion yet. Then came my first Confession - the first time I have truly, truly felt the forgiving grace of Christ. I love confession.

    Anyway, those panic attacks and fears of eternity are gone now. I am home to stay and I want everyone to have the joy and feeling of contentment that being Catholic has been for me.

    My story...hope it didn't bore you.

    Peace.
     
  7. Avila

    Avila Boohoo moomoo, cebu

    +4
    Catholic
    Great story, KC!!!!
     
  8. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
    Catholic
    Married
    I originally posted this in Interfaith Discussion, but it can hold up to a re-run over here!

    I was raised with a Protestant understanding, but no particular faith. When I was very young, I remember attending a Methodist church with my mother and my aunts. Occasionally, I'd attend Sunday School during Protestant services on Base, where my father was stationed.

    When visiting my grandparents, I'd go to church with them, usually a Foursquare church. Then, during a brief time when we lived with my grandparents, a lady across the street invited my sister and me to go to an Assembly of God church with her. I suppose the AOG church was the one I attended for the longest time, probably a couple of years. I even went to a church camp one summer sponsored by the AOG.

    In high school, I wondered a lot about religion. I remember as a child, hearing things amongst the people at the different churches I had attended. I found that among Protestants, there was a lot of judgment, namely: you must go to OUR church, and not the one down the street, for if you go there, you're going to Hell.

    That's confusing to a young child. It's especially confusing when your parents are not going to ANY church.

    In high school, and in college, I took "Bible as Literature" classes. I gained a profound respect for the Bible, and for the Jewish people. I read a lot of historical fiction, too: books by James Michener, Leon Uris, powerful writers! I KNEW there was a God, I KNEW Jesus had lived and died for me, but I didn't know how or where to worship. The hypocrisy I had witnessed as a child colored my feelings. How could people preach one thing on Sunday, and do something completely different on Monday?

    What to do? RESEARCH! I knew the basics: Martin Luther made the main break away from the Catholic Church. Henry VIII was responsible for the origin of the Anglican/Episcopal church. I thought establishing a Church because you wanted to get a divorce was rather inane, so I crossed Episcopal off my list. Then I looked at Martin Luther. Since he argued with Rome, the Protestant churches had been fracturing and fracturing and fracturing, to the point where THIS church could point a finger at THAT church and say, "We are RIGHT, they are WRONG."

    So I looked further. I understood that the Catholic Church said it was the FIRST Christian Church, and all else followed. I also knew from my own experience, Catholics seemed to live their faith more completely, even to the point where they stood out from others. (the fish on Fridays, or the ashes on the forehead, or "giving up" for Lent were memories from childhood friends) That meant something to me, because I have ALWAYS been one to "march to a different drummer." LOL.

    So, it was time to look at the Catholic Church. Well, the first gripe that anyone has with the Church is usually the Pope. "How come one man has the say-so over everyone in the Church?" My research took me to the Bible. Yup, there it was in Matthew: Jesus renamed Simon to "ROCK" and said, "Upon this Rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven." Hey, look at that! No WONDER all the jokes exist about St Peter and the Pearly Gates! Next on the list: confession. Why confess to a priest? Well, the very next line: "whatever you bond on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

    POW.

    So, I've got it in my head that the Catholic Church is a good idea. Then came a very personal crisis. My husband's sister lived with us, and the kid got mixed up into drugs. My husband and I had only been married a couple of years when this happened, and I felt my entire world being dumped upside down. All I could say to my husband was, "Take me to CHURCH." We found a Catholic Church less than a mile from where we lived. I had been to Catholic services before, but this time, as soon as I walked in, I felt at peace. I had NO IDEA what was going on, but the fellowship, the unity, the entire congregation acting as one, was so soothing ot me. After Mass, my husband and I went to speak with the priest. What a kind, loving, gentle man! He seemed to think that my reaction to the trauma in our lives was entirely normal.... and he was actually beginning an "Inquiry" class that very week, would I be interested in attending?

    That was over twenty-two years ago, and I'm still researching. And everything I've found has only continued to reinforce what I discovered on my initial foray into the New Testament.

    I'm Catholic. And the best part is, I have a faith now, and I have shared that faith with my children. They have something I never had when I was growing up. A faith, parents who believe that faith, and a family who worships together every week.

    Praise God!


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  9. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    Isn’t it great how God always finds a way? One of my biggest regrets is giving a friend of mine a hard time over Papal Infallibility. If I only knew then…

    My family stopped going to church when I was about 10. The pastor of the community Presbyterian church we were attending asked my dad to take up collection, but when he saw he wasn’t wearing a tie, only khakis and a button-down shirt, he took back his offer and told him if he wore a tie, he could do it next week. Needless to say, we weren’t there next week. My father was/is a great man. Since I can remember we have had someone living with us for extended periods. Nine at last count. He never asked them for a dime to help with expenses, but it wasn’t because we didn’t need the help; money was never something we had. My dad was a woodcarver who worked at home, he had no use for a tie, and we didn’t have the money to go anywhere that should have necessitated one. That Sunday really made an impression on me. It made me take account of what I wanted to matter in my life. Ties weren’t one of them.

    Flash forward ten or so years. We never abandoned our faith, and if anything, that experience of my youth rooted us firmer in it, but I hadn’t really stepped foot in a church since that day. After the usual freshman year debauchery, I began to take account of where I was. I transferred from the University of Tennessee to a smaller school and changed my major to get my life on course.

    That year was great. After meeting several good friends, I decided I wanted to find a church to go to…just to try it out again. I went to an Episcopalian church in town, but the doctrine was too liberal, despite it being good fellowship. Then I decided, rather was led to St. Rose. It is about a three minute walk from my apartment, so I figured, "why not?" I put on a pair of khakis and a polo shirt and off I went. I went in and immediately felt awed. I cannot explain it. I believe to be the Real Presence, but at the time I had no idea. I knelt in prayer and then sat back in the pew. After a few minutes a priest walked by, stopped suddenly, and then turned directly toward me. What he said next changed my life. If ever Christ has spoken to me through a man it was then, with these words, "Will you bear the cross?" I hadn’t a clue what he meant, but I said yes through the chills. Father Wiatt took me to the sacristy and handed me the Crucifix to carry in the procession. I carried it, with one minor liturgical error, then returned to my seat, elated. That began my trip home. I have read non-stop since then, and have been blessed to be taught by some very gifted people, some of which are on this board. Now I feel a part of what I read in the Scriptures. I’m no longer an observer.

    God Bless,

    Neal
     
  10. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
    Catholic
    Married
    ::: happy chills at Neal's story :::

    "Will you carry the Cross?"

    What an invitation of a LIFETIME!

    ::: MORE chills :::


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  11. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    I'm in a Catholic/Protestant relationship, and although it is hard at times, you guys let me know it can work out. Some of you are living proof of it! Thanks.

    Neal
     
  12. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
    Catholic
    Married
    To Neal:

    The best, the easiest thing to do is to invite your significant other to Mass when you attend. And make it with no pressure whatsoever. Give her a Missalette, show her how to follow along, encourage her to respond with the congregation.

    Oh, and answer all questions with Love.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  13. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    Thanks, VOW. She's coming around...slowly. She grew up with an anti-catholic bias (honest, but misguided parents). She's been to Mass with me, but doesn't understand what's happening. Father Wiatt even invited us to go to a play and a dinner with him and a group of his fellow priests and friends...and she had a great time! She loves Father Wiatt and the few others she's met at St. Rose, but just doesn't understand all of the made up stuff (?), nor does she care to discuss it...we're trying to deify Mary and all...she's heard it from a life long Catholic...humph! Honestly I think she's just a little uncomfortable by some questions the Catholic Faith has raised in her. She's never been exposed to much outside of Evangelical theology, so I think (hope) she was just a little caught off guard. She bought a votive candle the other day for me to take to Church, and gives me money to take for her to tithe. She even will go to the Marian garden/grotto and pray, so I think something is at work in her. Please pray for us, and thank you for you support, VOW.

    Neal
     
  14. colleen

    colleen We are an Easter people!

    +377
    Catholic
    Married
    Thanks for those beautiful stories. Sometimes us "cradle" Catholics forget how lucky we are to have always been home.
    Christ's peace be with you,
    Colleen
     
  15. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
    Catholic
    Married
    To Neal,

    Just keep inviting her, explain everything, and avoid any pressure. She'll become Catholic by osmosis, if nothing else, LOL!

    Seriously, though, anti-Catholic bias is a powerful, powerful force. Many thoughts are ingrained with that bias, and you can't overcome those overnight. It's so sad. The Protestant breech was made deeper when people deliberately widened the rift with the ANTI-Catholic teachings, such as the emphatic denial of the Real Presence.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  16. KC Catholic

    KC Catholic Everybody's gone surfin'...Surfin' U.S.A

    +76
    Catholic
    Married
    US-Others
    Cool story Neal!

    I love reading conversion stories!
     
  17. Hoonbaba

    Hoonbaba Catholic Preterist

    +54
    Catholic
    Hi guys!

    Thank you ALL for sharing! Hopefully in the future I'll have a story to share =)

    For me, the one thing that's tearing down all my anti-Catholic bias is scripture. Actually I'm sure some people were praying for me as well. Prayer is a mighty thing. It's awesome how a simple prayer can LITERALLY raise people from the dead =)

    Anyway, since I'm a protestant who loves to search scriptures like the Bereans (Acts 17:11), I found scripture to be the number one reason for believing whatever's written in it. I guess I'm called a 'bible-only' Christian. For me, it's good to be safe than sorry =P

    But anyway, it's fascinating how sacred tradition is biblical! (2 Thess 2:15, 2 Thess 3:6) And that sola scriptura is OBVIOUSLY unbiblical! =)

    So anyway, using scripture alone, I've come to realize many truths of the Catholic church. It didn't answer all my questions, but it answered many of my biggest questions like how is it that priests have the power to forgive. Then I read John 20:22 =)

    Then I was wondering about why the Church has titles like, "Father", and I found my answer in 1 Cor 4:15.

    Then there's stuff about Mary in Luke 1:42-43, 48

    The list goes on and on!! :)

    God bless!

    -Jason
     
  18. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
    Catholic
    Married
    To Jason:

    As I said in my "testimony," it was through Scripture that I came to believe in the Catholic Church. And I still am amazed at how "Bible Christians" who stand upon Sola Scriptura can convolute the "You are Rock, and upon this Rock I will build my Church." My eyeballs bug out of my head when I read someone saying, "That's not what Jesus meant!"

    Keep reading, Hon. If you are like the rest of us, the reading and learning creates an unquenchable thirst to learn more!


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  19. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    "I was NOT becoming a Catholic."

    KC, that is what gives me hope. Look atcha now. Thanks.

    Peace to you,

    Neal
     
  20. Avila

    Avila Boohoo moomoo, cebu

    +4
    Catholic
    Neal - take heart. I was raised very anti-Catholic, to the point I thought it was a cult & that Catholics were not true Christians (one reason why my family can't accept my conversion). It didn't take much for my conversion because I was searching outside of my faith, but it only took 10 Catholic boyfriends before one finally explained the Catholic faith to me - I wasn't ready until then. Long story short - she'll come around in God's time, with patience, prayer, & education. Will she read any apologetics works? If so, try some of the books we've recommended to Jason.
     
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