It is strange that nobody asked me why I became Catholic. I say it strange because I have been a Protestant all my life. Perhaps they just didn’t think twice about it since my husband is Catholic. Of course it took me 32 years of marriage before I actually joined the Catholic church…so surely it couldn’t have only been because my husband was Catholic. What changed? Why now and why has no one asked? Well, perhaps it doesn’t matter why I haven’t been asked, perhaps my sharing why is what matters… Thus this is my story of how I became a Catholic. If you are someone drawn to the Catholic church but have a lot of questions…I was right there where you are..so I encourage you to hang on and read further. If you are a Christian but not a Catholic… I encourage you to read what truth I have found and I encourage you to do your own research as well. The scripture from Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
When you find something so precious – so life changing, you want others to experience it too. There have been some major milestones on my Journey. The first was when I gave my life to Jesus at a very young age. I was brought up in a wonderful Christian home. My parents (are) would be saints, if there was such a thing being a Protestant. Mind you, they were not perfect, and if you study the saints, you will find they were not perfect…but what made them so different? Their obedience to God in their daily lives, praying and serving others. That was my parents for sure and my family is so blessed to be raised by two wonderful obedient Christians. They are now in heaven enjoying the fruits of their labor and walking and talking with Jesus in person.
To understand where I am coming from, I’ll share a bit of my journey. I attended the Wesleyan Methodist Church and during my teens years we started to attend the Church of the Nazarene. I received wonderful biblical teaching, memorized scripture, and saw first hand at home what it meant to live for God.
My first encounter hearing about Catholics….
As a little girl, while sitting in a little country church at a Wednesday evening prayer meeting, I remember my mother came to the defense of my fraternal grandmother during the service. I don’t remember everything said but I later learned that another relative said something mean to my grandmother out loud in church about having a son that went off and joined the Catholic church. My mother stood up and defended my grandmother.
Funny how I remember that so many years later. This obviously made a big impression. Although my mom defended my grandmother, when I was as a little girl, she said, “Marilyn, never marry a Catholic as there are to many differences in how we worship and believe.” Yet years later, after I married my Catholic husband, my mother told me, “Marilyn, it is better for you to worship together than part ways to different churches. So if he will not come with you, you should go with him.” This is not the advice I wanted to hear and surprised that it came from my mother. I wanted him to come to church where I wanted to attend. I wanted him to find his way “out” of the Catholic church. I see now that my mother’s advice was very wise.
As a little girl, I wasn’t sure Catholics were Christians…although they attended church, they did many things I thought Christians shouldn’t do… such as drink alcohol, smoke, play cards, dance, or use God’s name in vain….etc. They worshiped statues, they prayed to people who were already dead, they even believed that the Eucharist actually turned into the body and blood of Christ. Do you relate to any of these ideas? Catholics went to church, confessed their sins to a priest (not to Jesus directly) and then went right back out and sinned all week. That is what I thought… I made my own assumptions based what I witnessed and thought was sin. So, along with being told not to marry a Catholic…I assumed that my assumptions were correct.
Growing up, I was around God-loving people, who took their faith seriously. Who prayed together with their families and read the Bible together. Who attended church as often as they could. They talked about their relationship with God through Jesus his Son. So, what led me to join the Catholic church 33 years later?
My story will be continued…. Stayed tuned…Follow this blog and you will get an instant email message that I have posted.