Last time I wrote on my blog I was complaining of having writer’s block. Well, a friend of mine gave me a really good idea and that was to make a post about my faith.
I grew up Baptist and like most “non Catholics” I was taught that Catholicism was, for lack of a better word… a “NO NO”. I had a friend that I worked with back in the early 90′s that was Catholic, and I went to Church with her a couple of times and was very very confused the whole time. I went on my way not thinking much about it and still assumed as I always had, that Catholics were not “saved” that they just practiced a bunch of rituals that really did nothing for you in terms of where you would spend your eternity. Until 1999.
In 1999 I married a Catholic. I did this thinking that he would surely change his mind, see the error of his ways and become Baptist…. NOPE I was wrong. He was very devoted to his faith and while I admired that, I argued with him regularly about his religion. And as I looked up more and more evidence, read, studied, Prayed and kicked and screamed I actually decided that I would become Catholic. Well, you can imagine the horror that my friends went through. After all this time, Kim had chosen, because of the Yankee she married, to do the WRONG THING. I mean after all I was giving in to a Church that worshiped Mary, condoned drunks, had Priests that had done horrible things to small children, confessed our sins to Priests instead of to God. Yep, if you are Protestant go ahead and admit it, you think everyone of those things are true. So did I. But I was wrong.
I did not just wake up one Sunday morning and decide to become Catholic because I didn’t want to fight about it anymore, I decided to become Catholic because it was what was on my heart. I have been to a lot of Churches, have friends of many different denominations and I know this to be true. The root of our faith and the faith of everyone most likely reading this is that God sent His son Jesus to die on the Cross for our Salvation. Do Catholics believe this?? ABSOLUTELY!! If we did not believe that then trust me, I would not have converted. It is the core of everything that I hold dear to me in my faith journey.
No matter what religion, Church, organization that I have ever belonged to I have always had things that I didn’t believe in that they did. I mean I do not believe that there is a perfect belief out there. I believe we are all wrong about something. Do I think our Church has it’s faults? Of course I do, it’s made up of humans just like yours. When you take something as complicated as the Bible and have millions of different people interpreting it you are going to come across some differing opinions. I am going to take a few of the things that you most likely disagree with that the Catholic Church does and explain to you my opinions and why I allowed my children to be raised in this Church.
Mary. We do not worship Mary. Do Catholics ask for her intercession? Yes they do. This has been a huge huge issue for Protestants. Why am I ok with it? I’m ok with it because after some very serious soul searching I came to this conclusion. We ALL think that certain people have a clearer line to God. Catholics think Mary has a clearer line to God. That in NO WAY means that we “Pray” to her. Intercession and Prayer are not the same thing in my opinion. Every single Catholic I know Prays to God just like you do. But some of them ask for intercession just like you do. Oh you don’t ask for intercession?? I beg to differ. When is the last time you asked your mom or your dad or your preacher or your Facebook friends to pray for you? Does that mean you don’t pray about it yourself? Absolutely not. Does that mean that you worship Bobby Joe that you asked to pray for you? Absolutely not. Let me ask you this. If Mary who God held in VERY HIGH regard was standing in front of you would you ask her to pray for you then? I mean you will ask someone that just posted a crude joke on Facebook to pray for you, wouldn’t you ask the Mother of Jesus? So the real issue here is do you think people in heaven can hear you. It is NOT a matter of worship, its a matter of communication. No where in the Catholic Church teachings does it say Pray to Mary because God cannot hear you. You have greatly misunderstood.
Drinking. Catholics do drink. They are not drunks. The Bible says drunkenness is a sin. We do not in any way condone drunkenness. Jesus turned water into wine at a party…. well I have heard the argument that really should have been interpreted as grape juice. Well it says later in the Bible not to be drunk with wine….. should that be interpreted as grape juice too?? In other words anything in excess is a sin including drinking. And yes, Catholics know that too. But if you are in the process of judging your Catholic friend that you see having a glass of wine at the table across from you at the restaurant I challenge you to look up judging in the Bible, it falls under the same category as drunkenness.
Walking down the isle to be saved…. this is a big one. I have always been taught that in order to go to heaven you have to believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus has died on the cross for your sins and you will be saved. I have done this. It says to make a profession of faith. Now, you say Catholics don’t do this because we don’t walk down the isle and profess it in front of our Church members. Please show me ONE verse in the Bible that says this is the one and only profession of faith that God will recognize because let me tell you about some other forms of professions of faith that we Catholics use. Take Lent for example. We make a profession of faith EVERY YEAR, not just one time where we give up meat on Fridays and we give up something that we love or are addicted to or that we would miss as a profession of faith. For instance if everyone in the office is having fried chicken Friday and I don’t participate and have a salad or fish instead I simply make a profession of my faith and say that if Jesus can die on the Cross for my sins I can skip having chicken on Friday…..it’s a small sacrifice and it is a way to get people discussing Jesus dying on the cross and realizing how much of a sacrifice He gave for us. I also go down the isle every time I am in Church to take Holy Communion (The Lord’s Supper) I do not sit in my seat and have it brought to me I get up and walk down the isle for Jesus, professing that I accept His unimaginable gift of Salvation. We have ashes put on our forehead on Ash Wednesday to let anyone who sees us know that we believe that Jesus died on the Cross for our sins. Now if you have a personal relationship with God and you know Him to be understanding and know what is in our hearts can you say that your profession of faith is any better than mine? It may be professed differently than you, but it is still a profession of faith.
Problems withing the Church. Yes I am well aware that we have had our fair share of horrific problems with Priests doing unspeakable acts. I know of some protestant ones too. The devil goes hard after any Church. And there isn’t a Church out there that has not been affected by such. It just may not be in the news like ours is. Those acts were done by sick individuals and had nothing to do with the fact that they were Catholic. Use your brain on that one. Seriously.
Confessing our Sins to Priests. We do talk to Priests about our sins. We do confess our sins to God, we do not believe that a Priest can forgive us our sins, we believe that they can council us as to how to keep from doing that sin over and over. If you have ever felt the need to confide in your preacher it is the same thing. We ALWAYS ask God for forgiveness bottom line.
I am going to stop here for now because I could type on and on forever about my faith. So what I have decided to do is to make one post a day for the rest of lent (until Easter) about why I am Catholic. I encourage you to ask me questions, or share your faith with me. I would be happy to talk to anyone about this.
Hope everyone has a very blessed day!