Here is a list of things you should NOT do, or you might become Catholic. Last summer I did ALL of these things, and look where it got me? I’m now a Catholic, and loving every minute of it!
- Don’t read Scott Hahn – Scott Hahn’s book Rome Sweet Home was one of the books I read on the Catholics vs Protestants theme. Scott was a former Presbyterian minister, who studied God’s word and knew the Bible inside and out. He didn’t become Catholic because he didn’t know the Bible, he became Catholic because he knew the Bible “too” well. He and his wife chronicle their journey to the Catholic Church in gentle, loving tones.
- Don’t read about Church History – As I read a few books about Catholics/Protestants I began looking up the side notes, foot notes, and end notes that were included. They all referenced historical sources that documented an Early Church/New Testament Church that was decidedly Catholic in it’s teachings and hierarchical structure. Far from the loosely bound “house churches” I had always imagined the early Christians had.
- Don’t read the early Church Father’s – Many of the foot notes and end notes in the books I was reading when I began my journey, referenced the writings of the early Church Fathers from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd centuries A few of them I had been familiar with already, but what I didn’t know was how Catholic their teachings were. What was intriguing to me was that they were all united on these Catholic things too: the real presence of Jesus in the bread and wine, not just a symbol; the importance of the authority of the Church; the role baptism plays in our salvation, etc. These teachings were very different from what I had heard all my life. I had no idea the early Church Father’s unanimously agreed on these things. I wondered how Protestantism had strayed so much from the original teachings of Christ’s apostles.
- Don’t meet any great Catholics – At this point in my journey, I had already met my boyfriend Jacob and his family who are AMAZING Catholics. Jacob had started a young adult group at his church that I joined whenever possible. I witnessed a group of young adult Catholic Christians pray like any Protestant I knew, open their Bibles and read God’s word with the same mixture of excitement, wonder, awe, and devotion that I was used to among my Protestant friends. These Catholics were REAL Christians.
- Don’t start living like a Catholic – I registered for RCIA summer of 2015, knowing I could decide at any time not to be confirmed the following Easter. But that was when I decided to start going to Mass every Sunday. The music, the readings, the praying, the kneeling, the sign of the cross, the Holy Water, it slowly became part of my worship. And what a beautiful worship it is, to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
- Don’t give God an inch – Each Wednesday night, the night I met with the RCIA team and candidates (people interested in becoming Catholic), I knew I could stop going at any time. But each Wednesday night I went, open to learning more about God in ways a little different than I had ever before.
- Don’t pray – Each Wednesday night I prayed to God, asking him to help me reevaluate this whole “Catholic thing I was getting myself into.” Should I be doing this? Is it crazy for me to even consider the Catholic Church as the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church? Is it crazy of me to consider leaving my Protestant roots for the Catholic Church?
Well, yes, it is CRAZY! but it’s not wrong. It is crazy good. Crazy awesome.
- Don’t let your faith be challenged – Because I was open to the leading of the Holy Spirit in this area of my life, my faith was challenged in many ways. Everything that I had previously knew about God, the Bible, church, salvation, all seemed to crumble down beneathme. The pieces and rubble were a mess. I couldn’t even begin to put it back together. But through all the RCIA meetings, reading God’s word with the team and by myself, praying with the team and by myself, the pieces came back together in a way far more beautiful than I could ever imagine. The way everything works together in Catholic theology is in beautiful harmony with one another, and with the Bible.
This list of Don’ts came from the following article, written by a convert like myself. Dear Protestant, if you are already on a journey to the Catholic Church, I know it can be terrifying at times, but know that the result is far more amazing than you could ever imagine. And definitely worth every ounce of pain.