My Journey

This blog is the story of my journey of faith, a journey that has brought me at last to the Roman Catholic Church. I was confirmed into the Church at the Easter Vigil of 7 April 2012. In these pages I have recorded the steps of my journey so far, and will continue to share my thoughts, reflections, and struggles on this ongoing path. It is the story of one raised in evangelical, Protestant Christianity, and my process of transformation, of becoming Catholic β€” of coming into being, being born, as what I feel I’ve been called to be my whole life.

I am a teacher and history graduate in the Southern United States, steeped for a long time in classical and biblical languages and the history of the Christian Church, and now a convert to the Catholic faith from evangelical roots (specifically the Assemblies of God denomination of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement). I want this blog to be not so much about me or my life, but about Christ, about His work of transformation and redemption, as anyone can experience, and about the beauty and majesty of his Holy Church. The particulars of my life are less important than His life and the life of His Church. I want to decrease so that he can increase. I don’t want this blog to ever be a platform for me to draw attention to myself or to perform, in pride, for an audience.

What I’m all about

  • Sharing my story of being called to the Catholic faith, through all the signs God has used to lead me here, and all the affinities that have drawn me.
  • Teaching about the Catholic Church to especially my fellow evangelicals who might have misconceptions and misunderstandings, and defending her against those misunderstandings and attacks.
  • Reconciling the Church, working toward the healing of our divisions in any way that I can.

You might like to take a brief tour of my posts so far.

Anyone with whom I share this journey, or who wanders in from their own road, is welcome to travel with me, to read and comment. May the peace of the Lord be with you.

76 thoughts on “My Journey

  1. I was also just confirmed at the 2012 Easter Vigil. I am in the same boat but with more Atheists around me than Evangelicals. Don’t feel too lonely- there are many of our types out there! Looking forward to reading your blog!

    • Thanks for the follow, and pleased to meet you! What were you before? I’ve been a “lonely pilgrim” all my life, but at least I’m finally on the right road, and I’m traveling with many other pilgrims!

      • I grew up in military non-denominational churches. Then moved away from home and became agnostic and now 20 years later found Catholicism. I feel very lonely now as most of my family and friends are atheists. It has been nice to meet people while blogging about it all.

        • I’m thankful that my family is all Christian, and that they’ve generally been supportive of my journey. But the path of conversion is definitely the path of saying goodbye to old things and taking hold of a new communion. Though it may seem sometimes that we’re alone, we are all pilgrims on this road.

  2. Hi!

    Thank you for visiting my blog and for following.

    I will follow you also. It is always refreshing to hear the stories of how others entered into the Catholic Faith.

    God bless you and thanks again! πŸ™‚

  3. Your blog is both an inspiration and a travel guide. I am glad to have found it – and thank you for writing it and sharing your journey and knowledge with us.

  4. Congratulations to you!

    I came into the Church on April 7, 2007 at Easter Vigil– baptized, confirmed, and first communion. I was a sponsor last year for the first time and she was confirmed on April 7, 2012 (your year!) at Easter Vigil.

    God bless you!

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  6. Dear All
    thank you for your blog and your story.
    I am 41 and became an evangelical christian 20 years ago… my wife and our three daughters are crossing the Tiber this very month! we live near Geneva – Switzerland. It feels good not to be alone!!!!

  7. A lifelong Catholic, I abandoned faith all together during my early college years. But like Augustine, I burned to know real truth, the only antidote to the empty pain in my heart and mind. Surprisingly, it was through the patience and prayers of an Assembly of God minister that brought me back to faith, and then through the young Charismatic Renewal that swept the Catholic Church in the 70s that brought me full circle back home. If you seek the truth He finds you! I thoroughly enjoy your blog!

    • I’m still not quite through telling my long, drawn-out story here, but I eventually hope to make a more succinct version once I figure out the ending. πŸ™‚ I would like to know more about the Charismatic Renewal. One of my great passions here is finding the ties that bind Christians together. My parents are still in the Assemblies of God, and I pray that we can all be united in full communion again.

  8. Having just recently begun my journey into the world of blogging (and starting a blog of my own), I have to say that yours is one of the most interesting I’ve stumbled across. It’s so incredible to see how God works in people’s lives, and I love how you talk about your journey with such honesty and faith! God bless!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m very pleased to meet you, and welcome to blogging! I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts, too. We have a really lovely little (and growing) circle of Catholic bloggers here on WordPress, and I’ve found it to be a great and loving and supportive community. God bless you, too.

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  10. Welcome to the Church! I actually found your blog through your defense of Mary’s perpetual virginity on another blog…which I had just finished defending some other Catholic points on as well. It was very well out. You have a strong understanding of the faith and I admired you standing up for the beliefs of the Church. Stop by my blog sometime! God Bless

    • Hey! Thank you and pleased to meet you. I’m glad you found my defense admirable; I felt like I was being a butthead. That guy wasn’t exactly open to reasoning and I lost my cool a little (a bad habit of mine the Lord is dealing with). But I’m glad wasn’t the only one willing to try to speak truth to him. Thanks for following, and God bless you.

  11. Thank you for following me! It’s a pleasure to meet you! You have a very interesting, very inspiring blog. I’m very happy for you that you found your way home! I can only hope to get to that point as well at some point!

  12. Stumbled onto your blog today from a sidebar suggestion that I might enjoy your blog because some of the blogs I follow are following you.

    Sidebar was correct!

    I’m a relatively new convert, from a mixture of Church of Christ, Assemblies of God, Baptist, and non-denominational background. My husband and I were received into the church at Easter Vigil, 2010.

    You have a beautiful space here, I’m still perusing around, but especially enjoyed the seeker’s prayer, and shared it on my facebook.

    God bless your witness here.
    Lyn

  13. Hi Joseph,

    I hope you don’t mind that I recommended your blog to the guy at New Advent. See emails below. I hope he links some of your essays.

    God bless!
    ***************************************

    Thank you, Tracy. I just subscribed to his RSS feed, so I’ll try to start monitoring his blog from now on. Have a good afternoon! –Kevin

    On Sun, Jul 7, 2013 at 4:43 PM, Tracy & Patrick Tully wrote:
    Hi Kevin

    I love New Advent… It’s my Catholic “Drudge”. I don’t know if you take requests, but thought I’d give it a shot. I have come across a blogger who has impressed me:

    http://lonelypilgrim.com/

    Maybe you could link to his site/articles sometime?

    God bless you!

    Tracy Tully

    Sent from my iPhone

  14. Did you consider the Orthodox church for any time? I am a Protestant and have been drawn to many of the teachers of the Orthodox church. They seem less medieval/scholastic in their strange theologies (I’m speaking from a perspective as an ignorant Protestant, I’m only saying there seems more leeway for a Protestant to accept them, whereas the Catholic Church seems to have everything down to formula – which might be more difficult to swallow all at once, I was being facetious and not mean by saying “strange”).

    • No, I was never really drawn to the Orthodox Church. My whole course through school was a love affair with the West and ultimately the Catholic Church. The East has always seemed something foreign to me. Authority and the papacy itself were some of the main things that drew me to the Catholic Church. The East has never seemed to have any legitimate claim to authority, and certainly not any real unity.

      But yes, those are natural impressions to get. The East has tended to revel in mystery and to leave those mysteries unexplored. In fact, the Orthodox don’t really even have a notion of the development of doctrine or change. They only accept the first seven ecumenical councils as valid, and are more or less frozen in 800. I thought for a long time, too, that the Catholic Church defined everything away, and I really demonized scholasticism. But as soon as I found myself at the Church, I immediately realized that the mysteries are still there. Many great minds have journeyed to try to understand God and His mysteries, but even for all their definitions, it is all to glory and praise God and not to try to put Him in a box. Read a little St. Thomas Aquinas sometime. He is brilliant, and yet his is not the cold and dead and empty scholasticism I was expecting, but a living and vibrant and passionate faith, on fire for God and His knowledge and wisdom.

      As for a Protestant’s ability to accept: The biggest hurdle in accepting the Catholic Church is embracing her authority. As I said, it’s exactly what I was searching for. I felt so frustrated and aimless in the Protestant world, where even for all the trumpeting of “sola scriptura” as the ultimate authority, it really came down to the primacy of one’s private interpretation of Scripture, which really amounted to no authority at all; no real unity; a thousand different interpretations all claiming to be the only right one and none of them having any real authority to assert itself over the others. I don’t believe that Jesus would have left us lost and aimless like that, like sheep without a shepherd. And it quickly became apparent to me that He didn’t: He left Peter and his successors as our shepherds. Once I accepted that, I was prepared to accept anything the Church had to teach as the truth. And I haven’t looked back. Even the doctrines that seemed far-fetched to me as a Protestant, like some of the Marian dogmata, I’ve since realized have a lot more merit to them, a lot more evidence behind them, than it first appeared. And the bottom line: For every challenge anyone has ever thrown at me with regard to the Church — for every scandal or apparent contradiction — as I investigated it fully, the Church has always proven herself to be right.

      Oh, and as far as accepting the Orthodox tradition: I know that has seemed much more palatable to many Protestants I’ve known. There is such a deep thread of anti-Catholicism and anti-papism ingrained in Protestantism that some people are never really able to get past it. I’m thankful that I was never raised with any of that. The East, as far as sacramental doctrine is concerned, is not that different from the West. They have the same Sacraments and the same basic understanding of them; the same belief in apostolic succession. The East doesn’t make the same sort of grandiose claims of infallibility and such as the West, so that is often easier for Protestants to embrace — but as a famous recent convert, Jason Stellman, said, if a Church founded by Jesus Christ were to still be alive and active today, you would expect it to make those sort of seemingly incredible claims, as Jesus Himself did.

      What kind of Protestant tradition are you coming from? What is your background? Thanks again for the comments. πŸ™‚

      • “Like” I was commenting recently that at the end of the day our job is submission. So how is our personal interpretations and piles of books supporting our position preparing us to submit?? I share your frustrations, but I also am firmly committed to sin – ha. Every church messes up, so I’m not too anxious to jump ship, especially since my present position helps pay the bills. I was brought to Christ within the tradition of Churches of Christ, as one put it, a very Catholic Protestant group. Would love to go somewhere else but only because of ugly sectarianism that still raises its head from time to time.

        • Ha, I’m with you there, brother. But the more we submit to Christ, the less and less sin will have any mastery over us.

          I can understand where you are. I didn’t have to “jump ship” from anywhere to come here — I was already overboard, and floating adrift for some time before I found myself here. It’s hard to sever connections of love between people, I know, and as much as I believe we’re all called to be visible members of the Catholic Church (there is a sense in which everybody is anyway, through Baptism), I’m not sure that it’s a positive thing to do anyway, unless one really feels called. God places us where we are, and I truly believe that He has not abandoned all the many Protestant denominations, but continues to bless them and nourish them and lead true disciples to them to make sure that they are fed in some way. I also truly believe that He desires for us all to be one and undivided again (John 17:21) — so what I really pray will happen is that more and more people within Protestant communities will become convinced of the need for that unity, and of the truth of the Catholic Church, and want to return to Holy Mother Church as whole sects — so that our reunion can be accomplished without further schism. I pray that in some way I can contribute to that, planting seeds and building bridges.

          I love how the Holy Spirit works. Until just a few weeks ago, I had never had any real contact with the Churches of Christ, not even growing up. I knew nothing about their theology, other than the rumor that “they don’t believe in instrumental worship because it’s not in the New Testament” — is that still true, and true for all Churches of Christ? But then I stumbled across a brother in the Churches of Christ maligning the Catholic Church, and despite his continued opposition, I’ve attached myself to him as an annoying barnacle and I think in some sense we’ve become friends. πŸ™‚ And then, Church of Christ people start coming out of the woodwork! I think you’re the third person I’ve met this week… Oh. I just remembered that I tagged one of my recent posts “Churches of Christ,” so maybe that has something to do with it. πŸ˜›

          Anyway, I’ve definitely noticed, to my surprise, that Catholics and the Churches of Christ do agree on a lot of theological points! As I’ve already realized with a couple of other brothers I’ve talked to, I think our agreement regarding Baptism is going to break down when it comes to infant baptism and original sin — which is very curious to me. I always thought original sin was a universal Christian doctrine. I look forward to discussing it with folks, and hopefully figuring out where others are coming from. I tend to think that, like with so many other things, the difference is mostly a misunderstanding of each other’s positions and a talking past each other.

          • Yes. In the 20th century both Catholics and CoC did not ask, “are you saved?” They asked “where do you go to church?” Along with the judgmental sectarian baggage that sometimes goes along with that good church focused theology (only ones going to heaven). Yes, I too am a Christian pluralist. I figured the only way I am with God is thru God’s work thru Christ. CoC can be confusing. Our movement is Christian Church (CoC), Churches of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The Christian church is more middle of the road, CoC was more legalistic, Disciples all out Liberal Protestants – the impetus of our movement was Christian unity and using Biblical authority (in an American Lockean Scottish Common Sense) to bring people together. Disciples followed Christian unity (ecumenical), churches of Christ followed biblical authority (join us or die). So other than name confusion, most coc are non-instrumental as was most of Christianity for the first 1500 years (look that up my historical friend – lol – and the Orthodox remains non-instrumental b/c they are the true church afterall). All Protestants were against the instruments because the Catholics pretty much caught on to it when the Protestants arrived – so instruments were “Catholic”. CoC just held on to this idea (along with hating Xmas) longer than other American Protestant groups did.

        • Regarding musical instruments: If there was a lack of instruments in the early centuries of the Church, it was because most instruments were seen as secular and worldly and inappropriate for glorifying God, not because the Church supposed there was any reason from Scripture to prohibit them. There is evidence of the use of bells (both handbells and hanging bells) in Christian worship as early as the fifth century. The organ, which had been a purely secular instrument, began to be used in churches as early as the tenth century. And of course, the human voice itself has always been an instrument for the glorification of God.

          Thanks for the history lesson about the Churches of Christ, by the way. πŸ™‚

  15. I look forward to reading your blog. Converted to Catholicism myself about four years ago from atheism. My dad is agnostic. My mother is Mahayana/Taoist Buddhist. It is a lonely journey to heaven, but only on the surface. I need to realize how much the Spirit is with me, how often the angels come to protect me, and of course, our patron saints. Anyway, God bless.

    • Thanks so much for the comment and the follow, and I’m glad to have you as a companion on this road. πŸ™‚ It’s so amazing how the Holy Spirit works — just the other day, listening to Catholic Answers Live, I learned for the first time what Mahayana Buddhism was. I have found that though the road so often seems lonely, we are never really alone. God is always with me, and I’m so thankful for all the brothers and sisters who I’ve met here online.

  16. Welcome home fellow sinner! What a great blog! I am a craddle Catholic and it is always graet to see the faith and energy that new converts bring to our home.

    God Bless!!!

  17. (Revelation 17:5) And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.
    You have been deceived by the subtleties of THE MOTHER. Her religious system has been around since Genesis and though she is the same whore, she wears different dresses.
    God’s one and only way of salvation is found in Paul’s gospel (specifically the first four chapters of Romans); any other way leads to destruction: the lake of fire.
    I am a former Catholic, educated at a Marianist school and I have studied Catholic dogma, doctrine and tradition but one thing I would like to know from you is this: what must a Catholic do to get their sins forgiven and to be saved? (Please do not give me your ideas based on your AG memory but only your new found MOTHER Church doctrine.)

    • Welcome, brother, to my humble blog. Thank you for your comment; however, calling my beloved Mother a whore is not really the best way to begin a conversation, is it?

      In answer to your question, I’ve already written extensively here. I invite you to stay around and read a while. In particular, you might find the tags on grace and salvation helpful.

      I will leave you with the blessed last words on earth of our dear Saint ThΓ©rΓ¨se of Lisieux: “Everything is grace.”

      May God bless you and His peace be with you!

      • First of all, you are not my brother and I am not your brother.

        I kindly asked a legitimate question and it would only be right for you to answer to defend your MOTHER.

        Here is the question and quite honestly it should be the most joyful question for you to answer:

        “what must a Catholic do to get their sins forgiven and to be saved? (Please do not give me your ideas based on your AG memory but only your new found MOTHER Church doctrine.)”

        • I do embrace you as my brother; and if you profess to speak in the name of our blessed Lord, He would ask that you do the same: “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

          You seem determined to pick a fight with me, and I don’t really have any interest in that. You come here slandering me and my Church, and you expect me to respond kindly to you? Revelation 17, etc., does not refer to the Church of Christ, who surely does not “utter blasphemies” against God or oppose the saints in any way. I already answered your question: “Everything is grace.” Unless you are interested in having a legitimate discussion, I must kindly ask you to stop flooding my blog.

          May God bless you, and may His love and mercy and peace fill you.

          • As a former Catholic and a student of RCC dogma and doctrine and a student of history, I can tell you that yes the RCC has the blood of the saints on her hands.
            But never mind that history because all I am asking is how does a Catholic get sin forgiven and receive the assurance of eternal life salvation?
            “Everything is grace” does not come close to answering the question, unless you are saying that everyone is saved regardless of Biblical doctrine and regardless of whether one is a Catholic or not. Is that what you are saying? Universal salvation?
            That also means a Catholic does not need to do the works that the Catholic Church demands because it is all grace.
            I don’t know Joseph, that seems very, very weak.

          • As a “former” Catholic, I would seriously question whatever “truths” you think you’ve been told. I am also a student of history.

            I don’t really have any interest in answering questions I’ve already answered, or wasting my time responding when it’s very clear that you already have all the answers you think you need. This recent series dealt specifically, at length, with questions of how we are saved and the idea of “assurance of salvation.” “All the works” the Catholic Church “demands” is trusting in our Lord and obeying His commands — which is the teaching of Scripture itself.

            Good day to you, and God bless you, brother.

  18. Hi. I enjoy your posts. I was raised Lutheran, got away from church when I was maybe 19 or 20, then came to know the Lord in a personal way in my early 20’s through contact with a group of charismatics (one in particular, who became a best friend). There were always catholics around me (although not in my immediate family-definitely some anti-catholicism there), but it was about 20 years ago that I started consciously moving toward the church. Very long story! I’d probably be catholic now, but my husband wants nothing to do with it and so far has refused to cooperate with the annulment process.

    I find it hard to go to mass and not be able to receive. It’s like being at someone else’s family reunion and being asked to wait outside during dinner. πŸ™ There’s an adoration chapel not too far away, though.:)

    Thanks for your blog.

    • Hi, Alison! Thank you so much for your kind comment, and God bless you for your journey so far! I will certainly be praying for you. Are you a member of a church now? I attended Mass for over a year before I was able to receive β€” it made me very hungry for the Lord! β€” so I can understand how you feel. I’m not an expert on annulments, but I’m curious, was it you who were married previously or your husband? I believe there’s always hope and healing in the Church! Is your husband a Christian? The peace of the Lord be with you!

  19. Hi again. Hope you had a good day.

    First of all, my husband is a Christian, and we’ve been married almost 32 yrs. I know the Lord brought us together, and the fact that we’ve been on the same page spiritually most of our lives is part of what makes this difficult.

    Second, we were both married before, but my first husband died many years ago (although he was still alive when I married my current husband). My husband was married more than once before I came along (another long story!). I was able to gather all the necessary information, but he doesn’t want to talk to a priest.

    Third, there is a church I think of as home, but I have to admit I haven’t gone much for quite awhile.

    I’ve actually been through RICA twice. At one point my husband said he’d help me complete the annulment process, but then changed his mind.

    One day as I was standing on the church steps the thought went through my mind, “I don’t belong anywhere!” Immediately I heard the Lord say, “You belong to Me.” That certainly helped my peace of mind, but I still want so much to receive Him in the Eucharist. Everything in His time.

    I’ll close this with the line a missionary friend of mine used to end all her letters with: “In His grip . . .”, as I know you are, too.

    Thank you for your prayers.

    • You do belong to the Lord, Alison, and I do believe there is a way forward to receiving the Eucharist. He surely wants you to be a part of His Church! I presume you have talked to priests about your situation? I’m sure you realize that it is complicated and not really typical. Since your previous spouse is deceased now, there’s no sin inherent in being married to somebody else now (even if you were married before he passed β€” what matters is your present state). But since your husband now was previously married, that makes the marriage invalid for both of you. BUT β€” since his previous marriages were not in the Catholic Church, it ought not to be a very complicated process to set things right. Again, I’m not speaking as an expert. I would be interested to hear what priests have told you. God bless you!

  20. Thanks for your quick response! It’s nice to be able to share all this. At times I’ve kept a journal, and I can always talk to my RICA sponsor, but I’ve never put my story on the web before-hopefully it’ll help someone else, as well.
    You might look for a copy of the book “Annulments and the Catholic Church.” I’m sure there are many books out there, but that’s the one I’m familiar with. It will fill ya in on the church’s official teachings, but there is another side of it-that of how it’s sometimes abused-that’s good to be aware of. Read “Shattered Faith” by Sheila Rauch Kennedy (yeah, one of THE Kennedys!) She was married to Congressman Joseph Kennedy. It’s rather engrossing, so I won’t give anything away. Spoiler Alert! LOL
    When I came to the point of knowing I needed to decide about being Catholic one way or another, I anticipated all the potential hurdles I’d face that most Protestants do; Mary (why is our Mom always first?! I feel comfortable calling her that. Since the general sense Jesus conveyed was that of approaching our Father as “Papa,” the word mom to me conveys the greatest sense of security, love and safety in the world.), the saints, the pope, etc. What I never thought would be the biggest actual obstacle was the annulment process! Been married for decades! (March 20th will be 32 years.) Love my husband dearly! Gathering the necessary records and filling out the paperwork wasn’t an insurmountable task, but it wasn’t a picnic, either. The obstacle now is that Terry won’t talk to a priest.
    It’s kind of funny, cause he doesn’t care if I go to mass, he just doesn’t want me to become Catholic. He also doesn’t have a problem with individual Catholics-it’s the church as an entity, with it’s scandals, etc. that he has a problem with and doesn’t want to be identified with in any way. It’s hard, cause you can’t blame people, really. He’s not Catholic, but Michael Card wrote a song called “Scandalon” about the cross. I think the church is much like that.
    I understand, cause I’ve been “stumbling heavenward” (as far as toward the Catholic Church-I got saved in 1975) as the saying goes for probably at least 20 years. I had to come to the point where I knew I couldn’t and wouldn’t have to answer for what anybody else in the church did or didn’t do. I had to know what the Lord was saying to me.
    Like most other converts, I understand Scott Hahn’s analogy of this trip being, I think he said, first an adventure, then a kind of horror story and finally a love story. Or Steve Ray, who when asked what made him want to become a catholic replied, “Nothing!” Or Peter Kreeft, who said the idea of becoming catholic was “terribly inconvenient” (I like that one.), because his family and all his protestant friends were convinced he’d lost his salvation. Yeah, I’ve listened to all those CD’s!
    Sorry this is so long, but this is actually the short version!
    One comment I’d like to make. I’ve heard all the explanations, but I don’t understand why Catholics in general are terrified of the word “saved.” St. Paul wasn’t! Neither were the other NT writers. Even as a protestant I don’t think I ever thought you could just “ask Jesus into your heart” and then live anyway you wanted to anymore that I believe most Catholics think they can do whatever they want and then “say a few ‘Hail Mary’s’.” There’s a book by Paul Billheimer called “Love Covers.” it addresses the antagonism sometimes found between Calvinists and Arminians, and between Charismatics and Evangelicals. I think it could easily apply to Catholics and Protestants, too.
    Thanks again, especially for the prayers. God bless you, too.

    • I love a good, long response — don’t worry about that! I can relate very much to what you’re saying, about conversion being “terribly inconvenient”: and I think I had a relatively easy time of it! But someone very close to me is going through RCIA now and is really have a serious struggle with it. I’ll have to forward those quotes along to her. Yes, it is “terribly inconvenient”; sometimes I think it would have been so much easier and more comfortable to remain in the cozy Protestant nest I grew up in. But the truth compels us onto this road; and I’m so glad for it. Though it’s sometimes not an easy road, there is so much mercy, love, and grace along the way.

      That question about the term “saved” is something I’ve reflected on a lot and tried to address, especially for my friend, who comes from a Baptist background. Have you seen this post (“‘Getting Saved’ As A Catholic: The Sinner’s Prayer and Other First Steps in Grace“)? I think the major reason why Catholics shy away from that term is that it’s been so co-opted by Protestants that in our culture, it evokes ideas we don’t mean. Yes, we have certainly been saved, from our lives of sin and death; but especially in the Evangelical theology that dominates most people’s thinking where I live, “getting saved” by praying the “sinner’s prayer” is really all there is to it, once and for all. Most people, you’re right, would not say that they can then go live however they want; some would even admit that becoming lost in serious sin would threaten their salvation (or else indicate that maybe they weren’t really as “saved” as they thought they were). But oversimplification is, I think, one of the most dangerous, most pervasive, and most attractive paths away from the truth of the Gospel. I want to always be clear. I want people to understand that yes, Catholics are saved! By the same faith, the same hope, the same love that Protestants appeal to! But that isn’t the end of the story, but only the beginning.

      God bless you! I will definitely keep praying for you and for your husband.

  21. Thought of a few things to clarify. Through the process of gathering all the info of Terry’s marriages and divorces, it was determined that he had grounds for them to be annulled. The Church would grant them; he just doesn’t want to meet with a priest, and he doesn’t feel the need for the Church’s validation or blessing.
    Yeah, I have talked to more than one priest, and there doesn’t seem to be a way of this for me. If you read “Shattered Faith” you’ll have a better idea of why this issue can seem really hurtful to someone in my position. Still, I understand the Church’s position.

    • I will read it; thanks for the recommendation. And I will pray that your husband might be willing to give you this gift of faith, for your sake, even if he does not share your belief.

      The friend I mentioned is struggling right now with the Sacrament of Confession, and that’s one of the things she says: that she doesn’t feel she needs the Church’s blessing or “re-forgiveness” for sins that God has already forgiven her as a Protestant. I’m going to work on a post in response to that soon.

      • I think the confessing to another person, to anyone, I’d where the humility comes in. I think the Lord must use you to help a lot of people make this transition.
        I don’t know her, but I just said a prayer for her, too.

  22. Hi, Joseph. Was just looking back over these posts and realized I’d been typing RICA instead of RCIA! Did I mention I’d been through it twice? Time for that remedial spelling course. Have a good day.

  23. I’M A CATHOLIC BUT NEVER went back to the Church Fathers to read their comments.. Thank you for sharing your researches with us. I wish i could do better to convince one of my god-son who has gone with the Baptist church.
    I’m sure that God is blessing your work,

  24. Hi, nice to read some of your thoughts. I understand that you follow Journey Home campaign arguments which I find in many cases lacking. I am former Roman Catholic (even for years I was an altar boy). Through Campus Crusade for Christ I came to know Gospel of God’s grace and through His grace I was born again. CCC didn’t even suggest leaving RCC. But studying the Scriptures and continuing to attend Catholic services led me away from this institution and I found my church home in one of the Baptist fellowships in Poland.
    My question is what is the basis of your hope for salvation?
    Blessings – Stanislaw Sylwestrowicz

    • Hi, Slanislaw. Thanks so much for your genial comment. I don’t really listen to or watch The Journey Home, but I do read and listen to the work of the work of Catholic Answers. I generally find their arguments convincing. But most of my answers I came to even before I discovered Catholic Answers. On the other hand, I attended Campus Crusade throughout college and found it to be trite and inane — par for the course of my Christian experience growing up. My journey seems to be the complete opposite of yours: I was dissatisfied with and unfulfilled by my experience with Evangelical Protestant Christianity, but my study of the Scriptures and of the Church Fathers led me to the Catholic Church.

      The basis for my hope is hopefully the same as yours: the overflowing grace and mercy and love of our God, given freely through the Cross of Christ.

      The peace of Christ be with you!

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