"There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church....As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do." ARCHBISHOP FULTON J. SHEEN -- preface to RADIO REPLIES
Since joining the church, I can thoughtfully say there is still need of reform, but most of that needs to begin within myself.
It would be very easy to lay the blame for my conversion on undue stress, or constant moving, or grief. I suppose it would be easy to say I was crazy when I chose the Catholic church. I've never felt more sane. It's the healing power of the sacraments: seven, to be exact.
However, that would negate the years of wonder and searching which eventually led to my becoming Roman Catholic. To become Catholic is not something I undertook lightly. It came only after years of seeking truth.
It came after years of Bible study, of knowing the book backwards and forwards. It came after years of reading Reformed literature, of memorizing the Shorter Catechism and reading Sproul, Luther, Calvin and a host of other Protestant teacher. It came after years of indoctrination in a tiny denomination dedicated to following the Bible as best they could interpret it in the light of their tradition: the five Solas.
I retain one sola: Sola Gratia. Grace alone.
I never dreamed I would find this peace in the Catholic church. It was certainly the last place I would have looked, if I had looked at all. If the Lord had directly called me to Himself, through the Catholic church, I probably wouldn't have come.
Jesus wrecked my nice little Protestant life. I was so hungry I couldn't stand it. I knew everything and nothing at the same time.
Instead, He indirectly called me: through the witness of the canonized Saints, the non-canonized (Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II) and lay people who faithfully, patiently and lovingly explained the faith without denigrating the other side. A thousand drops of water make a torrent, and enough seeds sown can gather in a harvest.
My son asked me, as we walked out of Braum's, which has -- very happily I can say -- invaded Texas from Oklahoma, why I had put so many Catholic 'things' (bumper stickers) on my car.
I said, "Because I am Catholic!" Then I realized he deserved the deeper story, so I told him: I put these 'Catholic things' on my car so that the people who see them will get a seed, a drop of water. Mine will just be one of many, but I will pray for the seed I sow, for that drip of water, and eventually, together with all the other seeds and water drops, we will get a soul for eternal glory.
If you are sowing seeds online, keep doing it. I can assure you someone is reading. Your seed may be the last one needed before the harvest of that soul is ready.
"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that is in you." I Peter 3:15