Pillar of Truth

Thank you for visiting my blog today. This is a place where I will examine my thoughts on Christ, His Church, my Faith, and how to live for Him. God Bless.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A little of my faith journey...

I grew up Southern Baptist. My mother and her parents were Methodist. I don't think that I understood as a child that there were differences in "denominations" and I think I was quite a bit older when I heard someone describe themselves as a Protestant. I do remember spending the night with a friend and going to a church with her were there were people speaking in tongues, I thought that was odd. And I had heard my parents talk about some churches in the next county that did a lot of snake handling. I knew this boy in my class who had to go stand in the hallway during the pledge, but I don't think I ever realized he wasn't there for all the holiday parties either. But it wasn't really until I was in high school that I really started observing the differences in different churches.

One realization came my ninth grade year when the boy behind me (the same boy who had to leave the room in my grade school class) started telling me that Hell did not exist, I think this was the first time I realized that he wasn't a Christian.
Then sometime later that year or the next year I was in Sunday school at my Southern Baptist church. Our teacher was talking about sin. She had even made a posterboard listing and illustrating various sins. The typical Southern Baptist things were on there, drinking, rock music, dancing, and ouija boards. However, I was just shocked when I looked down the list and toward the bottom was listed "being Catholic." "How can that be?" I thought. "Catholics are Christians, just like we are!" After this I think I slowly began to lose faith in what my church was teaching. During my tenth grade year, we read My Antonia in English Lit. We came to a part in the book where Antonia's family was praying for (I think it was) her father who had just died. My teacher took this opportunity to explain that Antonia's family were Catholic and she gave a little explanation of purgatory and praying for departed souls.
When I was sixteen my parents divorced. My dad lived with my grandparents for a while. It was during this time that I really began to see my grandfather's true nature. He was the Southern Free Will Baptist patriarch of the family and had a very bad opinion of anyone who didn't follow those same beliefs. He boasted of telling "door-knockers" that they were going to Hell and slamming the door in their faces. In our "football is life, everything else is just details" area, he refused to watch Notre Dame (even if they were playing us) because, "Those Catholics pray to Mary!" and of course were going to hell.
Between my junior and senior year in high school I decided to go to summer school and get some classes out of the way. My best friend that summer was Catholic. I spent the night with her, help her babysit during a big Catholic wedding of friends of her parents, and listened to her tell stories of Catholic school.

All of these things fascinated me. I began to wonder what Catholicism was all about. My church's and grandfather's views of Catholics failed to plant a seed of anti-Catholicism in me, instead they planted the seed of curiosity. I began to develop a profound respect for Catholics, even though I had no idea what most of their beliefs were. When I graduated high school I vowed to find out about those beliefs.

I started spending a lot of my time at the local library, where I found the book Why Do Catholics Do That? by Kevin Orlin Johnson which I devoured. When I got to college, oddly enough, the girl who had the dorm before I did must have been a Catholic because I kept getting these Catholic catalogues, I think they were Leaflet Missal catalogues. How I poured over those! I wanted all the books they had listed! I decided to search the University library especially for one of the books, Surprised by Truth by Patrick Madrid. Unfortunately, they didn't have it, but they did have interlibrary loan, of which I decided to take full advantage.

After this my roommate, who was a preacher's kid, gave me the book Roman Catholicism by Loraine Boettner to try to dissuade me of the truth of my findings. My boyfriend told me he would never set foot inside a Catholic church. I started going to RCIA classes on campus, my boyfriend even met me after a class one night, but, true to his word, he stayed out on the sidewalk. Unfortunately, I decided to drop out of the RCIA classes. I went to an Episcopal church for a while, my mom even went with me a couple of times. I thought I was happy, but something just wasn't right. I left the Episcopal church.

A while later I decided to try the Catholic church again. I started RCIA classes at the Cathedral and loved them. They used a course called "Come and See" which used Scripture readings following the liturgical year along with related Catholic Updates. I loved it! I was Baptized, Confirmed, and received my first Holy Communion on Easter Vigil 1999. I became a CCD teacher. Two years later I was honored to sponsor my dear husband in his journey home to the Catholic Church.

I would absolutely love it if my family would come home. I pray that they will begin to earnestly study the Faith as I did. I cherish my relationship with Christ and the Church that He founded on Peter, the Rock. I'm proud to proclaim the Faith of the Apostles.

Thanks for listening.
Amelia
~Tiber Swim Team '99~

5 Comments:

Blogger Courtney said...

Love that! "Tiber Swim Team!" I came home Easter Vigil 2004. I should write my story some time...it was my lapsed Catholic mother who tried to dissuade me from the Church.

August 29, 2006 2:25 PM  
Blogger Amelia said...

Aggh! It lost my comment!

Courtney,
I borrowed that from a girl on the Catholic Answers Forums (with her permissions of course!). I checked out that Scott Hahn website you mentioned, and I think I'll have to sign up for some classes. Thanks for sharing!
Amelia

August 29, 2006 2:44 PM  
Blogger Chrissy said...

I went through RCIA in 1997-98 and took my First Communion on April 12, 1998 - 4 days before my 2nd kidlet was born. I come from a protestant background (Methodist). I still have a great respect for and fondness of the Methodist church. All of my family are Methodists.

I became Catholic after much prayer and contemplation. My husband had converted, along with his mother, several years before. His dad (my father in law, is a cradle Catholic). I felt, among other things, that it's important for parents to be consistent in all areas. My heart could no longer reconcile my husband and I not being united in this very important area. I was drawn to the Mass the first time I ever attended with my Husband, long before we were ever even engaged. It's a decision I've never regretted.

August 29, 2006 3:37 PM  
Blogger Amelia said...

Chrissy,
I couldn't agree more about parents being consistent in all areas including faith. My husband converted before we were married and many people can't believe he did. He was rabidly anti-Catholic in college, but this was before I met him. He calmed down quite a bit before we ever started dating, but boy oh boy did we get into some heated discussions!?! Now you would not believe what a great defender of the Faith he is, praise God!
Amelia

August 29, 2006 3:55 PM  
Blogger RavenDave said...

Did you know that the Roman Cathlic Church changed the way of Baptism in 234 A.D.? Acts 2:38 says we must be baptised everyone of us in the name of Jesus for the remission of our sins. And ye SHALL recieve the gift of the Holly Ghost. The Bible doesn't lie does it? Do a little research. Ask your priest about this. I am sure he will change the subject. You may visit my friends site if you like. He is wise in this subject. His web address is http://csullivan.us/ Please inquire about what you wish to know.

August 29, 2006 4:19 PM  

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