A man came to a rectory one day and told the parish priest, "I think I want to become a Catholic." The priest replied, "come back when you're sure."
I've written about my conversion before. I didn't become a Catholic because someone wouldn't stop shoving rosary beads in my face, or kept asking me if I was in solidarity with Rome.
I became a Catholic in large part because people I knew and respected were Catholic - including my wife - because I learned who had the authority that my Lord gave Peter.
1 Thanks to the 265 successors of Peter, I have a direct connection to my Lord, and the Last Supper. And Golgotha. In a way. (Catechism, 1326, 1330, 1545)
Knowing what I did, my options were limited: I could
- Follow my Lord and join his Church
- Tell Him I wasn't interested
No Hard SellGetting back to that 'come back when you're sure' story: Even if I wanted to, I couldn't 'make' you believe anything. Besides, the Catholic Church says I have to support religious freedom. (Catechism, 2104-2109)
So, I try to avoid the hard-sell in-your-face 'ARE YOU SAVED??!!!' approach. I've been on the receiving end of enough of that - and that's another topic.
I do, though, have an obligation to 'spread the good news.' (Catechism, 849-856) Since I'm a layman, with the authority of "some guy with a blog," I mostly share what it's like being a Catholic in America - and what I'm learning about my faith.
- "Third Sunday of Lent 2011"
(March 27, 2011)
- "I Accept Catholic Teachings: Or, Understanding Why I Believe What I Believe"
(June 24, 2010)
- "Being Counter-Cultural: I am Not Now, Nor Have I Ever Been, a Hippie"
(January 12, 2010)
- "Why Did I Convert to Catholicism?"
(November 24, 2009)
- "The Roman Catholic Church isn't a Democracy"
(February 19, 2009)
1 See Matthew 16:17-19; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 816, 857, 832-838, 857, 880-887, for starters.