Wednesday, June 15, 2011

'Come Back When You're Sure'

This didn't happen to me, although I'm a convert to Catholicism.

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 - and because I learned who had the authority that my Lord gave Peter.

Chain of Command

That authority has been passed along to each of the Popes since Peter's day - and through the hierarchy to the parish priest, down the street from my house.1 Thanks to the 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
  1. Follow my Lord and join his Church
  2. Tell Him I wasn't interested
I don't need the kind of trouble that comes from Option #2: so the choice wasn't all that hard.

No Hard Sell

Getting 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.

Slightly-related posts:

1 See Matthew 16:17-19; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 816, 857, 832-838, 857, 880-887, for starters.

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.