Hello there sweet Rosary lovers! In this post I would like to discuss one of my favourite topics: why being a Catholic is good!
The Immense Privilege of Being Catholic
I am a fairly recent convert to the holy Catholic faith, and I have to say that becoming Catholic is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
It saddens me that though so many people in the world (about 1 in 6) are Catholic, yet so many of them either leave their faith, or become lapsed, or simply don’t know what an INCREDIBLE privilege it is to actually be a Catholic.
I would rather be a Catholic than be a Prime Minister, or President, or rich, or go on holidays constantly, or have a job I love, or anything else you can possibly think of.
I think I would rather live in a cave for the rest of my life, so long as I had my Catholic faith, than to be ‘free’ in the outside world and to lose my Catholic faith.
I think I would give up everything to be Catholic, because this is LIFE, this is quality and supernatural human existence.
Let me offer my statement on why being a Catholic is such a wonderful thing.
Life as an Agnostic
Before I was Catholic, I was a Protestant. Before I was Protestant, I was Agnostic.
I was Agnostic for about 6 years, and it was a time of extreme uncertainty and confusion. I did not know what was right and wrong, though I deeply, deeply craved to know what was right and what was true.
I heard so many mixed messages from friends and films, and I couldn’t for the life of me fit it all together into a cohesive whole for me to follow.
I found contradictions everywhere. I would often spend hours thinking of matters to do with morality, especially in sexual areas, trying to reason what was right and what was wrong.
I never found rock solid conclusions and always ended up down and confused within a day or two.
All of this got me absolutely nowhere, until I just put it all to one side in my mid teens and decided to just live like so many around me: ‘free’ (allegedly) but sexually messed up. I sinned in lots of ways, especially with my bad language, and I wasn’t a particularly nice person.
This all left very deep and negative scars on my soul and mind which lasted for years afterwards. It took many years for me to be healed of these sins of my youth.
Life as an Evangelical Christian
Thankfully, all of this led me to Christianity for answers and help. I would read the Bible and pray often, and I attended a Pentecostal church which helped.
Eventually I settled in Evangelical Reformed Calvinism. At last I finally felt a sense of having found answers and some measure of peace. I was happy for the first time in a long time.
However, as time went on, the holes in this movement of Protestantism began to take their toll on my soul. Towards the end of my 20s, I began to go through an extreme sense of guilt for how I had lived my life in my teens. And no matter how hard I studied Scripture or prayed, nothing seemed to remove this sense of guilt.
Of course, now I know that what was missing was CONFESSION of my sins to the Church. I had been a baptised young man in my teens (since I was infant baptised), and yet I had gotten my white rope very dirty and brought grave dishonour to Jesus.
I needed to be washed clean, and simple prayers for forgiveness could not remove my guilty conscience. Simply telling myself, ‘Jesus has done it all. My sins are gone,’ just didn’t cut it, not for these sins, they went too deep. I needed liberation, I needed my sins to come out and be confessed, just like David of old (Psalm 32). I needed more than what Evangelical Christianity offered, and God provided the more that I needed in the holy Sacrament of Catholic Confession.
Journey to Catholicism
My first Confession was a very, very difficult but extremely liberating experience. It was one of the hardest things – if not the hardest thing – that I’ve ever done, and I’m really glad that I took the opportunity to do it. God ‘jumped’ on me, as it were, and I was given a clear opportunity to finally come clean before God and be rid of some of this awful guilt that had been eating me up for years.
Let me take this opportunity to encourage you that whatever you have done in your life, perhaps a long time ago in the past, NOTHING is too bad that it cannot be dealt with in the Catholic Confessional.
You might have hatefully killed someone or numerous people. You might be guilty of adultery or cheating, or betraying a good friend. You might have lied in court. You may have disowned your children or parents, or cheated on your taxes. It could be anything. Confession is the answer for a guilty conscience.
And if you’ve never been baptised, then Baptism is your answer (and maybe Confession also, but speak to a priest about this one).
Some of the things some of us do are so awful and cause us to beat ourselves up so much that we need significant help. The help is there, if we approach a Catholic priest and go to Confession.
After that first Confession, my path was clear: I had to become Catholic. Within the year, I was Confirmed into the Church, and received my first Eucharist.
I actually had a very rocky start as a Catholic, but only for one reason: I did NOT obey everything the Church teaches. I was picking and choosing, especially with sexual matters.
This is a very, very risky and foolish thing to do, and yet I did it. It eventually nearly led me to reject the Church and all of Christianity and to embrace Agnosticism again.
I finally decided to give my faith one last shot. I had the faintest glimmer of fire left in my soul, enough to offer a novena to St Therese of the Child Jesus. This 5 day novena changed my life, and brought me back powerfully to the Faith. I haven’t moved away from this since.
‘The Obedience of Faith’ as a Catholic
Ever since then, I determined very firmly that I was going to obey EVERYTHING the Church teaches. If I know the Church teaches something, I want with all my heart to obey it, even at great personal cost.
What I have found is that obeying the teachings of the Church brings an IMMENSE amount of stability to one’s life. You don’t need to figure anything out yourself. You don’t need to trust in yourself or other people. You don’t need to trust in scientists, or politicians, or anyone else: just the Church and your local priest. How liberating!
A large part of being Catholic involves rejecting your own liberal and ‘modern’ (or ‘postmodern’) reasonings, and instead submitting both heart and mind to the teachings of the Church. This is called assent to the Church’s teachings, and St Thomas Aquinas says this is PRECISELY what faith is.
Faith is not simply a sense of resting the heart and soul on Christ. It IS this, but it is also assenting to the objective teachings and authority of the holy Catholic Church. Without this, one doesn’t have true faith in Christ.
We are subjective beings. We undergo existential experiences of angst, joy, peace, uncertainty, and depressions. This is the normal human existence. This is our subjective experience. For this, we must trust subjectively in Jesus Christ in our prayers and daily living. He is in our heart, sometimes we can even sense or ‘feel’ him.
But we are also objective beings. We aren’t simply minds or souls. We are bodies too, and we live in an objective world, with objective laws and limits.
To meet this need, God has provided us with an Objective Church with Objective Authoritative Laws and Teachings. When we do not obey what the Church teaches, we tend to forfeit the subjective experience of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit.
We need both the subjective and the objective. Most people today in the West live primarily a subjective life: all that matters to many of them is what they alone think or feel, and their life is guided by this.
There is a place for this, and following one’s heart and conscience is an important part of being Catholic. But it is woefully incomplete if the ‘heart’ is followed without having been influenced by an objective Authoritative Guide, which is why the Catholic Church exists.
So I would say, being Catholic is good because it has provided me with a very strong sense of stability. My mind and body are now in agreement. I feel whole. My soul and mind, my reasoning, faith and emotions are united. This is how I was designed to live and this is how I can become whole in God, and become everything I was ever meant to be.
This is the Supernatural Way, the true Path to Heavenly Paradise. I believe it is the most wholesome way to live as a human being, now and for all eternity.
I warmly recommend this Faith to you.
If you have any questions, please get in touch!