Monday, June 22, 2015

Just Curious: When did you know that the Catholic Church was what she claims to be?

A lot of you know my own story, but now I'm just curious about yours.




When did you realize that the Catholic Church isn't "just another Christian denomination" but in fact is the Church that Christ established to teach and sanctify in His name until the end of time?

Once that moment happens, once that realization comes, life is never the same. So, I'm excited to hear how it happened for you!




28 comments:

  1. Long version is here. Short version is Easter Vigil, 2003. I was intellectually convinced up to that point but my heart was still being stubborn. Then I was blown away by the sublime beauty of the liturgy. I still had some doubts but I couldn't stay away any longer. I figured that I would accept God at his word and let Him do the rest of the convincing. He did. :)

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  2. Freshman year of college when I got involved with the Newman Center, started helping out at the Cathedral (10 min from campus), and went on a weekend retreat called Koinonia, which taught me all about the Paschal Mystery and had an in depth explanation of the Mass. The Cathedral at which I helped out was the same one where Venerable Fulton Sheen used to altar serve and where he was ordained. Through watching his show, "Life is Worth Living", my faith was settled and I grew so much in understanding. A year later, I found the Bubble, which cemented my faith in the Catholic Church even more!

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  3. I was in a bad marriage (annulled now, thank you), was up around 5 am with a low blood sugar reaction (type one diabetic) about 21 years ago. I picked up a "newspaper" article my dad had given me on Medjugorje and read it. I was shocked that the whole world did not know she was appearing. Why was this not on the news? Why hadn't I heard about this? This was just the start...of what I call God infusing my brain with an amazing amount of knowledge (not book knowledge but truths about the Church) Now, I had not left, but I'd call myself pretty lukewarm back then...just did the bare necessities, once a year Confession, weekly Mass....and that's it. I couldn't get enough and God lead me. (this is the short version of my story) (your welcome) I remember listening to Scott Hahn's conversion story on tape shortly after this and thinking in my head, "Yes! I got it right! I'm in the right church!"

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  4. After I became Catholic, (still thinking the Church was just another Christian "option"), I read "Surprised by Truth" edited by Patrick Madrid. These conversion stories opened my eyes to what Apostolic Succession means.

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  5. When I was in my 4th year of trying for a baby and something kept tugging at my heart not to go through with ART. I know now that was the Holy Spirit and somehow I was led to Catholic infertility blogs and found the bubble and Leila and by the teachings and discussions that go on here, I finally got it. The WHOLE "it". I grew up Catholic, but until my own infertility and being open to learning the actual faith (not the media version), I got it...that was 2010 and I haven't looked back! :)

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  6. Pretty much instantly. Well...maybe not instantly but it was very quick...within a couple of months or less. The main problem was that I didn't know that the Church claimed anything in particular other than to be just another Christian denomination. Even though I am a cradle Catholic, went to RE/CCD on schedule and my parents never ever let us miss Sunday Mass, I never learned about the Real Presence or that the Catholic Church claimed to be the one true Church established by Christ himself. I didn't learn of these radical claims until about 3 years ago, around age 34. Began to research history and become convinced very quickly. Only wish I had known the claims sooner!

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  7. When did you realize that the Catholic Church isn't "just another Christian denomination" but in fact is the Church that Christ established to teach and sanctify in His name until the end of time?

    When I went on a spiritual bender and drank in my faith for the first time, as an adult, thanks to some non-Catholics, former Catholics, and anti-Catholics, and their emotional shoves into intellectual terrain. Whoopsie, how’d we end up here? Hold up, it all makes perfect sense, after all. Thank You, Jesus, for everything.

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  8. These are awesome! And it's something that is never taken away once it takes root (unless we utterly neglect it). I "got it" over 20 years ago, and I still have not lost the zeal, plus I learn and grow and go deeper all the time, esp. in the past year. It's truly indescribable!

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  9. I'm not sure exactly when I knew. I went to RCIA on a dare to myself in the fall of 2010, after more than a year of considering the question. I hit those teachers with everything I had, but fairly, and honestly. It was April 10, 2011, at 3:57 PM when I decided to be received. Then I knew. I knew I couldn't run away until I said either, "This is the Church Christ founded" or, "This is not the Church Christ founded." It's easily the boldest, best thing I've ever done.

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  10. After my sister came home from Medugorje, the entire family fed off the graces and we all experienced a beautiful reversion back to our faith. I remember it was exactly an entire summer of nothing but happiness. We would ride our bikes to the nearby Poor Clares for daily mass and I couldn't get enough of adoration. We also started a prayer group that met at our house for the rosary and then we would all play a game of basketball afterward. Definitely the best summer of my life. Then school started and the usual pressure that comes with school started, and we began to lose some of our zeal. But we didn't lose our faith because we understood it better and I have to say, that was because of our efforts to go to daily mass and adoration. It's all centered in the Eucharist. We hit our bumps in the road and some of began to experience dryness and spiritual struggles. But ever since then, I knew for sure that the Catholic faith was the true faith, no question about it.

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  11. Hi Leila
    I'm sorry to distract from your thread but I'm curious whether or not you are planning on writing a post about the encyclical? Thanks.

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    1. Hi Johanne! Yes! I do intend to! I have been out of town, and my daughter and baby are in town, so I have not had a chance to read the whole thing yet (it's long!). As usual, I will be a bit late on this task. :)

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  12. I was raised southern baptist and wasn't sure that the Catholic Church was even Christian. But, while working on-air in Christian radio, one day a bumper sticker caught my eye that said 970AM the Catholic Channel. Curious, I changed the station and began listening to Catholic radio. Which prompted me to study the Church's teachings. I was blown away by how ignorant I had been. After about a 5-year journey, my husband and I entered the Church during the Easter Vigil of 2013. It was humbling to admit I was wrong all of those years, but am thankful to be home. I blog about my conversion and recently started a podcast interviewing converts (and will periodically interview passionate cradle Catholics! :-) Should you be interested! :-) Thank you for asking the question. I love reading the responses!

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    1. Kim, I'd love it if you linked your blog here!

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  13. I used the last $15 of a $250 book gift card on a book about Medjugorje. I was barely practicing my faith at that time. After finishing the book, I got down on my knees and told Our Lady I did not know anything about anything and would she please lead me. She did. Soon after that I received an infusion, I guess you would call it, of the truths of our faith. I knew things I had not known before and with that came a certainty of our catholic faith. So many graces have been poured out in the years since I could thank God every minute of every day and it still would not be enough. Whatever the Holy See decides about Medjugorje is good enough for me, I am grateful that God used whatever He saw fit to reach me.

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    1. Tam, amen! What a great story, and I am looking forward to the Holy See's pronouncement on Medjugorje (I'm surprised at how many here have mentioned it!), and I hope all will accept whatever the decision is. I hear it's coming soon.

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  14. I drifted towards Protestantism in high school and college. Then I was brainwashed (yes, really!) by members of the Twin Cities Church of Christ, who persuaded me to believe that I was not a true Christian and I needed to join their church in order to be "saved." Thankfully, God pulled me out of that mess in just a few days. Afterwards, I ran back to the Catholic Church as something secure. I may not agree with everything (at that time), but I knew it wasn't a cult! It was a few years later when I was a lay missionary in Japan that I had my full reversion. I was praying and thinking about the Church. I felt God was saying, "Do you think I would take the trouble to come and teach, suffer, and die, then leave people in ignorance of the truth? Would I leave them to have to figure it out on their own? No, I founded the Church to teach the fullness of truth and guarantee freedom from error." That was in 1991.

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  15. A big moment was watching a movie about the life St. John Paul II while I was still a Protestant and realizing that this was one Pope that I could easily obey.

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  16. I am sure it was Mary who compelled me to go to Medjugorje, but the exact instant when I knew the truth of the Catholic Church in my heart occured when I was descending Cross Mountain, a tough 2-hour climb. On the way down I saw some women making the climb up --- on their knees. And at that instant I knew in my heart that everything was true, and I cried in happiness.

    It's taken me many years of study, and further inspirations, to understand in my head some of the truths of the Catholic Church, but I was very blessed to have firmly believed, before I even understood.

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  17. The short version is I grew up Episcopalian, and my family and I fled church after church as they became accepting of heresies, moving to the Anglican church, then to a more conservative form of Anglicanism. So one day I found out that Henry VIII started the CoE so that he could get a divorce! I decided that I wanted to follow Jesus, not Henry VIII nor Martin Luther.

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  18. These stories are wonderful! Keep 'em coming!

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  19. Now that I think of it, I have to be grateful that I have never doubted that I belonged to the Church founded by Jesus. That has to be chalked up to having the person I did as a father. He could answer any question we had about the faith - not that I always asked. But I came from a background of certainty and nothing has shown me that I'm wrong. The more I learn about the Church, the more grateful my heart is that I am a member. What an undeserved gift.

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  20. "When did you realize that the Catholic Church isn't "just another Christian denomination" but in fact is the Church that Christ established to teach and sanctify in His name until the end of time?"

    I was raised Catholic but fell away during college and shortly thereafter. We were married in the Catholic Church, but it was kind of for superficial reasons (pleasing the parents and habit, really).

    When I was miscarrying my first baby, the ONLY people who acknowledged my grief and my baby as a BABY were the pro-life Catholics that I knew. I realized that the only thing that made my baby any different from the babies aborted just down the street from my OB/GYNs office (I was only 8 weeks along) was the fact that I *wanted* my baby. That felt so wrong - there was no difference between my baby and the ones aborted, except my own feelings.

    I realized right then that the Church's teaching on abortion was the Truth. And I'd always kept my faith in the True Presence from when I was a child.

    I realized then that if the Church was right about something so incredibly important as the Eucharist and abortion, who was I to claim that they were wrong on other issues of faith or morals? Was I above God?

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  21. Even though I was not Catholic(nominal Prebyterian), I attended a Catholic High School. In college, I joined the church through the Newman Center on campus. My real conviction came with the birth of my daughter and the death of my grandmother. I really wanted to get my family to heaven. I read Scott Hahn, Pope John Paul II encyclicals and attended Family Fests at the Apostolate for Family Consecration. I am so thankful to be Catholic.

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  22. I was, hmmm, about 19-20 (headache, can't remember exact age).. I was in college, and sitting at my evangelical church's awesome praise and worship Sunday service. The pastor wanted to launch into a series of exploring the way the early Church used to be and wanting to make our church as close to the early church as possible. It seemed like a mysterious and daunting project having to start with only a Bible today and move backwards trying to piece it all together. It hit me then (my dad had been educating me and giving me many resources on Catholicism), that the Catholic Church would have no need for such an exhausting study. The Catholic Church doesn't start with a modern Bible translation and move backward, but instead started with Jesus and moved forward. She had a long, well-documented history and clearly knew where she came from and how things used to be, but was able to grow from that starting point with confidence that that growth was the right thing to do. Soooo... why would I choose a church that was so cut off from historical Christianity in favor of a church that knew where She came from?

    A study on papal infallibility later helped, but I didn't even really need that at the time.

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  23. The gift of a good and holy priest who "woke" me up at Mass and was willing to give me spiritual guidance about incorporating my awakening to pursuing holiness. and I did my diocese"s Lay Ministry Program. The first thing that I heard was that the Catholic Church ONLY does what is Biblical Truth, which is the truth of Jesus Christ. I also learned that the purpose and goals are to get each and every soul to heaven. I had one foot in the secular world and the other in the Church. I read St. Augustine's The City of God and it was life changing. I discovered Fr. Barron in 2002, who spreads the Word though new media. I listen to his homily every week

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  24. Prior to knowing the faith was true, I had left the Faith altogether, and returned to Christ under the protestant umbrella. Then three years in I randomly picked up the Holy Week volume of Pope Benedict's "Jesus of Nazareth" trilogy at the library one day. I read the section on the Eucharist and immediately knew I had to come home.

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  25. These are such beautiful stories!! God is good.

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