Before I get into this article, I'm going to briefly mention the sexual abuse issues that have recently come back into the media. I think it's appalling that a priest would do such things. I pray for the healing of those abused. I believe that anyone who committed such crimes, although they can be forgiven by God with a true contrite heart, should pay for what they have done through civil law. However, my faith, my hope, my eyes are upon Jesus Christ.
I'm not going to let terrible acts by a few sinful men ruin my faith in Christ and my faith in the Catholic Church. It's time to stand together as Catholics and not leave the Catholic Church but to pray and take action to insure these things don't happen again.
There are sinful people in every walk of life but that should not keep any of us from being a Christian and living our Christian faith with love and boldness.
I still believe what Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." The gates of hell will never prevail against Christ and His Church.
Now, it's time to take a brief look back on 5 months of being Catholic.
Brenda and I became Catholics at the Easter Vigil March 31st, 2018. We are proud to be Catholic Christians and over 5 months later as this is being written in September 2018. We both love going to Mass and fortunately have only missed one weekend Mass ( Brenda was not feeling well ) since our conversion whether we have been in the Raleigh area or traveling.
Brenda wanted to attend Mass on the Sunday that she was not feeling well, but I advised against it and stayed home with her to be sure she was OK. The next day she was in the emergency room. Even the following Sunday, Brenda attempted to go to Mass as she was still recovering and ended up dropping me off at the 7 a.m. Sunday Mass. Later that Sunday, Brenda attended her first ever solo Mass at 5:30 p.m. We both take attending weekend Mass very serious. Once you understand the Eucharist, you'll know why. It's not a teaching of the Church that we just dismiss and let self get in the way. Self was almost what kept me from becoming a Catholic.
Brenda and I make every reasonable effort to attend weekend Mass and it's definitely something that I recommend for Catholics who have fallen away from regular attendance. I know from many years as a protestant Christian that slacking off in attending church can and does lead to slacking off in living the faith to the fullest.
One thing that I have gotten slack about since converting is writing articles here on Catholic Transformation. I worked hard on the site for months prior to my conversion, but after converting, I settled into being a Catholic and stopped expanding the website. However, I plan to change that moving forward. It's time for a renewed commitment to the Catholic Transformation website: Stay Tuned!
I have not had any faith confrontations with anyone in the 5 months since our conversion, but I have also not had anyone challenge my Catholic faith. I was able to share why I became a Catholic with a friend of mine at the end of August 2018. I have no doubt he believes in Christ but his life shows no reflection of living for Christ. Living the Christian faith is no where near a priority in his life from the best that I can tell. I'm not here to judge anyone. That's God's role and His alone.
As a faithful Catholic, it's my job to plant seeds, live my faith, defend my faith in Christian love if challenged and share my faith when the opportunity arises. However, the Holy Spirit is who convicts the sinner and also who leads someone to TRUTH.
Yes, I wish our adult daughters, our close family and others could see what Brenda and I see in the Catholic faith. But all we can do is live it, share it and pray that others see the beauty of what we see.
I have to admit that I have gotten so settled at being a Catholic Christian that I have to be careful of not getting so settled and comfortable that I forget my ( our ) amazing journey. It's easy to embrace anything in life and get comfortable. For example, over 29 years of marriage has caused me to make assumptions and get comfortable, but I still tell Brenda everyday that I love her. She needs to hear it and I need to say it. But I need to do a better job of holding Brenda everyday. Somehow it's easy to think we have more time together and not live in the moment. That's a mistake. Marriage takes work and commitment and so does living the Christian faith daily.
What I have learned about being Catholic in the last 5 months is that Brenda and I love being a Catholic Christians, discovering the Catholic faith was such a blessing and we have no regrets about our conversion. But I have also learned that after the big life changing transition that I (we) have to work on being the best Catholic Christian that I can be and not get comfortable in this newfound Christian walk that has been life changing.