Although the context of this article is not a commentary of the verses, I cannot help but think of how it applies to modern day Christianity.
Matthew Chapter 13 Verses 13-16 - "This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which says:‘You shall indeed hear but never understand, and you shall indeed see but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear."
Before I dive in, don't get me wrong, I'm proud of what my Protestant roots taught me, but what a mess the Protestant revolution created. Sadly, it has been going on for 500 years and without a moving from the Holy Spirit, it will continue.
I'm not going to bash Protestant Christians in this article, but I think it's important that anyone reading this think about Matthew 13:13-16 above as it relates to: "They do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand."
While on my Catholic journey, I began to see things like I'd never seen before. I began to see Protestant beliefs differently. Now that I am Catholic, it bothers me even more to see the confusion in Protestantism. I think that I'm even more aware of all the churches and how closely their physical addresses are together to each other.
I cannot help but think of Protestant Christians who do not see the Catholic Church, who do not hear God speaking to them, nor do they understand what they are missing.
Why? Partially because of seeing what they want to see and hearing what sounds good to their ears. Letting self get in the way instead of letting God take control no matter where it leads them.
My earthly father has good intentions, but he is all over the place with the real history of the Church and his Christian beliefs. He is like many Protestant Christians who form their own opinions based on seeing things and hearing things that work for them and coming up with their own understanding.
Many Protestant Christians come up with what they believe through private interpretation of scripture which ultimately kicked into high gear with Martin Luther and the revolution crew of the 1500's. Many Protestants have NO CLUE that is the case: I didn't. I was just doing my thing and didn't realize there could only be ONE TRUTH.
My earthly father has changed, like many of us do ( or have done in my case ), a lot of his Christian beliefs over the years. However, there is ONLY ONE correct version of the TRUTH of Christianity and Church History.
It wasn't easy for me to see what I'd never seen before. It wasn't easy to hear things that I didn't agree with. It wasn't easy to understand things that went against what I thought I was right about. However, once I realized that "David, it's not all about you," I could then get beyond all my personal interpretations of scripture and Christianity.
It's not about Martin Luther or Jimmy Swaggart or Billy Graham or David Jeremiah or any other Protestant minister who likely disagree on many things. It's also not about the heretical Catholic Priest going against the teachings of the Catholic Church.
It's about ONE TRUTH. It's not about all the partial TRUTH taught in Protestantism. If you piece enough Protestant beliefs together, you can get very close to Catholicism, but there is only one FULLNESS of TRUTH.
The beauty is that it was the Holy Spirit that lead me to the truth not the Pope, not some Pastor not someone knocking at my door to share the Gospel. It was me getting beyond me and wanting to know what was true.
I couldn't see because I saw what I wanted to see.
I couldn't hear because it didn't sound good to my ears.
I couldn't understand because my sight and my hearing were all messed up.
Last Saturday, I ran into a guy at a Catholic Conference that I knew from Martial Arts 20+ years ago and I've only seen him once or twice over 20+ years. We were able to re-connect and hope to stay in touch.
His experience sounds a lot like mine. This is part of what he wrote to me after the conference:
"I have to be honest, I am really excited about converting to Catholicism since I started my journey about 6 months ago. My faith is the strongest it has ever been in my life and I am really thirsting for the Lord."
The last sentence in italics resonates with me:
"My faith is the strongest it has ever been
in my life and I am really thirsting for the Lord."
If you are a Protestant Christian, not a Christian at all or are a Catholic Christian that is not embracing your faith, you will never truly, 100% know, what strong faith and thirsting for the Lord is really like until you embrace the fullness of TRUTH in Catholicism. You cannot see it until you choose to let go and see it. You cannot hear it and understand it until you get YOURSELF out of the way because it really is not all about YOU.
Converting to Catholicism can be compared to Christians that remember what it was like to live a life of sin but couldn't see the joy of living for Christ. In other words, if you are a Christian that cannot see the truth of Catholicism, once you do, the blinders are off and the beauty is exposed. Until you open your heart up to the journey, you'll never know.
God has something greater in store for you. Are you willing to accept it?