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Monday, May 08, 2006

Becoming Catholic

Welcome to my blog. I decided to give this whole blog thing a try. I’m not really sure what shape this thing is going to take. My general thought is to detail my journey as a new Catholic as I seek to follow the call of God in whatever he may have me do in life.

After several years of casually, and then more intensely, inquiring into the Catholic faith I was received into full communion this past Easter Vigil. I’ll start with a brief insight into how this all came about.

I was invited to Mass by a friend after having a Catholic vs. Baptist “discussion” in which I was totally outmatched due to my ignorance of the Catholic Church. Something stuck with me during that first Mass. For the next couple years I attended Mass at the local parish sporadically and occasionally read things about Catholicism. Then, another friend suggested that I go to Mass at the university parish which exists to serve the students and employees of my University. For the next year, I launched head first into an exploration of the Faith. I attended Sunday Mass every week and read every book I could get my hands on. At some point I ran across the story of the Road to Emmaus in Luke 24.

“And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. What that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight.” – Luke 24: 30-21

“Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.” – Luke 24: 35

These verses, in context of the entire 24th chapter of Luke, were the straw that broke the camel’s back in my journey into the Roman Catholic Church. Through these verses I came to realize the True Presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Suddenly everything from the offering of bread and wine by Melchizedek in Genesis 14 to the manna in Exodus to the feeding of the multitudes by Jesus and the Bread of Life discourse and Christ’s last supper with his disciples all clicked. This moment, the breaking of the bread and the full revelation of Christ through it, was the sum of all Christian history! Christ truly present, body, blood, soul, and divinity, in the Eucharist is the center of Christian faith! How could I have struggled with accepting this doctrine?

From here everything fell into place. All the normal objections that would be expected from someone coming from a Southern Baptist background grew silent. I found myself ready to accept the role of Mary in the Church, the authority of the pope, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, etc. Of course I was still plagued by doubt along the way, at one point event doubting the Real Presence even thought ironically those doubts were settled during an hour or so spent in Eucharistic Adoration. After a year of seriously studying the Catholic Church, I enrolled in RCIA and now I’m happy to be “Calling Rome Home”

We may know Christ in no deeper and fuller way than by receiving the Eucharist. And we are called proclaim His gift to everyone we meet through our words, actions, and relationships. Being an imperfect human I am far from living up to the full measure of this call. As I grow in faith, I pray that the Lord will shape me into a more perfect vessel. This shall be the chronicles of my journey.

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