"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

From Neopagan Priestess to Faithful Catholic

Story source: Catholicism (Visit Christie's Blog @  Garden of Holiness)

What I Was Before I Became a Catholic I was born into the Church of Christ. College and feminism brought me into contact with what I thought were ancient and utopian Goddess centered religions! I bought what they were selling, took their propaganda as truth and began a long journey into NeoPaganism and the New Age.

Why I Converted to Catholicism The same line that Satan threw at Adam and Eve is the same one that hooks people into the New Age: you can become like God! Self-empowerment and self-discovery is the latest version of that age old lure.

What becomes evident eventually is that the underlying philosophy of a belief system affects behavior. After about ten years, I grew weary of the selfishness of myself and those around me. I saw little of the charity that marked other great religions. Instead, the world had became ultimately smaller and lonelier when The Self was at the center of my worship.

I wanted a change, but didn't want to change.

How I Converted to Catholicism After being exposed to the practice of Kabbalah, I began looking at Reformed Judaism as a possible option. It was respectable and service oriented. It would do. I started reading the Old Testament again as a way of preparing to attend our local synagogue.
This led to deeper religious discussions with my husband, a fallen away Catholic. He admitted he was becoming more and more uncomfortable with the NeoPagan practices we were involved in, and I sensed in him a longing for the church of his youth.

On a whim, one day, we decided to attend a daily Mass. Little did I know that God was lying in wait for me. I walked in the doors a NeoPagan priestess and walked out a Catholic!

Here is an exerpt of my experience: My Conversion Real Quick.

My conversion took about three seconds. I was an arrogant fool sitting in on my very first Mass and watching it like I'd watch a National Geographic nature film. I was analyzing away, "Those pews are so phallic, who are they kidding that this isn't all about a patriarchy?" when I heard something Jewish. A cantor sang the Psalm. It caught my attention and stopped the haughty drift of my thoughts. I began to be interested. What else might they have stolen from the Jews?

This led to other discoveries, like the parading of the Gospels. "Well, if Jesus does claim to be the Jewish Messiah, I guess there should be Jewish elements in the worship," I thought dismissively until it occurred to me I'd never seen Jewish elements in the Protestant churches I'd attended as a girl. Why not? I puzzled that one out for awhile. I'm not the kind of dog to drop a bone, so I puzzled awhile.

About the time for the consecration (I had no idea what it was called at the time), I had come all the way around to the skeptical thought, actually accompanied by a quiet sarcasm-laden snort, "What if all this were true?"

Then I was hit repeatedly in the head with a 2 x 4. That process took all of three seconds.

I say that lightly, but the wave upon wave of revelation breaking over my stunned mind was actually very painful. And beautiful and exquisite and utterly horrifying. I saw things, felt things, all in quick succession with the complete clarity of the words, "It is all true," ringing me like a bell.

I had a choice to make that day, and I never regretted it for a moment.

  • I share my story in order to share this insight: all conversions are miraculous. Mine was a bit more obviously so. I had no idea when I walked into the doors of a Catholic Church that I would be walking out a Catholic. A miracle is nothing more than God's hand reaching into our world to change something. Sometimes, he changes a heart. 
  • Be patient with yourself. Conversion is both an intellectual and an emotional experience. Parts of you will lag behind in the process and need to be caught up. Go at God's speed, not anyone else's, including yours! 
  • Steep yourself in the truth. EWTN was invaluable to me. 
  • Pray!

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