Hello! I think I started reading Fisheaters back in 2007 when I was in an RCIA class, converting from evangelicalism. I was on Google searching for more information about Catholicism and Catholic apologetics, and after reading a bit of "Being Catholic" and a lot of "For Protestants", I was excited to find a resource that seriously addressed the theological issues I was struggling with at the time.
Yes, fisheaters.com has a great deal of useful information about Catholicism. I sent the link ("For Protestants") to a Protestant friend of mine who has expressed much interest in Catholicism, but he seems intent not to open the link. I wonder if perhaps he won't open it because he's not as serious about his interest in Catholicism as he seemed to be. He's very much against the idea of "ritualistic religion". If you don't mind me asking, what was the theological issue (in general) with which you were struggling at the time?
After I became Catholic, I kept coming back for more as I began to wonder things like "why is my family's old Lutheran church more beautiful and reverent than my new Catholic parish?" and "Why on earth is the Mass I go to on Sunday so different from that Tridentine Latin Mass that I visited?"
Good questions. I suspect that a lot of Catholics left the Church for Protestantism based on these common observations. That is why traditional Catholicism is so important and necessary today as much as it ever was. The crisis in the Church is just one more ploy of the devil to tear people away from the Church.
Sorry I'm a bit slow to respond, it's been a busy couple of days!
No problem. That's one of the great things about online mediums of this sort: You can go take care of more pressing matters and we'll still be here when you return.
Good question... Well, after studying some church history, I came to the conclusion that that the Catholic Church had the apostolic authority to correctly define and teach doctrine, and yet I couldn't immediately shake 10 years worth of evangelical preconceptions about what Christianity is all about. So I was basically stuck in a place where I could accept Novus Ordo brand Catholicism in as far as it overlapped with Protestant Christianity (and my impression as a newbie was that the Mass was not all that different from the Lutheran service I was used to attending twice a year with my family),
Very interesting. It is difficult to find too much blame in Protestants who don't recognize the Novus Ordo as significantly different from what they've always done. Of course, there are differences, but they are not glaring.
This reminds me of the time I debated on a college campus with a few stand-up preachers (who were causing great scandal to Christianity and morality in general, by the way). To try to put a stop to it, I explained the problem to these "ministers". When they learned I was Catholic, they were convinced that I was part of a "false religion", though they conceded that if I were Novus Ordo that wasn't too much cause to worry. But if were part of the Church the way it always had been, I was surely in serious spiritual trouble.
It's ironic: The reality of the Novus Ordo is so obvious to many Protestants, yet so many Catholics won't
but that I would have to put up with a few uniquely Catholic "eccentricities" like anything to do with Mary and the intercession of saints, or believing in the Real Presence of Christ in the eucharist. But my conscience wouldn't let me just ignore these things. Either the Church is teaching the Truth and I have to accept that, or it isn't. And I was greatly relieved to find that these ideas were true and theologically sound. Not only that, but they were key to a proper understanding of Christianity and the purpose of the Mass.
I couldn't have said it better. In my experience, one of the most common reasons Protestant-to-Catholic converts provide for converting is a new-found understanding of what the Church actually teaches. I was just speaking with a convert yesterday who stated that the reason he had not converted before was that he had been honestly ignorant of what the Church actually taught. He was used to the same hackneyed accusations of "Mary worship" (et cetera) and assumed that this these were the true teachings of the Church. It is such a pity.
Yes, I've heard a lot of that from well meaning protestant friends and family concerned for my spiritual well-being as a Catholic... "Jesus didn't come to establish a religion, it's about a relationship." But they don't seem too keen on discussing it further when I tell them that Catholics have a very intimate relationship with Jesus, especially considering we receive Him through communion, and that Jesus himself established the Church, the hierarchy, the Mass, etc. It's difficult...it requires a re-evaluation of everything you think you know about being a Christian, and that's a scary place to go. But for me, it helped to have good solid answers available when I was ready for them, and the good example of holy people in my parish. Prayers for your friend!
Your words are very true, especially as it concerns the re-evaluation of what it means to be a Christian.
You mentioned something about having solid answers available when you were ready for them. Did you mean an intellectual readiness or a spiritual one?
Oh, and thank you for your prayers! You can be assured of mine for you, also.
May God love you, iona_scribe
, and may He keep you forever close to His most Sacred Heart!