Some fall in love with the liturgy, and come to understand that Jesus is fully present in the bread and the wine.
Some are awed by the beauty of a historic church, then come to know the Catholics in the pews as warm and welcoming friends.
Some are drawn by prayer, some by dogma, some by 2,000 years of history, and some are dragged in by a family member and only gradually come to experience true faith.
I happened to read one man’s account over on Reddit, and thought it worth sharing. After attending Mass for the first time this week, he wrote:
I was raised Freewill Baptist, and left that behind around the age of 19. I’m 32 now and consider myself an agnostic, though I have tended to be more on the atheistic side than the theistic side of agnosticism.
But it has not been satisfying. I’ve been restless, angry, and cynical for a long time. I have had some interest in Catholicism before, but nothing more than a passive curiosity. I still maintained that organized religion was bad even in my curiosity.
Here lately, however, I would say over the past four to five years, I have found myself yearning for that faith again. I looked into some “do what you want just believe in Jesus” churches and those just feel like a cop-out to me. Whatever happened to suffering for your faith? Whatever happened to giving yourself to Christ completely?
So I have decided to give Catholicism more than just a passing glance. I took my wife and newborn daughter to Mass this afternoon. We sat in the back because we were just slightly late and the church was full (I really enjoyed seeing a full house on a beautiful Sunday afternoon!) and basically just observed. We did follow the order of the service – standing, sitting, and kneeling at the right times – but just sort of took it all in.
I loved it. And I already know I’m going to go back next Sunday. I felt something during the service that I don’t know how to describe. It wasn’t some grand revelation or anything that I can even put a finger on, but I felt… something.
I like that one doesn’t just become a Catholic. I like that you have to work for it; that it takes study and direction.
I still have reservations, but my mind is more open at this point in my life than it has ever been before. I have a genuine desire to seek, and for the first time in a long time, I am asking someone to pray for me instead of scoffing at someone who offers prayer.
Please pray for me.
What a great testimony to the work of the Holy Spirit. I don’t know this fellow, but I will be praying that his journey leads him into full communion with the Body of Christ. Join me.