From Ignorance to Bliss

My Journey to the Catholic Church

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Up the Exposure

In college I became involved in Christian groups like Campus Crusade for Christ which I figured had the same outlook on life and the faith as me. In my naivety I assumed that all "real" Christians had basically the same theology. I took for granted that what I had been taught growing up was the same faith held by the apostles and most Christians through the centuries, including such luminaries as Martin Luther and John Wesley. Instead of fitting comfortably into a homogenous group, however, I got to know a broader range of Christians than I had ever experienced. I met people who professed Christ but who held a wide ranges of beliefs: traditional, progressive, "high church," "low church" and everything else imaginable. But my exposure to committed pro-life Christians impacted my life like nothing else. Until this time I had considered opposition to abortion simply another political issue, joining a list that included support for supply-side economics and the need for a missile-defense system (hey, this was the late 80's). Suddenly I realized that legalized abortion was absolutely antithetical to the Christian Gospel. The full implications of this truth would dawn on me slowly, but I dove headfirst into pro-life activities, determined to do my part to end the scourge of abortion. Political campaigns, prayer vigils, demonstrations and even Operation Rescue events - nothing was too much for me when it came to working against abortion.

My pro-life activities also exposed me to fellow Christians with intense prayer lives and deep theological knowledge. My Christian upbringing had had a bit of a social club feel: you join a church because that's what respectable people do to hang out with like-minded individuals. But now I met Christians for whom following Christ wasn't always comfortable (picture standing on a freezing sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic while people call you a fanatic or worse). Following Christ meant a radical reconfiguration of their lives. Yes, they were flawed and limited human beings, but they were not Christian to be respectable, they were Christian to be saints. And one thing I began to notice was that the majority of these people - and all of those with a deep prayer life - were Catholic. Thus began my education into the reality of the Catholic Faith.
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