From Ignorance to Bliss

My Journey to the Catholic Church

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Baby Steps

As these questions began to press more and more on my mind, I found - and still assessed as an unrelated circumstance - that I was slowly coming over to the Catholic position on controversial issues. At first I granted that even a broken watch was right twice a day, but eventually I had to admit that the Catholic Church really did understand the Christian Gospel well - and unfortunately many Protestant denominations did not. But as surprising as it may sound, I still did not consider becoming Catholic myself. Although no one in my family or Methodist church had ever explicitly condemned Catholicism, a certain cultural anti-Catholicism was in the air I breathed. If I became a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or even an Episcopal, I knew that no one from my family or church would be upset or disappointed. But to become Catholic...well, that would be breaking an unwritten rule. Catholics were simply too different, not part of the Christian "family" as we understood it. So I was sure that Catholicism was never to be my home, and that the reasons were more cultural than theological was not a fact l spent time questioning.

Nevertheless the evolution in my thinking brought me to a place where intellectually I was Catholic: I accepted most of the Church's doctrines (even the "hard" ones like the teaching against contraception - now that I knew where babies came from I saw how integral they were to Christian marriage). Yet I had no desire to convert. I angrily denied any potential conversion to my sister, who saw the dangerous path I was on. And my denial was sincere. I really didn't want to convert and could not conceive of ever doing so. Agreeing with Catholic teaching is nothing like actually becoming a Catholic. A man might be an Anglophile but that doesn't mean he wants to renounce his American citizenship and become an Englishman.
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