March 4, 2013

  • Returning to Catholicism

    It has been a long and arduous faith journey.  The Lord had a lot to teach me about redemption, reconciliation, forgiveness, grace, and love through His Church, the Catholic Church.  While I understand that this post may offend many of my brothers and sisters in the faith who object to some aspects of Catholic doctrine, I respectful ask those brothers and sisters to hold their tongue and to respectfully unsubscribe from this blog if they cannot stand what is happening.  Any negative comments and belittling of others’ beliefs will not be welcomed.  Of course, intelligent discourse is encouraged, but name calling and demonizing others’ interpretations of the Bible are not welcomed.

    Before I continue this post, there are many disclosures that I would like to make.  First and foremost, my family comes from a line of martyrs.  Some of my ancestors died for their faith.  And, there is a Bishop and Cardinal in the Catholic Church in the ancestral line.  In fact, one of my ancestors wrote five books that sold over millions of copies worldwide and translated into many languages.  Given this strong Catholic background and the faith of my ancestors, there were many unanswered questions in my life about Christianity — especially about Catholicism and the Protestant Reformation.  I have known some to attack the Catholic Church without learning about what it truly teaches.  I, however, spent over five years of my life as a Protestant and was very involved – learning all I could about Protestantism.   I understand the Protestant mindset as much as as the Catholic mindset. So, don’t attack me about this or that doctrine because I had heard and evaluated all those tedious and tired old arguments and had come to terms with them in my heart.

    Now, I am going to tell you what happened.  My wife and I got married.  The church that we were at did not seem to celebrate marriage in the way that a church should.  They implied that marriage is a poison to their church plants and that married couples should not be in the leadership of their church plants at least during the first year.  While this may make perfect sense in the secular world and the world where the divorce rate is around 50%, it makes no sense whatsoever to the Christian mindset and those with a truly transformed mind – marriage is forever.  Apparently, this church does not believe it to be so.  My wife and I felt God calling us to a church that actually believes in marriage, believes that GOD Himself institutes marriage as the Bible says, and that it is forever because GOD has joined and nothing can divide.  The fact that this church entertains the possibility of divorce reveals that they are defeated already as they have entertained something false.

    The Catholic Church believes that marriage is forever.  There is no divorce in the Catholic Church, period.  While I am not going to get into specifics and details about other things, I am going tell you parts of the story to communicate how God led not only me, but also my wife, a Protestant to the Catholic Church.  There is no question in my mind that God speaks to me.  I had communicated this on the blog a million times and no amount of discussion is going to change my mind about the truth.  He had been telling me about His Church for a while and how He wanted me back.  I had an honest conversation with Him about my issues with the (1) doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and (2) doctrine of the Infallibility of the Pope.  And, I also told Him that if this is really His Church, then my wife will return to it too since we are one family.  He told me, “Nothing is impossible with Me.

    Last year during New Year’s Eve, my wife and I were having a date and then movie.  We were having a great time.  Suddenly, we were surprised by the gift of a generous woman – she paid for our meal (see blog). Today, I am going to reveal that the name of that woman was Mary.  After the meal, we went to the movie theater to watch a movie and the person who took our tickets was named Joseph.  Mary and Joseph.  Mary and Joseph.  Think about that for a moment.  Think about the possibility of that occurring (of course it’s 100% because it had already happened, but what are the chances of it occurring).  Think about the possibility of that occurring on the eve of Mary’s feast day in the Catholic Church.  Think about the possibility of that occurring after I had a conversation with God about my wife and Catholicism.  My wife knew right away what God was telling her – yes, God speaks to her too!  God told her to marry me, that’s the story of our marriage and some people never accepted it – some even thought we made it up.  Now, God speaks to us again through others and tells us to return to the Church started by Jesus Himself, not by Luther, not by a man, but by God!

    Now, God leads us both back to the Catholic Church very clearly.  I didn’t need to convince my wife.  It is the power of the Holy Spirit and God Himself that led us back.  Mary and Joseph are honored in the Catholic Church, so it was clear to my wife that God was answering her prayer for direction.  Anyway, it was an answer to my prayer too because it clearly revealed to me that the two doctrines that I had issues with were true and correct (I do not need to explain this to you – if you don’t get than you don’t get it, there are others who will and there are others who have).  God Himself backed it up and those who have eyes will see.  Some call this event a miracle and some even felt chills down their backs when the story was told to them (as I said those who have eyes will see).  While some of you may not believe it, it is your prerogative.

    My wife is becoming Catholic this Easter vigil.  I did not need to convince her.  I did not need to tell her anything about doctrines and such.  God wanted us both back in His Church and He led us there (His sheep hears His voice).  The first time that we entered the church where my wife is to become Catholic, it was the feast of the transfiguration.  The day of her rite of election has the transfiguration as the Gospel reading.  What are the chances of that?  What is the message that God is telling her?  

    Copyright 2013 by Christenstein

Comments (6)

  • I welcome you back to the Church, and I wish you and your family many happy years together, growing in God’s Love in his Catholic community.

  • I’m not Catholic and I’m not going to debate you on it but I wish you and your wife well.

  • @ed408 – Thank you. I am finally home.

  • @Christenstein - You’re welcome! One of the things I love about the Catholic Church is how we all hear the same readings each Sunday. So I know that you also heard proclaimed from Luke 15 – The Prodigal Son. We all heard this parable of Jesus’ today, and we all reflect and pray on it. One, holy, catholic, and universal.

  • @ed408 - Yes, my wife was telling me a few weeks ago how one, holy, catholic, and universal hit her when she went to the rite of election at the Cathedral.  Candidates from churches from all over the archdioceses were there.  There were candidates of all races and different languages too.  It was very different feeling from when she was baptized in her small church many many years ago when she became a Christian.  

    For myself, occasionally I love going to mass in other languages.  I always feel like I can participate.  

  • Chúc mừng hai vợ chồng Công giáo mới. 

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