I think it would be fair to everyone to write about my conversion to God and his church. It is not that I was not Catholic at some point, but it is that I did not always live it.
I am what most people would call a cradle Catholic. I was baptized Catholic, and was raised in a Catholic home. I went to Mass most Sundays, I would pray each night, and I would pray the Rosary about once a month.
Yet I did not always understand why I did things. I always thought that the reason that I did what I did was because I was Catholic. This is the only answer I could give. It's the only answer that I knew. I had never really read the bible before, never was really catechised, nor had any solid knowledge about the Catholic faith. My Catholic faith for a long time was nothing more than a cultural thing. I believed in God and in his church, I just didn't understand why we did what we did.
Although I grew up in a Catholic family, I also grew up in a mostly liberal household. For the most part I was thought by certain people in my family things that I took as truth.I was told things like masturbation was ok, that it was something normal for humans to do. Things like all religions are basically the same, that besides the difference in belief, they all led to truth about God. That they all led to salvation. I was told that we should learn other faiths and to be respectful of the difference in ideas.
Learning other faiths and being respectful is something that we should all do. The problem comes when it is seen as if Catholicism and Christianity are no different than another religions. For example I was told as a kid that it was ok for a Catholic to practice Buddhism. That it was ok to practice other spiritualities as well. This is simply not true.
Like I said we as Catholics and Christians should learn other faiths, and to be respectful of other people’s ideas. The problem is that we are also called to follow what was told to us by Christ and handed down to the apostles, as well as the church.
It was during my early teens that I started backsliding away from my Catholic faith. This was around the same time that I was introduced to Buddhism. I was also introduced to another philosophy. The Laws of Attraction.
This was a belief I strongly held on to for years. I had read books like The Secret, The Science of Getting Rich, and other New Age books. At first I really thought what this philosophy promoted, the idea that we could be and do whatever we wanted based on what be focus. That if it made you happy then it was good. I first thought it to be no more than the idea that if you held a positive mindset then you could achieve whatever. It wasn't until later that I found out that there was a lot more than this.
My Slide Hill Down
It was when I turned sixteen that I let myself get as far away from God that I would ever do. I had a hard time knowing what a sin was. I started committing sins such as masturbation. How could I know this was bad? After all I was following a belief system that said that if you think something to be bad then it is. At the same time some of my liberal family members would tell me that things like masturbation weren't bad. I could have not known.
When I was seventeen and a half is when I hit rock bottom. I think this is something that is different for each person. All rock bottom means is the time that you let yourself go as low as possible. For me my rock bottom was at seventeen. I remember one day just feeling so guilty and depressed that I just sat depressed near my bed. I really just felt horrible.
It is that I realized that what I was doing was wrong. Although I did not have anybody tell me that the way I was living was wrong, I felt it. Every time I would commit a sin such as masturbation I would feel a feeling of guilt. I did not know why I felt it I just did. Something was telling me that I was not doing what I should. I started questioning the Laws of attraction. I finally started seeing the flaw of logic behind it. If something that I was doing was wrong, then I would feel bad. It doesn’t matter what type of mindset you had.
My journey to the Catholic church
I was just not in the right state of mind. I felt horrible and depressed for weeks. I knew it was that I had come to acceptance that what I was doing was wrong. I felt like Adam and Eve after they had bitten the apple. I felt ashamed.
I made the decision to get closer to God. The first thing I did was pray the rosary. Something just told me to pray it. I started praying at least a couple of times a week. I just kept asking the Blessed Virgin Mary for God’s mercy. Something told me to pray to her. I just kind of knew that she would bring me closer to her son Jesus our Lord and Savior.
After a couple of weeks I started reading the bible almost everyday. This is the book that I credit for really changing my life. It was the new testament that made me realize the truth. From it took me a while to get further, but finally after a couple of months I told myself that I was going to start attending Sunday Mass again.
I felt a burst of thirst for the truth in God that just came out of nowhere. From here God had let me closer to his church little by little. First by going back to church, then by attending confession, and last my getting confirmed. Since then He has let me closer and closer to his church so much that know I am trying to bring people closer to God.