About free-online-novels.comI started life as Protestant but I'm going to end it as a Catholic.
It’s a cliché to say that the Bible is a love story, a love letter written by God to man. But it wasn’t until my early 40’s that the cliché became my reality. I was standing on my front lawn, frustrated by my inability to feel the meaning of life, even if I knew academically that my purpose was to love God and serve Him by being nice to people.
I’ve always been a movie junkie and I’ve been reading novels since I was six, so I cried out to God, “What’s the plot? What’s the plot of this story of Yours?”
It’s a love story came the silent but certain answer.
And in that moment, I knew that all those people who had said it before were right. But now I felt it. And I knew that all along I had been looking at the scenery – to the wonders of the creation - and thinking it was the story. But that was as unsatisfying as watching a man come out onto a stage and fall in love with the props or attempt to express his ardent passion to the backdrop of the drama. So I stopped trying to satisfy myself in the beauty of the sky or the complex delicacy of a flower or in the feline grace of my pets and started to look for signs of the show itself.
And with that certainty, I could now see the story. In the Old Testament, it was God and Israel. In the New Testament, it’s Jesus Christ and the Church. And with that clear knowledge, I could see that the Church is one and it is visible and its unity is of vital importance.
Whenever I tell people I’m Catholic now, they are quick to dismiss the Catholic Church as a viable option for themselves.
For example, one of the reasons for dismissing the Church comes from my friends who have been exposed to the Protestant tradition. They say that Catholics engage in “Mary worship.” I point out that veneration is not worship. And surely, of all people, Jesus’s mother and the person who must have known him best, is worthy of honour? After all, Jesus honoured his mother. Shouldn’t we do the same?
All of my friends these days are non-church goers. Some of them are Christian, in their own way. Others are spiritual, in their own way. None of them are active in any Christian fellowship. But theology is part of our conversations. It would be impossible for me to be friends with someone where it wasn’t. In fact, theology has always been the biggest part of my life even in my years away from any Christian fellowship.
But when it came to me going from being a Sola Scriptura Protestant to a passionate Catholic, I got the impression my loved ones would have preferred that I had become a Hindu. After all, then they could have looked at me pityingly, confident that I was well-meaning but wrong and had just watched one too many Bollywood movies. This way, however, without even using words, my return to the Catholic Church is (unintentionally) telling them that they are the ones who are wrong. After all, if the Catholic Church has been the one true Church all along, then men like Luther and Calvin have taken people away from it, not brought them out of a corrupted organization into the purity of the original apostolic Church.
These days, though, I find myself too happy, too theologically-satisfied, to want to engage in debates that only seeem to lead to discord. As St. Therese of Lisieux said in Story of a Soul, quoting the Imitation, "It is more profitable to leave everyone to his way of thinking than to give way to contentious discourses."
Good advice for this former Protestant for whom arguments come all too easily!
Besides, these days, I'm too busy linking to as many free Catholic novels as I can find online. The Catholic Church has a long and rich literary history that every Christian can be proud of.
It's humbling to write in light of that and rather than think I'm adding anything to such a noble and excellent tradition, I offer my writings rather as a sign pointing and saying "This way to the Catholic Church!"
God bless and happy reading!
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