Confession of a Catholic Convert: Coming to Terms with the Teachings of the Church

 
9781503308473: Confession of a Catholic Convert: Coming to Terms with the Teachings of the Church
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The search to define and understand faith, a belief structure or to accept the teachings of the Catholic Church is most often a perplexing and complex challenge. Never simple or clear, the confusion and uncertainty involved in these decisions requires considerable study, experience, and thought. A decision to convert and accept the Catholic teachings including their definition of sin, the experience of confession, and the exploration and reconciliation of personal definitions of right and wrong is most difficult. This journey most often includes periods of doubt, uncertainty, denial, and a general questioning of personal faith. Many times it is necessary to challenge the logic and uncertainties inherent in what the church presents as absolutes or certain truths. It was during my experience following two decades of uncertainty, confusion, study and thought that I confronted a defining, life-changing moment and experience a revelation that would define my faith and confirm a sound relationship with the Catholic Church. It was an unwelcome event, but it held deep meaning that has permitted me to see and understand and define my relationship with God and the Catholic Church. The book conveys the accumulation of struggles experienced as a newly converted Catholic. The thinking that emerged from these experiences is not based on any particular scholarly conclusions, studies, references to the Bible, or the written works of the Catholic Church. It is not dependent on guidance from church leaders or theologians who profess to understand the real truth. It is a collection of experiences, reasoning, and thinking as I explored the Catholic faith. The book shares my journey as a Catholic convert in an effort to assist the reader’s understanding of his or her own religious relationship. It should help confused and doubting Catholics to realize and accept that the Church is not perfect or without flaws. It intends to encourage others to continue their search for answers and reconciliation, in their effort to remain faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church. The reader will hopefully come to realize that it is okay to both doubt and challenge—and even never fully agree—with the Church. The book suggests that developing a personal relationship with God, setting individual standards of right and wrong and looking to their own conscience are the most important ingredients to being a faith-oriented person. It is important to recognize, as the standards emerge, that Catholic teachings and guidance offer an outstanding base for individual thinking. Some of what this story conveys is done with tongue in cheek or a bit irreverent humor about issues many might consider as beyond such expressions. While it is not intended to be offensive, some of the thinking may also be seen as contrary to the level of understanding and acceptance expected of faithful Catholics. However, the possibility of stimulating an awakening and reconciliation for many unsettled Catholics outweighs the risk of being offensive to anyone. I believe that it is possible for both the Catholic traditionalists and others like me and hopefully the readers to reconcile their individual faith and be regarded as good Catholics. Nearly everyone will question their journey of religious thinking and the basis of their faith sometime during their life. It may be every day, periodic, a single occasion during a stressful time, or just an intellectual challenge. Sharing this experience and thinking is just another step in that process of fully understanding personal faith and being a Catholic.

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