Soul searching. Recently, my son was confirmed into the Catholic faith. I viewed it as a long ago promise fulfilled, and it again brought into question my own faith.
I do believe in Christ. I believe in God, the father, and I believe it is God as the Holy Spirit that works within us. I swore that Jesus was my personal savior decades ago, and that will never change.
I was raised a Baptist, and the teachings of the Christian faith are entrenched in my fabric.
The conflict arises as something complex, something that can’t easily be an either-or. I recognize that seeking advice from a Protestant minister would yield one result and seeking advice from a Catholic priest would yield another.
Here is part of the problem: I believe that Jesus is my personal savior. Through him can I enter heaven. But I also am starting to think that I’m not knowing the Holy Spirit. That I need to allow the Holy Spirit to work within me to be the best Christian I can be.
Not only do I need to willfully choose to be Christian, but I need to obey the gentle urging of God. And I’m thinking its actually God as the Holy Spirit.
Yet it is the Son that was emphasized greatly in my youth.
That’s part of my conflict. Here is another. I know that my mother, who had the most influence as to my upbringing as a Baptist, would not want me to convert to being a Catholic. I would be breaking a commandment.
As I understand it, breaking a commandment is not a small sin. It is a major sin. Would it be right for me to break one of the Ten Commandments so I could be a Catholic? Surely, there is confession for that, but shouldn’t I reserve confession for those instances of small, menial sins and not the first act on becoming Catholic? It doesn’t feel or seem right.
What’s more is I have learned through my mom’s family history that I am likely – still need to verify – a descendant of a Baptist minister in Rhode Island during the American Revolution. That is not something insignificant. I know my history of the founding of that state in relation to Baptists. Being in a long line of Baptists matters.
Yet, here I am contemplating becoming Catholic because I am thinking that although Jesus is my personal savior, I am missing out on who and what God truly is – three beings as one. The trinity.
Finally, I want to say that some of these thoughts, I believe, are being born from attending Catholic Church with my Catholic wife nearly every week with a priest who is an excellent orator. His sermons are short, eloquent and drive home a point that shares so much with Baptist faith I grew up with. The calls to reach out and evangelize others have not gone unnoticed because that is what I was taught to do in my youth.
Long before we went to this parish, we fulfilled the promises of two children with the first made some 19 years ago. That is nearly half of my life.
I write all of this only from my own personal perspective, and I don’t know if it fits for anyone else. I’m trying to be open to myself more than anything to thoughts and impressions I have about this. I’m trying to quiet myself and let God call me to do as he wishes.
Your journey of faith will be and should be different from mine. If I help someone understand their own journey differently, wonderful.
And as you can tell, I have much to pray about over the course of my remaining days. We all do.