"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."
This sums up my entire spiritual journey back to the Catholic Church. After nearly 30 years, enjoying wonderful praise and great sermons in 3 separate fellowships, the "long arm of Jesus" and the nudges of the Holy Spirit were finally able to 'bring us back' Home - to Rome. I must admit, I "never" thought I would end up a Catholic! I was so content for years, to just be a "non-denom" that 'knew Jesus as my Lord and Savior.' I'd accepted Jesus into my heart at 19, back in 1974, actually 36 years ago last night to be exact. Wow how time flies! But you know, now with a Catholic understanding, to "live the Christ life" takes more than a "one time" decision, praying/ repeating a "sinners"prayer, no matter how genuine. It did start me on a glorious path to be sure. It was a 'epiphany' that lit up my soul to the love of Jesus and gave me a desire to learn from others, to read the bible and 'walk with my Lord' in a way I'd never done up to that point. To be a Christian, however, takes DAILY conversion. Why? Because...I still sin!! That's something I never quite understood in those 26 + years.
I was "saved" (so I was told and believed) but yet, having at times 'wandered away' from Him, needing to 'rededicate' my life, after "leaving the Lord" at times...which meant I sinned, and fell from God's grace, not always "mortally" but venial sins DO ADD UP! And more than once, I'd go up front, to the "altar" which was really a stage but you get the idea... and looking back on it, there is really some cause for "understandable confusion." Once your saved, your saved. That is what I was told. But what about when you 'fall away?' What about when you sin? Well...now I know GOD'S DESIGN and HIS ANSWER.... be 'reconciled' to God in the Sacrament of Confession! That's really what I did as a Evangelical...but never would have called it such. I 'confessed my sins' to another (sadly unable to be absolved) and then "got on" with my life. After those years, and the same patterns emerging in my life, I could see the dangerous 'presumptuousness' that could creep in, if allowed. To "cheapen" the grace of God is always a concern, but yet how many stop to think of that? There is a "call to holiness" which a lot of people I knew believed in, but yet, what is the "BEST" way to 'Live that out?' Being a Catholic is!, as I understand it now. I don't say that with "arrogance" so please don't misconstrue my words.
Being a Catholic who's FAITHFUL to the magisterium and the Pope's words/teachings, doing things "God's Way" and accepting my daily crosses, offering up my own pain whether physical or spiritual is how best to "live the Christ life." Certainly there are many holy people in Evangelicalism, and other faith communities, but I was seeking TRUTH more than I knew, for when TRUTH flooded my entire being that December weekend, while reading three books, that's when I KNEW ONE THING... I HAD TO BE CATHOLIC. No other Church on the planet claims what the CC claims. Now it's either false, and a horrible joke or worse, a terrible cult (as some think) of it IS THE CHURCH JESUS BUILT on this earth to GUIDE US INTO ALL TRUTH by the HOLY SPIRIT'S LEADING. There's NO middle ground. It's the "T" intersection I came to as have many others. You must go to the Right or to the Left. You must 'stay' or you must "go.' Leave all for Christ, or remain w/ the 'status quo.' I for one had to take the road to Rome. Taking the plunge, crossing the Tiber to where "PETER" is. History would allow me no other choice! Being a lover of history, (beyond) the Reformation to the inception of the One Holy Apostolic Church could take me nowhere else.
I need that "sinner's prayer" daily. And that prayer, to "receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior' is BEST PRAYED at MASS! The ULTIMATE SINNER'S PRAYER! That is where I receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior in the 'way he designed' in the EUCHARIST , the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, that fills my heart with such pure joy! I want all my Evangelical / Protestant friends to understand that, to 'come Home' too, but I know it's a struggle for many of them. Many of them probably think I've lost it. Many of them still harbor misinformation and sadly such 'anti-Catholic' sentiment it may never hapen for them, and that makes me sad. It was ike that for me, too, until the "lights went on" and my heart was flooded with Truth and gifted by grace to 'see' the Truth of the Catholic Church and Faith.
So...When I saw this quote today, I smiled, chuckled a little and knew I had to post on FB and here on my blog. TRULY it is One "FINE LINE" to say the very least! - Thank you, Mr. Adams and may God rest your soul.
Douglas Adams, English humorist & science fiction novelist [Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy] (1952 - 2001)