Sometimes it was subtle, such as in the preaching of accepted theological “truths” that, in time, I began to notice weren’t always consistent with, and sometimes contradicted, what I was reading in the bible, though they claimed to take the bible “literally.” And sometimes it was overt, like the time when, idling around after church one day, I saw a pastor heft his bible in the air and say to bystanders, “We don’t need anything but this! We don’t need college degrees, or psychology, or anything else except the bible!” It struck me as odd – especially as an intelligent, fairly intellectually-inclined woman. God did give us brains, you know. Aren’t we supposed to use them?
When I began to encounter Catholic teaching, I also began to encounter real intellectual challenge and rigor of a kind I didn’t know existed in the Christian world – I have to say the greatest intellectual challenge and rigor I’ve ever encountered anywhere, an unflinching, relentlessly logical examination of the reality of life, what it means to live, and how to live. The light of Revelation, explained and articulated by the Catholic Church, is no myth – it is the brilliant light that illuminates reality, shows us reality, what reality really is, and how to live in and according to it.
Anyone who thinks Catholicism is just a collection of superstitions or myths or fables simply does not know what they are talking about. They’ve either never examined, or not with real intellectual honesty, what the Church actually teaches, or have examined it with such deeply ingrained prejudices that they simply cannot not see the truth for what it is (and I have met a few like that). I challenge anyone to honestly study and reflect on the Church teachings of recent decades, with the aim to truly understand them, not simply mock or try to disprove them, and not come away profoundly moved and awed.
I studied, and I am a Catholic today as a result. I found truth here of a kind nowhere else on earth, because it is not of earth, but of God, Whom I now profoundly believe in with both the assent of faith and with the truth of reason – God the Creator and Source and Orderer of all reality, of all that is, in Whom and only in Whom can one truly understand everything else that is.
I’ve had much the same experience, with the exception of being a cradle Catholic who for quite a while didn’t let the Faith bother me too much. The more I read the Bible and early Christian writers and Church documents, the more it all fits together and the more Catholic I become. It often strikes me that perhaps some non-Catholics are so strident in propounding their opinions and attacking Catholicism because they’re trying hard to jam the puzzle pieces together to make their picture, while in Catholicism the pieces fit together nicely and neatly creating a coherent, beautiful completed puzzle.