Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"You're doing what? Going over to the Catholics!"

That was the reaction from some of our Protestant friends and family.  The responses ranged from support to surprise, bewilderment, and even anger. It's not every day, or at least people think it's not every day, that a Protestant pastor decides to reconcile with the Mother Church, The Catholic Church. But in fact, there are thousands of Protestant pastors and Protestant laypeople reconciling with The Church every day; there is a groundswell that is giving way to the tectonic shifts of The Faith.  We are a part of that groundswell, a quiet yet unstoppable wooing of the Spirit in the hearts of mankind.
Our decision to reconcile with The Catholic Church was actually the result of a lifelong conversion of mind and heart through the circuitous path of ministry in the Protestant movement. Our progress toward the ancient Church was early-on without an immediate comprehension that The Catholic Church would be our eventual  destination. We hungered and thirsted for more substance and so we searched hard and long. As Friedrich Nietzsche once put it, "The essential thing 'in heaven and earth' is....that there should be long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living." Together our "long obedience in the same direction" led us in a happy, sometimes discouraging, trek to the sure foundation of The Catholic Church. Our steps on this journey away from the shifting sands of the Protestant movement gradually turned into leaps toward the solid foundation of the Catholic Church the longer we served in our 34 years of service to our denomination. It is there that we discovered that the beauty, goodness and truth of the Faith remains intact and flourishes in our world today. But there was a "meanwhile" on that journey that drew us through the desert of discontent.   It is that desert wandering that forced us into a resolve that looking back now makes sense, but at the time we were just trying to survive the disarray in the Protestant ministry.

There are certain observations we both share about what we have witnessed in our service to the Lord in formal ministry within the Protestant movement.  Our Lord drew us both at different times and in different ways into the fullness of the Faith that we have found in The Catholic Church.  Life unfolded by simultaneously removing our spirits from the Protestant movement and beckoning us into The  Catholic Church. The motivation behind this effort at blogging is that we desire to answer the question,  Why have you reconciled with the Catholic Church? We will follow Lewis Carroll's advice to begin at the beginning and go on until we come to the end; then we will stop. Well, actually we'll just be beginning.  

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