Saints We Love

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Becoming Catholic by Nancy Larrick

Becoming Catholic

by That Straight Haired Catholic Girl 

It was a cold day in February of 2006 when I knew I must become a Catholic. Up to that time, I was a lost sheep, wandering around looking for just the right pasture, except that I didn't know I was lost. I was sure I'd find the right pasture if I just kept searching...

Years earlier, in February of 1952, I was baptized in the Russian Orthodox/Greek Catholic Church. I have few memories of my brief time there. By the time I was old enough to have real memories, we had moved on to the Episcopal community, where I was confirmed at the age of 12. Hours were spent memorizing the Lord's Prayer and the Apostles' Creed. I still remember my white dress and the fact that I got to wear stockings and little-heeled shoes. Honestly it didn't mean much to me then. I didn't understand that religion was supposed to affect my whole life. After a year or two we stopped going to church and I lived as a pagan pretty much till I was in my late 20's.

It was the 70's and the 
Jesus Movement was in full bloom. One day I woke up with the uneasy feeling that if I died I was surely going to Hell. I hadn't thought of God in years and really didn't want Him messing with me or my lifestyle. Yet why was I thinking about Him all the time! I was miserable. Then the Jesus People found me.

I was taken in by the promise that Jesus loved me just as I was. All I had to do was ask Jesus to come into my heart, I would be saved and He would take care of the rest. It was a big emotional experience devoid of any solid doctrine. But I had never felt so loved nor had I so many friends. For many years I went to church every chance I got. I joined Bible studies and women's care groups. I was really involved, but it didn't last. The church would either change its teaching, leadership, split or disband completely. When the last community disbanded, I stopped going altogether and grieved for 2 years.

Still, God was calling me to His Church, but which one? Which one had the Truth? Which one had the authority? I immersed myself in books, specifically books about the Bible, and discovered the shocking fact (to me) that the Bible was Catholic. I had never considered that the Catholic Church might be the real thing. I refused to believe it.

Through a series of events that only God could have orchestrated, I found myself attending RCIA classes at an old Catholic Church. Mind you, I was only there to refute what they were trying to teach, but God had sent an excellent instructor. I was learning the authentic Faith of the Church Fathers, not a counterfeit. Jesus hadn't left us here to fend for ourselves. The New Testament hadn't been written yet and wouldn't be for many years. He had specifically told 
Saint Peter to "tend His sheep, and feed His lambs".

My eyes were opened to the truth that only the Catholic Church had the authority to teach the Truth. When we were asked who would like to come into the Church that spring, my hand shot up. I was received into the Church in March of 2006. I was finally in the only true pasture. I am now home.

(used with permission from Nancy, the friend who encouraged me to make a blog)

1 comment:

Terry Fenwick said...

Some day I want to have a section for stories of those who come into the Church like Nancy and others - these stories fascinate me! This one is wonderful!