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Author Topic: Hello :) New to Catholicism even though I was raised Catholic!  (Read 224 times)

ATereskov

Firstly, as per the rules: All due respect and obeisances to Marta the Cat.

Now that that is out of the way ;) I'd like to introduce myself. This may be a bit lengthy as I am a long winded type of person, and the internet is the ONE place where I'm not crippled with social anxiety. My wordiness actually got me into a lot of trouble at University in my upper-level philosophy classes LOL.

Anywhoo,

Hi!

I'm 28 (or 29?....I think 28), married and without children (I am incapable of having them myself, but perhaps I'll adopt one day. We'll see. Things are going pretty well right now, and I can barely take care of myself on the reg). I studied Philosophy and Religion at University, but I never carried on to graduate studies (I lacked the self-confidence and I have pretty bad social anxiety so the idea of teaching - the only application of my degree - scares me like no other). So, currently, I am a homemaker - by choice - and I love it. There's a certain science to keeping a good home - at least in my opinion - and I think I'm doing well enough at it. My husband is a founding member of a Commercial Janitorial Collective so we are Blessed to be financially well off enough that I can stay at home and work on my philosophy writing (which is how I spend most of my free time and make a little extra money from my blog - I'm not going to share it here though as that seems like inappropriate self-promotion).

I was born and raised a Catholic - although my parents never saw fit to have me Baptised so I'm not 'official' yet. My father grew up Anabaptist so I think part of him still held onto the 'make that decision when you are an adult' mentality. I'm leaning heavily towards being Baptised soon, but I would like to do some more studying etc. before making that commitment. Although I was born into Catholicism I have never actively practiced the Faith, and I fell out of it entirely through most of my teenage years (I stopped attending Mass around 13). I guess I never really understood the faith - our local Priest was not what I would call an 'active' Priest so when I had questions of faith I was mostly pushed aside. My parents, being converts to Catholicism (my mother was born Orthodox Jewish and my father Anabaptist), also lacked the theological background to help with those 'teenage year questioning of faith' phases.

In my early teens, I drifted into Ceremonial Magick as a spirituality. However, my time studying these theologies/metaphysics/etc. is actually why I am here today considering Baptism into Catholicism. I gained a lot of understanding of the Catholic faith through the contemplative works of Michael Molinos in his 'The Spiritual Guide', and my time spent practicing the techniques he laid out in this book. I was never into the whole 'make things happen, gain money, etc' part of Magick, but I attached very heavily to what is called 'Knowledge and Conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel'. In my quest to invoke this event in my life - which boils down to learning one's true purpose on this Earth - I found myself constantly drawn towards Catholic practices - especially Eucharistic ritual and the Rosary (which instantly reminded me of mantra mediation).

The more I prayed the Rosary the more I felt drawn towards Our Lady of Grace, Mary Mother of God - and through Her (and devotion to the ascetic practices of St. Francis of Assisi) I learned to develop a deep respect, Love, and understanding of Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit, and God The Father. I discovered that it was the Ritualism of Ceremonial Magick that I enjoyed - the all-encompassing lifestyle in which every moment is interpreted as Divine communication - and not necessarily the underlying philosophy - although many of the practices of the particular Order I joined (I am not going to name it unless asked because I don't want to promote it) seem applicable to coming to understand Catholicism. Mysticism in general really attracts me, and I have found that Catholicism offers a complete system by which I can come to know and practice true Faith in a way that speaks to me. This is something I feel a 'good' Priest could have taught me when I was young and saved me a lot of 'lost time', but life is what it is and my journey still got me here so I'm not complaining. At the moment when asked my religion, I say I am a Christian/Catholic Mystic - but I find this is sometimes confused with Gnosticism which is not what I practice. I enjoy contemplation and contemplative spirituality techniques which I guess some consider mysticism.

Anyway, I am currently starting to incorporate some of the daily obligations of Opus Dei as I truly enjoy faith more or less being a central part of my daily life; however, I am not entirely knowledgeable enough of their practices, their Order, or their interpretation of faith to say I am - at the moment, at least - considering joining. One thing that has stayed with me from my previous studies is a saying, "Inflame thyself in Prayer." I try to do this often through the day - especially when praying my Rosary - and I have found myself to be - even if I am undeserving - filled with compassion and Grace a level of which I have never known before in my life. This has sparked a drive to learn more about Catholicism, the Rituals etc and it's been truly life-transforming even without yet being Baptised.

That long wall of text is why I'm here on this forums currently. I am considering Baptism, but I wanted to spend some time in a Catholic community. I, literally, live right next to a traditional Catholic church - I have for most of my life (I bought my parents house when they retired to Flordia after I moved back from University a few years ago), but I'm socially anxious as it is and I'm nervous to integrate because I have tattoos some of which would be very 'questionable' to most practicing Catholics I would assume (and they are un-coverable as some are on my hands). I have, however, corresponded with the Priest over email and he seems to be very welcoming and encouraging. He even is willing to discuss Molinos's contemplative techniques with me which I found surprising considering Molinos's history with the Church. I wish he had been there when I was younger, but again things happen as they do for a reason, no?

Anywhoo. That's it. That's pretty much my religious backstory and why I joined this forum. Right now I am just doing my Rosary, studying about St. Francis of Assisi, building a relationship with Christ, the Holy Spirit, and God, learning about Mary, and taking it easy. I am looking forward to learning from all of you, and perhaps learning where my practice needs modification to fit within the System of Faith taught by the Catholic church. I'd like to have that in order before officially being Baptised. Oh, and I'd like to attend a few Masses and I figure hanging out with you all may just give me the confidence I need to walk next door one Sunday LOL I just have to stop being such a wimp.

Thanks for reading if you stuck with me this far! <3

Texas

Wonderful story. Welcome. Our Blessed Mother brought me home thru the praying the Rosary too. I'm going to say a prayer to Our Blessed Mother for you that she intercedes for you with her Divine Son. Go meet other Catholics ASAP. They will do for you what they did for me and recommend the best literature on the planet. The teachings of the Faith are so intellectually stimulating and wise and the stories of the Saints and the miracles God works thru them are so beautiful and good.

I have discovered that the Catholic Church has a treasure of literature and that Latin Mass Churches have the best bookstores.

Have you read any Catholic literature on the following subjects:

An approved Church Catechism - A complete source of Dogmas and Doctrines that All Faithful give assent to before receiving Baptism
Lives of Christ by -  Blsd. Dom Marmion, Archbishop Fulton Sheen, or other
Hagiography aka Lives of the Saints - preferable ones written by other Saints
Philosophy - such as the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas
Approved Mystical Private Revelations such as Maria de Agreda, St. Bridget of Sweden, St. Hildegard Von Bingen, St. John of the Cross, St. Don Bosco's 40 Visions,
Texts written by Popes or Saints regarding Theology - Faith or Morals
Books about Approved Marian Apparitions - such as Fatima and Our lady of Good Success (Quito, Ecuador)

There are a dozen or more mom and pop bookstores that sell wonderful ancient Catholic books. These are some of the bigger ones:

Mother of Our Savior Publishing
TAN books
Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) bookstore
Baronius press
Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation bookstore
Robert Sungenis bookstore
Also, the other Catholic Bookstores, have many good titles too.






In His Love

Welcome, new Fishie! :hello!:

If I may recommend a good resource for you to examine, www.sacramentals.com has some beautiful items for sale: chapel veils, good books, statues, picture prints, Rosaries, chaplets, Brown Scapulars, etc.. Everything is good quality.

You stated you have tattoos. So do I. I have plans to get them lasered off when time and money permit me, but it's expensive, so it may take a while. In the meantime, long sleeved shirts and those evil, evil women's pants are my friends. :grin: As for the ones on your hands, have you tried foundation? Or you could find some cute gloves to wear; they would look classy and feminine at Mass and no one would know about your tattoos. Perhaps lasering would bring you some comfort.

I'm also drawn to mystics! You may find this woman interesting. If you're familiar with Mother Angelica, this is a woman who Mother Angelica visited before she was a nun.

http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2010/03/rhoda-wise-american-mystic-stigmatic.html

^ if you explore this website, I would ignore the Garabandal section. It's not an approved apparition and I've heard it's been roundly condemned by the local bishops.

Also, please keep in mind that Satan can create his own "mystical" counterfeits, so be careful. People who can levitate, speak in tongues, etc may be getting their abilities from the enemy. The page on the aforementioned website about Sr. Magdalena de la Cruz explains this in detail.

If you have any questions, you're more than welcome to PM me! :)
"O Jesus, Whose adorable Face ravished my heart, I implore Thee to fix deep within me Thy Divine Image and to set me on fire with Thy Love, that I may be found worthy to come to the contemplation of Thy glorious Face in Heaven. Amen." - St. Therese of Lisieux

ATereskov

Thank you, both for your warm welcomes!

Texas: I would appreciate your prayers very much. At this juncture of my spirituality, any and all efforts to help me gain greater understanding is most welcome <3 I have read a lot of St. Thomas Aquinas at University, but it would surely be beneficial to reapproach his writings from a less philosophical and more of a faithful perspective. Thank you for reminding me about him! I will also be looking into those other resources. I have quite a bit of time to read at the moment - having no children at the moment allows me to indulge my intellectual curiosities....perhaps sometimes more than I should, to be honest. Thank you again for the warm welcome!

In His Love: Great idea with the gloves!! That had not even occurred to me. I always forget about wearing gloves with formal wear as an option :) I think I'll do just that. I do realize that I should not be judged for my tattoos as they happened prior to me coming to understand Catholicism but we are all working towards perfection, no? I can't expect everyone to be understanding of them, and if I can work something simple like gloves to not offend people I think that's a rather fair compromise :) Pants!? How dare you!! haha Luckily, the only tattoos I have on my legs are very high up - something that my innate modesty (even when not particularly drawn towards Christian/Catholic faiths) would prevent skirts from showing thankfully. I too would like to get them removed, and it's something I'm saving up for but it's probably more than a few years away, to be honest.

I've never heard of Mother Angelica, but after a brief google search, she seems not only well versed in faith but humorous as well. I will for sure spend some time reading up on her. Also, thank you as well for all the resources! I will be spending a bit of this afternoon looking into them :) I'll also, hopefully soon, try and muster up the courage to walk next door one Sunday. I thought about going over just to pray today, but it appears they have a wedding so I figure the Priest would prefer the afternoon to relax instead of being bothered with my questions ;)

Thank you both again for the warm welcome. :)





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