Reverts : What Brought You Back ?
#1
I was bouncing around Protestant denominations for around 8 yrs after being an agnostic for over a decade, and was a member of a conservative Lutheran sect where I figured I'd probably stay the rest of my life. Then around 1993 I really started photographing old buildings and historic sites around Chicago, and one day decided to get back in to several Catholic churches in my old neighborhood. One of my first big photo shoots was on Good Friday, when I knew they'd be open, and as soon as I went inside those sacred old edifices, something started happening to me. I started being drawn back. I still thought what I saw of the Catholic Church was ridiculous, but then on a Saturday in the Summer I went to mass with an acquaintence (just to observe) at St John Cantius, and Father Phillips gave the homily. I still remember telling a few people afterwards "that guy actually believes this stuff". I continued to attend the Lutheran church another year, but more and more it seemed so empty and meaningless. I remember evening service Christmas eve and how disappointed I was. Next Good Friday visiting churches I really began to think to myself "you've always been a Roman Catholic deep down and nothing else". About 2 months later I went to confession and it's coming up on a quarter century now.
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#2
A wake-up call prompted me to start going to Mass again. (Think death or disease.) And not just in the "New Year's Resolution" kind of way.

I had been poorly catechized. I slowly came to recognize exactly how poorly. I didn't know the difference between a venial and a mortal sin, and I had been doing both for several decades.

It took many painful confessions and learning to pray the Rosary before I was finally starting to remain in a state of grace.
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#3
My story might be a bit cringey.

I was baptized Catholic but religion really didn't play a part in my upbringing.  

From middle school to early college I both despised and was fascinated by religion(Christianity in particular).  I saw it as an unnecessary nuisance that had to be rooted out of society.  As an edgy young anti-theist I thought that studying the Bible, Church history, ect, was an important part in doing this.

I wasn't a full on atheist, I admitted some agnosticism.  I took that position, not because i wanted to, but that I was unable to believe in the existence of God.  In truth I wanted to believe in God.  On the chance that I was wrong I would somewhat frequently pray something along the lines of, "If I'm wrong, and God exists, please correct me".

Studying music was the religion of my youth,  and as I reached my late teens I began to have a strong interest in any form of Christian sacred music.  As silly as I feel to admit it, I think this is the thing that began to develop my love for the thing I hated.

I can't really point to one thing that brought me back, but I think the interest in religion is what eventually pulled me in.

Eventually I found satisfying responses and explanations to all the inconsistencies I thought I saw in Christianity.  I didn't see Protestantism as an option. Aside from Protestantism being divorced from history things like variations in manuscripts, translation issues, biblical difficulties, ect, made Sola scriptura look utterly ridiculous....

Ehhh....this is going on too long but that's the meat of it.
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#4
I had an epiphany shortly after returning home from hiking the Appalachian Trail. Six month of walking and thinking was kind of a reboot.

Just out of the blue, while washing dishes at the sink, I thought, "God is goodness itself".

Seems simple when I type it, but it was one of the tingle at the back of the neck, hair-raising moments. Hard to explain. I couldn't get the thought out of my mind and dove into researching different views of God and different religions. After a while I decided to return to the Catholic Church and contacted the local parish.
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#5
I have the experience of being both a convert and a revert to the Catholic Faith.  My reversion was brought about by a series of dreams that I had.  While I was away from the Church, I began having the same basic dream, over and over again.  I'd be driving in my car, usually in the country or what looked like a small city near the small town that I grew up in.  A Catholic parish would come into view and I'd instinctively stop my car, get out, and head into the church building.  Once inside, I'd encounter a priest, who would ask me if I had come to make my confession.  The dream would then end.  I can't recall how many times I had this dream but it was often enough to really rattle me.  I don't normally have recurring dreams.  Most of my dreams are barely coherent, sometimes just incoherent nonsense.  I eventually heeded these dreams and went to confession, reconciling myself to the Church.  

At some point after my reversion, I can't recall exactly how long but maybe a year, I started having another recurring dream.  In this dream, a terrifying figure (that I knew to be a fallen angel in the dream) would appear to me.  It was menacing and I could sense it wanted me to worship it.  I'd wake up from these dreams terrified.  My heart would be racing, I'd be sweating.  Then, I began praying to St. Michael for help.  The next time I had this dream, a beautiful angel suddenly appeared and thrust his sword into the fallen angel, who screamed and vanished.  I've never had the dream since. This solidified my reversion.  I will never leave the Church again, ever.
"For the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but traditionalists."
- Pope St. Pius X

"For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables."
- 2 Timothy 4:3-4

"Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity."
- 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
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#6
(03-09-2021, 09:54 PM)MacPasquale Wrote: Studying music was the religion of my youth,  and as I reached my late teens I began to have a strong interest in any form of Christian sacred music.  As silly as I feel to admit it, I think this is the thing that began to develop my love for the thing I hated.

I can't really point to one thing that brought me back, but I think the interest in religion is what eventually pulled me in.

Eventually I found satisfying responses and explanations to all the inconsistencies I thought I saw in Christianity.  I didn't see Protestantism as an option. Aside from Protestantism being divorced from history things like variations in manuscripts, translation issues, biblical difficulties, ect, made Sola scriptura look utterly ridiculous....

Ehhh....this is going on too long but that's the meat of it.

This reminds me a bit of my conversion.  There were a number of factors that went into my initial decision to convert but one thing that really drew me in were films like "The Exorcist" and "The Exorcism of Emily Rose."  In fact, I was halfway through my RCIA classes when I felt like quitting, and did not attend classes for about a month.  Then, I watched the latter film (it was kind of new at the time) and something just clicked.  I knew I had to return to the RCIA classes and finish my conversion.
"For the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but traditionalists."
- Pope St. Pius X

"For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables."
- 2 Timothy 4:3-4

"Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity."
- 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
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#7
(03-09-2021, 10:58 PM)SeekerofChrist Wrote: I have the experience of being both a convert and a revert to the Catholic Faith.  My reversion was brought about by a series of dreams that I had.  While I was away from the Church, I began having the same basic dream, over and over again.  I'd be driving in my car, usually in the country or what looked like a small city near the small town that I grew up in.  A Catholic parish would come into view and I'd instinctively stop my car, get out, and head into the church building.  Once inside, I'd encounter a priest, who would ask me if I had come to make my confession.  The dream would then end.  I can't recall how many times I had this dream but it was often enough to really rattle me.  I don't normally have recurring dreams.  Most of my dreams are barely coherent, sometimes just incoherent nonsense.  I eventually heeded these dreams and went to confession, reconciling myself to the Church.  

At some point after my reversion, I can't recall exactly how long but maybe a year, I started having another recurring dream.  In this dream, a terrifying figure (that I knew to be a fallen angel in the dream) would appear to me.  It was menacing and I could sense it wanted me to worship it.  I'd wake up from these dreams terrified.  My heart would be racing, I'd be sweating.  Then, I began praying to St. Michael for help.  The next time I had this dream, a beautiful angel suddenly appeared and thrust his sword into the fallen angel, who screamed and vanished.  I've never had the dream since. This solidified my reversion.  I will never leave the Church again, ever.
A dream was one of the last things that finally brought me back.  Though I don't like using it as a reason because it really was more of an emotional thing.

I used to get sleep paralysis all the time.  One night I was on my way back from seeing Emerson and Lake( Mr. Palmer was busy touring with Asia) and I passed out listening to the All Night Vigil by Rachmaninoff(I was not driving,  if I was I would have gone to confession the next day).  In the dream I saw the Blessed Virgin Mary in the sky surrounded by angels and stars glowing with beautiful colors.  Rachmaninoff was still playing in the background, it really was a vivid and happy dream.  Best part was I didn't feel like I was suffocating. 

When I converted not long after dreams still played a part in keeping me in.

I would fall asleep praying the Rosary and demons would lift me in the air and suffocate me.  They would only put me back and stop when I stopped praying.

I knew that these experiences were due to the medication I was taking at the time, but they helped make the faith more tangible.
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#8
One night a few years ago during my agnostic/curious phase I felt an almost suffocating pressure on my chest and inability to move. A fear began to grow in my mind and gut. immediately I started thinking about our Lord and I mentally prayed something similar to the orthodox Jesus prayer. At that moment the pressure, inability to move, and the fear, softly disappeared. That event hit me in the feels big time.

At this time I was also flirting with the idea of good and evil being mutual aspects of reality that sort of "danced" together, essentially eastern non-Christian thought. St. Thomas Aquinas fixed that (evil is not a thing itself but rather a privation of good, like coldness is not a thing but a privation of energy).

Lastly, my return to the Catholic Church took a detour through Eastern Orthodoxy like many others. The smallest and most obscure detail shifted me away from the Russians and Greeks: the calendar! The Catholic Church instituted the Gregorian Calendar to ensure Holy Days didnt shift away from their proper time of year. Because the Orthodox refuse to abandon the Julian calendar, the discrepancy of Holy Days between the two calendars will continue to increase until Pascha will be celebrated in the middle of summer (would take centures for that to occur but the point stands). Once this clicked I was full speed back to the Church and I havent looked back.
Daily Rosary pray,
Scapular as She asked,
Little Office at my side,
Until the day I pass.

Through the highest heaven,
To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son, and Spirit,
One same glory be. Amen
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#9
This became a bit of a doozy while I typed it so feel free to skip it. I just want to get it off my chest. If you guys want me gone because of the political bit I don't hold it against you.

I was brought up Catholic same as my older brothers. Dad was born Catholic and saw the NO implemented as a kid. Mom converted a little after they got married, behind his back oddly enough. She was raised Baptist but got sick of the fire and brimstone talk about other denominations, especially from her parents. She's very attached to the NO and most of the modern practices of the Church but before my "reconversion" she was the most devout of the family. She might still be, never asked about her prayer rule.

I mention all that because I think it was the new fairly lackadaisical approach that made me drift away. Only Mom went regularly to church, and CCD was absolutely awful in hindsight. I never knew about catechisms or even that there was a different rite. None of what they taught seemed that important so it just faded in the background. Aside from some periods of despair I never quite went full atheist. Most of my friends were atheist, but when they'd poke fun at the idea of God I just shrugged my shoulders. Why should I judge? I didn't know for sure there was one. I was a libertarian, and that meant everyone could believe whatever the heck they wanted.

What brought me back to religion was going down the political rabbit hole. Browsed numerous imageboards, got involved with increasingly more extreme ideologies. You can probably guess which ones. I became increasingly aware of a need for hierarchy and strong leaders, but was going too far. As I was finally getting into the nitty-gritty of fascism, I realized an oversight.

Out of all the political groups I had affiliated with on the imageboards, none of them had taken God into any serious account. He was always an afterthought, something to be considered later when power was secured. On the particular fascist board Christianity was dismissed as Jewish puppetry, but their answer to the God question was returning to paganism. What, the various nations believing in vague gods that barely resemble each other in terms of beliefs? Their real God was race worship. What had started with me just wanting to be free from authoritarians had led me to a glorified cult.

All that pushed me to find a different answer besides fascism. After some searching I finally found it: the system of government that had been relegated to the scrap heap, monarchy. It had the hierarchical system for putting people where they are best suited psychologically, the hands-off approach needed at a local level to preserve man's liberties, the strong arm of a powerful government to prevent external abuse, a living symbol for inspiring men to greater heights in the form of a king, and all oriented around that spiritual element of every human. It wasn't perfect, no system of government is, but it had an answer to every problem I had with all the other ideologies I had considered. All of the greatest kings of the West were Christian, and most people today are Christian in some sense, so the only course of action for me was to return to Christianity.

One of the blogs I read mentioned tradcats, so I started looking back into the Church. My conviction that the Catholic Church was the right fit grew stronger the more I learned about it and the traditionalists in it. After some browsing on TradCat Twitter some nutters who worship Mary unnerved me with their website. I never got convinced by them (though I was almost taken in by sedevacantists. Not interested in being a neo protestant though) but they did give me the kick in the pants to get to confession.

I had come back exactly to where I was so many years ago after drifting from the Church: the answer to my questions on what was wrong with the world had been where I was born. Everything had come full circle. Now I'm just trying to unlearn some bad habits from my imageboard days and generally become a better Catholic. Still a monarchist although any sort of Catholic nation would be almost as good.

TL;DR I fell away due to a lack of Catholic influence growing up and came back because I figured out that man needs religion.
With no king to rule me I owe my fealty only to God.
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#10
I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic schools but really didn't learn much about the faith. Over time fell away.

Later in life returned to an Evangelical Bible Church. While attending that church the people were very anti-Catholic and used to make comments like Catholic's believe this and Catholics believe that, think of things like the real presence. These things were all news to me. Between reading the Bible cover to cover a few times and investigating what the Magisterium actually teaches it was a duh moment for me. Of course the Catholic Church is the Church founded by Jesus Christ...

I returned to the Novus Ordo Church at that point, my finding tradition kinda has a similar story.

And here I am...
"There are in truth three states of the converted: the beginning,  the middle and the perfection. In the beginning, they experience the charms of sweetness; in the middle, the contests of temptation; and in the end, the fullness of perfection."
-- Pope St. Gregory

“One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, Our Lady will save the world.”
-- attributed to Saint Domenic
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