The other night, a friend of mine said that if you are not feeling close to God, ask yourself which one moved. I know God never went anywhere, it was me to chose to turn my back on Him for all those years. This past February, I was accused by a former friend of something I did not do. My simple prayer that morning was "God knows me, God knows my faults, and He knows the truth about me." And I got an answer immediately. Yes, God knew me, God knew my heart, He knew the truth about me….and He wanted me to follow Him again. Imagine God dope-slapping you upside your head, and that's about what it was like. I never looked back.
Afterwards, I told Jim that I wanted to find a church to attend, a Catholic church. At that time, the only rite I had heard of within the Catholic Church was the Roman rite. Jim had attended a Byzantine rite church two years prior for a brief amount of time. He would come home and tell me about it, but frankly, I didn't pay much attention to him. He told me what the liturgy was like, and it sounded very confusing. Then he remember ed that this Byzantine church broadcasted the previous week's liturgy on Thursday mornings on cable, so we taped it. Once I watched it, and also studied some on just what Byzantine Catholicism was, we decided to find a church to attend. It only made sense to start with the church we had watched on TV, especially since it was so close to our home. The priest looked like a kind man, and the choir sounded awesome. But just in case this wasn't the church for us, we wrote up a list of all the Byzantine church's in the area, and made up our minds to check them out until we found one that felt like home.
We both knew our search was over by the end of the liturgy, and we joined St. Nicholas Church a couple of weeks later.
And now I am back to the question I asked at the start of this article, why join the Catholic Church? Why was I so attracted to it over the course of so many years?
I believe with all my heart in the undivided trinity, that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist, and that confession is a gift from God (even though I have a hate/love relationship with it).
Catholicism is the church that Jesus founded. Byzantine Catholicism hasn't changed a whole lot over the centuries, and I love the tradition of it. Being Catholic isn't easy, especially in today's world. I could have chose a denomination of Christianity that didn't come with the discipline of Catholicism, or one of those mega churches that are popular now.
But God called me home, to the Catholic Church.