I don’t know why I am sharing this with you, really I don’t. In fact, it’s not an easy thing to share. I know the response from many will be silence, some will feel the need to pray for me (that I would come to my senses and reconcile with the Catholic Church), some will shun me (maybe not readers but certainly some family members), some won’t care, but hopefully, the Holy Spirit will use this to reach some, even just one!
I am no longer Catholic. There, I said it. I am no longer afraid to say it. I am not Catholic!
My story begins like all of yours, on the day I was born. It was a sunny day in 1978. Just joking, I have no idea what it was like on that day.
Anyway, I was born into a Catholic family. We were Catholic first, before anything else. I would venture to say I didn’t really know I was “Christian” because that was never how we identified ourselves. And if we were asked if we were Christian, we would say we are Catholic.
Growing into adulthood, I stopped going to church. I met my husband and got married. It is here in my story that change began to happen. One day while visiting my mother-in-law she asked me “why do you pray to Mary?” I gave her the good Catholic answer about not praying to her but asking her to intercede to Jesus on our behalf. I was actually glad she asked me that question thinking I could share my faith. She then asked why I didn’t just ask Jesus myself. For this I didn’t have an answer. These simple questions started my journey.
I’ve lost track of the time now, but let’s say for 10 to 12 years I spent struggling with my faith. During this period of time I went back and forth between being Catholic and being Christian. Before I go on let me say I don’t disbelieve that there are Catholic Christians. I simply was not one of them nor could I be if I wanted. There is too much stuff, for lack of a better word, that got in the way of the relational aspect of Christianity for me to be Catholic. So to those who would shun me, let me state the following: I did not turn my back on Jesus. On the contrary, I followed Him out of Rome.
The cataclysmic event where I found my deliverance took place almost three years ago. I had my daughter’s attending CCD classes so they could become Catholic. They had received their sacraments of penance and communion. We were heavily involved in our church. Choir, youth and women’s events, picnics, prayer events, rosary making, CCD assistant teacher, etc. My daughter’s were asked to participate in the May crowning ceremony. I was so excited for that. It was an honor to let them. We spent two weeks rehearsing the songs and procession. It was going to be nice.
Sidenote: At this point it had been two years of consistently being Catholic. I would have never guessed I wouldn’t be Catholic much longer. The consistency of having a church family was nice. Having someplace to get involved was nice. Something though was seriously amiss. It was the big day. They were dressed pretty and were ready. The entire mass was focused on Mary with many different Marian hymns (many of which I loved). I came down from the choir loft to stand at the back of the church to watch my daughter’s. They reverently proceeded down the aisle, I was so proud. They gently placed the floral crown onto the statue of Mary and bent before her and kissed the feet of the statue, then reverently walked back down the aisle to me. As this was happening, my stomach turned. I literally felt physically ill. My gag reflex kicked in. I really thought I was going to vomit. I knew in that instant I was no longer Catholic, and would never step foot into that church again. I drove through tears away from the church. I realized that those actions meant to honor Mary were in fact a serious dishonor to her. She was indeed a blessed woman, a humble servant of our Lord. I don’t believe she would ever want us to do those things to or for her.
In order for me to focus on Jesus I ceased being Catholic. I know to Catholics that doesn’t make sense. I can’t help you with that. What I do know though, the intimacy felt in a real relationship with Jesus is far better than what any denomination can offer. If you would like to know more about that let me know. If you would like me to pray for you, leave a comment, I’d be happy to.
I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images (Isaiah 42:8).