What if I'm Not Even Catholic?
I'm not Catholic yet and everybody thinks I'm a nut for wanting to be a religious, but I think I'm getting a wake-me-up from God and I was wondering what you think.
by Father Anthony Bannon, LC | Source: Catholic.net
Question: Dear Fr Anthony,
Okay, this may be the strangest vocation letter you have ever received; as it comes from one who is currently not even Catholic! To make it short, I was raised to about 13 in a Protestant type tradition; after which I broke from pretty much all religion and refused to believe until I really believed if that makes any sense. I of course was a pretty sinful person and suffered terribly with the idea of death and of there being no God. I can't really say I searched very hard, though it was mostly because I had just no idea where to start looking! Anyway, basically one night about five months ago I think perhaps God may have thought I had suffered and searched enough because I trully feel as if he said "Hey I'm right here!" Because suddenly I truly believed in him with all my heart and soul and oh what a wonderful feeling it was!!
Now the thing that pertains to this question is this; the next thing that came into my head was that I should devote my life to him and to specifically support him in his conversion of souls and assist him in bearing the fruit of faith. This was five months ago, the feeling is still to this day as strong now as it was then. I am of course now involved in an RCIA program. I'm not really sure what I am asking here, I just feel that this is a place where I can be rather candid about these feelings and desires. Does any of this make sense to you? Could God actually be calling a terrible sinner, who is not even been baptized in the Catholic faith (though in the protestant one) to enter into a some type of religious for him and his GLORY? Most people I talk to about this just think I'm being a nut, somehow I think it is perhaps really a wake-me-up from God. I pray for any guidance the Lord may give to me through you; and thank you for this wonderful resource!
Answer: Dear Casey,
Don't worry, what you write does makes a whole lot of sense. God seems to have given you a gift that only he can give, the gift of faith; he gave it to you out of mercy, he is the Father of mercies, and he took pity on you in your darkness and struggle; he "loved you first"; as always, he gives his gift with utmost respect for our freedom, inviting us to get to know him more and open ourselves in love, and you are trying to do that by doing your RCIA and opening your heart to serving him whatever way he wants....
You are at the beginning of your journey, you may not know yet where exactly it will lead or how it will end, but you do know how you intend to walk that journey, with him at the center, being faithful to him.
God is going to show the way to you if you are simple and prudent. Do your RCIA, learn about the faith God has given you, enter the Church when you are ready. That will be the first stage of your journey. Then you will have to take some time to settle down and begin the process of maturing in your faith. To do this start doing something to spread your faith to others and get a spiritual director. Your spiritual director will help you go over your past to see if there is anything there that might tell you that you don't have a vocation. If there isn't, then God may well be calling you and you should start looking around for the particular place he has in mind.
Yours is a beautiful story, I hope all goes well with you as you continue on your way, and please let me know if I can help you further. God bless.
- Fr Anthony
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