Finding

The lost coin, the lost sheep, the promised land, all of these and more. Things of worth, things sought for, things found. The Holy Catholic Faith is full of seeking and finding. Jesus said to seek and find. Matthew 7:7. The Good Shepherd goes after the lost sheep, the Lady of the house searches for the lost coin, all of Israel wanders the desert trying to find the promised land. Obviously finding is important.

 

A personal testimony …

 

By the time I was 16 I had taken I forget how many Bible correspondence courses, had read some rather exotic volumes like the Book of Enoch, had researched what the major denominations and their off-shoots taught and why, knew the difference between the Holy Flesh and Shepherds Rod movements and why they were (look ’em up), and could find pretty much any verse you wanted in the Bible without going to the concordance. This is not as impressive as it might sound. In all of this I had uncovered only two things. #1: I knew what I didn’t believe. #2: I knew everybody was wrong. And “everybody” included me because I had to admit that I had no clue. (I need to add a third thing. I also learned that I’m some sort of idiot savant. The study of religion is about the only thing I’m good at. Go figure.)

 

What set all this off? Why the search? Well you see my grandparents raised me. My grandfather wasn’t religious per se but he read and studied constantly. He’d done a lot of searching over the years too. And he had grown to detest what he termed “Churchanity”. He came to the conclusion that they were all wrong, had all gone astray from the truth (whatever that was), and he would have none of it. I got the search from him but we ended up going in different directions.

 

In searching one of the “rules” Granddad instilled in me was that you always go to the source. If you want to know what the First Church of Whatever teaches go ask a First Whatever preacher but do not go ask a member of another group because they won’t tell you what the First Church teaches. They’ll give you their slant on what the First Church teaches. So you don’t take second-hand info to heart, you go to the source. And this is where Granddad shot himself in the foot. Because he was adamantly anti-Catholic. He literally hated the Catholic Church. Why? Because of everything he’d ever heard or been told about it. But he never read a catechism or talked about the whys of the faith with a priest or looked into it on a first hand basis. So …

 

I knew that the truth was out there. God wouldn’t give it and then hide it. So there had to be someone somewhere with it. I just need to find them to find it. But I’d already looked into all these groups and it was obvious to me they had no more clue than I did. They contradicted themselves, concocted doctrines out of thin air and thinner proof texts, and bottom line didn’t have a theological leg to stand on. Understand it wasn’t the people, I knew they were sincere. I also knew they were sincerely wrong. What to do? And then the light came on. There was only one place left to look. The place Granddad hated so much but had never looked into. Once I saw that I went knocking on the rectory door.

 

I was 18 by now. Granddad had died. His search had ended. I hope it turned out well and trust that it did because I know God looks at the heart and takes our ignorance and the lies we’re told and that we believe in our innocence into account. But my search was still on. And at this point it was on the porch of the Roman Catholic Church rectory. And I knocked.

 

Father McGuinness was second generation American. His family still had ties to Ireland. He was kind of small, short with a slight build. Quiet, not shy but with a sort of kind reserve. He began to teach me catechism. I probably drove the old man nuts but he was patient. And understanding. He explained the Catholic truth behind the lies believed by non-Catholics. I began to see that everything I’d been told, all the info Granddad had sincerely passed on to me in his ignorance, the things the pastor of the First Church of Whatever had shared me concerning the Catholic Church were wrong. And I began to see, of all thing, not just the truth about the Catholic Faith but I began to see … The TRUTH. It was out there, I had found it. This was a reasoned faith that you couldn’t punch theological holes in. This was more than a “We believe this because … ” It was a “We believe this because of this and this and then there’s this and lets not forget … ” And so on. It covered all the bases without really trying. I’ve discovered that the truth is like that. I was baptized at age 20.

 

Over the years I continued to ask questions, to study. I still study but the questions have pretty much stopped. I’ve gotten to many good answers. Now I just trust the answers are there and that God will let me know what I need to know when I need I need to know it.

 

Finding is important. Its important enough to keep searching til you find it. Its important enough that you ought not become discouraged. And always go directly to the source.

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Published in: on October 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm  Comments Off on Finding  
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