Spiritual Warfare Forum: Re. I think I need spiritual Help
Re. I think I need spiritual Help QUESTION from Neville H. August 1, 2001 Dear Brother Ignatius,
I posted a question, some time ago, describing various experiences that concern me, and you graciously replied saying that it does appear that there may be some demonic involvement and that I should convert to the Catholic Church NOW, in order to be able to participate in the sacraments etc.
Unfortunately, I have since been speaking to my local Catholic priest and he says that I can't really join straight away - i.e. it's not as simple as that. He says that if I show up at Church for about a year or so, then I could be considered for the RCIA course and - if I'm still keen after that - then I could be considered for membership of The Church.
This seems a little ridiculous to me! I have been researching the Catholic / Protestant issues for quite some time and am already convinced, and have been for quite a while, that I want to be in the Catholic Church - today! Coupled with that, I have the [previously described] spiritual warfare issues to deal with. Why can I not just join the Catholic Church now?
When someone strays into a Protestant Evangelical, or Pentecostal, church, their members are already trying to recruit them, as soon as they walk in the door - whereas trying to get the Catholic Church to accept me seems to be extremely hard work...
You stated that my comment, from my original post, that I need to resolve all these [SW] issues BEFORE I can join the Church was from a spirit not of God - and that I need to join the Church right away. I agree with you; the question is, how can I fastrack the process???
Thank you very much and may God bless you, Neville.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on July 27, 2001 Dear Mr. Neville:
By now I meant begin the process of joining the church at the earliest opportunity and do not wait until your problems are solved.
Yes, one can go into a Evangelical Church and be a member in five minutes. That is stupid of them and dangerous and one of the reasons Satanist can so easily infiltrate them and why their conversions also don't stick oftentimes.
The Catholic Church requires that you actually BELIEVE in what the Church teaches as a qualification to join. The Church actually wants to make sure you really want to do this. You cannot know if you really want to do this as a response to a emotionally manipulating sermon designed to beat up your emotions to bring you down the aisle to convert. Conversion has little to do with emotions.
The RCIA classes usually begin in late August or early September. You ought to join one of those RCIA classes, which if everything goes well, you can be received into the Church next Easter Vigil.
Unless this pastor knows something about you that I don't know to warrant what he said about attending for a year and then go to RCIA, he is not in line with how things are normally done. But perhaps he knows something about you that makes him suggest that you attend Church for a year FIRST, before taking RCIA. You can always try another parish, but if you must wait a year, then wait a year. You will come under the general protection and grace of the Church as an intended candidate for conversion thus the sacramentals of the church, such as Holy Water, can be available to you (even if the Sacraments cannot be at this time), and you can receive a special grace by virtue of your intention to join.
If it ends up that you have no choice but to wait a year and you refuse to wait and decide not to join the Catholic Church afterall because of the wait, then that would suggest that you are not mature enough and not ready to make a proper conversion.
Yes, becoming Catholic is hard work. BEING Catholic is hard work. Maybe that is why being Catholic is so much more rewarding and valuable and substantive than being Pentecostal. You tend to get what you pay for. Being Catholic is not for the emotionally, spiritually, or intellectually lazy. Being Catholic is offering all that to God and utilizing all your gifts in honor of God. It is hard but rewarding work.
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