This Truth-seeker sounds a lot like me in many respects. I was a Reformed Baptist before taking my sideways misstep into the Anglican / Episcopalian void [before finally entering The Catholic Church]. I was taught that the Pope is the Anti-christ and Rome is the whore of Babylon – and I taught it myself as a Baptist ‘pastor’… I taught a lot worse, too.
I mocked the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and did so repeatedly and publicly in my ‘sermons’. I led people away from the Truth, and into the kind of blasphemy that is soul destroying and worthy of Hell.
I actively recruited Roman Catholics to share in my protestant hatred of all things Catholic. I ‘evangelized’ them in numbers, and sadly, quite successfully – enough to fill the new church building I put up with their donations. I filled their ears with heresy, tried to rob them of their Blessed Mother and deny them access to the prayers of the Saints. I was a rabid anti-Catholic heretic who ‘thought he was doing God a favor’ by saving these poor superstitious souls.
‘Come out from among them and be ye separate,’ says the Lord, ‘and touch not the unclean thing.’ So said Isaiah and so said I. Only, I quoted it to Catholics who, I thought, couldn’t be Catholic and Christian. It was one or the other.
If anyone deserved Hell and not mercy it was me. It is nothing short of a miracle of grace that Jesus Christ decided to rescue me from my ignorance and turned that verse from Isaiah back on my own hard heart. ‘Come out from among them!’ and I did.
I will spend the rest of my life doing penance for what I have done. ‘I will show him what great things he [St. Paul] must suffer for My Name’, our Lord said to Annanias after St. Paul’s conversion. I expect no less, for, like him, I persecuted the Church. Yet, even this is a mercy in which I actually rejoice. After all, what is the alternative? To be left in my heresy and pride-filled protest against that Church that is good and true and beautiful, against the One who is Good… and reap what I have sown for all eternity.
‘Rev’: Listen to the advice that Ann gave you. Run, don’t walk. Count the cost, so you can see, like I did, how precious Jesus is in His Church. When you lose your extended family, all your Baptist buddies, your ministry, and your congregation’s respect; when your mother, through her tears, tells you that ‘you’ve really hit rock bottom now and you couldn’t have done anything worse’; and when the cost includes losing your means of feeding your family, and having no rectory/parsonage or roof to put over the heads of your children, in other words: just about everything… that cost is NOTHING compared to the salvation of your soul, and that of your wife and children.
Then watch our Lord provide. He is no one’s debtor. Have faith and move forward… at the double.
Happy news – “Rev” reposts back that he found on the lists provided a Latin Mass parish TWENTY MINUTES from his house, which in terms of modern American sprawl is categorized as “in the back yard”.