It has been a little less than two years since I converted to Catholicism from the ideas of the New Age and militant atheism. After the internal struggle I had to go through to completely renounce my old beliefs, which I held for decades of my life, it was like a rebirth, a new life. It is not easy to change an entire belief system for one that condemns the practices by which I even made a living. However, my spiritual experience was so real that I had no choice but to humble myself before the cross and embrace Christ.
However, in an effort to not let go of my old customs, I struggled with justifications I gave myself to continue with those practices. It wasn’t easy, but thanks to daily prayer and studying the scriptures, I managed to break free from it all. When I finally mustered the courage to enter a church and confess my transgressions, I felt the weight that had tormented me for years lifted off my shoulders. Once again in a state of grace, I had the joy of receiving the Eucharist and being in communion with Jesus, just as He commands in John 6:53-58.
When I publicly announced my conversion, the first reaction of my “friends” with whom I used to engage in witchcraft, tarot reading, and other abominations, was, of course, to turn their backs on me. Many of them stopped following me. I didn’t care; I already knew that would happen, although I was saddened that some of them, who claimed to see me as a friend, couldn’t tolerate my new conviction. They showed no curiosity in knowing my testimony, and some even ignored it, thinking that I would become some strange hybrid Christian who identifies as Catholic but continues to read tarot cards. In the face of my refusal, all I saw were backs and doors closing in front of me.
Other more tolerant friends did have the kindness to ask me why I chose to be Catholic instead of being a generic Christian, as if Catholics weren’t Christians. They pointed out the “worshiping of saints and virgins” as an intellectual or spiritual setback. By that point, I had devoured hundreds of Catholic apologetics videos, consecrated myself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary, and had a constant and unwavering routine of prayers every morning and night. It was then that I decided to start Soldier of Truth Publishing. I felt prepared to publicly defend my rediscovered faith, armed with tools to answer questions and a support system that I had never had before: the Magisterium of the Church.
Returning to the question, why Catholic and not Baptist, Adventist, or Pentecostal? When I felt the call of Christ, my first reaction was to pray the Rosary; it was what I had learned as a child and what I was accustomed to. I didn’t want to go back to attending evangelical churches that felt foreign to me. Being a cradle Catholic, it seemed like the most natural choice. However, that is not my answer to the question, “Why Catholic?” It’s not because I was raised that way. No. I had been rebellious and left the Church as soon as I entered adolescence. My return is more than just nostalgia for my younger years or a feeling of guilt. My reason runs deeper. It’s because I discovered that Catholicism IS TRUE.
I remember that when I was an atheist, my motto was to say, “If someone presents me with evidence of God’s existence, I will believe.” I always had that intellectual honesty. The process of moving away from atheism was simple, with the understanding that God exists, I left nihilism, although I fell into paganism because my main objection was my denial of the need for a Savior. I used to say that human nature is what it is, and that God cannot condemn creation for its natural passions. Understanding that these “passions” are actually disorders of our behavior inherited from Eve’s disobedience was the first step in giving the idea of redemption a chance.
A particular friend, who is embracing Judaizing ideas, was especially incisive and critical of my decision. I don’t blame her. In my search, I myself ventured into dark places where the light of Jesus Christ was absent. Therefore, I had no doubt in disregarding her rejection of Catholicism because it is based on the rejection of our Messiah, an indisputable truth in the scriptures.
But why not evangelical Christian, they asked me. “They adhere to the Bible,” they said. “Catholics are idolaters who kneel before statues and have ‘pagan’ practices like the Rosary, which is nothing more than repetitive prayers. The virgins, the saints… a regression!” Not at all. For me, it was progress because paganism is actually believing in nature’s energies to worship, ignoring the Creator. Catholicism was, for me, a spiritual advancement.
I cannot be a Protestant because I don’t believe that the Bible alone can be interpreted, nor do I believe that by reading it alone, cover to cover, I could arrive at a correct interpretation. Catholicism gave me the comfort of having a Magisterium that interprets it for me, just as Jesus promised in John, chapter 14, verses 16-17. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)
In these verses, Jesus speaks to his disciples about the coming of the Holy Spirit as “another Helper” or “Advocate” who would be with them and in them. The Spirit of truth would be sent by the Father to be with them always and guide them in truth. This promise is fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descends upon the disciples and empowers them for the mission of the Church. Other passages that also refer to this promise can be found in John 16:13 and Acts 1:8.
The real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist was another strong reason that keeps me in the Catholic Church. Remembering the teachings of the Salesian Catholic school I attended in my childhood, and delving deeper into its study, I cannot help but attend Mass to partake in that banquet.
The presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is found in the Gospel of John, chapter 6, verses 53-58:
“So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” (John 6:53-58, ESV)
In these verses, Jesus speaks explicitly about the importance of eating his flesh and drinking his blood in order to have eternal life. He states that his flesh is true food and his blood is true drink. Jesus is speaking symbolically about the institution of the Eucharist, where the bread and wine are transformed into his body and blood. These verses have been interpreted by the Church as an affirmation of the real and substantial presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.
Mary, Mother of Christians.
The presence of Mary in the Catholic Church was another reason that enamored me with the Catholic faith. Unfortunately, in Protestant churches, Mary has been chosen to be ignored, either out of fear that praising her goes against the Scriptures (Spoiler alert, the Bible is not against it, see Proverbs 31:31). This hostility towards our Mother Mary comes from a misinterpretation of the veneration of her person, who is actually the living vessel and bridge through which the Word became flesh. I don’t want to be an orphan, so I welcome Mary into my home, who was given to us by Jesus Himself on the cross, in John 19:25-27.
But, Jesus is in our hearts, not just in churches.
I don’t believe that Jesus is just about “relationship” and not religion. I believe that Jesus established a Church with a defined hierarchy and an apostolic authority that has maintained tradition for over two thousand years.
I am happy to be Catholic. I have never been happier. My mission in life is to defend the Catholic faith until the end of my days. Whoever wants to hear, let them listen. I don’t seek to impose a belief, but rather to give reasons for my faith, which is supported by philosophy, biblical historicity, and eschatological reasoning that provides answers to important questions such as the purpose of life and the destiny of souls.
Thanks to the mercy of Jesus who forgave me, it is by His grace that I am here today, transformed into a soldier for His cause, to spread the truth and His message of peace.
May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ fill your homes. And if you have a lost family member in atheism and the New Age, know this: there is hope. It was thanks to the countless hours my mother spent before the Blessed Sacrament that I am here today, praising the Lord and making these videos. Ask the Lord for those graces. As my mother used to say, Jesus is the friend who never fails.