This week’s Ask Alice: I’ve been looking into becoming Catholic. Some advice, please!



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She’ll answer your Catholic questions
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Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

G.Y. writes: I’ve been looking into becoming Catholic, as I keep having a dream that Jesus himself is asking me to. I agree with the Bible but I’m scared I will be rejected by the church, due to having a bad past, having sinned, and lived in sin. Could you give me some advice?

Alice answers: How blessed you are that Jesus is calling you to become a Catholic! Treasure each dream of our Precious Lord, and don’t hesitate to answer Jesus’ loving call!

Throughout the Bible, God speaks to people in dreams. Samuel was a young boy when God awakened him at night:

“…Samuel was sleeping in in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was. The Lord called to Samuel, who answered, ‘Here I am.” (1 Samuel 3:4)

There is no perfect time to change our lives. It’s never the ideal time to get married, have a baby, change careers, or move to another country. Similarly, there’s no perfect time to become a Catholic. When Jesus called his disciples, they were at work. They immediately stopped what they were doing, walked off their jobs, and left their careers, families and friends to follow Jesus.

“As they were walking along the Sea of Galilee he watched two brothers, Simon now known as peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea. They were fishermen. He said to them, ‘Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.’ They immediately abandoned their nets and became his followers.” (Matthew 4:18-20)

Don’t worry about getting rejected. Ours is a church of sinners. Adam and Eve, our first parents, committed the original sin. Moses was a murderer, yet God called him. King David was an adulterer. Jesus expelled 7 demons from Mary Magdalene. Peter denied our Lord.

The Church will not reject you, since every priest is a shepherd, divinely commissioned to bring sinners (lost sheep) back to God.

“All men have sinned and are deprived
of the glory of God.”
(Romans 3:23)

Like you, everyone has fears and doubts about doing God’s will. Fear never comes from God, but from evil spirits who are busy trying to lure us away from the Lord, and His path of righteousness.

1) Pray for God’s guidance. Don’t wait or hesitate to answer God’s call.

2) Start going to Mass every week. Make an appointment to talk with a priest. Tell him you want to become Catholic. Do whatever he tells you. If he invites you to join RCIA, attend the classes. Even if you’re living “in sin” start attending classes, anyway. You don’t have to make an immediate commitment to be baptized. Jesus came to save sinners. That means you, me … and every person on earth.

3) Surrender to God. Don’t worry about how becoming a Catholic will change your life. God has the perfect solution to every problem you face. Simply surrender your heart to God, and let Him caress you with His loving care. God will give you all the grace you need to become Catholic.

Be assured that I am praying for you. Please let me know what happens on your faith journey.

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

*****

Doug Lawrence adds: One of the most practical benefits of being Catholic is to be able to confess one’s sins, in and through the great Sacrament of Reconciliation, no matter how bad they might be … and receive immediate, absolute assurance of God’s forgiveness, grace, and inestimable love.

That shouldn’t be surprising, since one of the very first things Jesus did after rising again from the dead, was to give the apostles (and their duly ordained successors) the power to forgive sins … something which had, until that moment … been reserved to God, alone:

As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them (John 20:21-23)

Dreaming about Jesus calling you to become Catholic is totally biblical, since it was one of the things that was prophesied in the Old Testament of the Bible, and later confirmed by Saint Peter and others, in the New Testament scriptures.

I would definitely “go” with that!

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Happy Thanksgiving to all!

This Week’s Ask Alice: “RCIA Issues” and “Trouble With Bible Interpretation”



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Kimberly writes: I started my RCIA in September and have been enjoying learning about God. I have run into the fact that I don’t believe in everything they are teaching and the fact that I’m feeling judged. They even went as far as to tell me I should leave my boyfriend because he was married and has not been granted a annulment yet.

I’m going through some major pain and am starting to resent the church I really want to baptized in to Jesus name and I have worked very hard to do so. I love the church and most of what they stand for but there are some things I just don’t know about.Also I believe God is ever loving and forgiving and as long as your trying your best to be a good person and follow him he will be with you and forgive you for the mistakes you have made.

Please help me. I’m very torn. Do I look into other churches, or do I get baptized Catholic even know I don’t believe all their teachings??

Alice answers: Your RCIA struggles deeply touch my heart. In 1999, my 69-year-old neighbor, Bob, was dying from lung cancer. Although he lived next door for 22 years, I never knew that Bob, his wife and foster daughter never were baptized. After learning that they did not know the Lord, I began praying with my 8th Religious Education students that Bob would be baptized before he died.

At the start of every class, my 8th graders would ask, “Did Bob get baptized yet?” Every week I’d bake cake, pie or cookies for Bob in the hopes that my frequent visits would help bring him to the Lord. One evening Bob confided to me that he was in RCIA classes when he was 27 years old. Gently, I asked what happened. “The priest called to ask me why I stopped coming. I quit going to RCIA because I was afraid I couldn’t obey all the commandments. I had some doubts,” Bob answered with tears in his eyes.

I explained to Bob that none of us obeys the 10 commandments all of the time. All of us struggle with doubts and weaknesses. “All men have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) That’s why Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Ours is a God of love and mercy. Each day we fail in many ways. But the Lord is always waiting with His arms wide open to forgive us.

Back to Bob…….. My students kept praying, and I began calling priests to come to Bob’s house since he was too weak to get out of bed. No priest would visit Bob. At the end of November my 8th graders asked, “Did Bob get baptized yet?” That night I went home and sobbed wondering how I ever could face my 8th graders if Bob died without Baptism. The next morning I brought a bottle of Holy Water and baptized Bob, who died 10 days later. In 1999, my 8th graders taught me an unforgettable lesson about the power of prayer. Bob’s wife and daughter attended RCIA and became Catholics in 2004.

Kimberly, please, please stay in RCIA! God knows that you and I are not perfect. Don’t concern yourself with what people in RCIA think of you. All that matters is what God thinks of you. Kimberly, God loves you more than you can ever imagine. Do not seek baptism in another faith. The Catholic religion is the one true faith, founded by Jesus Christ Himself in 33 A.D. Don’t settle for another religion because it seems easier.

You still can see your boyfriend if you don’t have sex with him. Easy? Not at all. Why not ask for God’s grace to make this sacrifice? If your boyfriend really loves you, he will be understanding and seek an annulment.

Easter Vigil is just one month away. You are so close to becoming a Catholic. Remember my neighbor, Bob. Don’t run away and risk missing all of the sacraments and graces God has waiting for you. Kimberly, I’m praying that you will stay with RCIA and become a Catholic at Easter Vigil. Please let me know what happens.

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

*********

A.P. Asks: In the Bible under Genesis 2:7, it states: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

Within this one verse it says that one is not living until the first breath of the nostrils. I have always been taught by the Catholic church says life starts at conception. If you could please inform me of some resources as to why the Church teaches one way when it clearly states the opposite in the Bible. In what law of the church does it state that life begins at conception? I also understand that a lot of the church’s teachings are implied from the Bible. What can you say to something written so clearly?

Alice Responds: Actually, the Bible does teach us that life begins at conception. However, we must read more than the first two chapters of the Bible (Genesis 2:7) to discern God’s gift of human life. Here are three Scripture passages which describe the beginning of human life at conception:

“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

“Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made. My soul, also, you knew full well; nor was my frame unknown to you when I was made in secret, when I was fashioned in the depths of the earth.” (Psalm 139:13-15)

“Oh, remember that you fashioned me from clay! Did you not pour me out as milk and thicken me like cheese? With skin and flesh you clothed me, with bones and sinews knit me together.” (Job 10:9-11)

Like the creation account in Genesis 2:7, these Scripture verses reveal God’s creation of each person in his/her mother’s womb.

Scientific evidence supports these Biblical truths, since a human embryo has its first heartbeat at the age of 3 weeks. At 6 weeks gestation, an embryo’s heartbeat is visible on an ultrasound. Although an embryo can’t breathe on its own, the umbilical cord gives the baby a constant supply of oxygenated and nutrient-filled blood from the placenta.

Clearly, science complements Scripture in illuminating God’s precious gift of life!

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

Doug Lawrence adds: Genesis records a series of unique, one-time events at the very beginning of man’s creation, where God literally hand-crafted Adam, the first man, from dirt. Then, as you point out, God brought him to life.

Prior to that seminal, life-giving event, Adam was no more than a piece of clay. It was also much the same with Eve (except for that rib). But shortly afterwards, the normative, procreative, human reproductive process would proceed in a totally different way.

All future “souls” would be created by God with man’s cooperation, as the result of a two-into-one flesh union. The little children who resulted from that flesh union would all be truly human … not clay … from the moment of their conception.

The Catholic Church clearly understands and appreciates the profound difference between creation and procreation, so the Church infallibly teaches that a new human life begins when the sperm and the egg meet and become one … at conception. Based on all the scientific evidence in existence, the Church is absolutely right!

It’s always important to read the Bible in the proper context … and that context is always in accordance with the infallible teachings of the Catholic Church … since it is the Catholic Church … not the Bible  … which was given the awesome power and authority to teach, govern, and sanctify in Jesus’ name … for the purpose of our salvation.  

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