I was lucky to have started with a good foundation. I believed in God when I was little because my family believed in God. I saw their example and followed it. However, there a came a day as a child when I decided that, for something this important, I needed to decide for myself what was right and what was wrong, and not just blindly follow. (Because the Catholic Church does not call us to blind faith.)
I remember it vividly, sitting there in church in the alcove of a stained glass window and really thinking about it for the first time. Did God exist? I wasn’t sure; I had no interaction with Him except my one-way prayers. Was the Catholic Church right? They said they were, but then again… they would. Was the Bible true? There was a lot in the Bible.
I tried going through everything in the Bible and a theme began to emerge. The stories in the Old Testament prophesied about Jesus. The Gospels told the story of the life of Jesus. The rest of the New Testament taught the teachings of Jesus. It all came down to Jesus. He was the crux. If He was real, then the rest followed…and if He was fake, then it all fell apart.
How could I prove if Jesus was real?! And then I remembered that others already had! Historians have documented the existence of Jesus. Even other religions, such as Islam and Judaism, acknowledge He existed. This proved that Jesus was real. And if Jesus was real then the Bible was true. And if I accepted the Bible as the Word of God, then it all had to be true…there was no being “Lucky Charms Catholic”, only picking out the pieces I liked.
I was exhilarated! I felt accomplished! It reignited my passion for Jesus!
Looking back, I may have made one or two leaps in logic that day, but it transformed the way I approached my faith. I no longer ignored my doubts, rather I tackled them. I investigated things that didn’t seem right. You want to know what I learned? The Catholic faith is not fragile…it is robust! Time and again, I not only found answers. I found answers that reinforced the rest of the teachings. It all hangs together beautifully.
So over the years I found more proofs for existence of God and the truth of the Bible. For example, living the lessons taught by the Bible does lead to a more meaningful, more fulfilled life. Or how about the fact that the Bible is incredibly accurate in a historical context. And most importantly, I started building the right relationship with God…and He started speaking back. Once you reach that point, there is no longer any doubt that God is real.
But this is why the Catholic Church urges all people (regardless of whether they be Catholic, Baptist, Non-Denominational, Muslim, Jew, or Atheist) to have a critical mind. Ask questions and get real answers. Too often we rely on rumors or the first result on a web search. You need to go to the source, talk to the experts, and read original documents to get the truth for yourself. Everyone should be examining what they believe, trying to poke holes, pull at strings, and pursue doubts because the church is confident that you will get answers…and that those answers will lead you to Jesus.