My name is Charlie and I am the new owner of Birmingham-Oratory.org.uk. I am not affiliated the Birmingham Oratory and simply use this blog to share my views both on life and faith.
I am a convert to the Roman Catholic Church. In the fine English tradition of Cardinal John Newman and Gerard Manly Hopkins, my journey home was a spiritual and philosophical quest that ended on Easter Vigil Sunday in 2006.
I was baptized and confirmed a Lutheran, but the Roman Catholic Church always captured my interest as a child – the drama of the Mass, the passion of the saints and those that sought their spiritual aid – the beauty of the statues and icons. A child’s soul so easily incorporates the physical world into the spiritual. The Sacraments provided tangible succour to the spiritual realities that I was learning about in Bible class.
When I attended university as a young adult, I took a class that examined the ideas and cultures that shaped Western Civilization. We read and discussed Aristotle and Plato and read the works of Saint Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. My love of philosophy was mirrored in these church fathers. Reading Martin Luther’s letters to Rome for the first time, I realized that Protestantism was Christianity devoid of the reason and order of ancient philosophy. The Roman Catholic Church, however, used ancient philosophy to further support and give credence to the tenants of the Christian church and the importance of the Sacraments. I began to read the Roman Catechism. Many of the prejudices I heard as a youngster were discounted by the official words of the Church. Much that I did not understand was explained, with references for additional reading.
During this time, I also travelled to Italy. I saw the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, the churches of Florence, and Saint Francis’ grotto in Assisi. It wasn’t meant to be a pilgrimage, but it further drew me to the history and unity of the Roman Catholic Church. As a student of history I decided that if I truly was a Christian, it only made sense to follow the authentic origins of the Christian church. The more I looked towards Rome and Peter, the Rock upon which the Church was built, the more I realized that my spiritual home was the Roman Catholic Church.
I started RCIA classes in 2005 and converted during the Easter Vigil Mass in 2006. I continue to seek, to serve, and to worship trusting in the three pronged stool that is the Roman Catholic Church – Holy Scripture, Church tradition, and the Church Magisterium.
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