My wife was born after WWII and grew attending the Roman Catholic Church every Sunday. But when it came to Vatican II, she couldn’t understand why the changes were being made. I’ve spoken to several Catholics who have expressed the same sentiments.
She tells me that the final straw was the ” no eating meat on Fridays” change. She was brought up eating fish on Fridays and when the change was made, she thought that if they could just change all these seemingly fixed principles of the religion, then nothing else about it was necessarily sacred or true. So she ate her first Friday hamburger and quit attending completely. Nobody seemed to miss her, nobody called to check on her well-being. Pastoral care seems like it was completely missing to me.
But that isn’t the end of the story! After she and I married in the mid-70’s (I was a Zen-Buddhist at the time), we attended a Marriage Encounter weekend. An amazing experience on its own, we both learned much about ourselves and how to truly communicate in a loving way. But for my wife, this was a truly special weekend – she had a vision of the Lord Jesus, in all His glory. Needless to say, it changed her forever.
She was instantly filled with a love for Him, and she thought where to go to learn more about Jesus? To the Roman Catholic Church, of course! So she fully returned to the church, attending Mass daily at some points. This lasted for about 3 years, but the longer she went to Mass, the more she felt the vision of Jesus fading from her. Even daily attendance at Mass didn’t help.
Then one day, a friend of hers suggested that she come with her to a meeting of “Jewish Christians” out on Long Island, east of NY city. Jewish Christians she asked herself? How could Jews be Christians? Well, she went nonetheless. It was a Messianic Fellowship of Jews and Gentiles who were born again. She heard the teaching of the Bible in a new and living way. And when she heard another person speaking in tongues, she knew that she had found her new church home. The sound of tongues being spoken reminded her of her experience during her vision of the Lord where she had been baptized in the Holy Spirit.
At last, someone explained to her that during her vision the Holy Spirit had entered her and taken up residence within her. She learned that she was born again, just as Jesus had spoken of in John 3. About a year later, after much intercessory prayer, I too heard the voice of God literally speaking to me as I attended a Zen Buddhist retreat, and my life has never been the same since.
It seems that the Roman Catholic Church has lost the keys to the kingdom. Peter heard them in his mind as he spoke in answer to Jesus’ question;
“Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
We must all hear the living Word of God spoken to us by Him. If God has not reached down and touched you, then I’m sorry to say that you are following the broad path that leads to destruction. I am a person of no reputation, I am a sinner saved by God’s grace. He reached down and spoke to me because I was searching to find Him. You can too. Seek with all of your heart and He will answer you, just as He did my wife and myself.