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среда, 13 марта 2013 г.

Habemus Papam!

Wow, what a night it was! We were watching the online broadcast from Vatican after we saw the white smoke and couldn't wait to see the new Pope. Then, after we've heard the big news I called my son's godmother who's from Argentina to congratulate her with such a big event for Argentina.

So, yes, big day for us.

I think it's time to tell my story - how I became Christian.

As far as I can remember I considered myself Christian. My parents are both lapsed Orthodox and the only one person in my family who believed in Christ was my grandmother Maria from Belorussia who was baptist. She read me stories from the Bible when I was a kid and thought me how to pray every day. But after I've read the Bible and did some research on early church History I realised that the notion of a pope makes perfect sense.

I observed Matthew 16 mixed with Isaiah 22 to show Peter as the rock and leader of the church. First Timothy 3:15 says that the church is the pillar of truth.

I became aware that scripture itself came from the church. The church predates scripture and without an authoritative church the very bible so many use to disprove the Catholic Church would not have existed.

Ok, let's say you want to know everything about the World War II. Who will you ask about it? The WWII veteran? His son or grandson? A history teacher? Or a man who lived thousand years after the WWII and tells you 'This veteran, his kids who have heard his war stories know nothing! I can tell you everything about WWII! I know how it was.' Obvious answer, isn't it? 

Many of the Fathers knew or were born a generation away from the apostles. I believe that those people closest to the source might know more about the Bible than someone else would. I also believed that the idea of Scripture alone as authority isn't right. Without help in interpreting scripture people can not agree on many points essential to salvation and church authority, and have split thousands of times. Without someone to guard the scriptures a lot of cults and dangerous teachings manipulate people to this day using the bible. 

I was most impressed by the fact that the church was  one for 1500 plus years.

If a fundamentalist position is correct that means that there were no correct practicing Christians all that time, and that's not true.

So how did I came to such thoughts? I was baptised as Orthodox at 21.  I never thought of being an Orthodox . I baptised beacause my mother-in-law was blackmailing me. Yes, that may sound weird. I still had one year of my Universiry degree to finish, we didn't have any money for a babysitter, my mom worked full-time and could babysit my daughter only 2 days a week while I needed to be at the Unversity for 5 days a week. So my mother-in-law suggested to babysit Sasha for  other 3 days left. I was really happy and thankfull. But after a month Sasha caught flu and has been sick for like 2 weeks. So my mother-in-law became obsessed with the idea that my daughetr is sick only because she's not baptised. And if I didn't baptise her she won't babysit her anylonger. What can I say, Russian people are superstitious:( I went to local Orthodox church and it turned out that you can't baptise a child if one of the parents or both are not baptised in Orthodox. My husband was an Orthodox too, so  I thought I had no choice. I was baptised Orthidox.

After my baptism I couldn't find peace. I felt like I've made a huge mistake, that I shouldn't be afraid of my mother-in-law and that it wasn't my choice. I felt like a slave, like everyone can take my opinion and choice and throw it into trash bag. So I started reading and studying Bible to find some answers - maybe to find out that the Orthodox church is the one Jesus was speaking about. The more research I did, the more I've become convinced that if there is a true Church - it's Catholic. It took me a year to go to my first Mass. I finally went to church and then...I cried. I cried like a baby. Because I felt home. Even when I'm writing this line my eyes are wet. I felt it. I felt the Holy Spirit, something I had a doubt  a person can feel. I couldn't wait anymore. I went to the priest and asked him how can I become Catholic. I went home and had only one wish - to tell everything to Lesha.

We were having dinner as I mustered up the nerve to tell Lesha about my decision. I prayed: 'Please God, give me the sign if this choice is right!'  As I've opened the month Lesha started to speak: 'You know, I've been to Catholic Cathedral yesterday. I know you'll be shocked and mad, but I'm converting to Catholicism.' I was speechless. If it's not a sign I've been asking for I don't know what else is. I was like: 'Oh my God! Me too'. 
We were so happy!

Being Catholic in Russia is sometimes really hard. A lot of people here hate Catholic Church. My mother-in-law haven't spoken to me since our convertion (we converted the same day). Some of my friends stopped calling me after they've heard the big news. But it's worth it. Because I'm finally in peace.

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