Nero burning Christians to light his nighttime spectacles; men, women, and children torn to pieces by wild beasts before cheering crowds: These images constitute much of our cultural memory of the early Christians. It turns out persecutions don’t tell the whole story of the Church in the Roman Empire. But let history serve as a warning.
The demand for freedom without responsibility parallels the growth of the omnipotent state, for radical individualism and invasive government are both rooted in a perverted understanding of humanity. In rejecting God, we have forgotten that, as individuals, who we are is defined by for whom we are.
Conversion stories are as old as the Bible and as contemporary as the latest Damascus Road. But what about people who have never had to discover—or rediscover—the faith into which they were baptized? What can cradle Catholics tell us about discipleship? Read the testimony of a “born Catholic” and see.
Anglican Fr. John Henry Newman’s opinion of the Catholic Church was, to put it mildly, unfavorable. How, then, did this most illustrious of converts—elevated to the altars in 2010 by his admirer Benedict XVI—venture across the Tiber? By seeking truth with humility.
"The gravest obligation requires the acceptance and practice, not of the religion which one may choose, but of that which God prescribes and which is known by certain and indubitable marks to be the only true one."
~ Leo XIII in his Encyclical Immortale Dei (November 1, 1885); on our fundamenal duty; (from the article Religious Toleration)