A few months ago, my wife and I got to know a beautiful couple who were raised Protestant but recently decided to convert to Catholicism. They are preparing to receive the sacraments of initiation.

As part of their OCIA program, they were tasked with writing down why they believe it is good to be a Catholic.

Upon reviewing the husband's reflection, I requested permission to share it anonymously with a wider audience, which he generously agreed to. 

He begins his reflection by noting that before he decided to convert, he had long considered himself a "fan of Catholicism" due to its history and traditions, which he writes "have no parallel in any of the Protestant denominations of which I had been a member."

His "point of no return," he states, came after visiting the famous Italian Catholic sites of Venice, Florence, and Rome, where he was faced with "such unimaginable beauty" dedicated to Jesus that he could no longer remain merely a "fan" of Catholicism.

Here are three reasons it is good to be a Catholic, as penned by a fresh convert to the Church.

1) Clarity On Sin

“The first reason it is good to be a Catholic is that the Church is exceptionally clear on sin. This clarity is a natural extension of the Church’s Magisterium– the teaching authority that has no true equal in any other Church.

"The Church comes under fire from all sides, often from professing Catholics, for its moral teachings. These teachings on topics from abortion to marriage are often the subject of controversies from outside and within the Church. Despite the backlash, the Church stands firm on difficult issues. 

"A church that would cower from the fight against sin would be a church that would find itself emptied within a couple of generations.

"We do not go to church because it wines and dines us and tells us how good we are; rather, we go to church because it is set apart from the rest of the world.

"The Catholic Church is the Church established by Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, and like Christ, the Church is not meant to be like the world, but something greater.”

2) The Catholic Church is the True Church

“The second reason it is good to be a Catholic is that the Catholic Church is the true Church. My favorite justification of this comes from a quote from Hilaire Belloc:

“The Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine — but for unbelievers, a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight.”

"This 'knavish imbecility' demonstrates the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the Church, preserving her through the ages despite humanity’s general ability to mess things up. 

"I am hard-pressed to find another example of an institution that has lasted for 2,000 years. The Catholic Church is the Church founded by Christ, given to the stewardship of Saint Peter, and passed down through a line of apostolic successors to our current pope, Pope Francis. If you must pick a church, it is wise to pick the true Church.”

3) The Sacraments

“The third reason it is good to be a Catholic is the belief in the sacraments given through the Church.

"Many of the sacraments identified by the Church are imitated (often rather poorly) in other churches because they are present in the Gospels as commands from Christ, and Christians rightfully attempt to obey the Lord when He gives commands.

"The Blessed Sacrament, the Eucharist, is reduced by many Protestants to a mere symbol. While their version of the Eucharist might symbolize the real Body and Blood of Our Lord, it is the real thing in the Catholic Church.

Quite simply, when Jesus said 'This is My Body,' He meant it.

"The Church also facilitates the other sacraments– baptism, confirmation, reconciliation, anointing of the sick, marriage, and ordination. Each of the sacraments are crucial forms through which God dispenses His divine grace to us.

"Our Protestant brothers and sisters, if recognizing any sacraments, might recognize baptism and communion as sacraments. More often than not, they have no proper vessel to facilitate reconciliation, ignoring the scriptural command to confess our sins to one another.

"Our Orthodox brothers and sisters have largely adopted the same seven sacraments as the Catholic Church, but the Catholic Church was the first to clearly define them. Why settle for second place?”

Tell us why you think it is good to be a Catholic!

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