So, we have read a lot, prayed, gone to mass, attended RCIA, and are no longer technically considering Catholicism...we are joining! We are excited. I am overwhelmed by the amount of writings of the Church over the years and have loved diving into them over the past few months. It is no exaggeration to say that I have read more in the last three months than in any three months in my life. I have also listened to many tape/cd series' on various topics from conversions to the Eucharist.
I have started to read the Bible more than ever and it reads very differently with what I know now. I can't explain it except to say that it all just fits better. Verses fit better within chapters, which fit better within books, which fit better within the whole theme of the Bible.
I have also begun to have a peculiar devotion to Mary. She is such a great example of a Christian. I see how Catholic doctrine on Mary leads us to Christ, not away from him. I see how honoring the Saints does the same thing.
I have also developed my own theory of what keeps people away from the Catholic Church (I have had some help from many writers and speakers as indicated above). I think the main thing that keeps people away from the Catholic Church is their opinion of her authority. If one can get past the fear of the religious authority of the Church, the tough doctrines really begin to fall away. It is a lot like learning to trust a person except that person is really thousands of people who built the Church on Peter, the Rock and the first Pope. It is very freeing to know that the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus and "the gates of hades will not overcome it." I can rest well in that!