Young Girl's Former Catholic Testimony

Sister Olga

Catholicism and Paganism are Related

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus. I'm here to give my testimony of how I came to leave the Catholic Church.
First I would like to talk about my experience of Catholicism growing up, after which I will discuss 3 major doctrines of Catholicism, the role of Mary in the plan of salvation and the Fatima visions, the Eucharist, as well as infant baptism, and how all 3 of these Catholic doctrines and traditions are in opposition to the Bible. I will also share several additional scripture verses that also contradict Catholic dogma and tradition.

As for my upbringing, I was raised Catholic and was quite religious as a young girl, but, decades later when I started to seriously seek God, the Holy Spirit led me to see Roman Catholic practices as false and not the true way to God and salvation. I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana which is a very Catholic city. Both sides of my family were Catholic. When my mom left my father, we moved back to the New Orleans area and lived with my grandparents for a year until mom got remarried. I was 6 at the time, and my grandparents were both very devout Roman Catholics. My grandfather had a special prayer bench in his bedroom where he knelt to say the rosary. They had a big poster of the pope hanging over the TV set in the family room. We went to mass on a regular basis.

Childhood Practices

I performed all the sacraments: did the first communion, went to catechism, made my confirmation at age 13, and even performed a novena when I was 9 which, according to Roman Catholic doctrine, is the youngest age allowable to perform novena. Every Tuesday, for 9 Tuesdays in a row, I would go to the Shrine of Saint Jude on Rampart Street next to the French Quarter. There, in this grotto (a type of cave), I would kneel in front of a statue of Mary or one of the female saints. I made the novena to Saint Martha, the saint with the dragon slayed at her feet, and prayed the novena prayer, which is a special intention prayer where you get your prayer or wish request granted after praying the novena prayers for 9 consecutive Tuesdays.
The special request was that my dead great grandmother receive early dismissal from purgatory in order to get to heaven sooner.

I loved the seemingly mystical aspects of Roman Catholicism, and even as a child, I sensed the sort of magic of Catholicism because, at the gift shop in the church where I made the novena, I asked if they sold Tarot cards which are used for fortune telling. My mother did not want me to ask for Tarot cards at the church gift shop, but I think I asked for them anyway. I was very drawn to the mysticism of Roman Catholicism -- the pretty crystal rosaries and glass prayer beads, the candles, the pretty prayer cards of saints, the holy water, the bells, the incense, the stained glass windows, and all the other trappings. I used to believe that the water when blessed by the priest really had some kind of special power.When I was a child, one of my favorite parts of the mass was when the priest would ring the little bell, and then walk down the aisle, followed by 2 alter boys, and swing an incense burner on a chain while the smoke rose up, after which he sprinkled the holy water walking down the aisle.

As a child I prayed to the dead saints, Mary and also to my dead great grandmother. In New Orleans, we would host the rosary at my grandmother's house during hurricane season. Our Lady of Prompt Succor was prayed to help ward off hurricanes. When I lost an item, my mother told me to pray to St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost items. Later on in life, when I was starting to seek God and I had not yet come out of Catholicism, I was going through a rough time, and a Catholic friend sent me a prayer card of St. Jude, the patron saint of impossible cases. I prayed to St. Jude to help me with my handicapped child. I should have asked God instead.

When I was in my early 40's, I started to seriously seek God after decades of indifference. While I was looking for a church to attend, I was drawn to the ones with the most attractive older stone buildings- it was all about mood and atmosphere, and nothing to do with drawing near to God, but drawing near to seducing spirits.

Since I grew up Catholic, I returned to the Catholic Church because it was familiar to me and also, because I was still drawn aesthetically to the buildings, the stained glass windows and statues which I had always found intriguing. I remember meeting with the priest before joining the church, and I told him I was interested in reading the Bible. He did not seem enthusiastic about me reading scripture on my own, and he warned me to be careful about what I read, that I do not want to read the wrong thing. The priest telling me I should avoid reading on my own did not sit well with me, but made me suspicious. I was also coming under conviction by the Holy Spirit that the focus of my faith should be Jesus and NOT Mary since Jesus is Lord.

I was searching for a more real faith and relationship with God, something that could be lived out every day, and not just on Sundays or holidays. I had heard or read about graven images and idolatry, and I thought about those scriptural truths as I contemplated the statues, candles and Catholic images. I had also remarried someone raised Jewish who talked about idolatry and who had been to Baptist churches in the area. This man was unconcerned about sin but liked the social aspects of "church". (Note that remarriage is adultery if the previous valid covenant spouse is still living; please refer to my testimony on my repentance from remarriage adultery.)

As I had left New Orleans to move to North Carolina, I was now in the heart of the Bible belt. Hence, I decided to give the Protestants a try. (On another side note: we are in a worldwide apostasy that Jesus warned about, and the vast majority of Protestants believe in the popular, but false and deadly doctrine of Once Saved Always Saved which states that once a person becomes a born again Christian, they remain saved and are guaranteed heaven no matter what, in contradiction to the message throughout the Bible that we must endure to the end in heart purity, holiness and obedience to Jesus' word in order to make a final entrance into the kingdom.) However, how I came out of that other false doctrine is another testimony for a different day. At this particular time of my spiritual journey, I was starting to see the serious error in the plan of salvation embraced and taught by Catholicism. I started reading the Bible for myself.

Does Mary Really Have a Role in our Salvation?

As a Catholic, I had heard of the Fatima Visions, which reinforced the primacy of Mary and the rosary in the Catholic plan of salvation. According to Catholic doctrine concerning these visions, Mary said, "I (Mary) will never leave you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God" (p.26 of the booklet, Lucia Speaks on the Message of Fatima). Furthermore, the personage representing herself as Our Lady of Fatima further said, "I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, go to Confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me" (pp.46-47). These 2 doctrines are key beliefs in Roman Catholic practice.

There is nothing in the Bible about Mary having any role in our salvation whatsoever. Furthermore, the Mary in the Catholic Bible was completely unlike the Mary in the Catholic traditions which came to evolve over the centuries, including the Rosary which did not come about until the 10th century AD- almost 1000 years after Christ walked the earth, and which, according to Roman Catholic Doctrine is the epitome of the gospel, but contradicts the true gospel of the Bible.

One of the first Bible truths I came across was John 14:6, where Jesus stated, "I am THE way, truth and life; no one comes to the father except through me." John 14:6. In John 14:6, the phrase THE way means the sole or the only way, and thereby excludes any other way. It is also written that there is only ONE mediator between God and man and that is the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5); if Mary were also a mediator, then there would be 2 mediators, but the Bible says that there is only one. To reiterate, the spirit or personality in the visions who claimed to be the real Mary, mother of the man Jesus, said the following: "I am the Way to God." The spirit also said, "I (Mary) will never leave you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God" (p.26). Both of these statements made from the spirit being in the vision contradict what is in the written word of God. Nonetheless, the Fatima visions and all their content are endorsed by the popes. The issue is not whether or not a vision or miracle took place, but what is the source of the miracle and vision. There are 2 sources of miracles and supernatural occurrences. If a vision or experience leads you closer to the God of the Bible in obedience, then the miracle is from God. If the message of the vision or experience contradicts scripture and leads you away from what is written in the Word of God, then the source of the vision is NOT God but the devil, the enemy of our soul, who is trying to deceive us in order to destroy us spiritually. In addition to the Fatima visions, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventism, and Islam also claim visions, and there are near death experiences. The Devil can duplicate a feeling of peace which he does during transcendental meditation and when taking the communion wafer. I used to get the warm and fuzzies after the host would melt in my mouth. I realize now that this was a seducing spirit and a devilish sign and wonder; it was a counterfeit peace. Since Catholicism and these other religions all claim miracles and visions, and since their messages about salvation are in conflict with each other, we logically know that God cannot be the only power source for miracles and visions. God is not a God of confusion.

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
Test everything. Hold on to the good. (1 Th. 5:21)
In the book of Exodus, we learn that some of God's miracles were duplicated by Satan's power channeled through the Egyptian sorcerers -- their wooden staffs became a snakes (Ex. 7:10-11); water was changed into blood (Ex. 7:20-22) and frogs came out of the water and covered the land. (Ex. 8:6-7)
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, fashioning themselves into apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14).
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie. (2 Thessalonians 2:9).
They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. (Rev 16:14)
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. (1 Tim 4:1)
Remember that the Devil is able to produce visions which he has done with the Fatima Visions, Mormonism, Seventh Day Adventism, Islam and near death experiences, etc.

Points to Ponder about the Catholic Holy Eucharist

Another practice central to Catholicism is the Eucharist or communion wafer being the actual blood and body of Christ. There are some points to ponder though about the Catholic Eucharist. Note especially that the dying thief who was crucified along next to Jesus became saved instantly and went to paradise without communion; also, Zacchaeus the tax collector, Cornelius the Roman centurion, as well as the Philippian jailer all got saved instantaneously without communion (or water baptism).

The verse that has been severely misunderstood by Catholics is John 6:53, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you". When Jn. 6:53 was spoken, the Lord's Supper had not yet taken place. In John's gospel, the Last Supper isn't recorded until chapter 13 and without any emphasis at all on communion. If Jn. 6:53 really refers to the communion wafer, then no one could have life in himself without the wafer from the time these words were spoken until the practice of communion actually began. To reiterate, the 4 persons cited above were saved before the communion of the last supper. Apparently then, Zacchaeus and the others ate the flesh of the Son of Man and drank His blood without having communion, since salvation [or spiritual life] came to them. (See also Lk. 7:48-50.) To eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ means to believe as we see in John 6:68-69, where Peter said to Jesus, "You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God". See also the Apostle John's words in Ch. 20:30-31, "These [the miraculous signs Jesus performed] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have LIFE in his name." This spiritual life comes with believing (trusting on and submitting) Jesus without any connection whatsoever to communion.

Because of the literal interpretation of flesh and blood being communion, Catholics genuflect, a type of adoration or worship, to the communion wafer. Remember: Jesus is also referred to as the True Vine, the Door, and the Gate as well as the Word which is also known as living waters. These other titles of Jesus are not to be taken literally, just as eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus is not to be taken literally.

Also, if Jn. 6:53 is to be literally understood, as in Catholicism, then one is actually eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus during a Catholic mass. According to the doctrine of transubstantiation, the inherent properties of the thing will change; that is, the communion wafer will taste like human flesh and blood. Refer to Jn. 2:7-11 where Jesus changed the water into wine; after that genuine transubstantiation occurred, the inherent properties of the water changed, and it no longer tasted like water but wine. Such biblical truth opposes the Catholic doctrine that the communion wafer is transformed into the body and blood of Christ.

Born Again: the Real and the Catholic Counterfeit

Roman Catholics are taught they were born again at infant baptism. If you think you already have what is needed to enter God's kingdom, you won't be trying to find it. Water baptism as an infant is not equivalent to getting truly born again. The Bible says we are to have faith in Jesus (trust on, believe, and submit to), and to crucify the flesh (put to death the sinful nature). A little baby cannot have faith nor crucify the flesh. A little baby is not accountable. Jesus said:
Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. (John 3:3)
Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. (Jn. 3:5)
But what does "water" mean? The Word of God is likened into water in the New Testament. In fact, the Word (Jesus is also the Word.) is referred to as Living Waters, but people confuse this with actual water. We also see this metaphor repeated in Ephesians 5:25, where it is written, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word." Again water is the Word of God. It is the Word of God that leads to us being born again and washed clean -- not the kind of water we drink or take a bath in. This message is repeated in 1 Peter 1:22-23, where it is written,"Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God." Only at this point, after people have the Holy Spirit stemming from faith in Jesus, are they eligible for water baptism, and this water baptism serves the purpose of a pledge of a clear conscience toward God. (1 Peter 3:21)

Remember that, as stated above, Cornelius, Zacchaeus, the Philippian jailer, and the dying thief on the cross were all saved without water baptism.

All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. (Acts 10:43)

The Queen of Heaven and Idolatry

Catholics pray the Hail Holy Queen prayer at the end of the rosary, in which they proclaim Mary to be the our life, sweetness and hope as well as our most gracious advocate. This idolatry (worship, veneration of another) is serious in God's sight. God on his throne in Revelation 21:7-8 said,
"Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars -- they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."
Praying to (or through) Mary, the saints, dead relatives (which I used to do as a Catholic child), kissing statues or images, and genuflecting in the aisle in front of the Catholic alter before entering the pew (a form of worship) are all idolatrous acts. The pope or anyone else offering incense to an image is pure idolatry and paganism. God in his anger wrote of the sinning, idolatrous Israelites as,
They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images. (Hosea 11:3-4)
Note how God feels about idolatry in the following passage from Jeremiah 7.
"Do you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes to offer to the Queen of Heaven. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to arouse my anger. But am I the one they are provoking? declares the Lord. Are they not rather harming themselves, to their own shame? "Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: My anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place -- on man and beast, on the trees of the field and on the crops of your land -- and it will burn and not be quenched.

"This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go ahead, add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices and eat the meat yourselves! For when I brought your ancestors out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward. From the time your ancestors left Egypt until now, day after day, again and again I sent you my servants the prophets. But they did not listen to me or pay attention. They were stiff-necked and did more evil than their ancestors." (Jeremiah 7:17-26)

At the Hour of Our Death

The "Hail Mary" prayer says, "Pray for us at the hour of our death". At the hour of our death we should pray to Jesus as Stephen did. (Acts 7:59) Furthermore, asking Mary to intercede for us is attributing to her omniscience which is a characteristic of God alone (the 3 persons of the Trinity -- all persons but God in nature). Attributing God's characteristics to a creature is idolatry once again. Mary is unable to hear prayers. Also, sinlessness is another attribute which belongs to God alone.

Romans 3:23 states, "For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God." This declaration includes Mary as well, who also was present with the all the other people in the upper room waiting to be filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:13)

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you." He replied, "Blessed RATHER are those who hear the word of God and obey it." (Luke 11:27-28)
Then Jesus' mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, "Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you." "Who are my mother and my brothers?" he asked.Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother." (Matthew 12:46-50)

A Final Word to Catholics

Do not just trust what the priests, the pope, and your family tell you about eternal life and how to get to God. Read the New Testament for yourself. Jesus told the religious leaders of his day that their traditions of men voided his word. This is the same case with the Catholic Church. The traditions of the veneration of Mary, rosary, communion wafer, sacraments, papal infallibility, etc., are all in contradiction to the Bible. Dust off your old Family Catholic Bible and read it. You will be shocked to find that Mary is not the way to Jesus or God the Father, that she is not the mediatrix and dispenser of all graces, and that she is not the sinless Queen of Heaven or the mother of God. (She is the mother of the man Jesus but not the mother of the I AM who I AM who is the God Jesus; remember, Jesus is the God man -- God is without beginning; he has no mother.) In the Bible you will see that Mary has no role in our salvation - she is not the one we are to pray to at the hour of our death; God is jealous and does not share his glory with another (including Mary); only God is sinless, and there is no purgatory or second chance after death. Jesus said there are only 2 groups of people, 2 roads, 2 gates, and 2 destinations. The idea of purgatory or a limbo is an attempt to create a third way which does not exist. In Hebrews 9:27, it is written, "It is appointed for man to die once, and then the judgment"

When the repentant thief hanging on the cross next to Jesus said, "Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom." Jesus responded, "I tell you this day you will be with me in paradise." (Lk. 23:42-43) Jesus did not say, 'this day you will be in Purgatory'. Please also note that according to Catholic doctrine and tradition, theft is a sin, which even if confessed and forgiven, automatically mandates a layover in Purgatory.

Many people just hope to slip into purgatory, and they do not give any real care to their soul, wrongly assuming that eventually they will do their time and make it to heaven. But Catholic doctrine contradicts the words and teachings of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. It is impossible for 2 religious doctrines that contradict each other to both be true at the same time. Jesus is the ultimate authority on spiritual matters. Period. Do not be deceived by the devil's lies. God will greet you with open arms and will be glad to have you and welcome you into his family IF you come to him humbly on HIS TERMS. Jesus said, "Come unto me all you who are weary, and I will give you rest for your soul". (Mt. 11:28-29) He never said, "Go to my mother". If you are sick, you go to the doctor, not his mother. In other words, just read your Bible, and disregard the teachings and traditions of men. God bless you.

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