What do we mean by converting to Christianity?
By converting to Christianity, we mean two things, the first is moral or so-called symbolic conversion, it is the recognition that Christ is God, that our Lord Jesus Christ in all his love has embraced the human condition in order to to prove to us that he loves us. The first meaning here is therefore that of recognizing the dogmas taught by the Bible and by the Church as truth. The second thing that is meant by converting to Christianity is much more formal and is the fact of receiving the sacrament of baptism which is the sacrament allowing a man or woman to become a Son of God and to conceal this union of love between him and Christ.
Obviously, these two aspects of conversion are not done simultaneously, the sacrament of baptism requires a certain time before being received, approximately 1.5 years if one is an adult and has not received it child, moral conversion is therefore made before this sacrament of baptism because it is directly at the origin of the latter. It is because we have recognized Christ as God, as Lord, and as Savior that we wish to be linked to him for eternity and thus receive the sacrament of baptism.
We will therefore first see the case of formal conversion, therefore receiving the sacrament of baptism, in order to clearly emphasize the fact that this is the ultimate objective for a person wishing to convert to Christianity.
Subsequently, we will see the case of moral conversion in order to better understand what said person can and must do while waiting to receive the sacrament of baptism.
The Ultimate Goal: Getting Baptized
Baptism is surely the sacrament par excellence, it is the sacrament which will bind man to God by binding him for eternity, this is why we cannot be baptized twice because this baptismal act It has no end and therefore cannot be removed or performed a second time. Furthermore, no sin, even the most mortal, can annul a baptism.
Baptism is a gift from God so it cannot be forbidden to anyone and does not work on merit, it can therefore easily be given to young children as has always been the case, even in the first Christian communities.
For adults it is different, baptism is systematically done at Easter so that it is a great joy after a long journey for the catechumens (adults following the catechism). If you are in a hurry, don't be sad, this moment will only be more beautiful because it has been waiting for a very long time!
The form of baptism is quite simple, in short it is enough for the baptized person to receive water under sprinkling (on the head) and for the words to be pronounced "I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit"
Finally, a baptized person sees their sins washed away by the sacrament of Baptism. Indeed, he is a new creature in Christ and all the sins committed previously in his old life are completely erased as well as the penalty due to them.
Baptism is therefore surely the most important sacrament for a Christian and it must be what every new believer who wants to be part of the Christian community and the Church of God aims towards.
Read the Bible
One of the imperatives to be able to fully embrace the Christian faith and to believe from the depths of one's heart what the Bible teaches, so and this seems obvious, one must read the Bible.
The Bible is made up of two parts: The Old Testament and the New Testament. Please note, the term ancient is not pejorative and means rather first in the sense of chronology than ancient. The Bible has 73 books, all of great importance and sometimes in different forms, notably the Books of Wisdom.
Approaching the Holy Bible for the first time is not an easy thing; you can quickly get lost in this immensity of pages and not know where to start. For a person discovering the Bible and Christianity, the Church advises to always begin with a Gospel and particularly with the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark due to the fact that the latter is very clear and succinct thereafter you will be able to turn towards the 3 other gospels then towards the acts of the Apostles, the different letters of the Apostles and finally return to the Old Testament in order to read it in the reading of the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The price of a Bible varies depending on different factors and in particular the quality of its cover, the Church does not really give a precise indication as to the Bible to buy but the different versions most recommended are the Jerusalem Bible , the Official Liturgical Translation Bible or even the People's Bible which can be found at very affordable prices. Note that you can ask your priest to lend you a Bible, he will obviously not refuse.
You have therefore understood, we hope, the immense importance of reading the Word of God because it is it which reveals to us the infinite love of God and the different miracles, revelations and acts that the latter has done. and will do for us in particular thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ and his eternal love.
To go to church
Obviously, it is a necessity for every Christian to attend Mass and more generally at church during the week or at weekends in your free time if you wish.
Attending the Holy Mass is a duty for every Christian because it is precisely during this period that the assembly of the people of God is gathered to glorify him and in particular to offer him the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist composed of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in whom he is truly present. Please note that if you have not yet been baptized you cannot receive the sacrament of the Eucharist but do not worry, when receiving the host you can cross your arms and thus receive a blessing on the forehead of the Priest or a Deacon.
If you are never in church you may feel fear, or stress, the fear of disturbing or doing something stupid, especially during Mass. Don't worry, no one will judge you and you won't bother anyone on the contrary everyone will be happy to see a new sheep wanting to get closer to its shepherd and you will surely find people of your age especially if you are young who at Like the priest, they will help you find your place and be reassured so that it becomes a real joy and joy to attend Mass and go to church!
Take catechism classes
The catechism is an obligation except in exceptional cases to access baptism as an adult, its goal is to make the person wishing to become Christian aware of the main Christian dogmas, their importance, meanings and applications. Catechism or catechesis if it is done orally is systematically carried out in a group, a group full of people wishing to be baptized supported by companions and the priest or vicar (who is the 2nd priest of a Church) as well as 'an occasional deacon.
Obviously, catechism is free; it would be completely immoral to make someone pay so that they can get closer to God. People enrolled in catechism meet approximately once a month for 1 hour, often before or after Mass on Sunday.
To register for catechism, nothing could be simpler, just go see the priest of your parish who will register you after a short personal interview which will help him get to know you better, don't be afraid and don't be intimidated. It is not an examination and even less an accusatory interview but rather a moment of sharing and great joy for God but also for all the faithful of the parish to know that a new soul is called to become a son or daughter of God.
Enrolling in catechism is therefore a necessity if you wish to be baptized in the Church of God, but do not be afraid, this little a priori and stress that you may encounter will quickly transform into great joy and happiness of getting closer to a a little more each day of our Lord Jesus Christ!
I am already baptized
Were you baptized when you were a baby and want to relive this moment of conversion and dedication to God? No problem, first of all we must remember that we are only baptized once as Ephesians 4:5 states: “ There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism. " If you have already received baptism, it is strictly forbidden to receive it a second time, which would be perceived as an outrage against the Holy Spirit.
But what to do? Well first of all if you haven't received the sacrament of confirmation do it! This Sacrament is a confirmation of baptism in order to definitively accept Christ in your life as Lord, to achieve this sacrament you will also need to take catechism classes. If you are also confirmed two possibilities which can and even must be both realized are to take the Eucharist every Sunday in order to commune with the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ but also to confess. Indeed, the sacrament of penance washes away sins just like baptism and you will emerge purified of your faults and closer to our Lord.
As we have seen, the possibility of converting to Christianity is a long road but one that leads to eternal happiness, no matter the state of your situation you will always find a way to get closer to God, whether through sacrament of baptism, confirmation, penance, the Eucharist or daily by going to church and reading your Bible. The important thing is and always will be to do God's will . Matthew 22:37-40: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. A second is equal to it: You shall love your close as yourself. In these two commandments is all the Law, and the Prophets."