Jennifer has a great blog that I enjoy reading called Et Tu. I highly recommend you check it out sometime. One of her many wonderful posts was one entitled Five Catholic Teachings that just kinda made sense to me. Under the theory that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I give you my own list of four things that kinda make sense to me about Catholicism and are missing from my Protestant upbringing.
Purgatory I've never been particularly comfortable with the notion that when we die we either immediately go into eternal bliss or are damned forever. I know, for example, that there are a lot of things about me that will need purifying when my life is over. I can be self-centered, mean, selfish, and a lot of other unpleasant things I'll spare you. If heaven is a place of perfect peace and beauty, I'll need to clean up a bit before I come in. On the other hand, hell (which I unfortunately believe is real) seems like a pretty severe punishment that a gracious God would reserve for only the worst, most unrepentant sinners.
The Communion of the Saints I know Protestants believe in some form of the Communion of the Saints, but I like the Catholic understanding (at least as I understand it) much better. Why is it OK to ask the lady sitting on the pew behind me to pray for me, but not OK to ask those who are closest to God in heaven? Why would those in the presence of God stop caring about us still here on earth? And the teaching of the lives of the Saints gives us good role models to follow in our own lives. I'm constantly amazed at some of the backgrounds the Saints came from. If some of them can turn their lives around, hopefully I can too.
Confession Of course, I'm not Catholic (yet) so I've never been to Confession, but I like the idea. I do many sinful things in my life. I ask God in prayer to forgive me, and maybe that's enough. But I think I'd do better (and be less likely to repeat the same sins) if I had to tell a Priest what I had done. Hopefully he would give me advice to avoid such actions in the future. I like the idea of being accountable to the larger community. I know the Priest acts as Christ in forgiving our sins, but I'd also like to believe he represents the entire Church as well. Am I too far off in this belief?
The Eucharist The Catholic understanding of the centrality of the Eucharist to worship and Transubstantiation is what is attracting me the most about Catholicism. I talked a little bit about that previously here, here, and here. The short version is that the only place I'm going to get this regularly is in the Catholic Church. (I know the Orthodox might be possibility for some people, but I live in a small town in rural South Carolina. I'm a long way from any Orthodox Church.) I believe the Catholic Church is right when it proclaims the bread and wine are made into the Body and Blood of Christ. Hopefully, one day, I will be able to receive these.
Anyway, just a few thoughts. I realize that the test of good doctrine is not whether it agrees with me and there are some things about Catholicism that challenge me also. But that's probably good for me too.