So you’ve given up on being in schism. Your misgivings and disappointments with Protestantism have reached their limit, and you realize the only road out is the one that leads to Rome. Relatives, friends, and even mentors have shown their teeth at you. Yet, you know that faith working through love means everything. After all, God is love. You respond out of meekness and express, in word and deed, that your choice to follow this specific yet universal path is one informed—not by inexperience—but by hands-on, doctrine-relevant, history-appropriate, and truth-loving devotion to God.

Now, you’ve reached that telltale point of resolution. You’ve googled the local parish and have written down the phone number to the director of the RCIA program. Or, maybe you haven’t gotten that far at this point. Maybe the stages of inquiry you’ve been involved in have only gone so far as defending Catholicism on theology blogs and in social circles, or finally finding common ground with a friend whose own conversion to the Catholic faith has started to make more sense to you. Yet with all your questions feasibly answered, there is still something holding you back. At this point, what is stopping you? To be brutally frank, what are you thinking?! I know what you are thinking. Because, at one point, I was in your shoes and thought what you are thinking. As a matter of fact, I still find myself “relapsing” into those reserved thoughts. And I’ve converted.

Here’s where the title of this post comes in. As an obvious reference to the beloved Mary Poppins song, love is the sugar and doctrine is the medicine for those who sojourn on the road to Catholicism—with all their doubts and insecurities. To be more specific, there is one thing that I keep in my heart as a reminder when I face those moments of reservation on certain Catholic doctrines… when I pick up the bible and Tobit seems strange and unfamiliar, when I don’t meditate on the mystery of the Assumption of Mary with the same belief and fervor as I would the Annunciation, when I start picking and choosing in a passive or active way, which claims made by the Catholic Church are expendable, I call to mind Love. Love that said His Holy Spirit would lead His bride the Church into all truths (John 16:13). That the gates of Hell shall not overcome her (Matthew 16:18). That She will speak with His voice (Luke 10:16). That she will have the power to forgive sins (John 20:23). And most importantly, that He will be with Her always, even till the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). Only one Church can holistically claim all of the above, and that is the Catholic Church. All other Churches have at one point said, by word or deed, “the Church has strayed from her Master, she has strayed from the truth. God has thereby abandoned her. Lets split from her. Lets start over and rediscover the true Faith.” But not the Catholic Church. She stands strong and undefiled by any error that would allow the gates of hell itself to overcome her. By the gift of the Holy Spirit’s guidance, she stands infallible, and is indeed guided into all truths.

And that, my brothers and sisters, is the sugar that makes the medicine go down. Medicine is always good for you, but it may not always suit your taste. That’s where love–the universal sweetener–comes in. Your taste was defined by your previous life of Faith. You have a gag reflex whenever something seems unfamiliar (the Pope, nuns, prayers to saints, etc.) but the phenomenon is, that you agree with that unfamiliarity… you agree with it because you know it will heal you. Taste and see that it is good and let it heal you. Let it heal your mind. Run to be initiated into the Catholic Church so you can receive the Eucharist–the medicine of eternal life. Hastily run to receive it, for it is the Lord’s Passover (Exodus 12:11). And if you are converted already, but still find yourself relapsing into your former schismatic self, pray the Rosary. Empty your mind of everything but the Love of God made manifest in the Sacred Mysteries and the truth shall set you free. Peace be with you!