As a new convert to Catholicism (Easter, 2009), at first I felt like a stranger in a strange land with its candles, statues, saints, incense, Mary, and the Pope. This was all new to me. The evangelical Protestant faith, from where I came, had totally misinformed me about the Catholic Church. But all I knew was that God wanted me to become a Catholic.
Now, though, a year later, I have come to realize that the things I mentioned above serve to make our faith better, more complete, accurate, protected, and very, very real.