I have actually been asked this question, several times.
What does it mean?
Protestants believe in “private interpretation” of Scripture. They object that we, Catholics, give up our right to do so and unquestioningly accept all that the Catholic Church teaches.
That is true, for me. It is exactly what I did.
1. Long ago I was an atheist. I rejected the idea of God and therefore rejected the Church.
2. When God poured His grace into me and brought me back to faith in Him, I still hated the Catholic Church. Since the only religion I was acquainted with was Christianity, I turned to the only other set of Christians that I was aware of. I attempted to understand Protestant doctrine. At that time, I only knew about Luther. So, I pulled out some books and learned that his major teachings were, “the Bible alone” and “Faith alone”.
a. I did not come back to believing in God because of the Bible. Far from it. If I hated anything as much as I hated the Catholic Church, it was the Bible. Therefore, that made me suspect that this was a false doctrine.
b. The idea of faith alone without works to prove your sincerity, that seemed ridiculous to me. I instinctively compared faith in God to faith in one’s spouse. What would it be like if a husband or wife merely claimed to love you but did not do anything to correspond to those words? Disaster.
Therefore, it was self evident that anyone who put forth this doctrine was not worshipping the all wise God that I had just discovered and was drawn to.
So, I dumped Luther headlong and his religion along with him.
3. I was a former Catholic and for some unknown reason, I despised the Catholic Church. I didn’t want to come back to her fold. So, I studied Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam.
a. I found Hinduism very confusing. There are so many teachers, each teaching their own version. There is human wisdom in the religion. But no absolute truth. None which I could find, anyway. Thumb down.
b. Buddhism is an atheistic philosophy. I didn’t know that when I began to study that religion. I believe in God. Therefore, that one was disqualified as soon as I discovered they don’t believe in God. So, not that one, either.
c. Islam, in my opinion, is a self contradicting religion. And, although they deny it, I found that it is a religion whose tenets are violent. Especially against two groups. Jews and Christians. I jettisoned that one, quickly!
4. What was I to do? I was running out of religions to study. So, I decided to give Christianity another try.
5. So, I began to study the early Church Fathers. Back then, I simply called them, the Saints. Their teachings were so beautiful, I fell in love.
Now I realize that it was God guiding me, every step of the way. It was He, opening up for me, His Word. I knew most of these Teachings, but as a youth, I had rejected them. But now, I realized that there was someone who was smarter than me. And He was talking to me through the Catholic Church.
6. After I realized that the Catholic Church is the True Church, I did what Scripture tells us to do. I didn’t know that at the time. But, in accordance with the Word of God, I happily, checked my brain at the door of the Catholic Church. Yep, that’s what Scripture tells us to do. Here’s what Scripture says:
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Ephesians 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
Matthew 18: And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
Far from condemning that attitude, Scripture tells us that we are to believe, submit to and obey, everything the Church teaches. No questions. And that’s what I did.
7. Protestants call that "checking in your brain at the door of the Catholic Church.”
But I call it "being obedient to the Word of God."
Thanks for listening.