Due diligence is a term I learned when working in the insurance and investment business which means to do your homework before you put your money into a financial vehicle whose return you will someday depend on.
As part of due diligence you always want to examine those opinions whose perspective is critical of the investment or insurance you are considering as they will be pointing out to you the weaknesses; and you will know that their criticism is generally based on quantitative measures rather than personal feelings.
Entering the Church is a process that also requires due diligence, but, at least in my case, the due diligence really began after I had already invested myself considerably into my new life as a Catholic and that is good, as had I known then what I know now, I doubt I would have pursued baptism.
The material I read coming into the Church was virtually all positive and came out of the magisterium itself—many encyclicals and the Catechism—or was recommended by those whose reference was magisterially based.
After a couple of years as a Catholic and as I began to examine the more critical writings about the Church, my first reaction was to reject their essential premises; but that did not work for very long as I am blessed—sometimes cursed—with an insatiable desire to discover the root truths of that with which I am involved.
The most difficult issue I had to deal with is the sexual abuse crisis in the Church, and as I began reading the material about it, finally reaching the book—which I consider the magisterial treatment of it—The Rite of Sodomy: Homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church by Randy Engel, I was relieved to discover that the horrors she reveals were to call from me a deeper prayer life rather than, as they would have before, one of rejection and doubt.
Prayers for the Holy Father, the faithful, and for the Church are always needed.
Here are two prayers I always start my day with:
Lord Jesus Christ, through the most pure Heart of Mary, I offer Thee all my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day, for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, and in particular for the July intentions of the Holy Father Pope Benedict, and Lord Jesus, please protect those being persecuted for our faith all around the world. Amen.
Holy Michael Archangel, defend us in the day of battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil—May God rebuke him, we humbly pray: and do thou, Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God thrust down to hell Satan and all wicked spirits, who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.