Crossed The Tiber
An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism
- Name: Russ Rentler, M.D.
- Location: Pennsylvania, United States
I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Saturday, January 23, 2016
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Steve King R-IA Walks Out of the SOTHU Address
May God grant us more political leaders willing to stand up for truth and life.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Catholicism vs Protestantism Philosophy of Life
Saturday, December 26, 2015
The Eucharist and Christmas
This is a little play I wrote a few years ago.
The setting: A stable outside the forgotten little town of Bethlehem (House of Bread*). Shepherds and their families and kings from the east as well as a few other curious onlookers stare at a newborn wrapped in coarse linen in a feeding trough for animals. A bright star overhead illuminates the otherwise dark night.
Shepherd boy, while yawning, says to his father: “Just looks like a baby boy to me, can’t we go home now? I'm cold!”
Father to boy: “ Thomas, the angels in the field said something about a Savior. Let’s just stay awhile.”
Boy: How could a Savior and King look and.... yecch!… smell like a little baby? He looks just like any other baby to me!”
King from the Orient, kneeling before the makeshift crib says with a whisper: “Shhh, don’t you know the ancient prophecies? God would come to us, to live among us, through a virgin’s womb.
Balthasar looking at the Child then raising his eyes to heaven says: The God of Israel has chosen this night to redeem us. Our Savior and King has come to us as a little child.
33 years later.
Setting: Jerusalem at Passover. The city is buzzing with the noise of pilgrims and bristling under the Roman occupation.
At the meal of the Passover, Jesus surrounded by his companions prays the blessing. As he breaks the bread he stretches out his hand holding the bread saying:
“Take this and eat. This is my body….”
One of the twelve disciples leans over to another and says under his breath;
“How can this be? It looks just like any other piece of bread to me? How can He give us His body to eat?
The disciple whom Jesus loved said to him: "Thomas, don't you remember last year when he told us He would give us his body to eat and His blood to drink?
Then as supper was ended, Jesus took the cup and gave it to his disciples saying:
"This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many…"
Just as Christ came to us in the improbable form of a human baby, He continues to abide with us in the equally preposterous “breaking of the bread.” God chose the common things of this world to reveal Himself. First, a baby born in Bethlehem and then bread and common table wine. As we approach the Lord’s Table at Midnight Mass this Christmas Eve, our mind says, it just looks like a piece of bread but our heart says, "Jesus, bread of life, you have come to abide with me this night."
Thursday, December 03, 2015
Catholics Are Praying People!
So I decided to build a kneeler for my prayer room at home. I searched the internet and found kits and plans but the costs were high so I decided to improvise my own. I later posted the plans on this post. Over the years, that blog post has gotten daily hits far in excess of my other blog posts. My not so scientific conclusion is that Catholics are indeed, praying people!
Sunday, November 29, 2015
Let's ask for His grace to open our hearts once again to "prepare him room." Traditionally, Advent is a period of prayer and fasting not unlike , Lent. Once again the Church encourages the faithful to draw closer to God, especially at a time of year when the world looks anywhere but to heaven,
Oh, as an aside, here's a little tune for you to enjoy:
Saturday, November 21, 2015
My Only Pet Peeve With Being Catholic: Confession Eavesdroppers
This is an unusual moment on this blog. I am actually going to write something negative regarding the Church. For the past nine years I have blogged about the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as seen from the eyes of an evangelical Protestant ("Born Again" non-denominational Christian) who returned to the Catholic faith.
Today I'm going to right about a pet-peeve that I have had for years. It's actually not about the Church or the faith, but about Catholics. So here goes....
I love the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which is also know as Confession. It is a beautiful sacrament (as they all are) in which we encounter Jesus and experience the cleansing action of his blood poured out for our sins. Yes he was crucified and died only once, but that forgiveness provided on the cross extends throughout eternity and we avail ourselves of it through the priest who has received the authority to forgive sins from Jesus himself! We walk into the confessional burdened and sin-sick, and walk out freed and healed. Not only do we experience a restoration of our relationship with the Lord, but are given grace through the sacrament to go out and sin no more! How great is that?
My pet-peeve is the circumstances that often surround receiving this wonderful sacrament of grace.
In my diocese, I have the advantage of multiple parishes within a short driving distance and I like going to different churches each time. I am ashamed of my sinfulness and stupid thoughts and actions and I feel more comfortable confessing anonymously to priests who don't know me. Since I go about every two or three weeks, I visit a lot of different Catholic churches in my diocese. Several times I have noted that a person parks themselves directly in front of the confessional. In a completely empty church, the person literally sits in the pew in front of the confessional throughout confession! They themselves usually aren't going to confession so I wonder why they choose to use that spot to pray especially since the evening mass could be some forty- five minutes later?
I am anxious enough going to confession, but to think that someone is eavesdropping on the confessional is truly disturbing to me. What else would be the reason to sit in front of the confessional when the entire sanctuary is completely empty? I suspect these are disturbed folks and I need to have more grace for them, but it sure makes confession more anxiety provoking then it needs to be. Some parishes will have a sign that asks people to respect the privacy of the penitient and stand away from the confessional but most do not. When I have been standing in line for confession at times I have unintentionally overheard a loud penitent or demonstrative priest giving advice and I literally plug my ears, or move further to the back of the line. Therefore, I know that people directly in front of the confessional can clearly hear what's being confessed!
So, pray for me that I will have more grace and patience for my unusual fellow Christians who need to be frustratingly close to the confessional during the Sacrament and pray for those who feel the need to do it. All of that rant now being said, I will continue to avail myself of the Sacrament of Forgiveness as often as I can in the hopes of growing closer to God here on earth and someday seeing him face to face healed of my sin-sickened soul and body.
"Ask Jesus to make you a Saint. After all, only He can do that. Go to confession regularly and to Communion as often as you can."
- St. Dominic Savio
Saturday, October 24, 2015
The Synod and the Sky is Falling
I am becoming fatigued by the number of Catholics who are fearing that the Church will collapse over the recent synod on the family. Conspiracy theories abound regarding "agendas" and "take-overs." The Church has been through a lot worse times than this. Chicken Little had nothing over these arm-chair blogger/theologians.
I wonder if there were observers at the time of the Council of Nicea (where the entire Church almost split on a not so small matter of whether Jesus was truly God) proclaiming doom and predicting the death knell for the Church? Were folks second-guessing the pope, the bishops and the work of the Holy Spirit? Were they ready to pack it in and join the Montanists who felt they knew what God was saying by manner of prophecy and personal interpretation of scripture?
During WWII, Heinrich Himmler, the chief of Adolph Hitler's security services threatened the Archbishop of Berlin, Cardinal Konrad Graf, with plans to crush the Catholic Church. Cardinal Graf listened politely and then responded: "Well, good luck. We've been trying to do that for 2,000 years, and [the Church is] still here."
My conclusion is we should stop the nay-saying and back-seat driving, divisive gossip, criticism of the pope and the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and allow the Holy Spirit to do what he does best. Like we used to say when I was a protestant " Just trust and obey for there is no other way..."
Sunday, October 04, 2015
"So Disappointed With This Pope"
First one would have to discern which gospel the blogger is talking about? The full gospel as taught by Holy Scripture and the Magisterium of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic faith or the truncated version of the gospel that developed in the past 500 years based on a tortured personal interpretation of scripture.
Secondly, if one couldn't see the gospel preached in every moment, every word, every gesture, every prayer, and every blessing given by this successor of Saint Peter, I believe that individual refuses to see or hear.