Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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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.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

St. Joseph and Real Estate



Several months ago we put our house up for sale in one of the worst housing markets of recent times. We trusted the Lord and asked for the prayers of many here and in heaven for the sale of our home. We made a special intention to St. Joseph and buried a statue of St Joe in the backyard as sign of his prayers for us and a tangible way for us to remember to continue to ask St Joseph (patron saint of families) for his intercession. Read what I wrote on this back in May here.
In the pic above, I am digging the statue up that I had previously buried in the backyard, to place in our new home as a way of remembering God's faithfulness to us through the prayers of his saints, both here and in heaven.
Did Prodigal Daughter and I worship St Joe and praise his name above all others? Naw, we just said:" thanks St Joe for your intercession and thank you God for hearing the prayers of your saints."
When a prayer of yours is answered, do you thank the folks who prayed for you? If you don't you should! Well, that's just what we are doing by this simple Catholic devotion, using the stuff of earth to point us to the things of heaven. Not superstition, good luck charms or diverting the glory from our Lord. Just taking advantage of all the things He has promised to His Church.
Our realtor (a non Catholic) told us that it must have been the prayers of St. Joseph since he has never seen the market so bad for sellers! All the Glory to God!

20 Comments:

Blogger mel said...

Hi, glad to read your blog. Non-formal explanations work for me. This is the best explanation on the saints I've read. I greatly appreciate that. Simple and to the point. Glory to God!

August 29, 2008 6:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is neat. And what a great reminder. My mom died in 2000, and I miss her very much. Since she died, I have asked her several times to tell Jesus that I love him. I am not worshipping her in doing this and this is not idolatry. I compare this to saintly intercession. There is no need to ignore our loved ones and the great Christians before us who are with our Lord in Heaven, and particulary Our Lord's mother. Who I believe advocates for her son's Church. It is a great comfort to know that you have partners in heaven.

August 29, 2008 7:47 AM  
Blogger Owen said...

Congrats! Thanks St. Joseph. Thank you Lord Jesus.

August 29, 2008 8:56 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

thanks mel. Hope it makes sense. The communion of saints is very misunderstood yet one of the greatest things about being Catholic (next to the Eucharist)
I feel like I have a whole host of prayer warriors thank I can take advantage of, free for the asking, and BTW, you don't need to be Catholic to ask their intercession!

August 30, 2008 5:20 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

anon: it is truly a gret comfort. I now knwo my late wife prays for me and my boys and my wife too!
She was a prayer person before she died, why would that change now?

August 30, 2008 5:22 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Amen Owen! Thank you too!

August 30, 2008 5:22 PM  
Blogger Prince Valiant said...

Well, you're an adult and can do what you want, but I do believe it's rather superstitious to bury a statue of St. Joseph in your backyard. I guess if it makes you feel better, go ahead. But why not be done with these tomfooleries and just ask GOD for help? (This is just another reason I don't consider Roman Catholicism apostolic.)

We also recently put up our house for sale in a difficult market. We asked GOD alone for help--the first day the house was on the market, the first person who stepped across the threshold made an offer on the house.

November 01, 2010 4:12 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Val
Did you read my post ?
You ignore the creed that states we believe in the communion of saints.
If you pray to God alone, please don't ask anyone to ever pray for you because by your own admission it's tomfoolery! Why not go straight to God?
Ps
If the first person gave u your asking price, you underpriced your house . Very real possibility.

November 01, 2010 4:20 PM  
Blogger Prince Valiant said...

Tiber Jumper,

No, God simply answered our prayer to sell the house (and at a fair price, too). Is that too remarkable? Does God answer Protestant prayers? Or is it only Roman Catholic Christians whom he loves? God brought us a buyer without me carrying a rabbit's foot, invoking St. Joseph, or burying a likeness of him in my backyard. (Besides, our dogs would probably have dug it up. What an insult that would have been to St. Joseph!)

Back to "invocation of saints." Can you imagine the Apostle Paul burying a statue of, say, St. James (or some other Christian who died) as a sort of good luck charm to help get an answer from God? Can you imagine him in his prayer time exclaiming, "St. Joseph, pray for us! St. Tabitha, I invoke you to pray to God for me!" Even further, can you imagine St. Paul urging the Romans or the Philippians or the Colossians to invoke a Christian who died in order to get an answer from God? If my memory serves me correctly, every time Paul mentions his prayers in his epistles, he mentions praying only to God, not to a human being. (Weird, huh? He sounds way too Protestant.)

The Creed never envisioned "koinonia of the saints" to mean "invoking dead Christians for prayers." Granted, we ask fellow Christians here for prayer. And Christians in heaven pray for Christians on earth. It's just when you read the primary documents (the Gospels, the epistles, etc.), Christians are never shown as invoking those who have died for prayer. (Check out Fr. Steven Scheier's testimony of appearing before the judgment seat of Christ after he had a car accident. It's his view that he was spared from going to hell by earnest prayers--on earth--of Protestant Christians. For what it's worth.)

November 01, 2010 5:22 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Val: Your current interpretation of the creed differs significantly from what the early Christians believed.
Rather than seeing your faith through the eyes of reformers 1500 years after the facts, why not read how the early Christians practiced and worshiped?

Consult J. Kelly or Phillip Schaff, both protestant theologians to find out how the early Church worshipped. You will find that they differ radically from the way you interpret scripture and the Creed.

The intercession of saints is an easily proven reality if you could just take off your reformation colored glasses and try to be intellectually honest for a moment.
You owe it to yourself and to the Lord to be intellectually and spiritually honest.

Here's a few quotes from early Christians in the Church for starters. Note the dates of the writings. In particular read Augustine's comments and see how the "father of calvinism" differs from what protestants now believe.


"Fundamentalists often challenge the Catholic practice of asking saints and angels to pray on our behalf. But the Bible directs us to invoke those in heaven and ask them to pray with us.

Thus, in Psalm 103 we pray, "Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will!" (Ps. 103:20–21). And in the opening verses of Psalms 148 we pray, "Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host!"

Not only do those in heaven pray with us, they also pray for us. In the book of Revelation, John sees that "the twenty-four elders [the leaders of the people of God in heaven] fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints" (Rev. 5:8). Thus the saints in heaven offer to God the prayers of the saints on earth.

Angels do the same thing: "[An] angel came and stood at the altar [in heaven] with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God" (Rev. 8:3–4).

Jesus himself warned us not to offend small children, because their guardian angels have guaranteed intercessory access to the Father: "See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 18:10).

Because he is the only God-man and the Mediator of the New Covenant, Jesus is the only mediator between man and God (1 Tim. 2:5), but this in no way means we cannot or should not ask our fellow Christians to pray with us and for us (1 Tim. 2:1–4). In particular, we should ask the intercession of those Christians in heaven, who have already had their sanctification completed, for "[t]he prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects" (Jas. 5:16).

As the following passages show, the early Church Fathers not only clearly recognized the biblical teaching that those in heaven can and do intercede for us, but they also applied this teaching in their own daily prayer life.

November 01, 2010 6:10 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Hermas


"[The Shepherd said:] ‘But those who are weak and slothful in prayer, hesitate to ask anything from the Lord; but the Lord is full of compassion, and gives without fail to all who ask him. But you, [Hermas,] having been strengthened by the holy angel [you saw], and having obtained from him such intercession, and not being slothful, why do not you ask of the Lord understanding, and receive it from him?’" (The Shepherd 3:5:4 [A.D. 80]).



Clement of Alexandria


"In this way is he [the true Christian] always pure for prayer. He also prays in the society of angels, as being already of angelic rank, and he is never out of their holy keeping; and though he pray alone, he has the choir of the saints standing with him [in prayer]" (Miscellanies 7:12 [A.D. 208]).



Origen


"But not the high priest [Christ] alone prays for those who pray sincerely, but also the angels . . . as also the souls of the saints who have already fallen asleep" (Prayer 11 [A.D. 233]).



Cyprian of Carthage


"Let us remember one another in concord and unanimity. Let us on both sides [of death] always pray for one another. Let us relieve burdens and afflictions by mutual love, that if one of us, by the swiftness of divine condescension, shall go hence first, our love may continue in the presence of the Lord, and our prayers for our brethren and sisters not cease in the presence of the Father’s mercy" (Letters 56[60]:5 [A.D. 253]).



Anonymous


"Atticus, sleep in peace, secure in your safety, and pray anxiously for our sins" (funerary inscription near St. Sabina’s in Rome [A.D. 300]).

"Pray for your parents, Matronata Matrona. She lived one year, fifty-two days" (ibid.).

"Mother of God, [listen to] my petitions; do not disregard us in adversity, but rescue us from danger" (Rylands Papyrus 3 [A.D. 350]).

November 01, 2010 6:12 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Methodius


"Hail to you for ever, Virgin Mother of God, our unceasing joy, for to you do I turn again. You are the beginning of our feast; you are its middle and end; the pearl of great price that belongs to the kingdom; the fat of every victim, the living altar of the Bread of Life [Jesus]. Hail, you treasure of the love of God. Hail, you fount of the Son’s love for man. . . . You gleamed, sweet gift-bestowing Mother, with the light of the sun; you gleamed with the insupportable fires of a most fervent charity, bringing forth in the end that which was conceived of you . . . making manifest the mystery hidden and unspeakable, the invisible Son of the Father—the Prince of Peace, who in a marvelous manner showed himself as less than all littleness" (Oration on Simeon and Anna 14 [A.D. 305]).

"Therefore, we pray [ask] you, the most excellent among women, who glories in the confidence of your maternal honors, that you would unceasingly keep us in remembrance. O holy Mother of God, remember us, I say, who make our boast in you, and who in august hymns celebrate the memory, which will ever live, and never fade away" (ibid.).

"And you also, O honored and venerable Simeon, you earliest host of our holy religion, and teacher of the resurrection of the faithful, do be our patron and advocate with that Savior God, whom you were deemed worthy to receive into your arms. We, together with you, sing our praises to Christ, who has the power of life and death, saying, ‘You are the true Light, proceeding from the true Light; the true God, begotten of the true God’" (ibid.).

Cyril of Jerusalem


"Then [during the Eucharistic prayer] we make mention also of those who have already fallen asleep: first, the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, that through their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition . . . " (Catechetical Lectures 23:9 [A.D. 350]).



Hilary of Poitiers


"To those who wish to stand [in God’s grace], neither the guardianship of saints nor the defenses of angels are wanting" (Commentary on the Psalms 124:5:6 [A.D. 365]).



Ephraim the Syrian


"You victorious martyrs who endured torments gladly for the sake of the God and Savior, you who have boldness of speech toward the Lord himself, you saints, intercede for us who are timid and sinful men, full of sloth, that the grace of Christ may come upon us, and enlighten the hearts of all of us so that we may love him" (Commentary on Mark [A.D. 370]).

"Remember me, you heirs of God, you brethren of Christ; supplicate the Savior earnestly for me, that I may be freed through Christ from him that fights against me day by day" (The Fear at the End of Life [A.D. 370]).



The Liturgy of St. Basil


"By the command of your only-begotten Son we communicate with the memory of your saints . . . by whose prayers and supplications have mercy upon us all, and deliver us for the sake of your holy name" (Liturgy of St. Basil [A.D. 373]).

November 01, 2010 6:12 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Pectorius


"Aschandius, my father, dearly beloved of my heart, with my sweet mother and my brethren, remember your Pectorius in the peace of the Fish [Christ]" (Epitaph of Pectorius [A.D. 375]).



Gregory of Nazianz


"May you [Cyprian] look down from above propitiously upon us, and guide our word and life; and shepherd this sacred flock . . . gladden the Holy Trinity, before which you stand" (Orations 17[24] [A.D. 380]).

"Yes, I am well assured that [my father’s] intercession is of more avail now than was his instruction in former days, since he is closer to God, now that he has shaken off his bodily fetters, and freed his mind from the clay that obscured it, and holds conversation naked with the nakedness of the prime and purest mind . . . " (ibid., 18:4).



Gregory of Nyssa


"[Ephraim], you who are standing at the divine altar [in heaven] . . . bear us all in remembrance, petitioning for us the remission of sins, and the fruition of an everlasting kingdom" (Sermon on Ephraim the Syrian [A.D. 380]).

John Chrysostom


"He that wears the purple [i.e., a royal man] . . . stands begging of the saints to be his patrons with God, and he that wears a diadem begs the tentmaker [Paul] and the fisherman [Peter] as patrons, even though they be dead" (Homilies on Second Corinthians 26 [A.D. 392]).

"When you perceive that God is chastening you, fly not to his enemies . . . but to his friends, the martyrs, the saints, and those who were pleasing to him, and who have great power [in God]" (Orations 8:6 [A.D. 396]).

November 01, 2010 6:13 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Ambrose of Milan


"May Peter, who wept so efficaciously for himself, weep for us and turn towards us Christ’s benign countenance" (The Six Days Work 5:25:90 [A.D. 393]).



Jerome


"You say in your book that while we live we are able to pray for each other, but afterwards when we have died, the prayer of no person for another can be heard. . . . But if the apostles and martyrs while still in the body can pray for others, at a time when they ought still be solicitous about themselves, how much more will they do so after their crowns, victories, and triumphs?" (Against Vigilantius 6 [A.D. 406]).

November 01, 2010 6:13 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Augustine


"A Christian people celebrates together in religious solemnity the memorials of the martyrs, both to encourage their being imitated and so that it can share in their merits and be aided by their prayers" (Against Faustus the Manichean [A.D. 400]).

"There is an ecclesiastical discipline, as the faithful know, when the names of the martyrs are read aloud in that place at the altar of God, where prayer is not offered for them. Prayer, however, is offered for the dead who are remembered. For it is wrong to pray for a martyr, to whose prayers we ought ourselves be commended" (Sermons 159:1 [A.D. 411]).

"At the Lord’s table we do not commemorate martyrs in the same way that we do others who rest in peace so as to pray for them, but rather that they may pray for us that we may follow in their footsteps" (Homilies on John 84 [A.D. 416]).

"Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ. Otherwise there would be no remembrance of them at the altar of God in the communication of the Body of Christ" (The City of God 20:9:2 [A.D. 419]). Comes from Catholic Answers.

BTW, I think you manifest your hatred and disdain for Catholicism by making the comment that only God hears Catholic prayers. Why such bitterness Val? Why would you accuse me of thinking that?

God hears all of our prayers, protestant or Catholic , and because of his mercy and kindness he even answers the prayers of those that hate His body, the Church. They don't know any better.

You will have to ignore 2000 years of recorded history in order to maintain your incorrect belief that the communion of saints in the Creed means something other than us praying for those in purgatory and those in heaven praying for us.

We don't worship the saints. We ask their intercession. We don't believe in luck or superstition. If I asked St Joseph to intercede for me without burying him, of course he would have interceded. but Catholics are incarnate Christians who are not afraid to allow the stuff of earth to transmit and reflect the grace of heaven. Your faith is a disembodied faith, refusing to believe that God uses the stuff of earth. It's really a form of 2nd century Gnosticism, that gained a foothold once the rebellion occurred in the 16th century.

Why do you think the early Christians gathered the bones of the martyrs and prayed at their graves?

Again, I caution you to never ask for prayer from a living saint. Why such tomfoolery when you can go straight to Jesus? (In your words)

November 01, 2010 6:13 PM  
Blogger Prince Valiant said...

Tiber Jumper,

I've never denied that the Christians in heaven pray for the Christians on earth. I'm hoping to do so myself if I prove to be faithful and make it to heaven, having been gratuitously justified by grace through faith in Jesus alone. I hope I can be like Therese of Lisieux and spend my heaven doing good on earth. I also do not deny that angels pray for us. I'm very sure my guardian angel prays for me.

What I do deny is that the earliest church leaders (St. Paul, St. John, St. James, St. Peter, St. Jude) invoked Christians who had died to pray for them. Where in the New Testament can you show me an example of any one of them doing this? They are the "earliest church fathers," after all.

You can bring up a whole laundry list of what Christians practiced and taught in the second, third, fourth, etc. centuries. That's all very interesting, but again, the whole point of the Reformation was to bring the church back to its apostolic roots. You have to admit that justification by grace through faith alone had been--for all practical purposes--buried by the Roman Catholic Church--even though it's the theme of St. Paul's Magna Carta of the Christian faith--the epistle to (ironically) the Romans.

You RCs always assume that Protestants don't read early church history, just because we don't walk in lockstep with you. We do read the early fathers, but we're simply not convinced that we should follow what they say when the Gospels and NT epistles contradict them. We prefer what St. Paul says over what Origen or Augustine or Cyprian says. And many times, what these men say favors us over RC doctrine. For instance, Irenaeus contradicts your doctrine of transubstantiation. He says the Eucharist consists of two realities, an earthly and a heavenly. You say it consists of only one reality. Why don't you believe Irenaeus? I do. Why don't you?

November 01, 2010 8:28 PM  
Blogger Prince Valiant said...

Tiber Jumper,

I've never denied that the Christians in heaven pray for the Christians on earth. I'm hoping to do so myself if I prove to be faithful and make it to heaven, having been gratuitously justified by grace through faith in Jesus alone. I hope I can be like Therese of Lisieux and spend my heaven doing good on earth. I also do not deny that angels pray for us. I'm very sure my guardian angel prays for me.

What I do deny is that the earliest church leaders (St. Paul, St. John, St. James, St. Peter, St. Jude) invoked Christians who had died to pray for them. Where in the New Testament can you show me an example of any one of them doing this? They are the "earliest church fathers," after all.

You can bring up a whole laundry list of what Christians practiced and taught in the second, third, fourth, etc. centuries. That's all very interesting, but again, the whole point of the Reformation was to bring the church back to its apostolic roots. You have to admit that justification by grace through faith alone had been buried by the Roman Catholic Church--even though it's the theme of St. Paul's Magna Carta of the Christian faith--the epistle to (ironically) the Romans.

You RCs always assume that Protestants don't read early church history, just because we don't walk in lockstep with you. We do read the early fathers, but we're simply not convinced that we should follow what they say when the Gospels and NT epistles contradict them. We prefer what St. Paul says over what Origen or Augustine or Cyprian says. And many times, what these men say favors us over RC doctrine. For instance, Irenaeus contradicts your doctrine of transubstantiation. He says the Eucharist consists of two realities, an earthly and a heavenly. You say it consists of only one reality. Why don't you believe Irenaeus? I do.

November 01, 2010 8:33 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Val said:
I'm hoping to do so myself if I prove to be faithful and make it to heaven, having been gratuitously justified by grace through faith in Jesus alone.

You know what Val, that comment sounds awfully Catholic to me. Sounds like St Paul, "not that I have already attained"
Isn't "proving to be faithful" the same thing that Catholics believe that we have faith in Christ's salvific work on the cross, but we need to cooperate with the grace he gives us.



We can never work our way into heaven but we should can work ourselves out by our deeds and bad choices.


Regarding transubstantiation, you would be hard pressed to deny that the overwhelming majority of ECF's spoke of the real presence of Christ. Protestant theologians even accept the church's historical view of this. Luther even initially held onto this belief and I find it troubling that protestants deny this when it is ultimately the most solidly supported doctrine of the faith, both by scripture and history.

I have written extensively on this blog about this, just search Eucharist and you will see.

Here's the reformers view of the Eucharist.
Who, but the devil, has granted such license of wresting the words of the holy Scripture? Who ever read in the Scriptures, that my body is the same as the sign of my body? or, that is is the same as it signifies? What language in the world ever spoke so? It is only then the devil, that imposes upon us by these fanatical men. Not one of the Fathers of the Church, though so numerous, ever spoke as the Sacramentarians: not one of them ever said, It is only bread and wine; or, the body and blood of Christ is not there present.

Surely, it is not credible, nor possible, since they often speak, and repeat their sentiments, that they should never (if they thought so) not so much as once, say, or let slip these words: It is bread only; or the body of Christ is not there, especially it being of great importance, that men should not be deceived. Certainly, in so many Fathers, and in so many writings, the negative might at least be found in one of them, had they thought the body and blood of Christ were not really present: but they are all of them unanimous.”
Why do you pick one writing from one Church father and deny the real presence? I have to ask you, Why wouldn't you want to believe that Jesus comes to us under the appearance of bread and wine?

November 02, 2010 7:24 AM  
Blogger Prince Valiant said...

Tiber Jumper,

I guess you've never actually read the primary Reformation statements of faith. They always affirm that, once we have received such a gracious forgiveness of sins from God by putting our faith in Christ alone and have been reconciled to him, that we must thereafter live a life that produces good fruit for God. The Lutheran, Anglican, and Reformed statements of faith all declare this. When you were a Protestant, what church did you belong to? Was it a nondenom church? Honestly, the way you write makes one think that you believe all Protestants are members of nondenominational churches.

I've never heard an RC homily that explained Paul's doctrine of justification by grace through faith alone. Why not?

I quoted Irenaeus because he's an example of a church father who believed in the real presence but who didn't believe in transubstantiation. I believe that the body and blood of Christ are present in a heavenly way when the Sacrament is celebrated, but, like Irenaeus I believe the Eucharist consists of two realities, not just one. Even Pope Gelasius didn't believe that the bread and wine ceased existing when the Sacrament was celebrated. He's your guy! Why don't you believe him?

November 02, 2010 3:45 PM  
Blogger Prince Valiant said...

Tiber Jumper,

Can you picture Jesus at the Last Supper, after having given the bread and the wine to his disciples, saying,

"Children, I stand before you in my flesh and blood. Yet, you have miraculously just eaten and drunk my transubstantiated body and blood which I confected for you. Indeed, what you have eaten and drunk was not actually bread and wine."

"Now, my disciples, I give you also another way to honor me. Behold, here is a monstrance. Note its sunburst design. Children, I place a consecrated host in the center and close the lid. I shine a lamp on it to illuminate the host. Now, kneel, all of you, before my glorious presence. I command you to do this always in perpetual adoration of me."

November 02, 2010 4:04 PM  

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