Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

My Photo
Name:
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.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Divine Mercy Sunday

The Church celebrates the Feast of Divine Mercy today. Based on the instructions Jesus gave to St. Sister Faustina in the 1930's, the Church focuses on the mercy Christ extends to all sinners. Placed appropriately at the first Sunday after Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday is a call to return to Him and experience the mercy He offers through His passion and death on the Cross.

"For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."
Eternal Father, I offer you the body, blood, soul and divinity of your dearly beloved son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world."


H/t to Susie for the video link.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Honeymoon's Not Over


This is the now fourth year that I have been in full communion with the Catholic Church and been able to participate in the events of Holy Week leading to Easter. For some reason this season of Lent was more poignant to me than before.

In every marriage, the passion may cool for a time and a distance can grow between those who once were so inseparable. In my relationship with Jesus, I too have let things cool at times, through my sin and indifference. Thanks be to God for the gift of Lent and the celebration of Holy Week. The Church gives us the chance to renew our vows of marriage to Christ and “fire up” that romance again.

The Baptismal vows we renew at the Easter Mass are given by the Church to the faithful to re-ignite the hearts that may have cooled and call to mind the precious gift of new life given to us at our baptism. As we pray/say them again we ask God to give us the grace to live out those promises by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The priest celebrating the Easter Mass leads the faithful in the vows:

Dear friends,
through the paschal mystery
we have been buried with Christ in baptism,
so that we may rise with him to a new life.
Now that we have completed our Lenten observance,
let us renew the promises we made at baptism
when we rejected Satan and his works.
And so:

Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God's children?
I do.

Do you reject the glamor of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin?
I do.

Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?
I do.

Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
I do.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
I do.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
I do.

God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven our sins. May God also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.
Amen.

Early after my conversion I was told by a non-Catholic brother in Christ that “once the "honeymoon" stage ends, you will discover that all the pomp and circumstance is no replacement for truth.” I have to say that the honeymoon is still going on and I hope and pray that He is daily leading me into all the truth He has for me. I am thankful for the many tools Christ has given to His Church . Lent and the Easter Mass are part of this armentarium. Not pomp and circumstance, but a 2000 year old way that Jesus has given His Church to live out the Gospel and bring new sheep into the fold.

Labels:

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Jewel of the Caribbean

Labels:

Friday, March 14, 2008

Ultrasound Saves a Life


Prodigal Daughter just spent her vacation week learning how to do ultrasounds for the purpose of volunteering at our local chapter of Care Net Pregnancy
Care Net is a Christian non-profit organization dedicated to supporting pregnant women including housing, counseling and referrals. Please take the time to read her story below.

"This week I have had the privilege of learning to perform ultrasounds
on pregnant women at Care Net Pregnancy Center's new office in
Wescosville, PA. I would like to relay an amazing story which I am
told is not at all a rare occurrence for pregnancy centers which use
ultrasound machines as part of their ministry.

Care Net received a call from a young woman I'll call her (Theresa)
who said that she went to Planned Parenthood two weeks ago for a
pregnancy test. When the test was positive, PP gave her information
about abortion and no other alternatives. She heard from friends that
Care Net would counsel her about other options.

When Care Net received the call from Theresa, they told her that she
could come in for a free ultrasound and they would talk to her about
alternatives to abortion. When Theresa and her boyfriend arrived, we
brought her into the ultrasound room alone. After getting her set up
for the procedure, she began to open up to us about how her boyfriend
wanted her to have an abortion and she was sure that when her parents
found out they would pressure her to do the same. As I began to scan
her uterus, we talked to her about what she was seeing on the screen
"There are your baby's arms and legs." We took out a small plastic
baby model and laid it on her belly to show her how the baby was lying
in her womb. She began to ask questions and her fearful looks turned
to smiles. As I turned the probe slightly, the screen revealed the
baby's heartbeat. "Do you see the fluttering I asked?" "Is that my
baby's heartbeat?" Theresa questioned with excitement. My own heart
melted as I watched her fall in love with her baby. After several
minutes, we invited her boyfriend to come in the room and see the
ultrasound. He wasn't smiling when he walked up to the exam table.
Almost immediately Theresa's eyes went from the screen to her
boyfriends face as she watched his reaction to the new life on the
screen. I could see the hope in her eyes as she looked at him and the
joy on her face as she began to see his expression turn from one of
fear and doubt to one of love and joy. Another technician went
through a similar description of the baby with Theresa's boyfriend and
within minutes he was smiling at the amazing images before him.

To make a long story short, Theresa and her boyfriend left that day
having decided not to abort their child. Of course they will have
obstacles to overcome, but I have little doubt that Care Net's free
ultrasound saved their baby's life. In fact 9 out of 10 women will
choose life after seeing an ultrasound of their baby.

The story of how this week of training came about is a very
interesting one as well. The ultrasound machine was donated to Care
Net several years ago and it has taken them some time to gain the
funds to rent this office space and provide training. Now they have a
beautiful office on route 222 in Wescosville and have 5 nurses and 1
ultrasound tech willing to volunteer. They brought in a trainer this
week to teach us how to use the machine but as the week has gone on,
we all have come to realize that the 18 year old ultrasound machine is
not adequate for general use. Care Net's medical director has decided
that because of liability issues he cannot approve us for ultrasounds
until Care Net has a fully functioning ultrasound machine.

That's where you come in. A new ultrasound machine costs anywhere
from $20,000 - $30,000. One person has already given Care Net a check
for $4,000. If you could help out in any way it would be greatly
appreciated. Your donation would of course be tax deductible and used
specifically for the purchase of the ultrasound machine.

Please send checks to:
Care Net Pregnancy Center
1034 Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA 18102
Write "Ultrasound Machine" in the memo section.

If you are praying for the abortion holocaust to end, this is a way of "putting feet on your prayers" and saving many lives. God bless you as you give.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Our Daily Walk in Port -Au -Prince

video

Labels:

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Return From Port-Au-Prince


We got in late last night from Haiti. I want to thank everyone who prayed, on both sides of the veil and thank the Lord for hearing the prayers of his children. Prodigal Daughter has summarized the experience in her thank you letter to her prayer supporters:

"We arrived home yesterday evening at about 11PM. I'm still trying to process all of the events of our sometimes exhausting, sometimes exhilarating trip to Haiti. When we arrived last Thursday after a very smooth JFK airport experience and plane ride things almost immediately turned to chaos. First of all we had only one person on our 11 member team who spoke French and not one who spoke Creole. Since very few Haitians speak English it was difficult to navigate the sea of "baggage handlers" who swarmed us once we got off the plane. They always say "Don't look them in the eye. Just walk past them and don't allow them to even touch your bag or they will want money." Knowing very well that each of these poor men probably lived in some small rented shack on the streets of Port Au Prince with only one mattress for a whole family, a hole in the ground for a toilet, no running water and no electricity, it was difficult for me to "just look away." Somehow your prayers must have gotten me through those encounters until we arrived at customs.

All we wanted to do was get our medicines through in order to set up the clinic and serve those who we came to see. The customs officials had other ideas and decided to confiscate 5 of our bags before our interpreter ever arrived. We tried to negotiate and had papers from the Haiti government to show that we were allowed to bring these medicines into the country, but that wasn't enough. They told us to come back tomorrow when their "boss" would be in and then maybe we could get our bags of medicines back. Assuming we would never see those bags again, we reluctantly left the airport fighting off another see of baggage handlers.

That was when your prayers became truly powerful.
Two of our team went back the next day with our Haitian interpreter, paid a small bride and got back ALL 5 BAGS, with everything still in them.

With all that, we did lose 1/2 a day in the clinic, but it was a good day of rest and helped us to recharge our batteries for a week of hard work at the clinic. On Saturday we arrived at the church which hosts the clinic ever 3 to 6 months and they were under construction. The entire "courtyard" was dug up with piles of dirt and rock and teaming with strong young men and little boys all pitching in to do their part. Without electricity, most of the work is done by hand. As I stared out the window at this scene before me, I couldn't help but be overcome with admiration for the efforts of this noble group of dedicated men. Several little boys saw me as I sat behind the iron bar windows of the clinic. One picked up three rocks from the piles and began to demonstrate his skill at juggling. They all had beautiful smiles on their face as they saw my delight at their antics. Another boy who looked to be about 4 years old came beaming up to the window with a big yellow "Sponge Bob" on his shirt. I pointed to the shirt and said "Sponge Bob." Realizing that I must be recognizing the strange character on his shirt, he pointed at it and attempted the phrase for himself "Shpuch Pob" was how it first came out. I repeated it again and in his determination, he wouldn't give up until he pronounced it exactly as he heard me say it.

After spending the morning setting up the clinic, we went home for lunch. It was upon our return that I especially felt your faithful prayers. First of all, our team leader allowed me to be in Russ' room as his nurse. Secondly, there was the issue of assessing blood pressures. You see my biggest fear in going on this trip was my inability to take accurate blood pressures. Between the noise of construction and the endless numbers of children vying for our attention outside the clinic windows, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to hear properly through my stethoscope. My fears were never realized however because every time I had a concern about my accuracy and asked Russ to double check, my reading was the same as his.

Once I gained more confidence in this skill, I re-learned a few key Creole phrases from our faithful interpreter, Wilson. His gentle way with the patients and patience with Russ and I were truly a blessing beyond telling. Somehow, Wilson has obtained a visa for residency in Canada and Russ and I hope to stay in touch with this dear man.

The rest of the days in clinic were the greatest blessing of my entire trip. It was such a joy to greet each patient as they were escorted into our room. No matter how ill they felt, each one managed a grateful and cheerful smile. I was able to pray with many of them and remembered all of them in my prayers each evening after the clinic. The children caused my heart the most joy and also the most pain. Without proper diagnostic tools like blood work and lab tests it was at times very difficult to determine what they suffered from. My heart would ache as we ran out of Malaria medicine near the end of our trip or we didn't have enough children's vitamins left for a child who was obviously anemic.

For each patient I prayed that God would relieve their suffering, but I also prayed that with any suffering they continued to have they would be able to offer it up for the salvation of souls. Being amidst all that suffering, I came to realize in a more profound way than ever before that Catholicism has the most beautiful perspective on the purpose and value of suffering.

That is just a snapshot of all the beautiful experiences I had with our Haitian brothers and sisters. Their beauty is in their dignity and value as children of God and it shines ever brighter amidst the filth that they must endure day after day. Thank you so very much for remembering me in your prayers this week. I truly felt them along with the prayers of Mother Teresa, St. Therese, the angels and all the saints. Blessings to you and peace in Christ,"

Labels:

Friday, March 07, 2008

Last Post From Haiti

Today we finished up in clinic. We saw about 400 patients this trip.
The team remained healthy and safe.
I hope to God we were able to lighten their crosses a bit.
Please keep the Haitians in your prayers. Jesus is very real to them, but their life is still a hard cross to carry.

Labels:

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

BLOGGING FROM HAITI

Today we saw about 90 patients in our makeshift clinic. It is a challenge to get through the language barrier and yet another to then attempt to diagnose and treat what they have.
We are flying by the seat of our pants and I pray and hope we can offer some solace and comfort.
I did see a young girl with severe tonsillitis and thank God had the appropriate antibiotic. Another young boy had typhoid fever and malaria and intetinal parasites.
As they left the clinic with a bagful of meds the mom said praise the Lord with a big smile. Such joy and gratefulness despite severe physical deprivation. May some of their spirit rub off on me.
Blessed Mother Teresa who loves the poor, intercede for these souls and ask Jesus to protect and sustain them.

Labels:

Sunday, March 02, 2008

wi fi in Haiti

I found that despite the grinding poverty a hotel near us has wi fi and my palm pilot has wi fi capability.
We got in to port au prince and customs confiscated a third of our medications for the clinic.
after much prayer,and negotition, a fee of about 180$ had to be paid and we got the meds back,praise GOD.
It did delay the clinic for a day but we did get up and running and saw about 70 patients on our first day.
We are hosted by Shiloh Baptist church and we attended their service this am. They have much joy despite being the poorest of the poor.
Prodigal Daughter and I thank you for your continued prayers.
When we get back we are hoping to become involved in Catholic twinning program with a parish in Haiti.
There is great privilege in being able to minister to Jesus in the least of these. Though we can't have Him in the Eucharist this week, we are meeting Him face to face in the poorest of the poor.
God be praised

Labels:

test from haiti

Labels:

Universalis