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.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Feast of The Visitation
"And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren: Because no word shall be impossible with God.
And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda. And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb.
And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb*. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.
And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him. He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy: As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.
And Mary abode with her about three months; and she returned to her own house. Now Elizabeth's full time of being delivered was come, and she brought forth a son."
*The Hail Mary prayer is partly derived from these words in scripture.
In honor of the Visitation I offer a free download of Bread of Heaven, partly inspired by Saint Elizabeth's greeting and the theology of transubstantiation elucidated by St. Thomas Aquinas.
Monday, May 28, 2012
Another Calvinist Jumps the Tiber
"If all men are, as Luther and Calvin interpret Scripture to say, helplessly corrupt and depraved, how can I trust anyone? Why should I trust what Martin Luther says that the Bible teaches, or what John Calvin says the Bible teaches or any of the Reformed confessions, for that matter? Is it not the height of naiveté, even hypocrisy, to believe that everyone is totally depraved and yet continue to trust that any human interpretation of Scripture is somehow guaranteed by the Holy Spirit? "
"If Christ could continue to work to build his Church with such a history of failings on the part of the laity, various priests, bishops, and even popes, surely this Church must be sustained by God himself; despite the passage of over two millennia, the Church continues to hold and to teach in substance what it has always held and taught."
"Luther felt that it was necessary to separate from the Catholic Church, Zwingli from Luther, the Anabaptists from the Magisterial Reformed, the Calvinists from Arminians, and on and on–all on the conviction that "I have the correct interpretation of Scripture": “Here I stand, so help me God.” In other words, I am able to understand and deal with imperfect Christians and an imperfect local body only from a Catholic perspective–where the objectivity of the Church is not dependent on the pastor’s ability to preach a sermon, but on the real presence of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Any sort of corruption one finds in the Catholic Church is found outside the Catholic Church as well. The question is whether the Church remains who she is no matter how those who constitute her visible body fail and err."
These are statements made by Joshua Lim . Read the whole story of Joshua's conversion from reformed Protestantism (Calvinism) to Catholicism. He is a recent graduate of Westminster California Theological Seminary.
Memorial Day 2012
Today we offered our prayers in morning Mass for the souls of all those lost in our armed conflicts and their families.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Today we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples in the upper room. After they obeyed Jesus with their novena (nine days of waiting and praying) in Jerusalem they received the Holy Spirit with great power. They started the last day of the novena hiding in a locked room and ended that day proclaiming the gospel with a boldness beyond anything anyone ever could imagine!
This was the birth of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, the very same one that continues 2000 years later and still proclaims the gospel with boldness to those who have ears to hear.
Have a Happy Pentecost!
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Former Brethren in Christ Pastor Dr. David Hall Ordained!
Today Deborah and I had the joy of traveling to Hershey, PA to witness the bishop conferring holy orders on Dr. David Hall for the permanent diaconate. I met David on line several years ago when he first came into the Catholic church after serving as pastor of one of the largest Lancaster county Brethren in Christ churches. We later got together after I had a concert in the Lancaster area and have kept in touch on facebook and via blogs.
David Hall surely obeyed the Lord when He asked him to forsake all to follow Him. He left a financially stable career as a pastor and lost the respect of many friends and former coreligionists as he made his journey to the Catholic faith. The Lancaster area is quite a little "bible belt" and Catholicism is not exactly a favorite religion in these parts. Despite the losses he counted it all joy and today God blessed him mightily by allowing him to receive holy orders in the Catholic Church conferred by the laying on of hands by bishop Joseph McFadden of Harrisburg.
The Church was packed with both new-found Catholic friends as well as many folks from his former Protestant congregation. On the eve of Pentecost Sunday, the Holy Spirit filled the Church as the Word was proclaimed and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated. The most moving part of the ordination liturgy was when Deacon Hall layed prostrate on the floor as the Litany of the Saints was prayed. This is an ancient tradition and both priests and deacons do this during their rite of ordination. It represents total surrender to Christ and a physical way of showing Jesus how much the ordinate submits to Christ and His Church.
Keep Deacon David Hall and his wife Libby in your prayers as they continue to serve the Lord in this new phase of their journey of faith.
To learn more about David's Heart For God and his conversion to the Catholic faith check this out.
Friday, May 25, 2012
Independent Fundamental Baptist Comes Home
So my Catholic blogger friends, go on over to Jillians' and give her a great Tiber Jumper Welcome Home!
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Fruit of the Reformation: Liberalism in Religion
The reformation gave every individual the right to make "it" (the bible) say whatever struck their fancy. Evidence for this is found in the fact that the Lord's Supper was always considered the actual body and blood of Christ from the Last Supper onwards, yet the reformers said that this long held truth was not Truth. How can a 1500 year old belief suddenly be discovered to be wrong? If you believe this then you accept that the Church was mistaken right out of the gate, which bodes poorly for the belief that Christ would give us his Holy Spirit to lead us into all Truth.
Baptism had always been held as regenerative and the normative means of being born again. The reformers said this is not Truth and rejected 1500 years of believed and practiced faith.
A sacerdotal priesthood had always been held as the means by which the sacraments are given through the Church. The reformers said this is not Truth and there are no need for priests or sacraments rejecting 1500 years of believed and practiced faith.
The effect of the reformation was to give men the permission to decide for themselves, outside of any authority other than the voice in their head, what is truth. The fruits of this are evident in the exponentially expanding number of new churches and the daily dismantling of the faith and morals held by the ancients.
Hold firmly that our faith is identical with that of the ancients. Deny this, and you dissolve the unity of the Church. St. Thomas Aquinas ..(13th Century)
N.B. I don't write this post to "stick a thumb in the eye" of my Protestant brethren. I do it in the hopes of causing some reflection as to the disastrous consequences of the reformation that are often overlooked.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Silent No More. A Catholic Blogger's Confession
"Women, post-abortive American women, will be the ones who will make the greatest strides against abortion and change the nation’s heart. Now, on this election year, is the time to stand up and honestly share, in heartrending and uncensored detail, what happens to women when they have an abortion and how they are forever changed in hopes that no one will suffer the same pain. I’ve been silent for far too long." The Crescat
Monday, May 21, 2012
Suing the President- The Church Militant Responds
As painful as it is to see people go without health care coverage and the economic hardships that will ensue, there is a positive aspect in all of this. We are seeing the Church in America rising to the occasion and responding in a way that it has for 2000 years. Sacrificing and bearing the cross instead of giving into the path of darkness.
The Church, the Mystical Body, exists on this earth, and is called the Church militant, because its members struggle against the world, the flesh and the devil.
(Father William Most)
A Radical Message for Mother’s Day 2012
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Get Your Papist On! Promote Catholicism Day 5/24/12
"In his message for the 45th World Communications Day (held on June 5, 2011), Pope Benedict XVI noticed how digital social networks are creating “a new appreciation of communication itself, which is seen first of all as dialogue, exchange and the creation of positive relations.”
Hopefully our contributions to Catholic Media Promotion Day will allow many to experience Catholic life, teaching and spirituality as a “holy exchange of gifts.”
Every day is a good day to promote Catholic media. Make a point of sharing with your friends and social networks your favorite Catholic media and in doing so answer the call to be missionaries on this new digital continent."
Monday, May 14, 2012
What Has Solo Scriptura Done For You Lately?
- It allowed me to ignore the truth and wisdom in the writings of 2000 years of godly Christians called saints, including Augustine and Aquinas. (Including all creeds, councils and papal encyclicals)
- It freed me from the burden of learning the historical roots of my faith thereby allowing me to ignore 1500 years of the Holy Spirit's working in the lives of men.
- It empowered me to personally deduce which scriptures should be interpreted literally and which should be taken symbolically. For example, "of course God created the world in 6 DAYS, but no, He absolutely didn't mean this verse literally when He said. "Take and eat, this is my body.'
- It permitted me to ignore the possibility that God's grace can be obtained from the sacraments because they weren't mentioned specifically in the bible.
- It helped me to define the meaning and purpose of human sexuality in marriage and freed me to ignore the 1,930 years of prohibition of contraception(in all Christian denominations, as a matter of fact). If a particular sexual act was not specifically prohibited in the bible, I was empowered to "use my imagination" since "the marriage bed is undefiled."(Heb 13:4)
- It gave me the impetus to shop around for churches until I found the one that most agreed with my personal interpretation of Holy Scripture. I was then empowered to leave said church if I believed that the pastor's interpretation of Holy Scripture no longer agreed with mine.
- Finally and most importantly, it freed me from the "burden" of remaining in communion with the Church that can be historically traced to Christ and his apostles.
Sola Scriptura Leads to Rome-Part 4 of Bekah's Story
"I believed Jesus when He said, “Seek and ye shall find,” I just never expected it would be in the very last place I would ever think to look. But I was looking to submit to His Church, and when that Church was revealed in the breaking of the bread, I submitted."
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Bible Reading Catholics
Tom Riello, reformed evangelical convert to the Catholic faith writes an excellent post here regarding Catholics and the reading of the Bible. Check it out here.
“Our one desire for all the Church’s children is that, being saturated with the Bible, they may arrive at the all surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ” (Spiritus Paraclitus #69) Pope Benedict
Tom Riello: "I want to stress that becoming Catholic is not only about what you are giving up. Becoming Catholic is also about what you are gaining. This leads to my second point about Bible reading. I can say that becoming Catholic has enriched my reading of the Bible, not lessened it — renewed it, and not stunted it."
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Sola Scriptura Leads to Rome. Part 3 of Bekah's Story
"Baptist Bible" Christian Finds The Church!
Blame it on the Early Church Father's once again, for it seems when he began to read history (Saint Augustine in particular) he knew that his sect in no way resembled the early christian church (AKA the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church)
It seemed that Augustine and his contemporaries believed something very different about the Church than most protestants today did. They believed in Scripture and the Sacred Tradition handed on from the apostles to their successors, the Bishops. They believed that what distinguished the Church was its unity of teaching and what distinguished the heretics and false teachers was their inconsistencies and divisions. They practiced confession to priests, prayed for the dead, believed that God works through sacraments to apply His salvation and grace into our lives. They recited written prayers, they spoke of Christ’s purification of Christians through something called purgatory. They testified that Mary was free from original sin and called her “The New Eve.” They wrote prayers to Jesus, they called on Mary to pray.
And as I read more and more of these writings, I became unsettled and wondered if all the things that these early Christians wrote about were still going on in their totality in any Church today."
The Church Will Never Redefine the Meaning of Marriage
Look! A Black Catholic!
"I was a young black woman in the South and of all places I felt at home in a Catholic church. Once I accepted Christ's call, I delved deeply into Catholicism to truly understand and grow in my Faith. I didn't choose to be Catholic...Christ told me I was Catholic; from that point, there was no turning back and a year after I accepted my conversion I was blessed to be accepted in communion with Christ and confirmed as a Roman Catholic."
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
The Biblical Canon: Truth with Great Consequence.
"The authority of the Bible is the topic often brought by those not in full communion with the Catholic Church.
The position usually is expressed like this:
"Jesus gave us the Bible, which is God's utlimate and final authority for our beliefs. Scripture is the only authority we need and any other authority is just man made. I just believe what the Bible says and that is sufficient for salvation."
Slow down a moment and let's walk through this line of thought. Let's reflect on the undergirding premise and also the results of this conviction.
First, what is the bible? All Christians believe it is a collection of writings that were brought about through God's inspiration. But if you pick up a copy of a bible today, you likely have taken for granted the table of contents or list of books provided for you. How do you know which books God wanted included as the totality of His written Word? Have you noticed that there is not one mention in any biblical text stating which books are to be included?
I rememember when I was attending protestant seminary we began to learn about the history of biblical translation and the different approaches used in translating the texts from their original language. There was the discussion on the difference between a formal equivalent translation and a dynamic equivalent translation. (word for word vs. a thought for thought approach) As the class went along one of our professors brought up the idea that some translations more accurately represent the itent of the original language. But, he said, "We need to be sure that by explaining the history of translation we don't take the bible away from anyone in the Church." This refrain was repeated on a number of occasions. This was well-meaning advice. The professor was expressing that we don't want to undermine a person's reliance on the Bible's authority by sharing about the real messyness of translating the text and the uneven history of the biblical canon.
Interestingly, the history of the canon was not discussed in our classes in much detail. We also were never given opportunity to read any writings that other Christians (such as the Eastern Orthodox and Catholics) include in their canon. I did not pick up on this then, but something was very bothersome about this. Here's why:
The main argument offered by the first protestants for how they conclude which books are to be a part of the canon of Scripture was the concept of scriptural perpescuity. That's a fancy word that conveys that the Scriptures are discernable. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Christians can understand and distinguish between what is Scripture and what is not Scripture by carefully reading the text. So, the idea is this: I could pick up a bible, turn to the book of Job read it and then put the bible down and then pick up the text for Shakespeare's Hamlet and after reading both, I would inherently know that Job was God's Word and Hamlet came just from Shakespeare.
There's a grand canyon size hole in the example I have given. The comparison does not represent what must be distinguished. Judging between Hamlet and Job is easy. The real test is can a Christian pick up a copy of the text of Tobit, Wisdom, Sirach, Judith, etc. and carefully read them and know with firm certainty that : "These writings were not of God's guided inspiration and they should not be included in the canon."
Now, come back to the guidance of my seminary professor. He urged us not to 'take the bible from those in our Churches." But, if there is even a possibility that protestants removed seven books that were part of an established canon, is that not what every protestant Church has essentially done? Have they not taken part of the bible away from Christians?!?!?!
What I find so shocking is what little matter of consequence this seems to be to many people I attempt to talk with about this. What I find also quite alarming is the amount of misplaced faith that must occur in order to sustain confidence in the protestant canon. Here is an outline of where I consider faith is misplaced:
- First, there is for most an absolute blind faith placed in the table of contents in the copy of the bible held by each protestant. They too quickly assume that the list of books stated at the beginning of their bible is God's irrefutable Truth.
- Second, faith is in a reliance on the conviction that their local pastor must have carefully studied to make sure that each book is from God and not merely a compilation offered by the latest bible publishers.
- Finally, there is misplaced faith in 'respected' bible scholars who can give you a convenient list of "four ways that determine the canon of scripture."
But, let's not get ahead of ourselves.
What's at stake...
What is really at stake here is the foundational claim regarding the authority of Scripture and how it relates to the Church. If it can be reasonably discerned that the scriptures that protestants maintain have excluded a part of God's revelation it undermines their entire claim regarding authority. And also we also come to face a matter of enormous gravity. If we believe the totality of God's Word is eternal, with not one word to be discarded, then if protestants have discarded or dismissed a part of this Word, then this is a serious matter and a great offense.
Jesus' word is very forceful on this matter:
Matthew 5:17-18 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."
So, should it not be alarming if someone begins to propose the removal of some books from the canon? Now, some protestants offer an argument in reply. They argue that the protestant reformers went back and followed the Hebrew Canon that were recognized by the first century Jewish community. They argue that Catholics 'added' books to the bible at the Council of Trent when the canon began to be questioned by the reformers. They argue that the Catholics didn't finalize their list of canonical books until after the protestants questioned them.
This is a version of history that finds very little correlation with reality. It's a version though that protestants enthusiastically accept without questioning it because the alternative would likely have a major consequence.
There's been a lot written in response to this fantastical proposition, so I will just give brief summary. If you have an open mind and would like to really examine what your underlying assumptions are concerning the canon and who has the authority to discern it, you can easily reply to this writing and ask to examine this more.
1. Protestants follow the Hebrew Old Testament canon.
Reply: First, the Jewish population in the first century A.D. was not the monolithic body that this assertion would have you believe. There were different sub-communities within the Jewish people. Some Jewish communities had integrated into the greek culture that was around them, even speaking the greek language. Some Jewish communities believed that God only communicated His Word through the Hebrew language. The seven books recognized by the Catholic and Orthodox, which protestants exclude, were thought to be written mostly in Greek close to the 3rd and 2nd century B.C.
This was one of Luther's rationale for his decision to place this in a section of his bible called the Apocrypha. There's a couple major problems with this. One is that the same Jewish communities that were excluding any Greek language writings in the Old Testament were also excluding the ENTIRE new testament for the same reason. Remember, all the apostles and most of the first Christians were FROM the Jewish community. We have substantial record that Christians were using the OT books (including the 7 that the Catholic Church maintians) to point their fellow Jews to the messianic prophecies that Christ fulfilled. The Jewish leaders at the time were looking for a way to dismiss the Jewish Christians who were growing and evangelizing all the surrounding communities to Christ. So, they decided to narrrow their canon down in order to illegitimize the Christian movement. And yet this is one of the main supports of authority that the protestants use for their canon.
The other major problem is the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1952. Protestants often look to this discovery to support the historicity and validity of the Scriptural texts. The Scripture found at this site were the oldest ever discovered, dating back to the first few centuries of the Church. What protestants do not talk about is that many of the books rejected by protestants were also discovered at this site. Another major discovery was that some of the OT writings originally thought to only have a greek language source were instead discovered to have writings in Hebrew. So one of Luther's primary arguments, that he borrowed from the first century A.D. Jewish community, falls apart.
2. Was the Catholic Canon not authoritative until the Council of Trent after the protestant reformation?
This assertion is truly absurd. And it is still brought up by most respected protestant bible scholars when confronted on the canon. If protestants want to argue that the canon was not recognized until the council of Trent then protestants need to show us that there was a consensus in the early Church that recognized the canon that protestants hold to today. This in no way can be done. In fact, the canon of Scripture remained pretty unsettled until 394 A.D. when the Council of Carthage met and they provided a list of books that the Church had come to recognize as God's revelation. This council includes the books rejected by protestants. Some protestants try to point to other councils where some of the books were not included. But there is a problem with this, there is not one council in recorded history that excluded all the books. There is typically one or two held in question. But the other problem is that at this same time, NT books accepted today by all were put on that very same list of questionable books. Such as "Esther, Jude, 2 Peter, James, and Revelation. This is why Luther intially pushed to have these removed from the canon in his German translation (in his first German edition of the NT, he puts these NT books in the back as a separate section.) The fact is there was up to 3 separate councils, occuring in different countries, within the first thousand years of Christianity that accepted the Canon that Catholics still maintain today. The council of Trent reasserted this canon only when it was challenged by the protestant insurrection. And this is something I learned right in my seminary classes as a protestant: Doctrine is not strongly or authoritatively declared until it is challenged. This was true for the doctrine of Christ's being eternally begotten from the Father. This was not authoritatively declared by the Church until about four hundred years after Christ ascended to heaven. It was then that certain priests and bishops in the Church began to question and then reject this teaching. And in response, the doctrine was strongly declared (see the Niceene Creed).
When protestants lay out their reasons for why books are included in the canon, one of the criteria often cited is that the writing was widely accepted and used by the earliest Chrsitians. Sadly, the protestant canon does not meet this criteria. The books they exclude were widely accepted and read aloud in the Churches. (see links below for support of this.) There is a mountain of evidence that shows this. And they continue to be widely read and accepted by the majority of Christians throughout the world (over a billion Catholics and Orthodox).
So, what does this all mean?
It means that if protestants are wrong on the canon of Scripture, which is one of the most fundamental Christian beliefs, the question deserves to be asked: What else were they wrong on? If they could not properly discern what should be included as part of God's Word, then is it possible that they are wrongly interpreting the Scripture they do have? Could it be possible that the early reformers' rejection of Church authority had an influence on which books they 'decided' to recognize? Is it possible that their judgement was clouded by a zealous bias against the Catholic Church?
If their authority rests utlimately on the Bible and their bible is not the entire bible then does this not collapse their entire presupposition?
For Christians who place the Scripture in such high regard, I would hope the canon of Scripture would not be a trifling matter. My impression during seminary was that the canon that protestants had been widely accepted since the earliest days of Christianity. But this premise was never supported historically by any writings in the early Church. So I was left to just take for granted that the professors were being academically honest with regard to the research of early Christian history and the canon that was widely used then.
Most Christians today use as their rationale for their acceptance of the protestant canon something similar to what mormons use to accept the 'book of mormon' promulgated by Joseph Smith. When you ask a mormon how they know that Smith's book should be recognized as part of God's word they say, "the Holy Spirit revealed it to my heart and gives affirmation to me that it is true." In honesty, I've heard the very same thing from many protestant friends and family I have tried to talk with about the Canon.
The reason I believe there is such a avoidance of this issue is that the alternative option would be to accept that the teaching of the Catholic Church on the canon of Scripture is not relative position, but an authoritative doctrine. And if the Catholic Church was preserved from error in the preservation of God's Word, then would not Christ keep the Church from error on all matters of doctrine and morals? For did not Christ promise to not leave us as sheep without a Shepherd? How does Christ Shepherd his Church today? Is it through a succession of Bishops that Christ has maintained since his ascension? Or is a Christian shepherd based on whether he is accepted by a majority of Christians in a local community? Is a Christian shepherd one who is most enthusiatic in saying that "I only teach the bible." (watch out, Joel Osteen says that at the same time John Piper does.)
2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
Become Catholic; where the canon of Scripture and the Truth does not change when popular opinion and zealous teachers change. It's a wonderful journey that I began just over a year ago and it continues today!
To look further:
You can start with a video I made-
And one made by another:
And a good start for reading:
http://www.defendingthebride.com/bb/deuterocanonical.html (this provides extensive quotes from the early Church. Especially from Jerome, who protestants claim firmly rejected the deuterocanonical books.)
Monday, May 07, 2012
Reason # 796 To be Catholic: You Can Visit The Museum of Natural History And Not Shipwreck Your Faith
But how did I explain fossils that date more than 40 million years? What could I say when I see a piece of petrified wood that was over 30 million years old? How did I justify primordial forms of invertebrate and vertebrate life? How did I explain to my kids that Tyrannosaurus Rex was really less than 6000 years old and walked the earth with Adam and Eve, despite a fossil record that shows T Rex lived 65.5 million years ago? I used lousy arguments from Ken Hamm's Creation Science which "proved" that carbon dating is completely inaccurate. Even though I myself was a scientist of sorts, I did feel a little sheepish trying to get my extremely bright and inquisitive second- born son to buy into this. By third grade, I knew that he knew that the theory of the 6000 year old earth was improbable and didn't buy my arguments anymore.
Now, being Catholic has freed me from the fear of going to a natural history museum. I don't have to shut my brain off or tell myself "fossils were put here by Satan to deceive us."
The Catholic Catechism says this:
159 Faith and science: "Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth." "Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are."
Sola Scriptura Leads to Rome. Part 2 of Bekah's Story
Sunday, May 06, 2012
Baptist Pastor Crosses the Tiber
"I have embraced the sacraments because I have embraced what the Bible teaches about my humanity: I am a unity of the physical and the spiritual. Therefore, God wants to communicate himself to me through physical things. The most important sacrament is the Eucharist.
It is not enough for God to strengthen me with “symbols” of his body and blood, because I am not a “symbol” of a man. I am a real man. That is, a real human being. And that is why—among other reasons–Christians from the beginning of the Church have taught that in Communion, Jesus Christ so loves us that he gives us Himself: his real body, blood, soul, and divinity. There is only one Church that understands and teaches this: the Roman Catholic Church."
Read the rest of Vaughn Kohler's story here.
Cowardice and Irresponsibility: Fruits of Pornography
"Absolutely nothing is allowed into our experience that would challenge our will, play with our emotions or wound our ego. All the perfectly air-brushed and HD-quality citizens of our world are smiling, desiring and accepting, and there is certainly no chance for hurt, pain or rejection. We are given the illusion of intimacy without the risk of vulnerability."
It also keeps men in a persistent state of adolescence marked by selfishness with a failure to take responsibility for their actions. I often think that the recent Secret Service scandal in Cartegna was evidence of a generation of young men who have spent their developmental years on-line viewing pornography. Women are their playthings and despite being in a position requiring the most responsibility in the nation, they behaved as if they were 15 year-olds on a camping trip with a stolen case of beer and someone's father's smut collection.
Friday, May 04, 2012
Thursday, May 03, 2012
Sola Scriptura Leads to Rome
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Feast of Saint Athanasius
His life was a series of battles and controversy and he was known as "Athanasius Contra Mundum."
Athanasius Against the World! He spent 17 years of his 40 year bishopric in exile because of the Arian leanings of the roman emperors at the time, but he would not back down.
Saint Athanasius, we ask for your intercession that we would always be faithful to the Truth and stand up for Christ and His Church despite any opposition, as you yourself did. In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, we pray, Amen.