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.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Feast of Saint Augustine. A Scoundrel to Saint Story

Today the Catholic Church celebrates the life and work of St. Augustine. (354-430 AD) He was a scoundrel, womanizer and pagan until a dramatic conversion at 33 years of age, largely due to the intercessions of his mom, St. Monica. As an evangelical christian, I recall his story of conversion was often shared as an inspirational lesson to never give up on praying for someone's conversion. Little did I realize then that Augustine was one of the greatest "Fathers" of the Catholic Church and a stalwart defender of the faith against several heresies floating about in his lifetime. His writing and preaching put an end to at least two common heresies of the day, Pelagianism and Donatism and he fought valiantly against the Arian heresy as well. His writings are foundational for the development of Christian doctrine and revered by Protestant as well as Catholic theologians.

His City of God and Confessions are spiritual classics that are available for downloads to Palm Pilots. I have Confessions on my Palm currently but I must confess, I haven't gotten all the way through it yet! Nevertheless, I am thankful for his softened heart to the call of the Holy Spirit and his subsequent contributions to the understanding and defense of Christianity from the ancient times that remain to this day. I too feel similar to St. Augustine regarding my late-in life conversion to Catholicism. I loved and sought out Jesus for most of my life but lost his Church early in my life. So "too late" have I loved your Church, Lord. But God is so merciful and kind to me and lead me back to His Church at such a late date (30 years after turning my life over to Jesus).

“Too late have I loved you, O Beauty of ancient days, yet ever new! Too late I loved you! And behold, you were within, and I abroad, and there I searched for you; I was deformed, plunging amid those fair forms, which you had made. You were with me, but I was not with you. Things held me far from you—things which, if they were not in you, were not at all. You called, and shouted, and burst my deafness. You flashed and shone, and scattered my blindness. You breathed odors and I drew in breath—and I pant for you. I tasted, and I hunger and thirst. You touched me, and I burned for your peace” (St. Augustine, Confessions).

"In the Catholic Church . . . a few spiritual men attain [wisdom] in this life, in such a way that . . . they know it without any doubting, while the rest of the multitude finds [its] greatest safety not in lively understanding but in the simplicity of believing. . . . [T]here are many other things which most properly can keep me in her bosom. The unanimity of peoples and nations keeps me here. Her authority,
inaugurated in miracles, nourished by hope, augmented by love, and confirmed by her age, keeps me here. The succession of priests, from the very see of the apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after his resurrection, gave the charge of feeding his sheep [John 21:15–17], up to the present episcopate, keeps me here. And last, the very name Catholic, which, not without reason, belongs to this Church alone, in the face of so many heretics, so much so that, although all heretics want to be called ‘Catholic,’ when a stranger inquires where the Catholic Church meets, none of the heretics would dare to point out his own basilica or house" (Against the Letter of Mani Called "The Foundation" 4:5 [A.D. 397]).

For more free palm pilot texts of Catholic writings and theology, go to Chris Wong's Site:


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