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.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Most Excellent Admonition From Theo

Theo is a frequent commenter on my blog. He recently posted this under my "Reformation of My Blog Traffic " post. There is much wisdom in what he says and it may benefit all on both sides of the Tiber to take heed to Theo's words.

"I humbly caution us all (myself included) to beware of and resist temptations to judge those who judge us.

As Tiber hinted, they believe that they are defending the sanctity and holiness of God's own message, which as His Elect, they alone grasp in fullness.

I believe it is unwise to say of these, our brothers and sisters, that they are "hateful" or subject to judgment for failing to "love their brothers who they can see." To do so is to do the very same thing--and perhaps even more so: for we Catholics profess that all Christians are indeed our brothers and sisters in Christ--whether they know it, or like it, or not.

We must have the same attitude that was in Christ, and humble ourselves as obedient servants.

We must pray and hope that their motivations are for love of God and zeal for his truth, even when its execution offends us. We must encourage every step taken in understanding and in faith. We must avoid breaking the bruised reed. We must not extinguish the smoldering wick.

No argument, no pleading, no appealing to reason, no appealing to the very same authority that they claim as their sole authority can soften their hearts. Knowing this, would anyone honestly expect that sarcasm or insult (no matter how sugar-coated or no matter how indirect) will do so?

Rather, if we are to witness to the truth, let it be this: that we love one another. As is true for all of us, it is by the Holy Spirit that any come to the Table of the Lord. It is by God's grace that they will someday come into full communion with the remainder of the holy Church that they (and often we also) fail to recognize as the mystical body of Christ (whether they come while in this life or the next).

If *we* say that we know God who we cannot see, and hate our brothers who we can see, there is no truth in us.

This I submit with the knowledge of and repentance from my own sins toward my brothers.
With humbly prayer to you for your prayers to Jesus, I remain
Your Brother in Christ,


Blogger said...

Theo offers wisdom.

Let us correct with gracious hearts. Let us know that no amount of apologetic will accomplish in the mind what has not been begun in the heart by the will of the Holy Spirit.

Let us pray with Saint Ephrem, " O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of laziness, meddling, ambition and vain talk. But give me a spirit of prudence, humility, patience and love. Yes Lord and King grant me to see my own sins and faults and not judge my brother. For You are Blessed forever and ever. Amen.

And, at the same time, let us continue to be reading to give an answer for the faith...

I am a convert, a former Protestant minister, so I would say that argument {sound reasoning not being argumentative}, appealing to sacred Scripture can and does soften hearts but, as I have said, not unless it has been the will of the Holy Spirit to first work that heart in the love of Christ for the cause of His Church.

Let us be gracious and behave in such a way that no fault may be found in us.

God bless you TJ. God bless you Theo.

December 05, 2006 8:28 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks Onion Boy!
I just received a nice e mail from a protestant brother that I wanted to share:
"why our Christianity does not seem to matter when we are pecking away at a keyboard surely is a moral vice many of us will have to explain on judgment day."

Yes, that is true.

December 06, 2006 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Theo said...

Gloria Deo. Amen.

December 06, 2006 9:24 AM  
Anonymous Julie said...

What a wonderful reminder. It is always such a temptation to respond in kind when we are attacked. But that is not Christ's way. This is one of the many ways in which following Christ makes us better.

December 06, 2006 6:03 PM  

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