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.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Desperate for You

On my trip to Haiti, I went with the team from my former evangelical church that I had attended before my conversion/reversion to Catholicism. As a result, I knew I wouldn't be going to Mass daily nor on the Lord's Day, though there were two Catholic Churches a few miles from our compound. I had "scouted them out" before I left the states, in the hopes of going but due to the ongoing security issues, kidnappings, etc., it would not be safe for myself and the only other Catholic on the team to attend Mass.

So, I spent ten days without the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Talk about fasting during Lent! I couldn't wait to go to Mass when I got back. I absorbed every aspect of the Mass this morning relishing every word, gesture and grace flowing through the Liturgy of the Word and Eucharist. Even just to dip my hand in the Holy Water at the entrance and make the sign of the Cross with a quick prayer was so precious to me. I silently wept after I went up to receive the Body and Precious Blood of my Lord and God. I didn't realize how much I missed Jesus in the Bread of Life.

Yes, Jesus was with us at every step on our trip, in His word that I read daily, the other Christians I was gathered with, and especially in the "least of these" we cared for, but it was not quite the same as receiving Him in the precious Blessed Sacrament. I wondered how I lived so long without His Real Presence, His Holy Presence abiding in me via the Eucharist. Yet, I know that if I never receive Him in the Eucharist again before I die, I would be satisfied having had the chance to partake in the divine nature of God through his Eucharistic presence on this side of the veil. There is a saint who received the Eucharist just twice in her entire life of over 47 years!

During the mission, I lead the singing for the nightly meeting after the clinic. There was only one other Catholic with me so the songs were chosen from the non-denominational church back in the states. One night as we sang "Breathe", I was so desperately longing for Jesus in the Eucharist. I couldn't help but change the words in my mind as we sang. Truly, for Catholics, Jesus is the "air we breathe", the source and summit of our faith as John Paul 2 said. (My apologies to Michael W. Smith who wrote the original beautiful song.)

This is the air I breathe
This is the air I breathe
Your holy presence living in me

This is my daily bread
This is my daily bread
Your very word spoken to me (Your very body given to me)*

And I I'm desperate for you
And I I'm I'm lost without you

This is the air I breathe
This is the air I breathe
Your holy presence living in me

This is my daily bread
this is my daily bread
your very word spoken to me (Your precious blood given to me)*

And I'm, I'm desperate for you
And I'm, I'm lost without you

And I'm desperate for you
And I'm, I'm lost without you.

I'm lost without you.

I'm lost without you.

I'm desperate for you.

*My version of the words


Anonymous Nancy said...

Very nice TJ. You didn't come close to any "inadvertent" changing of the words when you were leading, did you? ;)

March 11, 2007 6:42 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

Oh, I really love that song... I like your words...

March 12, 2007 10:56 AM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

Oh, my goodness!

I'm crying, reading this post! Your hunger for Jesus is nearly TANGIBLE and every word of that song is just...oh, the agony!

I'll never hear that song in the same way again.

(No offense to Michael W. Smith, but I like your words better...)

March 12, 2007 5:22 PM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

Welcome back, TJ! I've missed your posts and your comments. It was a long TJ fast! ; )

Your version, TJ ,I just have to the "Fullness" of the beautiful song M.W. Smith wrote.

So glad you're back home and "posting on the banks of the Tiber" once more.

Your sister in Christ,
Omaha susie

p.s. I have a couple more "olde tyme" songs re-written for your perusal. ; )

March 12, 2007 8:42 PM  

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