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, April 30, 2007

Anniversary Day!

Tiber Jumper marks another milestone today. Today marks the third anniversary of our return to the Catholic Church. On April 3oth, 2004, Prodigal Daughter and I Crossed the Tiber.

We went to confession that day for the first time in over thirty years and I shared more than thirty years of sins to the priest. As I heard the words of absolution "God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen" The tears started down my cheeks. It was as if Jesus was saying those words in my ear. I was forgiven for my sins and I had to now receive my penance.

Remember when Jesus told us in the Gospels that we need to make restitution for our sins? That's what Catholics called Penance. It is not working to be forgiven (He already does that in absolution where he gives the Church power to forgive sins in Jn 21) but it is performing an action (work) egads! that makes satisfaction for the temporal consequences of our behavior. My penance was not 3 Hail Mary's and an Our Father. My confessor told me to daily take the opportunity to share with others what Jesus has done for me. Wow! Talk about an appropriate penance ! Strangely enough, I have been given an opportunity almost daily since then to do just that. (And I'm not even referring to this blog)

We then went into the Chapel to begin Mass. But before receiving the Eucharist, our marriage had to be con-validated since we were technically considered lapsed Catholics who married outside the Church. The week before this, I was bristling at the thought that our marriage was somehow not valid, and was angry at this "know-it-all-priest" for telling me that! The amazing thing is that during or after confession, those thoughts melted away and I felt very grateful for this priest who was willing to discharge his duties in complete conformity with the teachings of the Church. My pride was hurt as I didn't want to think of myself as rebellious, but the truth was that when I walked out of that Church so many years ago, I was rebelling against the plan God had for me. This was truly a conversion for me because, by the grace of God, I had a lot of pride about being a devout Christian (in my eyes) and submitting to the Catholic Church was a major step. (My conversion in this area continues even now, as you see when I get my bristles up in some of these blog comments)

Then the moment came that I still choke up about three years later when I talk about it.
The priest held out the Eucharist to me and said "The Body of Christ." I said Amen (It is true) and opened my mouth and received Christ Jesus physically for the first time in over 35 years. As I knelt and prayed in the pew and wept again, I could hear the Lord saying to me: "This is what you have always been looking for. " At that moment, I knew that I had come home and know that I will never leave again. To God be all the Glory.


Blogger Ma Beck said...

I have tears in my eyes reading your beautiful post.
Congratulations to both of you!

April 30, 2007 9:21 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks so much and Thank You Jesus for keeping us close to you!

April 30, 2007 10:46 PM  
Blogger Kacy said...

Happy Aniversary! I loved your post. Converting and reverting are both really humbling experiences.

May 01, 2007 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Happy Anniversary, TJ and Prod!

The Easter Vigil during which I was baptized, confirmed and given the Eucharist for the first time was the happiest night of my life. Totally overcome with joy, I was crying on and off throughout the whole Mass. I remember it like it was yesterday but what stood out for me was that despite all the excitement, nerves, worries and yes, even a few little irritations in the runup to the Easter Vigil, on the night I felt such complete certainty in my being that I was where God wanted me to be. That kind of peace is amazing. Everybody said I was radiant; I didn't know, I just know I felt like I was walking in the clouds.

Hey, I'm getting emotional just thinking about it.

May 01, 2007 9:39 PM  
Anonymous Runningmom said...

Beautiful! I hope the day never comes when I don't weep during Mass. To God be all the Glory indeed!

Thanks for your very thoughtful reply yesterday, btw.

May 01, 2007 10:28 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Did we ever think that being Catholic could be so ...emotional?
When the Donutman converted recently and his testimony was on EWTN, critics blogged about the emotionalism of Catholicism dragging people in. Yet when we were all Protestants outside the Church, we complained about the dry stuffy Liturgy and the lack of emotion!
"We played for you our pipes, but you would not dance. We mourned and we cried but you would not weep."

Thanks folks for the kind comments.
May we never lose the wonder of the Mass. Heaven opening before us.

May 01, 2007 11:22 PM  

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