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.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Church History: A Lesson in Awe

Yesterday, Pope Benedict reflected on the history of the Church and in particular, the writings of Eusebius of Caesarea, the first historian of the Church. When I read the historical writings of the early Church 3 years ago I realized they reflected Catholic belief that has not changed in 2000 years. I felt ashamed and embarrassed that I had such an incorrect view of Church history. I also was angry that in my faith circles, no one in thirty years had ever discussed the writings of the Church fathers. My view since fourteen years of age was this: "Jesus was born, died, rose again and started a church that immediately went South, and the Holy Spirit went on sabbatical for 150o hundred years." I am now in awe when I realize that His promise that the gates of hell would not prevail has indeed always been kept.

Pope Benedict: "Many centuries later, Eusebius of Caesarea still today issues an invitation to believers. He invites us to be awed by and to contemplate the great work of salvation that God has accomplished in history. And with the same vigor, he invites us to a conversion of life. In fact, before a God who has loved us so much, we cannot remain unaffected. The very demand of love is that all of life be oriented toward the imitation of the Beloved."

It now makes much more sense for me to believe that the God who promised to never leave or forsake us and to lead us in all Truth has never left the Church He started. We used to sing a chorus in our old fellowship that went like this:

"I will build my Church (women echo)
And the gates of Hell (echo)
Will not prevail (echo)
Against It...."

Little did I realize I was actually singing about the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic church. Now that is something to be in awe over.


Anonymous Nancy said...

I've noticed that when Protestants quote Mt. 16:18 they tend to leave out that little "inconvenient" portion of the passage. I think it had something to do with Peter.

June 15, 2007 7:20 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

I had probably read that a thousand times before as well, but could not/would not accept that as signifying apostolic succession and the role that eventually became known as the papacy. Actually, I never realized Jesus was quoting from Isa. regarding the "prime minister" and the "keys and authority of the kingdom" there.
But at the same time, I never concluded that he was referring to a statement Peter made earlier in the text regarding his confession of who Christ was. That was equally not seen in the passage for me.
I just happily read and said... hmm, Peter getting the keys, cool, but not realizing the import of Jesus building His Church on Him.
went right over my head!!! Took 30 years...

June 15, 2007 8:36 AM  

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