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.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

More from T. a Kempis

The Eucharist is unfathomable and therefore it is so appropriate for the Church to refer to the Blessed Sacrament as a mystery. What a great prayer Thomas gave us (below in brown) to pray in preparation for receiving Christ in the Eucharist.

To be honest though, there are times when I am not so enthusiastic and after a long stressful day would prefer to sit at home, rather than going to daily Mass. However, once I am there, I have yet to walk out saying, "What a waste of time, I could have been watching the Simpsons."

I have a theory that the more often we receive the graces of God through Communion, the more we continue to desire it. Think about it this way, as a Christian, you spend your life trying to get as close to Jesus as possible. I think we can all agree on that. Then, one day, ZAP! You come to believe that He truly is present in the Eucharist residing in every tabernacle in every Catholic Church. By going to Mass, and being properly disposed, you can receive the Lord God that you have been seeking, searching and yearning for all your life.

So you get home from work and it's 5PM. Mass is at 7 and you need to fast beginning at 6PM. The Mass is usually over at 7:20 PM. So I can stay home and eat supper, play around on the internet making up goofy blog posts/play with the Tibercam and wait until Sunday to receive Jesus. Or, I can walk or drive to St. Anne's and have a personal meeting with the God of the universe and receive grace, forgiveness of venial sins (yes, sins are forgiven in the reception of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament) and the strength to continue the journey. Could I just wait until Sunday to receive once a week and be a devout Catholic? Absolutely!! Many folks because of family or job or location can't receive daily and I am thankful for where we are right now. It may not always be so. I find it providential that when we moved to this new little town, we weren't Catholic. As it turns out, the Catholic Church is walking distance from our home. The name of our town is Emmaus (where Jesus became apparent to his disciples in the breaking of the bread.) God has a sense of humor.

"O LORD my God, favor Your servant with the blessings of Your sweetness that I may merit to approach Your magnificent Sacrament worthily and devoutly. Lift up my heart to You and take away from me this heavy indolence. Visit me with Your saving grace that I may in spirit taste Your sweetness which lies hidden in this Sacrament like water in the depths of a spring. Enlighten my eyes to behold this great Mystery, and give me strength to believe in it with firm faith.

For it is Your work, not the power of man, Your sacred institution, not his invention. No man is able of himself to comprehend and understand these things which surpass even the keen vision of angels. How, then, shall I, an unworthy sinner who am but dust and ashes, be able to fathom and understand so great a mystery?" (Thomas a Kempis)


Blogger St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

Yes, á Kempis alludes to the sensuum defectui from Aquinas' 'Tantum ergo Sacramentum', where our senses fail, veiling His Glory in the Eucharist. As sin is so often the culprit in our failing senses, it's all the more reason for frequent confession, persistent penance, and constant prayer.

September 05, 2007 9:41 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

thanks St jimbob, sensuum defectui!
(That would be a great blog name)

September 05, 2007 6:27 PM  
Blogger Peter Sean Bradley said...

have a theory that the more often we receive the graces of God through Communion, the more we continue to desire it.

Isn't that consistent with the Catholic concept - much derided by worksaphobic Protestant - that works of love merit the reception of further graces to assist in the process of sanctification.

It seems to me that there is something very Aristotelian about that idea. Namely, that we develop habits of virtue by doing virtuous things in a habitual way. You can find that idea laid out in the Nichomachean Ethics, which I think informed Aquinas' vies on the subject.

I'm reading some Luther now, and I find it interesting that Luther's major targets were Aristotle, the Ethics and Thomism.

September 07, 2007 11:59 AM  

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