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.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Where The Bishop Is...

In 107 AD, St. Ignatius on his way to martyrdom wrote, "Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" (Letter To the Smyrnaeans 8:2).

In the small town of Kilfenora in County Clare, the remains of a cathedral built in the 12th century still stand. It was built at the site of a 6th century monastery founded by St. Fachtna. The bishop's likeness was carved from stone and placed in the cathedral about 9oo years ago, a timeless reminder of Ignatius words from the 2nd century.

Coming from God, Going toward God

(Graveyard on the southern coast of Galway Bay)

44 Man is by nature and vocation a religious being. Coming from God, going toward God, man lives a fully human life only if he freely lives by his bond with God.

45 Man is made to live in communion with God in whom he finds happiness: When I am completely united to you, there will be no more sorrow or trials; entirely full of you, my life will be complete (St. Augustine, Conf. 10, 28, 39: PL 32, 795}.

46 When he listens to the message of creation and to the voice of conscience, man can arrive at certainty about the existence of God, the cause and the end of everything.

47 The Church teaches that the one true God, our Creator and Lord, can be known with certainty from his works, by the natural light of human reason (cf. Vatican Council I, can. 2 § 1: DS 3026),

48 We really can name God, starting from the manifold perfections of his creatures, which are likenesses of the infinitely perfect God, even if our limited language cannot exhaust the mystery.

49 Without the Creator, the creature vanishes (GS 36). This is the reason why believers know that the love of Christ urges them to bring the light of the living God to those who do not know him or who reject him.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Church has been getting a lot of press lately in TIME magazine. Recently, it was the "expose" on the "Crisis of Mother Teresa's Faith" and now Pope Benedict's dealings with the Iranians.
Time Magazine Inc. and Chick Publications may seem like very disparate organizations but they do share one common goal. If the writers at TIME magazine ever lose their jobs, I know someone they can work for ;)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Help a Fellow Blogger

Adoro Te Devote is in grad school getting her degree in theology. She could use some books if you have some to spare. Check out her blog and pray about sending a book if you have one on her list that you no longer need. Thanks!

You Are What You Choose

"Eventually we become what we choose. If we choose stinginess, we become stingy. If we choose compassion, we become compassionate." Our holiness results from our small decisions to cooperate with God'’s grace." From St. of the Day

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Another Reason I Love the Catholic Church: Cloistered Nuns!

Check out this video by a Poor Clare Sister from Spokane. She has over 23,000 views on U Tube. (She's got me beat!) These sisters also have a radio station and they broadcast the joy of their faith 24/7. H/t to Esther from A Catholic Mom in HI

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Nothing Says "Happy Thanksgiving" Better Than The Eucharist!

Greek eucharistia = thanksgiving

The ancient title "Eucharistia" appears in writers as early as Ignatius, Justin Martyr and Irenæus from the second century onward. The Eucharist was later described by Augustine as the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.

Since the earliest days of the Church, the Eucharist has occupied a central aspect of worship and devotion as evidenced by the writings of the Church Fathers. The book of Acts described it as the " the breaking of the bread." Further on in the NT, St. Paul talks about the Mass in Corinthians and warns the faithful that their very lives could be placed in jeopardy if they partake of the Eucharist in an unworthy fashion, wrong motives, etc. Finally, the book of Revelation is a symbolic representation of the Mass .(See Scott Hahn's The Lamb's Supper)

May God bless you this day as you give thanks for all God's blessings in our lives, and most especially His gift to us of the Eucharist.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Theo Speaks About the Elephant in the Room

Theo said:

"I've been thinking about some observations you discussed with me off-line. As you said, our conversation with JohnOneOne (Alan) was interesting not only because of what we discussed, but also in something we did not discuss--at least not directly. The "elephant in the room" as you say, was the matter concerning if, how and what we humans understand of God's own communication with us.

From our Catholic perspective the doctrines that have arisen in the wake of Charles T. Russell’s “new understanding” of scripture could be viewed as yet another direct result of "sola scriptura" in action. Of course, we recognize that our Protestant brethren would not recognize Alan's viewpoint as a "sola scriptura" perspective, especially in light of the role that official Watchtower interpretations can play in establishing the society's doctrine. Yet at the same time, regardless of whatever weight Alan and his fellows place on their own "Magesterium," they themselves claim the Bible Alone is their authority.

If we take this claim at face value, then, as you pointed out, our conversation likely was an echo of similar conversations heard in the halls of Christendom roughly 17 centuries ago, when the Church debated the doctrine of the Trinity at the council of Nicea--and that in a real sense, these had been "settled." However, if indeed the question was settled that God is three persons in one being, then we are still left with "How do we know this is so, when the scriptures themselves do not explicitly say so? How can we be confident in our exegesis? If we go back to Nicea and examine how our forefathers came to dogmatically state the doctrine of the Trinity, what will we discover about their understanding of how we may be sure we are hearing God’s message correctly."

The Cosmic Character of the Eucharist

I have read his encyclical before but came upon this passage by Pope JP2 today :

"When I think of the Eucharist, and look at my life as a priest, as a Bishop and as the Successor of Peter, I naturally recall the many times and places in which I was able to celebrate it. I remember the parish church of Niegowic, where I had my first pastoral assignment, the collegiate church of Saint Florian in Krakow, Wawel Cathedral, Saint Peter's Basilica and so many basilicas and churches in Rome and throughout the world. I have been able to celebrate Holy Mass in chapels built along mountain paths, on lakeshores and seacoasts; I have celebrated it on altars built in stadiums and in city squares... This varied scenario of celebrations of the Eucharist has given me a powerful experience of its universal and, so to speak, cosmic character. Yes, cosmic! Because even when it is celebrated on the humble altar of a country church, the Eucharist is always in some way celebrated on the altar of the world. It unites heaven and earth. It embraces and permeates all creation. The Son of God became man in order to restore all creation, in one supreme act of praise, to the One who made it from nothing. He, the Eternal High Priest who by the blood of his Cross entered the eternal sanctuary, thus gives back to the Creator and Father all creation redeemed. He does so through the priestly ministry of the Church, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity. Truly this is the mysterium fidei* which is accomplished in the Eucharist: the world which came forth from the hands of God the Creator now returns to him redeemed by Christ. "

*Einstein was known to ask several priests to recommend all the books they could on the Eucharist, because of his fascination and respect for such an immense mystery.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Good News-Bad News

Bad News: Loved to Be had to temporarily go off-line because their ISP could not provide the bandwidth necessary given the huge volume of traffic they were getting.

The Good News: Loved to Be has had to temporarily go offline because their ISP cannot provide the bandwidth necessary given the huge volume of traffic they were getting.

In just 30 days since startup , they were up to 4000 views per day and have estimated they will be up to 10,000 views/day once they are up and running again.

It is gratifying to see that Catholics are taking part of JP2's New Evangelization so aggressively.
Let us all remember to pray for Catholic ministries on radio, internet and TV. Also, don't forget to open the wallets/purses as well. We used to call that "putting feet on prayers." If Thom Hall who started Loved to Be Catholic puts up a link for donations, I will post it below also.

Ave Maria Radio
Catholic Answers

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mary, Untier of Knots

I posted an earlier studio audio version of this song several weeks ago with octave mandolin and bass accompaniment. Here is the "live" Catholic Kitchen Video version. I believe the heart of Mary reflects the heart of the Church. She desires all to live in close relationship with her son, Jesus. I can't imagine that she wouldn't intercede for us as she stands before the throne of God. The Early Church Fathers (Irenaeus) referred to Mary as "the New Eve" who untied the knots of disobedience set into action by the first Eve in the garden. Check out this article by Father Mauriello.

I can assure you I was not worshiping Mary as I sang this song. That would be breaking a major commandment! (Though, I must admit, the graven image of Mary in my backyard caught my eye as I was recording this and I had no small difficulty not laughing when I thought about it!) But I was speaking well of her name, calling her blessed and thus placing myself in the generation of those who call her blessed. Don't you want to be in that generation?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Official Universal Greek Decoder Ring

Not only do we have to struggle with how to derive correct doctrine from the Bible, we must also struggle with which translation of the Bible to use when we are attempting to derive our doctrine. Some folks have used the Bible to prove the Trinity doesn't exist as our John 1:1 commenter. Others use the Bible alone to prove the Trinity does exist!! People use Bible translations that best reflect their own theological views as our friends from the Watchtower do.

So what's a sincere seeker of Truth supposed to do? For example:

1 Timothy 3:15

(New International Version)

15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

(New American Standard Bible)

15but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in (A)the household of God, which is the (B)church of (C)the living God, the (D)pillar and support of the truth.

(The Message)

14-16I hope to visit you soon, but just in case I'm delayed, I'm writing this letter so you'll know how things ought to go in God's household, this God-alive church, bastion of truth.

(Amplified Bible)

15If I am detained, you may know how people ought to conduct themselves in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and stay (the prop and support) of the Truth.

(New Living Translation)

15 so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth.

(King James Version)

15But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

(English Standard Version)

know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God,
a pillar and buttress of the truth.

(Contemporary English Version)

15so that if I am delayed, you will know how everyone who belongs to God's family ought to behave. After all, the church of the living God is the strong foundation of truth

(New King James Version)

15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth

(New Century Version)

15 Then, even if I am delayed, you will know how to live in the family of God. That family is the church of the living God, the support and foundation of the truth.

(21st Century King James Version)

15but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou ought to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

(American Standard Version

15 but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how men ought to behave themselves in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

(Young's Literal Translation)

15and if I delay, that thou mayest know how it behoveth [thee] to conduct thyself in the house of God, which is an assembly of the living God -- a pillar and foundation of the truth,

(Darby Translation)

15but if I delay, in order that thou mayest know how one ought to conduct oneself in God's house, which is [the] assembly of [the] living God, [the] pillar and base of the truth.

(New Life Version)

15 because it may be awhile before I get there. I wanted you to know how you should act among people in the church which is the house of the living God. The church holds up the truth.

(Holman Christian Standard Bible)

15 But if I should be delayed, [I have written] so that you will know how people ought to act in God's household, (A) which is the church of the living God, (B) the pillar and foundation of the truth. (C)

(New International Reader's Version)

15 Then if I have to put off my visit, you will know how you should act in God's family. The family of God is the church of the living God. It is the pillar and foundation of the truth.

(Wycliffe New Testament)

15 but if I tarry, that thou knowest, how it behooveth thee to live in the house of God, that is the church of living God, a pillar and firmness of truth.

(Worldwide English (New Testament))

15Then if I do not come right away, you will know what people should do in God's family. This family is the church of the living God. The church people hold what is true and keeps it strong.

(New International Version - UK)

15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

(Today's New International Version)

15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

If Jesus wanted us to derive all Truth from Scripture and nothing but Scripture, why didn't he give us the Official Universal Greek Decoder Ring that would give us the exact translation of Scripture so we would make no mistake about crucial doctrines such as trinity, scripture, baptism, justification, salvation etc, etc? The discussion on John 1 alone earlier made me hanker for the Decoder Ring.

Where's Captain Midnight when you need'm?

Nicean Blues Reaches 1000 Views!

Nicean Blues has been viewed 1000 times on LovedtobeCatholic video hosting site.
Hey, if I knew it would have taken off like this I would have worn a clean t- shirt. God bless and thanks.

I am also uploading some "TiberVideos" on Godtube and other sites. You never know who they will reach.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Scripture Re-Alignment

The more I started to think about the concept of re-translating the Bible to make the readings more in line with personal interpretation of Scripture, I recalled an event as a young teenager.
The Watchtower folks came to my door, and being an on-fire young Christian I invited them in to chat. I was figuring I would have them confessing Jesus is Lord in no time. I soon found out it was not that easy. Particularly when the issue of the trinity came up. They pulled out their New World Translation and stated that "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was a God." Stop the presses! How did that little article "a" get in there? The conversation quickly deteriorated. I didn't have any idea of where the Bible came from and who had the authority to translate etc, but knew instinctively that it was wrong to add to the Word of God in order to make Scripture say what you want it to say.
Did you ever read Scripture and wish that it didn't say what it said? Did you ever come upon verses that you were a bit uncomfortable with? Did you ever say, why didn't Paul just say "such and such" or why didn't Jesus tell us what we must do to be saved? (oops , he did, I forgot, sell everything you own and give it to the poor...) But I digress. My point is that when Scripture doesn't say what I think it should or doesn't come into alignment with my pet doctrines, It is I who needs a realignment, and not the Scripture. This will not be the last time, someone attempts to "realign" scripture by way of a "new more accurate" translation to assert their personal doctrinal agenda. Ο Θεός έχει το έλεος σε μας

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The True Story of The Vulgate Translation

St. Jerome translated the Vulgate Bible from copies of Greek and Hebrew manuscripts in the late fourth century. It was one of the most important accomplishments in his lifetime. This was not the first Latin translation of Scripture but it quickly became the accepted version used by the Church and all of Christendom. Before his translation there were many versions of the Old Latin or Vetus Latina manuscripts floating around, (approximately 27) and a more readable accessible version was needed.

So, St. Jerome translated the Bible (both New and OT) into the common Latin, the vulgate, the language of the people of the ancient world.

As he neared completion of this monumental task, he came to the second chapter of the book of James and read this in the original Greek manuscript he was translating from:

"Ye see then how that by works a man is not justified, and by faith only." (Jam 2:24)

He was troubled by this verse because it didn’t express what he felt was James true intention of the spirit of the chapter. Perhaps he thought, the original Greek manuscript had an error! St. Jerome, being a theologian knew what the Catholic Church stance was regarding faith and works. He knew that the Catholic Church believed that faith alone was not part of their doctrine. He knew that Catholic soteriology expressed that good works done in this life were an important aspect of final salvation. So he pondered , prayed and researched. He was beside himself because this manuscript was stating the opposite of what he knew to be true Catholic doctrine. His first thought was to just declare this book "un-inspired" and place it in the same category of the deuterocanonicals he struggled with. (thereby relegating it to an apocryphal status.) Finally, he decided that it would be in the "spirit of St. James" to add the word “not” before we are justified by faith alone. He merely had to take the not (ouk) from in front of justified (dikaiontai) and place it in front of the word faith. Just a simple transposition of a single word. After all, he was a theologian which much more learning than the average person and he felt that he had the authority to do this, given his tremendous education and position of responsibility in the Church. He even went up against the pope at one point trying to convince him the deuterocanonicals weren't inspired, (but he was corrected and submitted to the authority of the Church) He felt that he knew what James was trying to express here and thought he could make it clearer by switching the words around a bit. In a more quiet moment, St. Jerome pondered whether anyone else in salvation history would ever consider making this same bold decision to add or subtract from the Word of God. When he finished his translation of the Greek NT into the Vulgate Latin the "translated" verse read like this:

"Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only."

This small alteration of the original text would hardly be noticed by anyone and would be more in keeping with the Catholic view of faith and works. As a matter of fact, the Vulgate translation of St. Jerome was recognized as the "official" Bible translation of the Catholic Church at the Council of Trent. It had been used and accepted by the Church since the fourth century and three other councils had already approved it but this was stated at Trent in response to the reformer's attempts to discredit the canon of the Catholic bible. Most importantly it contained that pivotal verse in James that the Catholic theologians so often use to defend their soteriology against the sola fide of the reformer.


This is a tongue in cheek post, just in case anyone didn't realize it by now.

St. Jerome would not have presumed to know the mind of the writer of Scripture and would have never attempted to add or subtract words in order to make scripture express his view more clearly. In his own life, he had strong opinions regarding which books of Scripture were inspired but ultimately submitted his will to the Church, the pillar and foundation of Truth.

Der Nicean Blues

"Nicean Blues" is getting some blogplay over in the Das Vaterland

Ich weiß jemand, das über in ihrem Grab rollen wird, wenn sie es hören.

Ruhm zum Gott!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Udderly Amazing!

A Mennonite dairy farmer finds the truth of the Catholic Church by stumbling upon Catholic radio.

"Listening to Am 1060 (local Catholic radio) daily is like pouring gas on my spiritual flame and I can't get enough of it."

Welcome Home Brian!
My fellow Catholic bloggers , please send him a hearty Catholic blogger's welcome home here!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Crossed The Tiber Website!

Today we are announcing the launch of our new website
Crossed The Tiber.
We hope it will provide a source of information and contact for those interested in our apostolate. It will be updated with our schedule and will have links to online sources of Catholic information apologetics, and the ever-increasing catalog of Catholic Kitchen Videos, music, Tibercasts etc.
Eventually, I will be taking some of the apologetics blogposts here and converting them to PDF files for downloads on the website. I will still continue to blog here, but the website will exist as a portal of information and contact.

Today's Gospel reading (Luke 19:1-10) was the story of Zacchaeus. He made a fool of himself climbing up a tree to get a better glimpse of Jesus. May we all have the heart of Zacchaeus to be willing to "go out on a limb" to see Jesus, invite Him into our house and tell others of what we have found.

In addition to Prodigal Daughter's great camera skills she is becoming a pretty awesome webmistress too! Check it out and let us know what you think.

St. Frances DeSales, pray for us.

Thursday, November 01, 2007