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, December 19, 2007

Love Impels Us to Proclaim the Truth Which Saves

In our town we have a Catholic bookstore. Our good friends who own the store have a strong commitment to evangelism and they carry a wide range of both Catholic and Protestant materials. You can walk out with a copy of The Purpose-Driven Life in one hand and a rosary in the other or the latest encyclical of our Holy Father. This is actually the same store that Prodigal Daughter obtained her first book about St. Therese of Lisieux as suggested by the nice Catholic bookstore owner 6 years ago. Well, 681 blog posts later and one appearance on EWTN, you have witnessed the fruits of this woman's obedience in gently sharing her faith with others.

Today a Christian man came to the store and began to tell our friend, the sales clerk, that the saint prayer cards he saw on display are "idols." He then repeated it and said that "Catholics worship idols." With much composure and biting of her inner lip, our friend gently attempted to explain what the communion of saints is about and how Catholics ask for intercession of our brothers and sisters in heaven, not worship them! (That would be in direct violation of the first commandment and Catholics tend to be sticklers about the Big Ten!)
I admired our friend's composure and ability to answer charitably. I don't think I would have done as well!

Earlier this month, Cardinal Levada came out with a Note on Some Aspects of Evangelization.

Respect for religious freedom and its promotion “must not in any way make us indifferent towards truth and goodness. Indeed, love impels the followers of Christ to proclaim to all the truth which saves.

Ecumenism does not have only an institutional dimension aimed at “making the partial communion existing between Christians grow towards full communion in truth and charity". It is also the task of every member of the faithful, above all by means of prayer, penance, study and cooperation. Everywhere and always, each Catholic has the right and the duty to give the witness and the full proclamation of his faith. With non-Catholic Christians, Catholics must enter into a respectful dialogue of charity and truth, a dialogue which is not only an exchange of ideas, but also of gifts, in order that the fullness of the means of salvation can be offered to one’s partners in dialogue. In this way, they are led to an ever deeper conversion to Christ.


Anonymous PTL said...

I do not mean to be nit-picky, but sometimes the little details are important.

I'm sure you realize that there might have been more to the person's objection about idol worship. It might be that the person overreacted, but imagine if the person ever observed someone using such a card as an icon. He'd see someone interacting with an object as dead as the stone or wood carvings of the heathens. An idol does not have to be a three-dimensional image.

I'm sure you can understand how those who do not share your perspective could see idolotry, even if mistaken.


December 20, 2007 9:09 AM  
Blogger onionboy said...

My experience working for about nine months in a Catholic book store is that many protestants view the place as a mission field and, it is and so I was always willing to share the beauty and truth of the Catholic Church though many who come saying one should have an open mind to the teachings of God close their hearts to it.

I loved working there. I could not make a living at it or I might be there still. Many were the joys of meeting devout Catholics and so it was a wonderful place for me to learn as well as share about my journey in the Christian faith.

O {arts & fath} {faith & art}

December 20, 2007 1:33 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks PTL for visiting my blog again. Did you get the chance to read those webpages I directed you to?
I never heard back from you.
Actually, I don't think you are being nit-picky, but I strongly disagree with your comment that the person "may have seen someone interacting with an object as the stone or wood carvings of the heathens." Where do you think that may have occurred? Certainly not in a Catholic setting because Catholics are very clear on NOT WORSHIPING ANYTHING OTHER THAN GOD! (1st Commandment)

I just received a early Christmas present from my frequent commenter Theo. If you look on the Live Advent Cam on the left margin of my blog, you will see it. It is a plastic graven image of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, complete with a Bowl of Bread and two fish included! Also, it is interesting that the package contains a warning that this item could be a choking hazard , but no warning regarding the danger and mortal sin of idol worship! Their priorities need a little rearranging :)

My friend Theo purchased this "Bible Action figure" at a Christian Bible Bookstore (not a Catholic store) I am sure you could understand how a good Christian could go into that store and make the wrong assumption that they are promoting idol worship. Couldn't you?
Why are non-Catholics "allowed" to make two and three dimensional representations of Jesus and the Holy family, particularly at this time of year, and escape the comments that my friend in the Catholic bookstore received yesterday.
Why is it that when a Catholic has a 2 or 3 D object, icon, statue
in their home (or store) reminding them of Christ or his godly followers, it is "Ok' to rudely accuse them of idol worship?

December 20, 2007 4:35 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks O boy!
Much blessed are those who had the opportunity to interact with you at the store.

December 20, 2007 4:36 PM  
Anonymous theo said...

PPS. to PTL:

If I might underline TJ's point, please realize that from our perspective it is very difficult to reconcile the charge of idolatry with what we know to be our belief and practice. There was a time not too long ago when TJ might have leveled the same charge. Yet I can testify that since his reversion / conversion his understanding has been crystal clear that we worship God alone. I note this so you might understand that although some "outsiders" might misunderstand our actions, we usually do not. If you see a Catholic May procession with children bearing an image of Mary to a church building, none of us from oldest codger to youngest pup that can perceive the event, perceives it as worship.

There comes a point when you will have to either flatly accept or reject our testimony about what it is we are doing. Either we are all liars, and our worship of Mary and others is insanely insufficient (After all if you deny worshiping the demigod you wish to worship, the demigod is not going to like it.), or we mean what we say.

I humbly offer these thoughts for consideration.


December 20, 2007 5:02 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...


The Advent Cam has now switched back to its previous scene, The Holy Family at the manger.

December 21, 2007 10:59 AM  

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