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, January 28, 2008

St. Thomas Aquinas: Captivating and Levitating

Today we celebrate the short, but productive life of St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274.) Not only a saint, but a Doctor of the Church known particularly for further illuminating the doctrine of transubstantiation.
Despite the fact that his writings continue to be studied by learned scholars and theologians , he wrote for the common worshiper as well. His hymn Pange Lingua distills the Eucharistic doctrine of the Church literally in one stanza.

"Word made flesh, by Word He maketh
Very bread his flesh to be;
Man in wine Christ's Blood partaketh,
And if his senses fail to see,
Faith alone the true heart waketh,
To behold the mystery."

As an aside, he once was observed levitating while in prayer towards the end of his life. You gotta love these Catholic saints!

"Grant me, O Lord my God, a mind to know you, a heart to seek you, wisdom to find you, conduct pleasing to you, faithful perseverance in waiting for you, and a hope of finally embracing you."
– St. Thomas Aquinas


Anonymous Nancy said...

Nothing like a little Summa wrestling, huh? ;)

Pange Lingua is one of my absolute favourite hymns by the way.

January 28, 2008 9:29 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

That's funny Nancy!

so much great Truth in a hymn!
God bless

January 28, 2008 2:58 PM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

I have to tell you what happened today.

Saints intervene according to God's good humor.

I happened to check my email and a good priest I knew wished me a happy feast day.


I did an inventory, and asked aloud, "Is today the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas?

The very moment the words passed my lips, a CD I was listening to with regard to the Holy Angles emitted the words, "ST. THOMAS AQUINAS".

Some would say the timing was coincidence...I say the timing was God's own humor.

Today is, in fact, the feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas. Amd I have no doubt that the Saint himself has taken me under his wing. After all, I spent the afernoon discerning his writings..

January 28, 2008 11:23 PM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

Good one, Nancy! : )
Summa Wrestling...great blog title.

St Gerard also levitated and bilocated and had discernment of hearts/minds. Those Saints! Our visiting priest last night broughtout the first volume of Summa....and he said, "We're only going to go through this one tonight!" Ha ha What a funny guy!

I haven't read Aquinas and am not familiar with the hymn, but boy, that stanza DOES SAY IT ALL! From the great to the small, with the eyes of faith, we see Christ in the mystery. Thanks TJ. I'll have to look that hymn up and read more...

January 29, 2008 7:32 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Susie I am sure you have heard this hymn. The last two verses are often sung at benediction and EWTN's theme song is Pange Lingua.
I haven't tried "Summa Wrestling" with it but I think that I would like to give it a try. The style it's written in is not easy for folks like me who avoided philosophy like the plague in undergraduate.
Oh to have been Catholic earlier in life... So many great things to read and learn... so little time left here.

St Gerard, now he's one I need to read about too!

January 29, 2008 7:53 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Adoro, I have had thse little coincidences with saints as well.
When I first came back to the Church I was reading about Therese of Lisieux one morning and went to make rounds at the nursing home. The first patient had a beautiful bouquet of red roses on their table in the room and I knew it was Therese's way of letting me know she was interceding for me. On the way home that day, I passed a truck that had red roses painted on the side. Yeah maybe coincidence, but maybe not! The God of the universe who created all things blesses us with the intercession of His saints.

January 29, 2008 7:57 AM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

I'm reading about St Gerard because he's been chasing me down since last August or Sept. I pray to him for his namesake, Father Gerard, my friend in Wisconsin. His intercession is powerful indeed! I'm reading St Gerard Majella by Fr. Edward St Omer C.SS.R Let me just say, he's not only the patron of expectant mothers, but for anyone and everyone!~ I love him and he's become a dear friend. Father Gerard almost died when born, so his mom prayed and named him after St Gerard. There's even a slight resemblance in their features, although Fr. isn't nearly as 'sickly or pale' as St Gerard is portrayed in holy cards. But what a remarkable and holy, pure man! He died at 29 and what he did in his short life gives me great pause and makes me realize that I long to grow in holiness, but how I thank God for these devout and powerful influences that we can call upon still today! Isn't the Communion of Saints just the BEST?

January 29, 2008 8:32 AM  
Anonymous theo said...

Great article as ususal, TJ.

I did not realize that it was my patron's feast day when I started work yesterday. As it happened, I was doing some consulting work in NYC, where my associates and I were working out kinks in a particularly stubborn computer network. I strolled over to St. Patrick's Cathedral just in time for afternoon Mass.

It was a joy to join a hundred or so worshipers at a weekday Mass (not counting the hundreds more tourists who observed or came and went throughout the liturgy).

Speaking in a New York accent that would have made the Bowery Boys proud, the priest delivered a simple and direct homily on the saving power of Christ's one and only sacrifice, and the opinions of Aquinas and the second Vatican Council on the astounding universality of Jesus' saving act, that whosoever responds to saving grace shall be saved--even if they don't realize themselves that "responding to saving grace" is what they are doing.

It was interesting to hear one of my own championed beliefs echoed in this vast cathedral, delivered to people of many backgrounds and (no doubt among the tourists) nationalities and faiths: that one does not need to understand salvation to be saved, but that all are called to repent and respond to the gift being offered and that it is possible for even those who through no fault of their own are intellectually ignorant of Christ may be saved by the grace God offers all men through his once-and-for-all sacrifice, by reason of the gospel presented to them by the Holy Spirit. It is Christ alone who shall judge every human heart, not any mere man.

He also noted how wonderful it is that one of the greatest doctors of the church (My mother used to claim Aquinas was the most intelligent man who ever lived, not counting Christ) confessed that the greatest knowledge is the simple knowledge of our savior’s love, understandable by any child.


On an unrelated note, after a few requests that I try this and with a bit of prayer, I've decided I will take an initial step into the world of blogging myself. Articles may begin appearing on The Reluctant Catholic Blogger site sometime this century. :-)

Your bro,

January 29, 2008 10:34 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

thanks Theo!
As always you have the ability to extract from by scrawl what I am actually trying to say! Until the reluctant Catholic blogger gets his own blog, I am lifting this one from the com box again. Good comment my friend.

January 29, 2008 11:32 AM  
Anonymous theo said...

You flatter me, TJ. I merely reported on a homily I heard. It is one small priest from a very big church in New York City who is due credit for the actual articulation.

Your Bro,

January 29, 2008 12:31 PM  

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