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, February 25, 2008

Only Visiting This Planet

Larry Norman April 8, 1947 – February 24, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Old Time Religion

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Ash Wednesday

God's blessings to all of you as you draw closer to Christ this Lenten season. Pray for me and mine and I will pray for you and yours. I will be going to Haiti again at the end of the month for a ten day medical mission and PD will be joining me with her newly minted LPN degree. Please keep us and our team in prayer. I really appreciated all the prayers last year from the blogosphere!
I will be cutting back on blogging through Lent as I did last year and will try to spend a little more time practicing what I preach. I refer you to my fellow blogger in Christ, Theo for his stimulating and uplifting blog.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Pre-Ash Thoughts

"We read in the books both in the Old Law and in the New that the
men who repented of their sins bestrewed themselves with ashes and clothed their bodies with sackcloth. Now let us do this little at the beginning of our Lent that we strew ashes upon our heads to signify that we ought to repent of our sins during the Lenten Fast." (cf NewAdvent)

As a young Catholic child before I left the Church, we always received ashes on Ash Wednesday. Unfortunately, the beautiful symbolism was lost on my young heart. When I received ashes again for the first time almost 4 years ago, I was ready to finally understand and receive the blessing that this sacramental practice can give.
There's nothing magical about having ashes placed on one's forehead in the sign of the cross. However, there is much grace in a heart that is open and docile to the work of God by humbly submitting to this. These ashes remind me that I am a sinner saved by Christ and symbolize my inward disposition to fast, pray and repent during this season of fasting as our forefathers in the Early Church did.
Who was I that I should have excluded myself from such a beautiful and ancient way of drawing closer to Jesus? Did I think I had arrived and no longer needed repentance? Was it "All under the Blood" and there was no need for me to fast and pray and contemplate how my sins caused his bruises? What was I thinking? I don't know, but now I am so thankful to be able to avail myself of these opportunities for growth in grace.


Monday, February 04, 2008

Interior Penance

"It is in discovering the greatness of God's love that our heart is shaken by the horror and weight of sin and begins to fear offending God by sin and being separated from him. The human heart is converted by looking upon him whom our sins have pierced."

1430 Jesus' call to conversion and penance, like that of the prophets before him, does not aim first at outward works, "sackcloth and ashes," fasting and mortification, but at the conversion of the heart, interior conversion. Without this, such penances remain sterile and false; however, interior conversion urges expression in visible signs, gestures and works of penance.23

1431 Interior repentance is a radical reorientation of our whole life, a return, a conversion to God with all our heart, an end of sin, a turning away from evil, with repugnance toward the evil actions we have committed. At the same time it entails the desire and resolution to change one's life, with hope in God's mercy and trust in the help of his grace. This conversion of heart is accompanied by a salutary pain and sadness which the Fathers called animi cruciatus (affliction of spirit) and compunctio cordis (repentance of heart).24

1432 The human heart is heavy and hardened. God must give man a new heart.25 Conversion is first of all a work of the grace of God who makes our hearts return to him: "Restore us to thyself, O LORD, that we may be restored!"26 God gives us the strength to begin anew. It is in discovering the greatness of God's love that our heart is shaken by the horror and weight of sin and begins to fear offending God by sin and being separated from him. The human heart is converted by looking upon him whom our sins have pierced:27

Let us fix our eyes on Christ's blood and understand how precious it is to his Father, for, poured out for our salvation it has brought to the whole world the grace of repentance.

1433 Since Easter, the Holy Spirit has proved "the world wrong about sin,"29 i.e., proved that the world has not believed in him whom the Father has sent. But this same Spirit who brings sin to light is also the Consoler who gives the human heart grace for repentance and conversion.30

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

I don't often consider the weight and horror of my sin . I need to gaze upon the Crucifix and His wounds my sins have caused to rediscover the greatness of God's love.

Lord, with your grace, renew our hearts this season of Lent.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Donut Man on EWTN 2/4/2008

Monday Night at 8 PM EST, Rob Evans, AKA the Donut Man will be appearing again on The Journey Home. He came home to the Catholic Church in April last year. In most evangelical homes with small children in the 90's, his tapes and video were a staple. His shows had been aired on EWTN and now he ministers regularly in the Catholic Church. Do invite your non-Catholic friends to tune in.


Friday, February 01, 2008

Why Almsgiving?

Why and how does giving of our finances to those less needy than us bring us closer to God? In my old evangelical church we had a saying that went like this: " Jesus needs to be Lord of All, including our wallets. " This saying has its roots in historical Church teaching and the Bible.
Scripture often speaks on how there was an inverse relationship between our growth in grace and our attraction to money. Does poverty equate with spirituality? No, but remember how easy it is for a rich man to get into heaven? (Think Eye of Needle) Perhaps, the reason the Church emphasizes this during Lent is to refocus our values which have a tendency, especially in my case, to get out of focus.

I am thankful that the Church reminds us to reach into our wallets and out of ourselves for the poor and needy this season of Lent.

"Dear brothers and sisters, Lent invites us to “train ourselves” spiritually, also through the practice of almsgiving, in order to grow in charity and recognize in the poor Christ Himself. In the Acts of the Apostles, we read that the Apostle Peter said to the cripple who was begging alms at the Temple gate: “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, walk” (Acts 3,6). In giving alms, we offer something material, a sign of the greater gift that we can impart to others through the announcement and witness of Christ, in whose name is found true life. Let this time, then, be marked by a personal and community effort of attachment to Christ in order that we may be witnesses of His love. May Mary, Mother and faithful Servant of the Lord, help believers to enter the “spiritual battle” of Lent, armed with prayer, fasting and the practice of almsgiving, so as to arrive at the celebration of the Easter Feasts, renewed in spirit. With these wishes, I willingly impart to all my Apostolic Blessing." (cf Pope Benedict 16th's Lenten Reflection)