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, March 28, 2008

The Honeymoon's Not Over

This is the now fourth year that I have been in full communion with the Catholic Church and been able to participate in the events of Holy Week leading to Easter. For some reason this season of Lent was more poignant to me than before.

In every marriage, the passion may cool for a time and a distance can grow between those who once were so inseparable. In my relationship with Jesus, I too have let things cool at times, through my sin and indifference. Thanks be to God for the gift of Lent and the celebration of Holy Week. The Church gives us the chance to renew our vows of marriage to Christ and “fire up” that romance again.

The Baptismal vows we renew at the Easter Mass are given by the Church to the faithful to re-ignite the hearts that may have cooled and call to mind the precious gift of new life given to us at our baptism. As we pray/say them again we ask God to give us the grace to live out those promises by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The priest celebrating the Easter Mass leads the faithful in the vows:

Dear friends,
through the paschal mystery
we have been buried with Christ in baptism,
so that we may rise with him to a new life.
Now that we have completed our Lenten observance,
let us renew the promises we made at baptism
when we rejected Satan and his works.
And so:

Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God's children?
I do.

Do you reject the glamor of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin?
I do.

Do you reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness?
I do.

Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
I do.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
I do.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
I do.

God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven our sins. May God also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.

Early after my conversion I was told by a non-Catholic brother in Christ that “once the "honeymoon" stage ends, you will discover that all the pomp and circumstance is no replacement for truth.” I have to say that the honeymoon is still going on and I hope and pray that He is daily leading me into all the truth He has for me. I am thankful for the many tools Christ has given to His Church . Lent and the Easter Mass are part of this armentarium. Not pomp and circumstance, but a 2000 year old way that Jesus has given His Church to live out the Gospel and bring new sheep into the fold.



Blogger Alyosha said...

“once the "honeymoon" stage ends, you will discover that all the pomp and circumstance is no replacement for truth.”

That may be true if your spouse is someone other than "the Truth"....but to have Him and all the 'other stuff'...

"O God, thou art my God, I seek thee, my soul thirsts for thee; my flesh faints for thee, as in a dry and weary land where no water is.
2 So I have looked upon thee in the sanctuary, beholding thy power and glory.
3 Because thy steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise thee.
4 So I will bless thee as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on thy name.
5 My soul is feasted as with marrow and fat, and my mouth praises thee with joyful lips.." (Psalms 63(RSV)

Welcome back TJ - I have missed you much.

P.S. any new 'basement recording sessions' in the pipeline?

March 29, 2008 10:02 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks for that Scripture Alyosha.

Re: Recording: I am desperately trying to finish the new album... still need a few more songs and a lot more free time!

But yes, Prod Daughter and I need to go downstairs and record some new Basement Tapes.

March 29, 2008 10:11 PM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

I'm so glad I meandered over to see what TJ might have posted. When I read "once the honeymoon stage ends..."
Well, the honeymoon hasn't ended for me yet, either. It's 3 years since I returned to the ONE TRUE CHURCH, and all the "pomp" as that brother called it, is just more and more glorious! The sacraments are more and more sweet to my still sin-sick soul. The "emotional highs" and "lows" of our former faith community and the partial truth we got there, thankful for it as we are, NEVER can compare to the FULLNESS of TRUTH, found in only ONE place, ONE Church, ONE baptism, ONE faith, ONE mind, ONE heart, ONE Body...the Roman Catholic Church!

My husband was a sponsor to a man who searched his entire life for Truth. Desperately. He's a medical doctor from Ioway, who was driving to Omaha, (an hour drive one way) to go to St Peter for instruction to be Catholic. At the Easter Vigil, last Sat. night I witnessed the beauty you so articualtely described in this post TJ. It was dark...we all held candles, then after an hour or more the lights in the sanctuary came on and the whole place was filled with the LIGHT OF CHRIST! It was so moving and so glorious!
This honeymoon in fact, will never end. The purest Lover of our souls will never "become boring" or acquire habits that become a burden, communication will never become "too familiar" and we'll never fall into a tedius routine of the "same old, same old."
This is JESUS we're talking about! This is HIS can only become boring if we wander away, lured by some flashy, emotional high, and even then, we'll be chased by the Hound of Heaven and wooed by our Lover to return.
When one is hungry for Truth, there's nothing else that can satisfy! True food, True drink are only found and given at the True banquet, the MASS.
When I'm alone with my Lord in the adoration chapel, regardless of how I feel...that honeymoon continues....and cuddlng with Jesus, right next to His Sacred Heart will always keep that passion ignited...even if the feelings wane, because LOVE ISN'T FEELINGS. I lived on feelings most of my life,and in most of the 'churches' we were in before in our wandering days. THIS is quite different! This is REAL LIFE, REAL LOVE, REAL PRESENCE!
And this comment is over.

Thanks, TJ. HAPPY AND BLESSED DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY! My favorite day of the year! : )

March 30, 2008 5:25 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Susi said:
"His Sacred Heart will always keep that passion ignited...even if the feelings wane, because LOVE ISN'T FEELINGS. I lived on feelings most of my life,and in most of the 'churches' we were in before in our wandering days. THIS is quite different! This is REAL LIFE, REAL LOVE, REAL PRESENCE!"

Thanks Susie for the comments. I think most of us from the more charismatic type expressions can really relate to your comment above. We were looking for the next
move of God, or the next mountain top experience(which is not bad in itself, but we focused on what felt right vs what was right and true)
Being a Catholic Christian has very little to do with feelings, though I must admit, I had no idea to what degree I would be emotionally moved by Catholic devotion and worship.
The best part of my day is (regardless of how I am "feelin") walking over to St Ann's and receiving Him in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. No emotion, no pomp, just the promise from Jesus Himself to abide with us always and give us eternal life through His body and blood. That indeed is a passionate love affair that He promised will never end.
Blessings to you on this Day of His Mercy!

March 30, 2008 9:53 AM  

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