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.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Willy Wonka and the Pope

When I first heard that Pope Benedict was going to be making a visit to the US, I went on-line and applied for tickets to see him at Yankee stadium. I had to apply through the Archdiocese of NY's website and then they said would contact my diocese here in PA. One month ago, there was an article in our local paper stating that there were no more tickets for the pope's visit and the Allentown Diocese had distributed all 100 of its allotted tickets. I was disappointed because I had hoped that my early application would have put me on the list. Oh well, I just had to offer it up.
Today the mailman came by and asked me to sign for a certified letter. Usually, when a doctor gets a certified letter, the first thought that comes to mind is "Oh no, not another lawsuit!"
When I saw the return address was from the Diocese of Allentown-Office of Vicar General, I breathed a sigh of relief. After all, how could I be in trouble with the bishop? (I don't think they read my blog :))
So as I ripped open the envelope and saw the two tickets (as seen above), I started to get teary eyed and ran to tell Prodigal Daughter of this great unexpected news. She said getting these golden tickets was like receiving the golden ticket in the chocolate bar from Willy Wonka, only better!
Why do us Catholics get so jazzed about seeing the pope? I think there are several reasons.
He represents the visible unity of the body of Christ. For where the bishop is, there is the Catholic Church.(St Ignatius, 107 AD) The bishop of Rome is the pre-eminent bishop of the Church and Christ's vicar. (See Isaiah 21 for the scripture Jesus was referring to in Matthew 18)

Why do I want to see the pope? For me personally, I think of the unbroken chain spanning almost 2000 years started when Jesus first gave the keys to Peter. When I participate in the Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict I will be seeing, in the flesh, the fulfillment of Christ's promise regarding this Church. Also, given Pope Benedict's age, this may be his first and last trip to the US and I don't see myself going to Rome anytime soon.

And where Peter is, there of a truth the gates of hell rage against the fellowship of the faith. There Marcion comes, and Arius, and the renaissance and rationalism, and the gospel of worldly culture. But still we abide in the Upper Room, gathered round our Lord and Master. Where Peter is, there is Christ.

For us Catholics, faith in the Son of God, loyalty to the Church, communion with Peter: these things stand in an intimate and necessary connection. And therefore since we desire not to abandon Christ, we do not abandon Peter. And therefore is it our quiet but confident hope, a hope set in our souls by our Lord at Caesarea Philippi, that it cannot be otherwise, that it must be so again, that all who seek Christ shall likewise again find Peter.
(Karl Adams, Spirit of Catholicism)


Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

That is so awesome! I have no hope of ever meeting the Pope...although I love him dearly! So...if you get a chance to meet him, give him my blog address and email, will you, and ask him to pray for my Vocation? Please?


OK, I'm there in spirit. Congrats! I'd have asked for tickets if I could afford to go. (You wouldn't want to profide a scholarship to a dear friend of yours would you?)

OK, I'll stop begging now. :-)

April 13, 2008 1:26 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

He already reads your blog. Where d'ya think he gets the ideas for his homilies? :)
Yes we are very thankful and blessed indeed! We'll blog about the trip next week.
If we get some pics we will post them. (though from our bleacher seats
the altar will look like the size of a matchbook) Do you think they'll have Jumbotrons?

April 13, 2008 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh praise God!!! I am excited for you. I too will never get to see the Pope. Fill us in, will you? All the details. Julie

April 13, 2008 6:14 PM  
Blogger Tim A. Troutman said...

Congratulations. I didn't apply cuz I wasn't sure if I could afford the travel & lodging.

April 13, 2008 6:41 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks Tim, we are blessed to be only about 2 hours from New York so its only the price of gas, tolls (and a new camera to get pictures!)

April 13, 2008 10:10 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks Julie!
We will be "covering the seen" from the nose bleed bleacher seats and will have pics next Monday posted Lord willing.

April 13, 2008 10:32 PM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

Congratualations! We're blessed to be seeing him at the Yonkers event. Will have 19 teens in tow, but that will make it more special. God bless and I'll pray for a safe and blessed event for everyone going to see the Holy Father.

April 14, 2008 9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you run into Cardinal Oompa-lumpa, don't let him sing.

April 14, 2008 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Woo hoo TJ!!!

I pray you and PD will have a real grace-filled time when you are with the Holy Father.

BTW, I was fortunate to see JPII when he came here in 1984 and it was very exciting ... and I wasn't even Catholic at the time! (you think the Lord was trying to tell me something all this time? ;) )

April 14, 2008 3:47 PM  
Blogger MMajor Fan said...

Very cool! Glad you got the chance to go to such a great event.

April 16, 2008 8:40 PM  

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