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, May 31, 2008

The Feast of The Visitation

Today the Church celebrates the visitation of Elizabeth by Mary. From the scriptures in Luke the Church takes her cue regarding the proper place of the Blessed Mother in the life of the Church.


Everything in the visitation scene is motion and excitement: Mary's haste, her greeting to Elizabeth, John's leaping for joy, Elizabeth's exclaiming with loud cry and Mary's thanksgiving. All of these actions and reactions are so many showings of the Spirit's manifestation at the dawn of the Messianic age.

The visitation is not only a scene of transition; it also marks a major advance in revealing the messiah, who receives for the first time in the Gospel of Luke, the title Lord.

  1. The Word of God is effective

    The account of the Visitation serves in the first place to demonstrate the effectiveness of God's word. The announcement to Mary has to do with approaching motherhood. She goes in all haste to rejoice over it with Elizabeth, and Elizabeth receives her as "the mother of my Lord." The Word of God is herein fulfilled.

  2. Prophetic consecration of John

    In the Old Testament there is the prophetic consecration of Jeremiah while still in his mother's womb. Here, in a similar consecration, the mere presence of the Messiah is enough to evoke from John, at the moment of Mary's greeting, a reaction of joy. It expresses the introduction of God's eschatological salvation, and simultaneously the exceptional bond between Jesus and John.

  3. A New Revelation concerning Jesus

    The visitation account centers essentially on the mystery of Jesus. Elizabeth uses the title Lord, which will be the title par excellence of the risen Son of God. Elizabeth's words on behalf of Jesus project the holiness of the child coined by Mary and echo the predictions of Gabriel: "He will be great and will be called son of God."

  4. The Holiness of the Mother
    The blessedness, the holiness of the Son is reflected in the Mother. He is cause of the Mother's holiness. There is not a more beautiful title for Mary than Mother of my Lord. But it is a motherhood first received in faith. Mary is most of all a believer, a woman who has given a total yes to God's word. It is this faith that Elizabeth extols: "Blest is she who trusted that the Lord's words to her would be fulfilled."

  5. Mary's Thanksgiving

    The scene of the visitation is extended in Mary's personal act of thanksgiving, the Magnificat. She gives praise for the intervention of God, her Savior, in her stupendous motherhood. But Mary's Magnificat does not stop at herself. It moves over the whole history of Israel, the long line of men and women who have experienced and extolled the salvation of God.

  6. Mary, Ark of the Covenant

    The Angel's words to Mary suggest a parallel between Mary and the Ark of the Covenant. Mary was filled with the Divine presence as the ark was with the glory of Yahweh. And Mary's coming to Elizabeth is a source of blessing, just as was the coming of the ark for the house of Obededom (2 Sam 6:11).

    What the Ark of the Covenant could only signify (and only in a local way), Mary makes a reality, and in a personal way: She is an effective sign of God's presence with his people.

Mary's life is not the answer! Jesus is the answer! But Mary's life is an effective sign that Jesus is the answer. She helps us to understand the following prayer to Jesus:

  • If I am confused, he is a light to see by.
  • If I am lost, he is a path to follow.
  • If I am weak, he is an arm to lean on.
  • If I am hungry, he is bread for the heart.

Author: Father Johann G. Roten, S.M.

Friday, May 30, 2008

California Votes to Legalize Euthanasia

This has been a banner year for the culture of death in California. The legalization of same sex marriage and now the legalization of euthanasia. Of course, they don't use the term "euthanasia" but the new bill that was passed allows for a patient with less than one year to live, to be "terminally sedated" and dehydrated until dead. This method of euthanasia is no doubt inspired by the starvation/dehydration murder of Terry Schiavo. As, you recall, she was placed on a morphine infusion to lessen her discomfort (and hasten the process a bit) though she was supposedly "brain dead" and couldn't perceive pain.
First Oregon, then California. Which of our states will be next? God have mercy on us and on the whole world.
See the article here.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

Today the Church celebrates the feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ. As the source and summit of our faith, we thank God today and hope to never take for granted this most precious gift to us. My wife (Prodigal Daughter) and I often ask ourselves how we could have lived so long without the Eucharist once we realized what (Who) we had been missing.
She actually realized it 5 years before she was able to return to the Church but I was having none of it. She secretly went to a Mass and as the priest held up the consecrated host and said "This is the Body of Christ", Prodigal Daughter said "could it be true?" That question opened the door which lead her to a Jeff Cavin's tape (I'm Not Being Fed) which lead to her conclusion that she needed to return to the Church she left at 8 years old. As we sat quietly after Mass we reflected on the gift God gave us in the Eucharist, Christ Himself still abiding with us.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

And only where God is seen does life truly begin. Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution.
Each of us is the result of a thought of God.
Each of us is willed,
each of us is loved,
each of us is necessary.
There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.
~Pope Benedict XVI, Homily April 24th, 2005

Friday, May 23, 2008

My Secret Method of Smuggling Food Into Myanmar

The UN has sent a shipment of 220,000 condoms to the cyclone-devastated country of Myanmar to assist the "reproductive health" of the suffering population there. Story here. They also are in the process of sending portable abortion machines which they have done in past natural disasters.
Since the military Junta is turning down shipments of food and other medical supplies, the people are suffering terribly due to lack of assistance. I suspect that the junta will likely allow these condoms and abortion devices into the country, especially since they are from the UN. I propose that we place a small amount of rice and perhaps antibiotics in each condom so at least some food and medicine will get to the survivors.
Lord God have mercy.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Pope's Way of Achieving Holiness

Pope John the XXIII used this method in order to strive to achieve holiness. He would choose one and attempt to live by it to the fullest everyday.

1.Only for today I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.

2.Only for today I will take the greatest care of my appearance, I will dress modestly, I will be courtesy in my behavior, I will not criticize anyone, and I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.

3.Only for today I will be happy in the certainty I was created to be happy. Not only in the other world but also in this one.

4.Only for today I will adapt to circumstance without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.

5.Only for today I will devote 10 minutes of my time to some good reading.

6.Only for today I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.

7.Only for today I will do at least one thing I do not like doing and if my feelings are hurt I will make sure nobody notices.

8.Only for today I will make a plan for myself and be on guard against two evils, hastiness and indecision.

9.Only for today I will firmly believe despite appearances that the good providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world. I will firmly believe that God loves me and provides for me exactly what I need for today.

10.Only for today I will not be afraid. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness. I will have no fears.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Why Do Catholics Have A Pope?

There is an interesting story on Crosswalk, a non-denominational Protestant website that does a fair job in explaining what the papacy is all about. The fact that this article was written to non-Catholics by a non-Catholic in the setting of the papal visit is part of the fruit that was born by Pope Benedict's visit. Check out the whole article here.

Monday, May 19, 2008

What is God Like?"

"In the pierced heart of the Crucified, God's own heart is opened up--here we see who God is and what he is like. Heaven is no longer locked up. God has stepped out of hiddenness. "
Pope Benedict XVI


"All Thumbs"

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Solemnity of the Holy Trinity

Today the Church once again reminds the faithful of the mystery of the Trinity. Why does the Church need to have a solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity? Isn't it obvious that all the early believers understood the concept of one God in three persons? Historically, it turns out that the answer is no. The early Church Fathers instituted the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity as a response to the Arian heresy that was threatening to divide the early Church. Even before the Scriptures were canonized in the late fourth century, God was protecting the truths of our faith through the Church. The Nicean Council of 325 as well as this solemnity we celebrate today, are evidence to me, of the fulfillment of God's promise to lead us in all truth.

Thank you Lord for leading us in all Truth.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Another Update on Cody

TJ et al:

Thanks again to everyone for your prayers.

The picture below was taken little more than 24 hours ago. Thank Our Lord for His grace and the gifts and knowledge He has given those who are caring for Cody. He is to be released from the hospital today.

Cody is not yet strong enough to return to his normal routine; however, he is awake, moving under his own power and obviously himself; however, he remains subdued. We are in a “wait and see” holding pattern to discover what effects (if any) might remain for the long-term—but it seems the very worst is behind him.

The prepared capsules he was administered have been tested. They each contained a dosage nearly 1000 (Yes, one thousand) times stronger than what he was prescribed to receive. It is indeed a miracle that this little boy is alive.

In Him who is our only salvation,


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Update on Prayer Request

"Cody’s revival started yesterday. I’m unsure exactly when; however, he regained consciousness and has been taken off of the ventilator as of late yesterday evening. I am told he was verbally communicating. He was somewhat cogent but still very sluggish and groggy. This may be due to lingering effects of the overdose. He remains in pediatric ICU. Thanks for your prayers. Please continue to pray for this young innocent and his family.

My thanks to you for praying and posting the prayer request. Thanks also to all who have prayed. Without doubt, the prayers of the righteous have availed much; praise God. Also, the dedicated, fast work of the doctors, nurses and staff of ***** Hospital is worthy of praise. This has been a life-or-death test of medical competence. Thank God for our medical professionals.

I’ll keep you posted."

Faith, Hope and Love

These three virtues are known as the "theological virtues." Father John Hardon SJ, in his Catholic Prayer Book wrote these questions below that each of us can ask ourselves daily as an examination of conscience with the virtues as a guiding principle.
Why do I need a checklist? Because, I tried it the other way for 31 years, "trusting the Lord, walking in the Spirit" and, quite honestly, doing whatever I felt the Lord was leading me to do. If I perform an examination like this on a regular basis, it keeps me honest with myself and God. It was too easy in the past for me to "move the goalposts" when I use to fly by the seat of my pants or emotions in attempting to live the Christian life. Quite frankly, before I was Catholic, I didn't think too much about the virtues nor did I regularly examine my conscience. I am so thankful for the tools the Church gives us to live out our faith.`


Do I make an honest effort to grow in the virtue of faith by daily mental prayer on the mysteries of the faith, as revealed in the life of Jesus Christ?

Do I make at least a short act of faith* every day?

Do I pray daily for an increase in faith?

Do I ever tempt God by relying on my own strength to cope with the trials in my life?

Do I unnecessarily read or listen to those who oppose or belittle what I know are truths of my Catholic Faith?

What have I done today to externally profess my faith?

Have I allowed human respect to keep me from giving expression to my faith?

Do I ever defend my faith, prudently and charitably, when someone says something contrary to what I know is to be believed?

Have I helped someone overcome a difficulty against the faith?


Do I immediately say a short prayer when I find myself getting discouraged?

Do I daily say a short act of hope?

Do I dwell on my worries instead of dismissing them from my mind?

Do I fail in the virtue of hope by my attachment to the things of this world?

Do I try to see God's providence in everything that "happens" in my life?

Do I try to see everything from the viewpoint of eternity?

Am I confident that, with God's grace, I will be saved?

Do I allow myself to worry about my past life, and thus weaken my hope in God's mercy?

Do I try to combine every fully deliberate action with at least a momentary prayer for divine help?

How often today have I complained, even internally?


Have I told God today that I love Him?

Do I tell Jesus that I love Him with my whole heart?

Do I take the occasion to tell God that I love Him whenever I experience something I naturally dislike?

Have I capitalized on the difficulties today to tell God that I love Him just because He sent me the trial or misunderstanding?

Do I see God's love for me in allowing me to prove my love for Him in the crosses He sent me today?

Have I seen God's grace to prove my love for Him in every person whom I met today?

Have I failed in charity by speaking unkindly about others?

Have I dwelt on what I considered someone's unkindness toward me today?

Is there someone that I consciously avoid because I dislike the person?

Did I try to carry on a conversation today with someone who is difficult to talk to?

Have I been stubborn in asserting my own will?

How thoughtful have I been today in doing some small favor for someone?

Have I allowed my mood to prevent me from being thoughtful of others today?

Am I given to dwelling on other people's weaknesses or faults?

Have I been cheerful today in my dealings with others?

Do I control my uncharitable thoughts as soon as they arise in my mind?

Did I pray for others today?

Have I written any letters today?

Have I controlled my emotions when someone irritated me?

Have I performed any sacrifice today for someone?

*O MY GOD, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I believe that Thy Divine Son became Man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"And three thousand souls were added to their number.."

A bishop of the Assyrian Apostolic Church in California along with 3000 members has come into full communion with the Catholic Church on Pentecost Sunday. This ancient Christian Church which has roots as far back as St. Thomas the apostle, split from the Catholic Church in 431 AD.
It is so amazing to see so many reconciling to the Church. One of Pope Benedict's and JP2's desires is to see unity restored to the Church. Perhaps events like these are a part of that coming to fruition.

Prayer Request

From Theo:

"My great nephew, Cody (age 6?) was administered an incorrectly prepared compound prescription Sunday night. I do not know what compound is involved—just that he was being treated for a severe sleep disorder and “restless leg syndrome.” Fortunately, his mother checked in on him as he slept, to discover he was seizing. He remains unconscious in the hospital. Adrenalin did bring him around for a brief time; however, he reacted poorly to the rousing, so they have returned him to assisted breathing while they detoxify him. We are not absolutely sure whether he has suffered from any oxygen deprivation at this point.

Please pray for Cody’s recovery and for the comfort and peace of his family. Please pass this on to your blog readers."

Lord Jesus, God of Mercy, we ask for your healing touch to come to this child and his family. Give them the grace to withstand this time of testing and comfort them with your Holy Spirit. In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit we pray. Amen

Randall Terry Converts to Catholicism

Today PD was doing some research on how Catholics and Evangelicals can work together to save babies in the pro-life work she is doing. She discovered that Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, and "chief dragon-slayer" in the anti-abortion movement quietly converted to Catholicism on Holy Thursday 2006. He went from independent evangelical to charismatic episcopal to Catholic. His time spent with Catholic pro-lifers had a major impact on him over the years. This is reminiscent of Dave Armstrong's conversion story as well.
Did anyone else here of his conversion? I'm late to the table on this one for sure.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Coffeehouse in Lancaster, PA

Last night, I played a coffeehouse in Lancaster, PA. They were a nice bunch of people and they raised over 100 dollars for their local food bank through the ticket sales from the show. I have enclosed a few video clips below. The highlight of the evening for me was when Dr. David Hall, (Tiber Swim Team 2007) and guest on the Journey Home came in with his wife Libby. He left 27 years of pastoring in the Brethren in Christ Church when they converted to Catholicism recently. Despite having met only in virtual space, we had a short but sweet time of fellowship after the show. He's a pretty good picker himself too!
Please continue to pray for those pastors and leaders who have left everything to follow the call to become Catholic and those who are considering it.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

More Thoughts on Pentecost

As a young believer of 14 of 15 years old, most of the born again folks I was with had received the gift of tongues early after their conversions but I hadn't. One night we were camping out in the woods and reading Scripture and praying. I thought this was as good a time as any to pray to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Hands were layed upon me and I waited expectantly to speak in tongues as a sign perhaps, that the Spirit had indeed fallen. I didn't feel anything nor did I receive the gift of tongues, and still haven't some 33 years later! As a middle-aged adult, and now as a Catholic, I have come to believe that our life is a series of conversions as we are changed, " from glory to glory." Perhaps the Spirit did baptize me anew or strengthen me that night. It's hard to say but if we ask for bread, He won't give us a stone.

I appreciate the way the Catholic Church uses these nine days between His ascension and Pentecost to renew us and once again fill us with the power of the Holy Spirit. We ask God to make our hearts docile and open to the operation of the Holy Spirit in us. We read the gospels and see "inside" Jesus' relationship with the Father as he prays for his Church. In Acts, we daily read the way the Spirit lead Paul and the early disciples in their missionary activities. In Our Daily Bread (the Eucharist) we receive the flesh and blood of our Savior and the graces needed to live this Christian life. I am praying and hoping this week that He will continue to revitalize the gifts He has given me through my baptism and confirmation . Wouldn't it be a riot if I received the gift of tongues now that I'm Catholic! Stranger things have happened.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


We saw Expelled last night, a documentary written by Ben Stein. It exposes the hypocrisy of the modern day scientific community in dealing with the discussion of Intelligent Design vs Darwinism. He illustrates that there is basically no debate allowed and the freedom to pursue research on ID in this country doesn't exist. Using the Berlin Wall as a metaphor, he cleverly illustrates how the academic community is attempting to prohibit research and discussion on anything that is not strict Darwinian evolution. He interviewed published professors who were terminated from their university and ostracized because of their mere mention of "Intelligent Design."

Most chilling was his visit to Dachau and Hadamar where "inferior members of the species" were exterminated by the Nazi application of "natural selection" as they saw it. He showed how Darwinism sowed the seeds of eugenics which inspired Margaret Sanger's Planned Parenthood and the Nazi's Final Solution.

This is a movie that needs to be seen. Pray that young people will see it. When it comes out on DVD, buy copies for your library and Church.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Augustine's Blues

Keith Moore, Catholic convert, songwriter, musician and producer just did a concert with his good friend, Phil Keaggy at Mundelein College. Here is some tasty licks from the Master Musician himself during their pre-concert warm-up.
"St. Augustine's Blues" - pre-show warmup 4/20/08

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Some Pictures From Longwood Gardens

We went to Longwood Gardens yesterday for PD's birthday. Here's a few pics.