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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Feast of St. Jerome

Today the Church celebrates the life and heroic virtue of St. Jerome.(347-420 AD) He is a Doctor of the Church and first translated the bible into the Latin, later known as the Vulgate. He argued with the pope regarding what should be in the canon and initially was sceptical that the deuterocanonicals should be included. (A point that detractors of the Catholic canon often emphasize to support Luther's removal of the deuterocanonical books and relegating them to the "apocrypha.") Finally, however, he relinguished his personal judgement to the authority of the pope and the 7 deuterocanonical books remained in the canon of scripture.

He was a defender of orthodoxy and fought against the Arian heresy. He also defended the veneration of relics and the communion of saints and his statement below is a strong argument for the communion of saints and relic veneration to be historically, an early devotion of the Church with roots to the fourth century and earlier.

"We do not worship the relics of the martyrs, but honor them in our worship of Him whose martyrs they are. We honor the servants in order that the respect paid to them may be reflected back to the Lord." Honoring them, he said, was not idolatry because no Christian had ever adored the martyrs as gods; on the other hand, they pray for us. "If the Apostles and martyrs, while still living on earth, could pray for other men, how much more may they do it after their victories? Have they less power now that they are with Jesus Christ?" He told Paula, after the death of her daughter Blesilla, "She now prays to the Lord for you, and obtains for me the pardon of my sins."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Late I Have Loved You

In the Confessions of St. Augustine, he writes how he was "late" to come into a relationship with Christ. He came to realize, by the grace of God, that God had made him for Himself and his heart would be restless until it found its rest in Christ Jesus. In a similar fashion, I have been so late in my life to come into relationship with the bride of Christ, His Church. As a child I received God's grace in baptism but chose to walk away until my 2nd conversion experience as a young teenager occurring outside the Catholic Church. It took 31 years to come back to that treasure that had been given to me as a child.
So like St. Augustine, I marvel at the Church that Jesus started, "a beauty so ancient, yet ever new." This song has been stirring inside of me for the past four years and I didn't know how to sum up my sense of late discovery until I read the words of St.Augustine. Many of us settle for less in our lives and we wonder why our hearts are restless. Yes, I knew and loved Jesus, but truly I didn't find rest in my heart until my third conversion or reversion to the Catholic Church. I hope and pray that I will continue to be transformed and conformed to His image through the tremendous channel of grace He bestows on us through His Church.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Convert From Reformed Presbyterian

Check out the blog of Professor Neal Judisch, a former reformed presbyterian and professor of philosophy, now a Tiber Jumper as of Pentecost 2008. Once again, he blames it on the Church fathers and a study of Church history. I sometimes wonder if the history of the Church was presented in an unbiased fashion to many of us earlier in our lives, would we have crossed over sooner? Once I discovered the early Church fathers and their undeniable Catholic beliefs, especially in the Eucharist, it was impossible to go any where else but back home.

Go on over and give him the old Catholic Blogger's welcome home.

40 Days for Life

Yesterday began the 40 Days For Life Campaign. Throughout the country, Christians of all denominations will be fasting, praying and keeping silent prayerful vigils at abortuaries. There will also be educational outreach to the communities to inform them of the realities of abortion in America.
Check out this link for locations and ways to get involved. Our diocese has endorsed the campaign and encouraged all parish pro-life groups to be a part of this.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Funeral of Padre Pio

Catholics Returning To the Church

A new campaign put out by Catholics Come Home has been bearing much fruit in bringing lapsed Catholics back to the Church. I have seen it on EWTN, but not on any other stations in my area. However, in Phoenix and Lexington, Kentucky where it initially aired, they estimate over 6000 Catholics came home as a result of seeing the ad. They are hoping to eventually have it aired at the Superbowl. Here's the full story and you can view the ads there. Very powerful.

On this feast day of St. Padre Pio. Let us ask his intercession in bringing souls back to the faith.

He had supernatural gifts to bring many to repentance and lead them back home.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Another Catholic Miracle !

Today, the Church celebrates the feast of St. Januarius. Little is known about him other than he was martyred under Diocletian in 305 AD and his blood was taken to Naples where it began to liquefy 18 times a year in a reliquary.

"A dark mass that half fills a hermetically sealed four-inch glass container, and is preserved in a double reliquary in the Naples cathedral as the blood of St. January, liquefies 18 times during the year.... This phenomenon goes back to the 14th century.... Tradition connects it with a certain Eusebia, who had allegedly collected the blood after the martyrdom.... The ceremony accompanying the liquefaction is performed by holding the reliquary close to the altar on which is located what is believed to be the martyr's head. While the people pray, often tumultuously, the priest turns the reliquary up and down in the full sight of the onlookers until the liquefaction takes place.... Various experiments have been applied, but the phenomenon eludes natural explanation. There are, however, similar miraculous claims made for the blood of John the Baptist, Stephen, Pantaleon, Patricia, Nicholas of Tolentino and Aloysius Gonzaga nearly all in the neighborhood of Naples".

Still the greatest miracle continues to occur daily throughout the world on every altar in every Catholic Church. The God of the universe humbles himself once again to come to us in the appearances of unleavened bread and wine. So save your money,you don't have to go to Naples to experience this!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Bishops of Kansas City Speak Out on Abortion and the Catholic Vote

Kansas City Bishops Say No "Proportionate" Reason to Vote for Pro-Abortion over Pro-life Candidate

"To vote for a candidate who supports these intrinsic evils because he or she supports these evils is to participate in a grave moral evil. It can never be justified."

By Kathleen Gilbert

KANSAS CITY, MO, September 16, 2008 ( - As the election season approaches, the bishops of Kansas City have issued a joint pastoral letter on the responsibility of all Catholics to promote the culture of life and limit evil as much as possible when casting their vote this November.

Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas John Naumann and Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph Robert Finn emphasize that the Catholic Church in America does not endorse specific political parties or candidates; however the Church "has always cherished its right to speak to the moral issues confronting our nation."

The bishops write that the Catholic Church has a responsibility "to form properly the consciences of her members," especially as they take active part in a democratic system of government.

The letter mentions various social issues that, while having "important moral dimensions" that Catholics should investigate, can be addressed in different ways and ultimately allow Catholic voters to disagree in good conscience.

But the letter then warns that this is by no means true of policies that involve intrinsic evil, which must always be rejected: "There are, however, some issues that always involve doing evil, such as legalized abortion, the promotion of same-sex unions and 'marriages,' repression of religious liberty, as well as public policies permitting euthanasia, racial discrimination or destructive human embryonic stem cell research. A properly formed conscience must give such issues priority even over other matters with important moral dimensions.

"To vote for a candidate who supports these intrinsic evils because he or she supports these evils is to participate in a grave moral evil. It can never be justified."

While the letter says an ideal situation would allow Catholics to vote for candidates who oppose all grave evil, it recognizes that sometimes Catholics must cast their vote to limit the greater evil. "W e may be confronted with a voting choice between two candidates who support abortion, though one may favor some limitations on it, or he or she may oppose public funding for abortion. In such cases, the appropriate judgment would be to select the candidate whose policies regarding this grave evil will do less harm. We have a responsibility to limit evil if it is not possible at the moment to eradicate it completely.

"The same principle would be compelling to a conscientious voter who was confronted with two candidates who both supported same-sex unions, but one opposed abortion and destructive embryonic research while the other was permissive in these regards. The voter, who himself or herself opposed these policies, would have insufficient moral justification voting for the more permissive candidate. However, he or she might justify resorting to a write-in vote or abstaining from voting at all in this case, because of a conscientious objection."

The letter recalls that when United States bishops had asked Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger for counsel on the responsibilities of Catholic politicians and voters, the future Pope Benedict XVI replied: "A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate's permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate's stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons."

The letter then poses the question, "Could a Catholic in good conscience vote for a candidate who supports legalized abortion when there is a choice of another candidate who does not support abortion or any other intrinsically evil policy?" But the bishops say they cannot conceive of a reason that could possibly outweigh the evil of abortion: "What could possibly be a proportionate reason for the more than 45 million children killed by abortion in the past 35 years?"

The letter ends by exhorting Catholics, who now make up a greater percentage of the American voting population than ever before, to take this crucial opportunity to change the course of history in America and exercise strong moral leadership.

"There has never been a moment in our nation's history when more Catholics served in elective office, presided in our courts or held other positions of power and authority. It would be wrong for us to use our numbers and influence to try to compel others to accept our religious and theological beliefs.

"However, it would be equally wrong for us to fail to be engaged in the greatest human rights struggle of our time, namely the need to protect the right to life of the weakest and most vulnerable."

St Robert Bellarmine

Today the Church celebrates the heroic life of faith of Robert Bellarmine. Born in 1542 after the beginning of the reformation, he was a theologian, bishop, catechist and Doctor of the Church.
His work "Disputationes de Controversiis Christianae Fidei adversus hujus temporis hereticos"
was an important work to defend the Church against the attacks of protestantism. He eloquently explained how the pope could not be the Anti-Christ as was being taught by some of the reformation writings.

St. Bellarmine, pray for us that we would have both boldness and charity in defending and explaining our Catholic faith to others.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Triumph of the Cross

Today is one of my favorite feast days of the Church. The Exaltation of the Cross. I have blogged on this two years ago here. We can never tire of being reminded of the role of the Cross in our salvation as well as its on-going significance in our daily lives.

Today, Mother Church reminds her faithful to look to the Cross! Once again, not just on Good Friday, the Church asks her children to gaze upon the Cross, the instrument of torture and shame and realize just how much the Savior loves them. In the first three centuries of the Church, the cross was a symbol of pain, and martyrdom and was not widely displayed because of the severe persecutions carried out on the believers. After the Edict of Milan by Emperor Constantine, Christians were granted freedom to practice their faith and Christianity came out of the catacombs. (No, Constantine did not make Catholicism the "official religion" incorporating paganism as Jack Chick tracts had taught ) The Cross became a visible reminder for the early Church. (Before this time, the Christians used the Chi-Ro
as their symbol.)

Constantine's mother, St. Helena was a believer and had a basilica built on the site where the tomb of Jesus was thought to be. The Feast of the Triumph of the Cross has been celebrated since the 7th century in honor of the dedication of this basilica and the finding of the True Cross by St Helena.

I am so thankful for the Catholic faith because it continues to point me to the Cross. Not only does the Church re-focus my attention on Christ's death for my salvation, but also shows me that I need to daily take up my own crosses and follow Him. Finally, the Cross continues to remind me that I can unite my sufferings to Christ's as St. Paul reminds us in Colossians 1:24.
Before I was Catholic, I had a one dimensional view of the Cross.

As I sat in Mass this morning, a sense of wonder, joy and appreciation came over me as I thanked God for the new perspective of the Cross that my Catholic faith has given me.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pope Benedict's Advice on The Mass and Avoiding Idols

Pope Benedict just spoke in Paris and gave some excellent advice regarding idol worship and how our participation in the Mass is the most perfect way to "shun idols."

"In the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians," Benedict XVI said, "we discover ... how much the counsels given by the Apostle remain important today. 'Shun the worship of idols,' he writes to a community deeply marked by paganism and divided between adherence to the newness of the Gospel and the observance of former practices inherited from its ancestors.”

"This appeal to shun idols," he added, "is also pertinent today. ... The word 'idol' comes from the Greek and means 'image,' 'figure,' 'representation,' but also 'ghost,' 'phantom,' 'vain appearance.' An idol is a delusion, for it turns its worshipper away from reality and places him in the kingdom of mere appearances."

"Now," the Pope asked, "is this not a temptation in our own day - the only one we can act upon effectively? The temptation to idolize a past that no longer exists, forgetting its shortcomings; the temptation to idolize a future which does not yet exist, in the belief that, by his efforts alone, man can bring about the kingdom of eternal joy on earth!" In the same way, "have not money, the thirst for possessions, for power and even for knowledge, diverted man from his true destiny?"

Yet "radical condemnation of idolatry", said the Pope quoting St. John Chrysostom whose feast day falls today, "is never a personal condemnation of the idolater. In our judgments, must we never confuse the sin, which is unacceptable, with the sinner, the state of whose conscience we cannot judge and who, in any case, is always capable of conversion and forgiveness."

"Never does God ... ask man to sacrifice his reason! Reason never enters into real contradiction with faith! The one God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - created our reason and gives us faith, proposing to our freedom that it be received as a precious gift. It is the worship of idols which diverts man from this perspective.”

"Let us therefore ask God, who sees us and hears us, to help us purify ourselves from all idols, in order to arrive at the truth of our being, in order to arrive at the truth of His infinite being!"

"St. Paul asks us to make use not only of our reason, but above all our faith in order to discover Him. Now, what does faith say to us? The bread that we break is a communion with the Body of Christ. The cup of blessing which we bless is a communion with the Blood of Christ."

"Over the last twenty centuries," the Holy Father recalled, "the risen Lord has given Himself to His people. ... Let us give the greatest veneration to the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of the Lord, the Blessed Sacrament of the real presence of the Lord to his Church and to all humanity."

"The Mass is the sacrifice of thanksgiving par excellence, the one which allows us to unite our own thanksgiving to that of the Savior. ... The Mass invites us to discern what, in ourselves, is obedient to the Spirit of God and what, in ourselves, is attuned to the spirit of evil."

Hence, "to raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord, is that not the very best way of 'shunning idols'? ... Every time the Mass is celebrated, every time Christ makes Himself sacramentally present in His Church, the work of our salvation is accomplished. ... He alone teaches us to shun idols, the illusions of our minds."

Yet "who can raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord in the name of the entire people of God, except the priest?", the Pope asked and he made an appeal, "confident in their faith and generosity," to young people "who are considering a religious or priestly vocation: do not be afraid! Do not be afraid to give your life to Christ! Nothing will ever replace the ministry of priests at the heart of the Church!"

"Hope will always remain stronger than all else! The Church, built upon the rock of Christ, possesses the promises of eternal life, not because her members are holier than others, but because Christ made this promise to Peter: 'You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it'."

Pope Benedict finished his homily by invoking the hope of the promises of Christ to the Church.

"In this unfailing hope of God's eternal presence in the souls of each of us, in this joy of knowing that Christ is with us until the end of time, in this power that the Holy Spirit gives to all those who let themselves be filled with Him, I entrust you, dear Christians of Paris and France, to the powerful and merciful action of the God of love Who died for us upon the Cross and rose victorious on Easter morning.”

β€œTo all people of good will ... I say once more, with St. Paul: Shun the worship of idols, do not tire of doing good!" the Pope exclaimed.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Please share this video wherever you can. If this could be played in every parish across America before November 4th....
Thanks to Thom Hall of Love to Be Catholic video site for sharing this.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sept 11,2001 Lord Have Mercy

Continue to pray for the those who lost their lives on 911 and their families.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Feast of the Birthday of Mary

Today the Church celebrates the birthday of Mary. Since the 5th century, the Church has celebrated and used this feast to show us the importance of Mary's "Yes to God." So how does that help us? As our priest said this morning, Mary's obedience sets the example for all Christians to say "Yes" to God's will for our lives. (Not to mention, if Mary wasn't born, where would we be now?)
To those detractors who believe we worship Mary, I assure you in Mass this morning, there was no such thing. Heck, we didn't even pray the Hail Mary! (Which is a prayer asking Mary to intercede for us, the first half of the prayer being directly from scripture)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Pray for the People of Haiti

More hurricanes continue to pound Haiti as the death toll rises. Please keep them in your prayers.

Enya's Got Nothin' On These Nuns

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Tiber Cam Lives Again!

After a rather long hiatus while relocating, the Tiber Cam is fired up once again.
In the morning, hopefully you will be able to see the Blue Mountains.

Live Video streaming by Ustream

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Hope For A Change

Sarah Palin was baptized into the Catholic faith and was re-baptized into the Assembly of God denomination as a teen. (Been there, done that) As my late Catholic Mom always told me after I left the Catholic Church as a young teen: "Once a Catholic, always a Catholic." Maybe we will have a revert Catholic VP someday. One never knows.