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, 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.


Blogger George Weis said...

Russ.... WOW!

This song is so beautiful, and so is your heart my friend. I was sitting here playing it a second time and singing with you. Easy song to harmonize to! Not a thing missing in this song. Beauty, meaning, feeling, hook... excellent!


September 28, 2008 8:52 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks so much George. I continue to be amazed at the relevance of St. Augustine's words 15 centuries later.
Harmony eh? Maybe I'll get you singing on my next CD!
God bless and thanks again for listening.

September 28, 2008 9:52 AM  
Blogger George Weis said...

Russ... I would love to!!! If you don't title the next CD after this song, I have a title for you, and forgive me for overstepping my boundaries :D I am a designer, and a former lead singer, so I get album ideas and art come flooding into my brain all at once. Russ Rentler "Streets, bridges and steps" Let me know if that needs explanation. I have a nice narrative photographic and graphic/typographic application for this haha!

Again, sorry for the brain storm intrusion. Augie rocks! This song is excellent. This is perfect with just you and a guitar, but it could easily expand into other instruments too. I vote for two versions of this tune on the next album!

Ok, I'm done... my apologies my friend!


September 28, 2008 12:04 PM  
Blogger George Weis said...

Ok, that was supposed to be "Streets, bridges and stairs" Not "steps" HAHA!

Now I'm done being annoying :)

love ya Russ!


September 28, 2008 12:18 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

TJ ... you sprung a 3-kleenex weepie on me!

Seriously, as one who came to the Catholic faith late - and now wondering how I could have missed all those years - this song rings a bell pretty close to home. Thanks.

September 28, 2008 12:35 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Streets bridges and stairs, hmm, not bad. I had already tentatively called it "Nicean Blues" after the title track but nothing's written in vinyl yet. Thanks so much for the brainstorming! God bless you George

September 29, 2008 8:37 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks Nancy! You got it! That's exactly what I was trying to express. That sense of wonder, joy and "bittersweetness" due to the "lateness" of my discovery.
Good to hear from you.

September 29, 2008 8:42 AM  
Blogger Neal Judisch and Family said...


J.M. Talbott meets the Confessions meets F. Thompson's Hound of Heaven. What a blend!

Beautifully done, Russ, and something I wholeheartedly identify with. I didn't get baptized in the Church, but the baptism was valid anyway and I'd like to think the grace of baptism helped draw me home. There is a real beauty and depth to these secondary and tertiary conversions -- to say nothing of the music they inspire -- which make them significantly different from "paradigm conversion" cases, isn't there? Chesterton on Francis Thompson's poem, mentioned above:

"Francis Thompson was a Catholic, and a very Catholic Catholic. In some aspects of art, poetry and pomp the Catholic is more akin to the Pagan; in some aspects of philosophy and logic (though this is little understood) he has more sympathy with the sceptic or the agnostic. But in the solid central fact of the subject or subject matter, he is still something utterly separate from sceptics and even from pagans; and all Christians have their part in him. A perfectly simple and straightforward member of the Salvation Army knows what 'The Hound of Heaven' is about, even if he knows it better without reading it; and would recognise its central theology as promptly as the Pope. But the mere Humanist, the mere Humanitarian, the universal aesthete, the patroniser of all religions, he will never know what it was about; for he has never been near enough to God to run away from Him."

September 29, 2008 10:42 AM  
Blogger George Weis said...


Don't let me get in your way, that is obviously a great title! My thrust behind the idea was Streets outside the Holy see, bridges over the Tiber and Stairs to the Church itself/the alter.

I just listened to Journey home, and by golly, if that was all I heard, I'd be in the river already. Fighting the old thoughts make it a tough trek. I can't tell if Im moving forward, or just walking in circles :)

Bless you friend!


September 29, 2008 2:38 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Neal: what a compliment, thanks so much! Your writings need to be compiled into a book, hint hint!

I would love to tell you to just "jump in" because I firmly believe there is so much grace available to us in the Church,(and you would love it) but, in reality,
I say: keep praying, reading, seeking God asking Him to show you.
BTW which Journey Home was it?

September 29, 2008 8:03 PM  
Blogger George Weis said...

Thanks Russ!

I was listening to his "round table" on the early fathers. Much of what he was saying was like review for me (although I have not read the ECFs in totality). I have read the portions or at least a majority of what he mentioned. Good stuff. That all by itself if I didn't have
the other side pouring in my other ear would be enough to jump up and say Hallelujah! Ok, maybe a tad Charismatic... how bout, kneel down and genuflect? :)

God Bless you my friend!


September 29, 2008 9:54 PM  
Blogger + Alan said...

Beautiful song Russ - drew me in. Very good stuff. Peace to you.

October 06, 2008 10:30 AM  

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