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, October 04, 2008

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi and Rich Mullins

Today the Church celebrates the life and heroic faith of the beloved St. Francis of Assisi. What a banner week of saint's feasts we have had! St. Therese Wednesday and today dear St Francis.
Many people have been drawn to the simple message of poverty, simplicity and love for the poor, even non-Catholics. Rich Mullins, contemporary Christian musican (author of Our God is An Awesome God) was captivated by St. Francis and his order of Friars minor. So much so, that Rich started his own "order" called Kid Brothers of St. Frank. He gathered around himself a few friends who chose to eschew worldliness and live in gospel poverty. At the height of his national success in the Christian music industry, he was asked how much money he was making. He replied he didn't know and didn't want to know. His accountant gave him a small stipend to live on and buy an occasional stringed instrument. He donated the rest to his church and to missions.
Rich died in 1997 on the way to a gig. A Catholic priest in the mid-west is on record as saying that Rich was taking instruction from him to enter the Church and was preparing to be received the upcoming week. His last few albums were heavily influenced by the Liturgy and Eucharistic themes were obvious in his writing. When I e-mailed his brother a few years ago, he said Rich had no intention of ever being Catholic. Well, either way, today Rich and St. Francis are praying for us.

St Francis, pray for us that we would put Christ above all things in our lives.

Brother Rich, Could you pray for me that I could be a better songwriter and bring glory to God with my music, and get my hammer dulcimer to stay in tune? Thanks, Amen


Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

TJ, Rich has got to be delighted to pray for're kindred spirits! I was so blessed to see him in Bellevue NE 6 months before he departed this life for his music-filled "higher home." I bet he and David are jammin! I loved him and still do. What a gracious, kind, gentle, good-hearted man! He was more Catholic than many Catholics I know! God rest his soul.

Sorry to take up so much room, but it was so good to see this photo and it made me want to share my thoughts about Rich. Thanks, TJ!

Ragamuffin Memory

He walked onto the stage
Of an Omaha church
In faded blue jeans
And an old flannel shirt
His smile lit the place as
He said "hello"
I was glad to be there
That night for the show
What I heard next
I'd been longing to find
A word of grace spoken
He was one-of-a-kind
Heaven's angels were singing
Through this one lone voice
And I knew Someone Higher
Played a part in my choice
To go hear a singer I didn't know
Yet I was glad to be there
That night for the show
As a dulcimer chimed
And the music grew loud
A holy hush filled the room
And grace touched the crowd
I knew then that this was
More than a show
And I'll always thank God
Who allowed me to go
To hear you sing
From God's heart, Rich,
And this much I know
You showed Jesus to us
And never put on a "show"

© susie melkus

October 04, 2008 11:44 AM  
Blogger ~Joseph the Worker said...

St. Francis is one of my personal heroes of the Faith. Such a wonderful life he lived and his dedication to the poor always tugs at my heart strings.

October 04, 2008 11:57 AM  
Blogger Brian Sullivan said...

Thanks for this reminder of Rich Mullins and his love for St. Francis. Maybe someone will establish the Kid Brothers Of St. Frank someday.

I saw Rick Elias at a Catholic Underground concert a few years ago. Rick has been a "Ragamuffin". He played a few of Rich's songs to a very Catholic crowd. They were very well received.

PS: To tune a hammered dulcimer: find the set of stings that are in tune, then tune the rest to them!


October 14, 2008 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rich Mullins was Part Man,
Part Monk, Part Literati, Part Michaelangelo, Part Madman too I think. Most importantly of all however, he was a humble gentle soul who always pointed away from himself to our Lord Jesus and His cross. He was truly by definition
an "Arrow pointing to Heaven" I wrote the following poem in October
97 in honor of him. My journey has
been all over the map but I saw a film in 1974 called Brother Sun and
Sister Moon that would alter my
life forever. I started attending
Mass in 1995 and it would take me
a decade but on Easter 2005,
I was confirmed. Of course my
confirmation name was "Clare of
Assisi. Forgive my loquacity.
I can't help it. I'm a girl.
Peace around and within. Lynn

Stained Glass Saint

Our Airy LIght Cathedrals
brilliant works of art display
you are that stained glass saint now music played to light our way
your wings are all glowing splendor
yet you've something more to say
looking down on us in radiance
glorious bright in grand array
pours in through our stained glass window each pane praising as we pray a real blood flesh icon
not in death's crypt locked away
alabaster cheeks are weeping
all your suffering at last at bay
with Saint Michael gently hovering
return to us this pilgrims day
melting all our broken mourning
crystalize our tears held sway
fairies fair and the forest
drums Ghost Dancing far away
you are that stained glass saint now golden splendid shines the day...

Lynn Prescott October 26, 1997

October 23, 2008 8:27 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Lynn: That was beautiful, thanks so much

October 23, 2008 9:56 PM  

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