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.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Abandonment: The Way to Holiness

When I was a young born again Christian, there was a teaching going around that you can have anything you want and do anything you want because you are a "child of the King" and therefore entitled to experience the "riches" of His kingdom. A book called "How To Live Like A King's Kid" promoted this and everyone jumped on the bandwagon, for a time until the next "new thing" came down the pike. But alas, the next "new thing" was invariably an old recycled " new thing."
But there are some teachings in Christianity that remain as old as the apostles themselves, but don't sell lots of books and often don't get on the bestseller lists. One of these is the concept of abandoning oneself to God. Self surrender to His will. My wife started reading Fr. Jean Pierre de Caussade Abandonment to Divine Providence before she was Catholic and it sowed the seeds for her conversion back to the Church. At the time it seemed like such a foreign concept since we were from a background that had been influenced by the health and wealth teachings, but this truth started to resonate with her, and the rest is history as they say.

"O all you who thirst, learn that you have not far to go to find the spring of living waters! It springs forth quite close to you in the present moment. Therefore hasten to approach it. Why, with the spring so near, do you tire yourselves running after shallow brooks which only tease your thirst? They measure stingily the water they give us, while only the spring itself is inexhaustible. If you wish to think, write and talk like Apostles, prophets and saints, abandon yourselves as they did to God's inspiration. O Love unknown! Men think that your wonders are past and finished, and that all we can do is copy the ancient volumes and quote Your words out of the past! And we do not see that Your unceasing action is an infinite source of new thoughts, new sufferings, new works, new patriarchs, new prophets, apostles, new saints, who have no need to copy each others lives or writings, but only to live in perpetual self-surrender to Your secret operations. We like to speak of "the first ages of the Church - the times of the saints." Are not all times the effect of God's action, the working of His divine will, including all moments, filling them, sanctifying them and making them supernatural? Has there ever been a method of self-surrender to God's will which is not still practicable? Did the saints from the earliest ages have any other secret of holiness than that of becoming what God's will was seeking to make them from moment to moment? And will this operation not continue even to the end of time to pour out its grace on those who give themselves unreservedly to it? Yes, dear eternal Love! Love eternally fruitful and full of wonder! Yes, Will of God! You are my book, my doctrine, my knowledge. In You are my thoughts, my words, my deeds, my crosses. It is not by consulting Your other works that I can become what You would make me, but only by accepting You in all things, in that one royal way, that ancient way, the way of our fathers, the way of self-surrender to Your will. I will think like them, speak like them, be enlightened as they were. In this way, I will imitate them, quote and copy them in everything." Father Jean-Pierre de Caussade - The Joy of Full Surrender


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