Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

My Photo
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, February 16, 2010

Lent Begins Tomorrow

Tomorrow we start the season that the Church provides for us as an opportunity to grow in holiness. Christians have observed Lent since the early days of the Church. Evidence of this dates back to the 2nd century when St. Irenaeus wrote a letter to St. Pope Victor I discussing the dates and times for fasting etc. Thus, Lent is not a medieval invention of the Church as some might accuse. It comes from the apostles and early Church Fathers. Fasting, prayer and the giving of alms have been part of the armamentarium of the saints and faithful. Self denial, sacrifice and penance are not valued in our contemporary society but these values have always been part of the devotional life of Christians down through the ages.
This season is a gift that God gives us to renew our baptismal vows, devote more time to prayer, spiritual reading and participate in the many devotions the Church offers at this time, Stations of the Cross etc. This is then followed by the celebration of the Resurrection and the entry of many into the Church at Easter.
A lot of grace is available to further our walk with the Lord at this season- if we only avail ourselves of it. I hope and pray you all have a blessed Lent. See you in 40 days!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodius!

These two Greek brothers traveled to the Slavic nations in the 9th century and created an alphabet (Cyrillic) so that the people could read Scripture and understand the liturgy in their own language. St Methodius translated the bible into the new cyrillic alphabet in less than one year!
These guys are also special to me as my son is working in Moldova in the Peace Corp and needed to learn Russian. I asked them to intercede for him knowing they would have a bit of a handle on the language they wrote! He actually has learned to speak it enough to get around and teach English to his students. God has answered the prayers of his saints. Thank you Lord, and St Cyril and Methodius too!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Morning Mass and Catholic Quiche

Today our good friend Fr. Bernard Ezaki celebrated the sacrament of the altar (Mass) in our little makeshift living room chapel. We invited two other couples over and it was a very special blessing. We started the morning by praying Morning Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours, and followed that by the Mass.
We then broke our fast with a hearty breakfast

that included Prodigal Daughter's special Sacred Heart of Jesus Quiche, fresh Haitian coffee and banana bread. Food for the soul, then the body.

I have known Fr. Ezaki since 1976 . He was in my New Testament Greek class and we became fast friends . I was amazed at what a faithful Christian he was.... despite his Catholicism. He never complained or was bitter regarding his congenital near-blindness and God used this thorn in his flesh in mighty ways to make him a very godly man.

After college, he went to Harvard Divinity school and later seminary and became a diocesan priest in the Allentown diocese where he still serves. After my first wife died, his phone call three days later planted a seed in my heart that took ten years to finally germinate in my return to the Church. When my new wife became interested in Catholicism back in 2000, he was the priest she first turned to. Five years later, we returned to the Church. Now he's celebrating Mass in my living room.

Boy, life is a full circle.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Video From the Students of Franciscan University

Help Keep Mother Teresa On Our Stamps

Dear Friend,

Please take 15 seconds and sign the petition at to urge the Post Office to issue their new stamp honoring Mother Teresa. Atheist groups are mounting a campaign to censor the stamp and we need to fight back.

Sign the petition now at

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sister Mary Snowden

(H/T Anchoress)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Kneelers-Not Just For Mass Anymore!

Why have a kneeler at home? Well, one of the things I have come to appreciate since becoming Catholic is the way in which the Mass directs our hearts and minds and bodies to worship God. We genuflect upon entering the sanctuary acknowledging the real presence of Christ in the tabernacle. We kneel during the Eucharistic prayers, we stand during the proclamation of the gospel. We end by kneeling and silently reflecting on the goodness of God to allow us to take Him into us through the Eucharist. We genuflect once again at the conclusion of Mass as we leave the sanctuary, once again honoring the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
So after almost 6 years of worshiping in the Catholic Church, needless to say I have gotten used to kneeling. Something I frankly admit, I did not do as much as I should have in my life BC.(Before Catholic) So why just kneel in prayer during Mass? Bet if I had a comfy kneeler I could put in a hidden area (like my studio in the basement) I might be encouraged to spend a little more time on my knees. After looking up the prices of kneelers on-line, I decided to start a little project. I still need to build and attach the kneeler pads. Here it is so far.

Google's Super Bowl Ad Promotes Pro-Life Values

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity

I am reading a book called The Catholic Passion by David Scott. It is a great book that highlights the beauty of our faith illustrating Catholic teaching through vignettes and stories of saints and sinners. Last night, I read about Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, a contemporary of St. Therese of Lisieux. She lived for five years in a Carmelite monastery in France eventually dying of untreated Addison's disease. She had an intense love and devotion to the Trinity and wrote much about the indwelling presence of God. For me, to have even just a small measure of her love for God would be a great blessing. Here's her Prayer to the Trinity:

O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to become utterly forgetful of myself so that I may establish myself in you, as changeless and calm as though my soul were already in eternity. Let nothing disturb my peace nor draw me forth f from you, O my unchanging God, but at every moment may I penetrate more deeply into the depths of your mystery. Give peace to my soul; make it your heaven, your cherished dwelling-place and the place of your repose. Let me never leave you there alone, but keep me there, wholly attentive, wholly alert in my faith, wholly adoring and fully given up to your creative action.

O my beloved Christ, crucified for love, I long to be the bride of your heart. I long to cover you with glory, to love you even unto death! Yet I sense my powerlessness and beg you to clothe me with yourself. Identify my soul with all the movements of your soul, submerge me, overwhelm me, substitute yourself for me, so that my life may become a reflection of your life. Come into me as Adorer, as Redeemer and as Saviour.

O Eternal Word, utterance of my God, I want to spend my life listening to you, to become totally teachable so that I might learn all from you. Through all darkness, all emptiness, all powerlessness, I want to keep my eyes fixed on you and to remain under your great light. O my Beloved Star, so fascinate me that I may never be able to leave your radiance.

O Consuming Fire, Spirit of Love, overshadow me so that the Word may be, as it were incarnate again in my soul. May I be for him a new humanity in which he can renew all his mystery.

And you, O Father, bend down towards your poor little creature. Cover her with your shadow, see in her only your beloved son in who you are well pleased

O my `Three', my All, my Beatitude, infinite Solitude, Immensity in which I lose myself, I surrender myself to you as your prey. Immerse yourself in me so that I may be immersed in you until I go to contemplate in your light the abyss of your splendour!


Catholic Sisters on Oprah!

The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist have been undergoing an unprecedented rate of growth of new vocations to the order. This is also happening in many of the other orthodox(read:Pope loving, magisterium obeying, eucharistically centered) religious orders.
Word got out to Oprah who will be having them on her show on Tuesday. Spread the word. What a great witness for these sisters and their faith!

"The center of our lives is our Savior, Jesus Christ, and thus, daily we join in community prayer for a Eucharistic Holy Hour and are in His presence as we pray "O Sacred Banquet" (O Sacrum Convivium) and chant the Divine Office.

Our vocation to live the evangelical counsels for the glory of God, the salvation of souls and the transformation of the world only arises from the graces received from His Divine Eucharistic Presence. "

Check out their website here.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A Positive Article About Catholicism in Our Local Paper

Check out this interview I did for an article in the Morning Call, the Lehigh Valley's newspaper.
The author, Daniel Sheehan did an excellent job in presenting the concept of the theology of suffering. Thankfully, Catholicism was presented in a positive light and Lord willing, a lot of folks will give some new thought to Catholicism.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Why Be Catholic? Suffering

Dr. Jeff Mirus has a great article in his series "Why Be Catholic? Check out this essay that explains the distinctive Catholic understanding of suffering.

Feast of the Presentation; Candlemas Day

Happy Feast of the Presentation! Today the Church celebrates the presentation of the infant Jesus to Simeon in the temple. It is also the official end of the Christmas season, and this feast day is also called Candlemas. Jesus is the Light of the World and the Catholic Church celebrates this by bringing candles into the Church and blessing them, lighting them. Once again, the Church makes a feast day of an event in the life of Jesus that reinforces the gospel. Jesus is the light of the world, illuminating the darkness of sin and giving us the opportunity to live with Him if we choose to.