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, June 26, 2013

Supreme Court Fails to Support the Institution of Marriage.

Below is a letter sent to all the members of the Catholic Medical Association responding to today's  Supreme Court decision to not defend traditional marriage. I am proud to be a part of these Catholic physicians who let their faith inform every aspect of their professional lives. 

"Dear CMA Members:
The Catholic Medical Association issued a press release in response to today's Supreme Court Decisions on Marriage.

Bala Cynwyd, PA— Board President John I. Lane, M.D., speaking on behalf of the members of the Catholic Medical Association, issued the following statement in light of the Supreme Court’s decisions on same-sex marriage issued today:
We are profoundly disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decisions to strike down part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which served to support the institution of marriage in the provision of federal benefits, and to refuse to protect the rights of the citizens of California to defend authentic marriage through legal means. These decisions not only are wrong, they are tragic, for they will substantially undermine the health and well-being of countless men, women, and children for years to come by undermining the institution of marriage. Marriage is a divinely instituted, time-tested institution which binds a man and a woman together for life, and binds parents to their children. No other institution in human civilization can better serve these fundamental goods. As a physician-led association of healthcare professionals who have witnessed the effects of other harmful social trends, including the rise of no-fault divorce, we are deeply worried about the impact that this decision will have on our patients and fellow citizens.

Catholic Medical Association members are also deeply concerned about the effect of these Supreme Court decisions on religious freedom and the rule of law. Not only did the majority of Justices inappropriately strike down laws passed by overwhelming majorities of federal legislators (in the case of DOMA) and a clear majority of citizens over the course of two state-wide initiatives (in the case of California); rather, they also unjustly impugned the motives and beliefs of millions of American citizens by stating, in part: “[DOMA] is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.” This statement is untrue, unfair, and will provide a potential pretext for opponents of religious freedom to continue their attacks on people of faith.

It is important to note that, while today’s decisions are deeply wrong and destructive, they are limited in scope. The Supreme Court did not find a constitutional right to marriage, and citizens in states with laws protecting authentic marriage will continue to enjoy the protection of those laws. In the uncertain days ahead, members of the Catholic Medical Association will continue to offer high-quality care for their patients in steadfast fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church, and to publicly defend the authentic nature of marriage."

Sunday, June 23, 2013

How Modesty Prepares Women for Marriage

The summer season is here and us men who daily struggle for sexual purity are challenged at every moment in almost every direction we turn.  My wife and I discuss this frequently and she takes over the blog today in a great essay on modesty and marriage. I pray others will read this and pass this message along. We need it now more than ever. Take it away Deborah!

It’s almost impossible to convince young girls about the importance of being modest.  Every image presented to women is an image of objectification of one or more of our body parts.  It’s nice to feel attractive and to know that boys are attracted to you and the message is that dressing sexy is attractive.

Most girls still dream of one day being married for a lifetime.  So they question, if the goal is to attract a man, then how will dressing modestly do that?  Moreover, what is the harm in dressing sexy?

Let me address the second question first by talking about what a beautiful marriage is.  A beautiful marriage at it’s core, is a life-long faithful relationship in which intimacy and devotion increase as the years go by.  It’s a trust so profound and a love so deep that no pain or suffering can destroy.  A beautiful marriage is like a carefully tended garden that blooms more beautifully and fruitfully year after year.

A woman in a beautiful marriage has a unique role.  She is the conduit of love for her husband and children.  The more she receives love from them, the more she is able to give and grow and plant love in them.  In order to receive love from her husband, a woman must have a great deal of trust.  She must succumb to her husband’s  sexual desires and allow herself to be the “object” of his passion.  In a beautiful marriage though, a woman never feels like an object because she knows that her husband (though attentive to her body) loves her as a whole person.  Therefore she takes delight in dressing sexy for him knowing that this is a gift of love to him.  She doesn’t even know the feeling of being objectified, because all she feels is love.

This brings us back to the question, what is the harm in dressing sexy?  When a young girl spends her teenage years and young adulthood “dressing sexy” she is giving something of herself away to the world that truly only belongs to her husband.  She presents herself to the world with the message “I am a beautiful creature to look at, enjoy me, find pleasure in my appearance” and some women find that boost of being “admired” satisfying and even (dare I say) useful.  But since this part of herself is really meant for a beautiful marriage and not to be shared with others, she begins to rob herself and her future husband of a gift meant solely for them.

She has chosen to receive a false love of admiration and use her own body for selfish gain.  This woman goes into marriage with confidence believing that she will give and receive love for a lifetime only to quickly discover that intimacy and true love are nowhere to be found.  For when her husband admires her body, she cannot believe that he is truly loving her whole self.  She doesn’t trust that his sexual advances are any more than a superficial, self-gratifying lust.  Because all she has known through years of “dressing sexy” and allowing herself to be objectified was an empty admiration void of the devotion and commitment and intimacy of marriage.  She is incapable of trusting and allowing love to come in because all she has known about her body is how to use it for pleasure and selfish gain.

Some women will continue to “use sex” in marriage to attempt to manipulate and control their husbands.  These women eventually end up miserable and usually divorced because what they were truly craving – a life-long intimate marriage – could never be realized through their actions.

So let us imagine for a moment, the girl who decides to keep her sexual self safely hidden until marriage.  She dresses modestly yet learns to love and be loved in real and genuine ways.  She stays close to her family and develops female friendships that encourage the preparation for a beautiful marriage.  Eventually she meets the man who she wants to spend her life with and now she is ready to discover and be discovered.  She opens up this part of herself not to control and manipulate but instead offers herself as a gift.  This gift of self is not stagnant nor draining.  For she finds that the more she gives, the more she receives and love and intimacy grows into that beautiful garden of love for her family and for the world.

This is the core of the modesty message.   Young women may need to know the ultimate gift that dressing modestly brings to a lifetime of love and maybe that will help to bring about change.  One can only hope.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Children of Mary?

                                          Where are Jesus' brothers and sisters at a time like this?

When your Protestant friends bring up the "fact" that Mary had other children because the bible tells me so, ask them to check out the early Church fathers. Ooops, too Catholic! Well then, just ask them to check out the writings of their founders, Calvin, Luther, Wesley etc. They all held to the perpetual virginity of Mary and were very Protestant.

Go here to read an excellent cogent defense of the Blessed Mother's perpetual virginity.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Digital Areopagus- The New Evangelization

Catholic blogger, author and speaker, Brandon Vogt continues to use the new digital media to share the truth. Check out A place for serious discussion between atheists and Catholic artists, theologians, writers and philosophers. At the Areopagus in Acts, Saint Paul preached to the intellectual elite and pagan philosophers. They responded to his preaching with this:  "you bring some strange notions to our ears; we should like to know what these things mean."  Our first pope, Saint Peter said to "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..."  The Strange Notions website is one such way to do just that. Give the site address to your friends and family who struggle with the big questions.

Evangelicals Love the Pope!

I never thought I would live to see the day that the evangelical community is writing positive things about the successor of Peter and calling for unity. Calling Pope Francis "our Francis too" Dr. Timothy Beeson has this to say in an article in Christianity Today:   "Without forgetting the deep differences that divide us, now as never before we are called to stand and work together for the cause of Christ in a broken world. We can make a start by praying with Saint Francis:

Most High, Glorious God, bring light to the darkness of my heart. Give me right faith, certain hope, and perfect charity, insight and wisdom, so I can always observe your holy and true command. Amen.

Let's hope and pray this will cause Protestants of good will and open minds to re-consider what they thought the Catholic Church represents and teaches. With such fondness for the leader of the Catholic faith coming from well-respected evangelicals, surely there will be some who will pick up a catechism or search the net for blogs like this to find out the truth about the Catholic faith to find out if there truly are "deep differences that divide us." What a Protestant is told and believes about Catholicism and what Catholicism actually is are most often two different things entirely, as I found out personally 9 years ago.
Besides, Pope Francis is indeed their pope, they just don't know it yet.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Another Evangelical Pastor Converts to Catholicism

Billy Kangas, an evangelical pastor and worship leader becomes Catholic. Read his story here.

 "Slowly I began to realize that many of the issues I had with Catholic doctrine were not with the dogma but often the way the dogma was explained. There was a great deal of significant thoughtful reflection behind many of the issues, and I began to realize that my rejection of the theology was based on my own presuppositions and sanctimonious self-satisfaction."

Once again, a person's pride and prejudice kept him from even considering the faith but then they started to listen to what the Church had to say about itself, not what Protestants had to say about it.

"I started to study the church fathers and the documents of the church councils and my eyes were opened to a huge world of theology that I wasn't even aware of before. Little by little my list of hundreds of reasons I would never become Catholic diminished to around a dozen or so."

Mr. Kangas is now in the process of getting his PhD in liturgy and sacramental theology from Catholic University of America. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

World-Wide Eucharistic Adoration

On the feast of Corpus Christi, the pope led the world in an hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. In cloisters, cathedrals and parishes throughout the world, prayers were prayed in unison with the successor of Peter  throughout the world. See more on this here.

The Eucharist- A Wonderful Banquet!

Today the Universal Church celebrates the most sublime miracle that continues to occur on a continuous basis on every altar in every Catholic Church throughout the world. Somewhere, at any moment throughout the world, Christ Jesus humbles himself and becomes present to us under the appearance of bread and wine. Truly a mystery, but an unchanging Truth that has been the source and summit of our faith for 2000 years. A reality that the even the most brilliant can't fully comprehend, yet the most simple can experience. All is required is faith and believing the Word of God to be true; 

"If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

"O precious and wonderful banquet that brings us salvation and contains all sweetness! Could anything be of more intrinsic value? Under the old law it was the flesh of calves and goats that was offered, but here Christ himself, the true God, is set before us as our food. What could be more wonderful than this? No other sacrament has greater healing power; through it sins are purged away, virtues are increased, and the soul is enriched with an abundance of every spiritual gift. It is offered in the Church for the living and the dead, so that what was instituted for the salvation of all may be for the benefit of all. Yet, in the end, no one can fully express the sweetness of this sacrament, in which spiritual delight is tasted at its very source, and in which we renew the memory of that surpassing love for us which Christ revealed in his passion."

Saint Thomas Aquinas 13th Century