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.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Vatican Checks Out Crossed The Tiber

My hit o' meter informed me that someone from the Holy See was checking out my blog post about the singing Dominican sisters via the Big Pulpit. Maybe Pope Francis in his spare time?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Singing Nuns of Ann Arbor

Check out this article from NPR, and if you are inspired, consider buying the CD to support this vibrant order of sisters.

Friday, September 20, 2013

What the Pope Didn't Say

After Thursday's release of the pope's interview the main stream media wrote headlines such as: "Pope Says Church Is ‘Obsessed’ With Gays, Abortion and Birth Control."  I read the whole interview and did not see that anywhere. Not surprisingly, the media did not publish these comments:

"The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you. And the ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all. The confessor, for example, is always in danger of being either too much of a rigorist or too lax. Neither is merciful, because neither of them really takes responsibility for the person. The rigorist washes his hands so that he leaves it to the commandment. The loose minister washes his hands by simply saying, ‘This is not a sin’ or something like that. In pastoral ministry we must accompany people, and we must heal their wounds.

“We need to proclaim the Gospel on every street corner, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing, even with our preaching, every kind of disease and wound."

When the media finally discovers that the pope actually cannot reverse the Church's stand on abortion, contraception and homosexuality, they will just say "move on, move on, nothing to see (or report) here."

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pope Francis on the Extraordinary Form of the Mass

From the recent interview with Pope Francis, he speaks about Vatican 2 and the Vetus Ordo, also know as the Tridentine (Latin Mass ) from the Council of Trent.

"Vatican II was a re-reading of the Gospel in light of contemporary culture,” says the pope. “Vatican II produced a renewal movement that simply comes from the same Gospel. Its fruits are enormous. Just recall the liturgy. The work of liturgical reform has been a service to the people as a re-reading of the Gospel from a concrete historical situation. Yes, there are hermeneutics of continuity and discontinuity, but one thing is clear: the dynamic of reading the Gospel, actualizing its message for today—which was typical of Vatican II—is absolutely irreversible. Then there are particular issues, like the liturgy according to the Vetus Ordo. I think the decision of Pope Benedict [his decision of July 7, 2007, to allow a wider use of the Tridentine Mass] was prudent and motivated by the desire to help people who have this sensitivity. What is worrying, though, is the risk of the ideologization of the Vetus Ordo, its exploitation.”

I say a hearty "amen" to the above words of our Holy Father Pope Francis! Some Catholics sadly have exploited the TLM or Vetus Ordo/Extraordinary Form to draw a line in the sand and differentiate themselves from the majority of the Church and those who assist at Novus Ordo mass. They have created a "us and them mentality" which sadly can lead to schism.

Pope Francis on Prayer

Pope Francis recently gave an interview in the Jesuit magazine, America. Here in this snippet he spoke on prayer: 
   “I pray the breviary every morning. I like to pray with the psalms. Then, later, I celebrate Mass. I pray the Rosary. What I really prefer is adoration in the evening, even when I get distracted and think of other things, or even fall asleep praying. In the evening then, between seven and eight o’clock, I stay in front of the Blessed Sacrament for an hour in adoration. But I pray mentally even when I am waiting at the dentist or at other times of the day. “Prayer for me is always a prayer full of memory, of recollection, even the memory of my own history or what the Lord has done in his church or in a particular parish. For me it is the memory of which St. Ignatius speaks in the First Week of the Exercises in the encounter with the merciful Christ crucified. And I ask myself: ‘What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What should I do for Christ?’ It is the memory of which Ignatius speaks in the ‘Contemplation for Experiencing Divine Love,’ when he asks us to recall the gifts we have received. But above all, I also know that the Lord remembers me. I can forget about him, but I know that he never, ever forgets me. Memory has a fundamental role for the heart of a Jesuit: memory of grace, the memory mentioned in Deuteronomy, the memory of God’s works that are the basis of the covenant between God and the people. It is this memory that makes me his son and that makes me a father, too.”

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Saint Therese and the Ukulele

Here's a new song I've been working on for a while now. Originally it started out to be about Mother Angelica (founder of EWTN) but morphed into a song about Saint Therese of Lisieux, a doctor of the Church and one of the world's most loved saints. Sometimes that happens with songwriting. The outcome isn't always what was initially planned. I thought Saint Therese would love this song about her - played on the humble little ukulele. It is an instrument that some folks don't take seriously but yet it carries an impressive tone and dignity, just like "The Little Flower." She said she would spend her heaven doing good on earth and surely her intercession has been powerful for many.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Prayer Request

I would like to ask my regular readers to pray for a woman we knew from our evangelical days. She has been diagnosed with widely metastatic cancer and has become interested in Catholicism. Please pray that she can find peace in her life and that the God of all mercy can bring peace to she and her husband in this most difficult time. Thanks

Jew to Evangelical to Catholic!

Dan Burke is the editor of the National Catholic Register, not to be confused with the National Catholic Reporter. He tells Marcus of his journey to the Church on this recent installment of the Journey Home Program.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Pray for Syria

By the authority left to Peter and his successors from Christ Jesus, Pope Francis asks the world to join him in fasting and prayer for peace in Syria.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Join With Pope Francis to Pray

Tomorrow, Pope Francis has asked the Catholic faithful and men and women of good-will from all faiths to join together in fasting and prayer for peace in Syria tomorrow.

Monday, September 02, 2013

The Mass and Our Love for Jesus

Over the past several months I have had some on-line discussions with folks regarding the Traditional Latin Mass versus the Novus Ordo Mass, both of which are valid and approved by our popes. For many of us converts and reverts, the reason we became Catholic was because God opened our hearts to the reality that he is indeed present here on earth with us in the "breaking of the bread." Jesus becomes our real food and real drink- his flesh and blood during the consecration in mass, whether NO or TLM.
   His sacrifice once and for all at Calvary is re-presented at the mass and and we can unite ourselves to Christ as he once again offers himself to the Father for our sins and the sins of the world. His sacrificial death on the cross was once and done, but it's salvific action continues throughout time. The mass brings that un-bloodied sacrifice to the present moment, like a time machine so to speak.
    That being said, the importance of the mass is the opportunity to enter into this process, unite ourselves to Jesus, offering ourselves to God. We are united to Christ and the entire body of Christ through all ages when we receive his true body and blood in the Eucharist. This occurs in the TLM as well as the NO liturgy. The fruit of this process should be love and the fruits of the Holy Spirit manifested in our daily lives, off-line, and out of mass, even when no one is looking. The purpose of the mass, is to bring us closer to Jesus, to love him more and ultimately obtain heaven. Do I love Jesus more and more as a result of my participation in the mass? Am I becoming more like Jesus as a result of my participation in the Eucharistic sacrifice?
   Regardless of what form of the mass you go to, at the end of the day, does your participation in the liturgy make you more like Jesus? If not, than there may be  need for prayer and re-evaluation.

"My God, grant that I may love Thee and the only reward of my love be to love Thee always more and more." Amen