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.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

What's Good For The Pope.....

God bless our Holy Father Pope Francis! He continues to be a model of the Christian life for all of us. Rather than just teaching us that it is good to go to confession, he shows us!  Despite what his detractors say is a publicity stunt, I would rather believe that Pope Francis is guided by the Holy Spirit and felt strongly that he needed to confess.   Two weeks ago I walked by that very same confessional!  The pope was at a Lenten retreat when were at Saint Peter's so we didn't have the opportunity to have an audience.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Feast of the Annunciation: Not Just For Catholics!

This is a Marian feast that our non-Catholic brothers and sisters can celebrate with us today.  Why not reflect with us on one of the most glorious moments in salvation history?  The Universal Church has publicly celebrated this day from as early as the beginning of the fifth century and surely it is right and good to take some time out today to remember the events of this momentous event. Mary, the New Eve said "yes" to God and untied the knot of disobedience that the First Eve tied with her disobedience, as Saint Irenaeus (2nd century) tells us.  I spent most of my life not contemplating this mystery nor did I call Mary blessed. I want to be in that generation that calls her blessed. "  (Luke 1:48)
   Perhaps you would like to listen to this song and reflect on Mary's role in our salvation today.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Saint Francis vs. Luther-Compare and Contrast

AMEN, AMEN I say  to this Catholic blogger R. Hamilton and her post regarding the vitriolic criticism of Pope Francis from Catholics!  I was shocked to see some Catholics calling Pope Francis "Pope Bozo" and other such disrespectful terms. I had a friend on facebook who glibly stated after the election of Pope Francis: "I guess heresy won't be stamped out any time soon now."  When Catholics publicly criticize the pope they are skating dangerously close to the theological hole in the ice called Protestantism. Some, not all, traditional Catholics who regulary criticize the pope and denigrate him are following a long line (about 500 years) of people who have declared themselves their own pope. Sadly these folks believe they are sincere Catholics but ultimately are behaving as followers of Luther.
   Did Saint Francis of Assisi criticize the pope when he was told to "hit the road?" by the pope? (See my post on this topic) No, he did not and look at the ultimate fruit of his obdedience and respect for the pope. Now, look at the fruit of Luther's criticism of the pope. Compare and contrast and it will become evident where faithful Catholics need to be regarding their attitudes towards our holy father.

(Overlooking Assisi)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Thoughts on Our Return From Rome

(Saint's Peter's basilica with the Chair of Peter in the distance)
Our pilgrimage to the shrines of Italy is over. What an amazing experience. Words just can't describe what we experienced but I will try to post some thoughts in the upcoming days as I process what we saw and did.
   When I first walked into Saint Peter's basilica hand-in- hand with Deborah, we were both speechless. We also entered through a side door, rather than the main entrance. Even this had a special meaning for me since I had left this Church shaking the dust off my sneakers so many years ago. I felt it was symbolic to enter in a side entrance vs. the main entrance as most pilgrims do, since I am like an 11th hour worker  (Matt. 20:6). I at times feel unworthy but incredibly
thankful for God's mercy in forgiving me and pouring out his grace, despite so many years being opposed to the Church Jesus started.  Then I began to weep. I can't explain why  but was overwhelmed by the sense that we had finally come to the heart of the Church where so many saints had walked and so many sinners had become saints. The first thing our group did was to celebrate mass
and I received Christ in the Eucharist a few hundred feet from where the bones of Peter are laid.
   More to come.....

Friday, March 14, 2014

Crossed The Tiber!

Crossing the Tiber is the euphemism to describe conversion to the Catholic faith. To get to the Eternal City, one has to cross the bridge across the Tiber.
   Ten years ago, my wife and I crossed the Tiber spiritually, returning to the Catholic faith after nearly a lifetime of being evangelical Protestants. This week we have been blessed to physically cross the Tiber River to come to Saint Peter's to celebrate our tenth anniversary of coming home to the same faith passed from Jesus to his successors.
   We prayed at Saint Peter's tomb and prayed at the site where he was crucified upside down. We saw the ancient obelisk that was the last thing he saw before he died. We received Jesus Christ in the Eucharist in the basilica of Saint Peter as countless saints and sinners have done since the construction of the Church in the early 4th century.
  It is hard to describe the emotions we experienced as we realized we were now both physically and spiritually in the Church that was built upon the one who received the keys of the kingdom from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We are home by his grace and for his glory.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Lent 2014

Once again, God gives us the opportunity to set our heart's compass back to true North. For the next forty days, the Lord gives us a chance to fast, pray, give alms and make ourselves available to all the graces he so richly desires to bestow on his children. These graces are freely given  in the sacrament of confession, the Eucharist and all the wonderful spiritual disciplines of Lent.  If you have never prayed the stations of the cross, why not wander into your local Catholic parish on Friday evenings as most have the Stations of the Cross every Friday of Lent.  You will be glad you did!
                        May God bless your Lent and help us all to grow closer to Jesus.