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, April 20, 2016

Ode To Mother Angelica

The National Catholic Register highlights my song about Mother Angelica.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

RIP Mother Angelica


This past Easter evening,  Mother Angelica, foundress of EWTN, went home to the house of her Father.
There is a fair chance I wouldn't be Catholic if it wasn't for this cloistered nun who started the largest religious broadcast in the history of cable.  In 2002, my wife started watching EWTN when she began her journey to Catholicism. I was extremely unhappy about her interest in Catholicism, but I couldn't help but listen in from the other room as I heard stories of Protestants convert to Catholicism on The Journey Home. In no time at all , I was drawn to watching Journey Home every Monday and some of the other programming along the way.
   Little did I know that just five years later, my wife and I would be sitting in the studio of EWTN telling our story of conversion to the Catholic faith live to over 80 million viewers on Marcus Grodi's program. 
Mother Angelica had her stroke several years before this and she was no longer there on site  on the network grounds, but her mark was everywhere!
  So thank you Lord Jesus for leading this little nun to start a program that would turn so many hearts to Jesus and his Church, including this hard hearted anti- Catholic!
  Thank you Mother Angelica for your obedience and a faith that could move mountains and build a Catholic TV station that would reach the entire world with the gospel and the fullness of truth.
 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Little Sisters at the Supreme Court

Today the Little Sisters of the Poor once again appeal their case against the HHS mandate which would force them to provide for contraception and abortifacients for their employees. They are at the Supreme Court currently with their legal team. Please pray that the court rules in the favor of Religious Liberty and allows the Sisters to continue to provide free care to the frail and elderly of our country.
If the Court sides with the President and his administration, the Little Sisters will be forced to close down their homes in the US and thousands of elderly will be essentially with no place to live or eat. I have visited with the Little Sisters and can attest to the tremendous ministry they have of caring for those who our society deems non-productive and burdensome. Please keep them in your prayers.
Saint Thomas More, intercede today for the Little Sisters that they may continue to obey Christ and accept the consequences whatever they may be, as you also did. Amen.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Lenten Prayer from the Divine Office

Convert us,
O God our Savior,
and instruct our minds by heavenly teaching,
that we may benefit from the works of Lent.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
 Amen.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lent 2016


 Once again the Church grants us much grace in this time of year to pray, fast and give alms to the poor as a way to grow closer to Jesus.  I am granted the opportunity to cast off the chains of sin as well as the effects of sin on my life and enter into a time of prayer and fasting (not just from food.)  The sacrament of Confession is offered more frequently in Lent as the Church does all it can to lead the faithful closer to Jesus. How much closer can we get to the Lord, than identifying with his forty days of fasting and prayer in the desert?
   In my life as a protestant Christian, we sometimes felt that "Jesus did it all" and therefore fasting and penance were not essential in our lives. As I watched my Lutheran in-laws giving up sweets during Lent, I was thinking how useless this practice was at the time. With time and conversion I see they were right all along and I regret my pride and arrogance now.  The older I get, the more I realize how much I need Lent every year and am truly thankful for the grace this season brings us to more closely identify with the Lord and ultimately be transformed. "Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return"

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Vain Repetition?

I often am frustrated at those who condemn Catholics for the rosary saying that it is "vain repetition."
Even as a Protestant Christian the repetition of worship choruses and praise sessions often struck me as repetitious.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Steve King R-IA Walks Out of the SOTHU Address

This congressman took a stand for the unborn last night. During the State of the Union Address  Catholic convert and republican congressman, Steve King , left his seat empty to go pray for the nine million lives lost to abortion during Obama's terms as president.
   May God grant us more political leaders willing to stand up for truth and life.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Catholicism vs Protestantism Philosophy of Life

My wife, also a convert, wrote this after contemplating how her view of life changed as a Catholic. 


   Protestantism - Earthly life is painful and quickly passing away.  People are wretched and sinful.  But I have God to help me get through until I die, at which time I will go directly to heaven and never have any connection to this dreadful existence again.

    Catholicism - Earthly life, though at times painful is always filled with goodness and beauty because God created it and is in the midst of it.  People are created in the image of God and therefore have the potential for infinite goodness.  As we walk through this life with God we cooperate with Him by offering up our pain and giving thanks always and everywhere until the day we die; at which time we hope to spend eternity with Him, always connected to those we love in heaven and on earth.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Eucharist and Christmas


                                    (our manger before Christmas sans the baby Jesus)

                                         

                                        This is a little play I wrote a few years ago.


ACT I

The setting: A stable outside the forgotten little town of Bethlehem (House of Bread*). Shepherds and their families and kings from the east as well as a few other curious onlookers stare at a newborn wrapped in coarse linen in a feeding trough for animals. A bright star overhead illuminates the otherwise dark night.
Shepherd boy, while yawning, says to his father: “Just looks like a baby boy to me, can’t we go home now? I'm cold!”
Father to boy: “ Thomas, the angels in the field said something about a Savior. Let’s just stay awhile.”
Boy: How could a Savior and King look and.... yecch!… smell like a little baby? He looks just like any other baby to me!”
King from the Orient, kneeling before the makeshift crib says with a whisper: “Shhh, don’t you know the ancient prophecies? God would come to us, to live among us, through a virgin’s womb.
Balthasar looking at the Child then raising his eyes to heaven says: The God of Israel has chosen this night to redeem us. Our Savior and King has come to us as a little child.

ACT II

33 years later.

Setting: Jerusalem at Passover. The city is buzzing with the noise of pilgrims and bristling under the Roman occupation.
At the meal of the Passover, Jesus surrounded by his companions prays the blessing. As he breaks the bread he stretches out his hand holding the bread saying:
“Take this and eat. This is my body….”
One of the twelve disciples leans over to another and says under his breath;
“How can this be? It looks just like any other piece of bread to me? How can He give us His body to eat?
The disciple whom Jesus loved said to him: "Thomas, don't you remember last year when he told us He would give us his body to eat and His blood to drink?
Then as supper was ended, Jesus took the cup and gave it to his disciples saying:
"This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many…"

THE END

Just as Christ came to us in the improbable form of a human baby, He continues to abide with us in the equally preposterous “breaking of the bread.” God chose the common things of this world to reveal Himself. First, a baby born in Bethlehem and then bread and common table wine. As we approach the Lord’s Table at Midnight Mass this Christmas Eve, our mind says, it just looks like a piece of bread but our heart says, "Jesus, bread of life, you have come to abide with me this night."


Thursday, December 03, 2015

Catholics Are Praying People!

A few years ago I posted my plans to make a homemade prie deu, which is a kneeler. Catholics understand the importance of physical gestures in their worship once again illustrating the incarnational principle that God uses the physical things of earth to lead us to the things of heaven, even our liturgical gestures of kneeling and genuflection, applying the sign of the cross etc. One of my many humbling experiences as a new Catholic was discovering I could not pray an entire rosary on my knees! I learned quickly that many Catholics much older and "out of shape" than I could pray the entire rosary , which takes about 17-20 minutes on their knees. I had back spasms, knee pain, whatever. Over time, however, it became easier for me to kneel and in especially mass during the Eucharistic prayer I have no problem anymore maintaining that posture of kneeling. Pity the Haitians and others in the third world without the cushioned kneelers that us soft "first worlders" demand!
    So I decided to build a kneeler for my prayer room at home. I searched the internet and found kits and plans but the costs were high so I decided to improvise my own. I later posted the plans on this post. Over the years, that blog post has gotten daily hits far in excess of my other blog posts. My not so scientific conclusion is that Catholics are indeed, praying people!

                                            


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