Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
I am an ex-Lutheran minister who was recieved into the Church in 2001. I am currently Manager of Studies at the Catholic Adult Education Centre Cardinal Pell's Archdiocese). I am married with 5 children.
I have started my own blog recently. I intend it to be a general look at the Church and the world from the eyes of a convert. I have enjoyed reading many of the blogs linked to your site and I hope others will find something worth
reading on mine from time to time.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
I'm going to be frank here. This issue is one that we must learn to face regardless of how embarressing it can be.
It seems that before I came into the Catholic Church that I didn't give much thought to our call to live chaste lives. I pretty much thought that we were in good shape as long as we refrained from having sex before marriage and didn't commit adultery once we were married. And no one every really taught me differently.
It wasn't until I found the fullness of the Catholic Faith that I begin to see things in a much broader since. I guess on some level I had always knew that pornography and masturbation were wrong but never fully understood the implications of these things.
Now, that I have the Church's teachings to guide me I see much more clearly how pornography, impure thoughts at the sight of an attractive woman, maturbation, etc. act to degrade, dehumanize even, others and ourselves.
A reader has suggested this website True Knights as a helpful resource for men struggling with issues of purity and chasity. I haven't had a chance to fully explore the site yet but it does seem like it would offer some help in this area.
This was one of the things that really made me want to avoid going to confession when I first came into the Church. I was too embarressed to talk about it, even through the screen. I got by with saying, "I have been impure" or "I have failed to be chaste". This worked until I recently moved and the priest called me out on it. In a way he forced me to swallow my pride and really tackle the issue before God.
We may be embarressed by our sins against chasity, but we can't hide behind veiled words to save our pride. Because that is where our weakness lies. We have to face the issues head on.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Please leave a comment if you are planning to be received into the Catholic Church soon so that we can all join in the joy of welcoming you home.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Just found the blog and I look forward to spending some time looking through the blogs on it. Please add mine. My blog is Full Circle. I am a convert and my topics include often include conversion related items. The main site http://www.earlychurchfathers.org/ was put together during my conversion process ... Consider it an unexpected fruit of my conversion.
Blog URL: a href="http://earlychurchfathers.org/fullcircle/
Be sure to check out the Early Church Fathers site. It offers a very easy to use index of writings about a wide range of topics.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Infant baptism is another issue that must be dealt with by many individuals considering a call to conversion to the Catholic Faith. Most Protestant traditions reject infant baptism even though their Reformation founders made use of the practice.
Aimee at Historical Christian addresses infant baptism from both a scriptural and a historical view in Infant Baptism in Scripture and Early Christian History.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
The CC blog has gotten a few hits from Google searches looking for information on the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
I've added this Guide to Confession and Examination of Conscience to the Conversion Resources section in the sidebar.
Friday, March 16, 2007
Are you able to identify anything that acted as a tipping point during your conversion? When was the moment that you moved from unbelief to belief? Was there something that caused the wall of your objections to crumble? Please join in the discussion in the comments section.
I have mentioned before that I had several objections to the Catholic Faith including but not limited the communion of saints, the Virgin Mary, and the Real Presence in the Eucharist. One night I was watching EWTN when a priest who was a guest on one of the shows mentioned the story of the Road to Emmaus in Luke chapter 24. I took out my Bible and read the passage. I had read it before but that time it really struck me and was suddenly sure of the Real Presence of the Eucharist. From there all of my other objections were easily dealt with. This was definately a big tipping point in my conversion.
13 And behold, two of them went, the same day, to a town which was sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, named Emmaus. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 And it came to pass, that while they talked and reasoned with themselves, Jesus himself also drawing near, went with them.
16 But their eyes were held, that they should not know him. 17 And he said to them: What are these discourses that you hold one with another as you walk, and are sad? 18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleophas, answering, said to him: Art thou only a stranger to Jerusalem, and hast not known the things that have been done there in these days? 19 To whom he said: What things? And they said: Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet, mighty in work and word before God and all the people; 20 And how our chief priests and princes delivered him to be condemned to death, and crucified him.
21 But we hoped, that it was he that should have redeemed Israel: and now besides all this, today is the third day since these things were done. 22 Yea and certain women also of our company affrighted us, who before it was light, were at the sepulchre, 23 And not finding his body, came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, who say that he is alive. 24 And some of our people went to the sepulchre, and found it so as the women had said, but him they found not. 25 Then he said to them: O foolish, and slow of heart to believe in all things which the prophets have spoken.
26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures, the things that were concerning him. 28 And they drew night to the town, whither they were going: and he made as though he would go farther. 29 But they constrained him; saying: Stay with us, because it is towards evening, and the day is now far spent. And he went in with them. 30 And it came to pass, whilst he was at table with them, he took bread, and blessed, and brake, and gave to them.
31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him: and he vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to the other: Was not our heart burning within us, whilst he spoke in this way, and opened to us the scriptures? 33 And rising up, the same hour, they went back to Jerusalem: and they found the eleven gathered together, and those that were staying with them, 34 Saying: The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. 35 And they told what things were done in the way; and how they knew him in the breaking of the bread.
Writing in the style of C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, Fr. Longenecker gives us a look at how satan and his demons try to influence our lives especially during the season of Lent. This is a good read for everyone.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Like Feeling A Heartbeat: Conversion of John C. Wright
Michelle's story is very interesting in that it highlights the importance of sacred art and church architecture. Unfortunately, we see far too many churches today that look like assembly halls and supposedly Christian art that is one the verge of being scandalous.
Hello! My name is Michelle Therese and I am an American who is married to an Orcadian farmer. We raise beef cattle and sheep - and barn cats!
On December 8th I celebrated my 9th year as a Catholic! I was baptised December 8th, 1998 at Our Lady of Czestochowa church in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, U.S.A.. After nearly six months of intense study I was Confirmed May 3, 1999. I was chosen by Saint Therese and she is my beloved Patron Saint! (The "Therese" part of my name is acctually my confirmation name - I've taken it as part of my everyday name now!) My husband and I hope to make a retreat at Pluscarden Abby as I hope to become a Benedictine Oblate. And we will also try to make a pilgrimage to Lisieux in October!
I grew up in a very anti-God anti-religion and especially anti-Catholic church family. Yet somehow I always believed in God and "The Lady." I had no idea who The Lady was but I knew she was not a God. Later, as I grew older, I understood that she was the Virgin Mary.
I felt drawn to the Catholic Church since I was a very small child. I obviously could not explain my feelings - I just felt the intense desire to run into any Catholic church I happened to come across!! But my mother's intense prejudices against christians and the Church caused her to forbid me to have anything to do with the Bible or the Church. So I knew absolutely nothing about the Catholic faith - or even basic Christianity for that matter!
I'll admit, as I grew older I adopted a lot of my mom's suspicion and impatience with all Christians and basically waved them, and their religion, off as "Brainwashed Bible Thumpers." But I never lost that hunger for the Catholic Church - even if I did not understand it!
I joined the U.S. Navy at age 17 and found myself stationed in Sicily, Italy. I lived within sight of the magnificent volcano Mount Etna and worked as a helicopter mechanic. While off-duty I would often go on local day tours around Sicily. In this way I was exposed to the early early EARLY Christians - I'm talking waaaay back in the 100's - 400's.
We visited churches, shrines, holy places where miracles had taken place and cathedrals so ancient and so full of history that through the paintings, stained-glass windows, stories, statues and other works of art I was exposed to the story of the early martyrs and christians. The tour guides would often tell us the story of each work of art or Saint and then we'd be left to ourselves to wander about and think things over.
I was struck by the fact that a huge number of these brain-washed christians had been willing to endure horrific tourtures and death before they would renounce their faith! I started to think to myself, "There must be something very serious about this Christianity business!"
As I was exposed over and over again to these most ancient places and their amazing art I learned about the bread and wine being changed into the body and blood of Christ. I learned the names of the 12 Apostles and how they were the leaders of the Church and that they passed on their leadership to new people - and this was passed on and on and on down the ages.
I learned that Saint Peter was appointed as THE head of the Church by Jesus.
I learned that God loved me and that He wanted me to be with Him in heaven - and that in order to be with God in heaven I had to get off my duff and acctually get to know God.
And I learned all of this without ever going to Mass or talking to a Catholic - or even a Priest! I was learning all of this through the artwork and the stories of the ancient Christians themselves! I never really thought of them as Catholic. I saw them as "Christian" and so I didn't really grasp the fact that THIS was the Catholic Church!
I was often deployed into the Middle East where I was exposed to Islam and a very serious organized religion that permeated every aspect of public and private life. This opened my eyes to what life would have been like before the separation of Church and State - how God would have been always at the center of everything!
By the time my four year tour of duty was finished and I returned to America I was a self-professed christian. Now I had to find the church that connected with the ancient Church I had been exposed to in Sicily!
I sorted through several different denominations but each one could be traced back to usually one man in the Reformation era - or post-Reformation era. These churches never seemed to go past the 1500's or the 1400's.
Many churches had been around only fifty years - or even two years!
I was beginning to despair when I came across the Catholic Church offering Adult religious education classes. So I signed up!
The first class was filled with a lot of 1960's psycobabble nonsense about things like, "Draw a picture of God and tell us how it makes you feel" and "All that stuff about sin and hell is so old fashioned and out of date!"
I had seen or heard none of THIS stuff in those ancient holy places in Sicily!
I tried the RCIA program at another Catholic church but ran into the same exact stuff. I left after a few classes and was walking down the road feeling pretty bad. I prayed to God and asked Him, "Is the Catholic Church not the right place after all?" A few moments later I heard the most beautiful singing coming through the green leafy trees!! I continued down the sidewalk towards the sound and came upon Our Lady of Czestochowa Catholic church. The singing continued as I went inside and then... I found no one. Not a soul! Not a sound! Hmmmmm.
I talked with the Priest of this church and was set up with one-on-one instruction with this strict Polish lady. Thank God too because I was sick of all that weird "feel good warm fuzzy" stuff!
After several weeks of asking all of the hard questions, reading books and the Bible - and the book, "Story of a Soul" I began to realize that the Catholic Church connected perfectly with everything that I had learned in Sicily from the earliest Christians.
So!! I continued in my study of the Faith, became a bone fide Catholic on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and I haven't looke back since!!
Monday, March 12, 2007
Friday, March 09, 2007
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Hi,As Brittany mentioned she is planning to enter the convent in August and is seeking help in paying off her student loans before that time.
I converted from "nothing-ism" at 14. My blog is at
Casint out into the deep, in a JPII sort of way . . .
I am entering the convent in August.... so maybe I will put my
conversion story together soon!
As a biblical scholar and theologian, and a convert from hardcore Protestantism, himself, Scott is a thorough author, who I find personally compelling. The book is laid out in 13 Chapters, starting at the origin and causes of lies, untruth and sin, discussing contrition and penance before talking about Confession as something with a truly sacramental character.
Scott further discusses differing views on sin and forgiveness exhibited by Catholics and Protestants, and explains in detail--as with his other books--the covenantal nature of the Old Testament, of the whole Bible and of Christianity. Demonstrating Confession as not a new invention, Scott then discusses why and how Confession is required to fulfil the Law, to make whole that Covenant.
The book also discusses, clearly, mortal sin and its effects on the soul, feelings of resentment that come without repentance, and the dangers of make excuses which will never make up for our transgressions.
The style of book is easy and approachable, yet it is sufficiently informative and robust, replete with references to primary and secondary sources. As well as clear instructions regarding Confession, the book also includes helpful appendices at the back laying out the actual Rite of Reconciliation, some prayers including an Act of Contrition, and most importantly, a thorough Examination of Conscience.
I would recommend this book to anyone making their first Confession this Lent/Easter. Whilst you will of course have been properly Catechised, the book is helpful in reinforcing orthodox doctrine in a gentle yet persuasive way, striking a correct balance in being non-offensive whilst assertive of the Truth of the matter. I found it helpful!
pbk., 214 pages,
Darton Longman & Todd,