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Monday, February 26, 2007

Dave's entry into the Church

Reposted with Dave's permission:

My name is David and I was born and raised Episcopalian. However, my grandmother who is more on the non-denominational evangelical side, had me "dedicated" at her church. Apparently my grandparents founded a non-denominational Protestant Church back in the day. My father was raised in it and became hostile to established religion preferring to spend Sunday mornings at "his church" the Raquet Club playing tennis. My mother was Episcopal and I went to Church with her. Around 8th grade when my other grandfather (my mother's father) died I pondered actually being baptized. All this time I thought I'd been baptized as an infant when was merely dedicated. And so I was summarily baptized. Gradually I drifted away during High School and stopped going to Church as my mother had stopped going as well. I still believed in God and everything and had a reverence for Jesus, in short I became a lapsed- Episcopalian or what passes for many a Episopalian nowadays. However even at this period there were signs of the Holy Spirit drawing me to the Church I traveled to Europe and still remember my encounter with the Cathedral in Seville, Spain. I even worship at the shrines and prayed to the saints. Then I went to Italy and saw the Vatican. Then Paris. Funny thing is the only Paris I saw was that of Saint Louis and the Medieval University. It's not that I saw it so much as I perceived it as the kernel whence all the grandeur had sprung.
Then in college as is usually the case I was reintroduced to Christianity by a Jewish friend who started out an agnostic and then became Catholic. Now I had had many Jewish acquaintances over the years so more sensitive to him that I would have been to anyone else. The inner unity of the Jewish tradition and Christianity made sense.
I remained nominally Episcopal but began attending non-denominational Protestant congregations. I even attended some sects that would be considered out of the main stream. However all the while I secretly knew that the Catholic Church was the one true Church that Christ founded. And like many I recognized and admired the holiness of Mother Theresa and John Paul II. I was waiting to become a Catholic as an on the fence Anglo-Catholic type when I finally went through RCIA and was received into the Church on Easter 2004. And I have to say I'm glad to be home!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Welcome Dave and Contemplating Christian

Check out Dave's blog Love and do what you will.

I'm a former Episcopalian. Tidbits about my turn toward Catholicism and the Church can be found in my comments on confirmation names under the name Antonio449. I do not say "conversion", for though we may use this term to appeal to non-Catholic sensibilities we all know we are in a constant state and need of conversion. Am I 100 converted yet? To be honest: not really. We too often depend on emotional security in this regard. This comes from William of Occam empiricist approach I think, accentuated by Luther and others later on. The Evangelical turn comes in the 19th century from what I gather from Newman's description in Apologia pro vita sua. Such a position assumes that if only we experience pleasant feelings then we have it all together. As for me "I am still working out my salvation with fear and trembling" along with the entire Church whose head is Christ.
Dave brings up a very good point here. We must not allow ourselves to fall into this trap of, "well I've converted and now I'm finished." Quite the contrary. On my other blog Calling Rome Home my header reads, "Conversion is but the start of the journey." Maybe that should read, "Conversion to the Catholic Faith is but the next step in the journey." We are all called to life-long conversion. Being fallen creatures in an imperfect world we can never obtain full conversion while here on Earth. We are called to a continual process of conversion and an always just out of reach goal of perfection. It is God who is our guide in the process. And as the stories that have been shared here recently show, that process didn't start when we entered the Catholic Church. For many this process has taken years before we even got to that point.

Let us be reminded that even though perfection is always just out of our reach it must always be our goal.

We have also been joined by Contemplating Christian.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Conversation Starter #1

Which saint's name did you take as your confirmation name and why?

I thought this might be an interesting topic of conversation that might help us all learn a little bit more about various saints. If you would like please share in the comments section.

I chose St. Augustine of Hippo. While I was in RCIA I was reading St. Augustine's Confessions. I will admit that I still haven't finished reading it. I think it's so deep that I have to take time off from it for lighter reading. I'll eventually get through it.

St. Augustine's mother was a very devote Catholic. In his own life he fell into heresy and spent much of his young adulthood searching for the truth. I felt like I identified with St. Augstine's struggle in accepting the Catholic Church's teachings. I've written more about this in an earlier post.

I'll also point out that this blog has been dedicated to the patronage of St. Augustine. See the side bar for a wonderful prayer from St. Augustine.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Mark is fired up. . .

. . . about the book he is currently reading. He is reading Scott Hahn's Lord Have Mercy: The Healing Power of Confession.

I am a big fan of Scott Hahn, though I must say I haven't read this book. It sounds like it would be a good read for anyone struggling with the idea of going to confession.

Maybe after he finishes the book we can have the rest of his thoughts on it here also.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Papal Infallibility

Today is the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter. Therefore, when I noticed that papal infallibility had caught up to Marian doctrines in the poll I thought that it would be appropriate to explore the topic of papal infallibility today. Today’s Gospel reading is from Matthew 16: 13 - 191. It reads,

And Jesus came into the quarters of Cesarea Philippi: and he asked his disciples, saying: Whom do men say that the Son of man is? But they said: Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am?

Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

Here we find the scriptural basis for the Church’s dogma of Papal Infallibility. When Jesus asks the disciples who men say that He is there is a multitude of answers, none of which are correct. It is Peter who proclaims, “Thou are Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus tells Peter that he is blessed because this truth has not been revealed to him by flesh and blood but by the Father in heaven. Jesus goes on to say “upon this rock I will build my church.” I have heard it preached in a Protestant church that Christ was not referring to Peter because he would never build His church upon a mere man. What I believe is misunderstood is that Christ was revealing his plan to build His church on Peter’s statement of faith which he received from the Father, “Thou are Christ, the Son of the living God.” Christ goes on to promise the keys to the kingdom of heaven to Peter and tells him that whatever he binds and loosens on Earth shall be bound and loose in heaven.

We are given an example of Peter exercising his primacy in Acts 15: 7 – 102 concerning the question of circumcision of the Gentiles.

And when there had been much disputing, Peter, rising up, said to them: Men, brethren, you know, that in former days God made choice among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. And God, who knoweth the hearts, gave testimony, giving unto them the Holy Ghost, as well as to us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore, why tempt you God to put a yoke upon the necks of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?

There had been much discussion and argument about whether or not Gentiles who where received into the Christian Faith must follow the law of Moses and be circumcised. When Peter declared circumcision for the Gentiles unnecessary it was considered by all present to be the final word on the matter. Peter’s primacy and infallibility was not questioned.

In 1870 the First Vatican Council3 decreed the dogma of Papal Infallibility saying, “That apostolic primacy which the Roman pontiff possesses as successor of Peter, the prince of the apostles, includes also the supreme power of teaching. This holy see has always maintained this, the constant custom of the church demonstrates it, and the ecumenical councils, particularly those in which East and West met in the union of faith and charity, have declared it.” The First Vatican Council cited the Fourth Council of Constantinople, the Second Council of Lyons, and the Council of Florence in its declaration.

The Council said,

We teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the church, irreformable.

So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema.

It is important to understand that Papal Infallibility refers to the pope’s ability to speak without error when doing so on matters of faith and morals in the exercise of his office. It must not be confused with impeccability which would imply that the pope is exempt from committing sin or saying things that are in error. For example the pope could say that the Earth is flat, however that statement would obviously be in error and we would not be bound to accept it as truth. In fact infallible statements made by the pope are quite the exception rather than the norm. It is also important to note that infallible teachings may not be later contradicted. For example, since the doctrine of the Holy Trinity has been infallibly declared, no future pope or council of the Church may contradict it.

The First Vatican Council also spoke about the permanency of Peter’s primacy. Christ promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church. This means that the Church is destined to remain until the end of time. It is helpful here to quote the First Vatican Council’s entire statement on permanence of Peter’s primacy3.

That which our lord Jesus Christ, the prince of shepherds and great shepherd of the sheep, established in the blessed apostle Peter, for the continual salvation and permanent benefit of the church, must of necessity remain for ever, by Christ's authority, in the church which, founded as it is upon a rock, will stand firm until the end of time.

For no one can be in doubt, indeed it was known in every age that the holy and most blessed Peter, prince and head of the apostles, the pillar of faith and the foundation of the catholic church, received the keys of the kingdom from our lord Jesus Christ, the saviour and redeemer of the human race, and that to this day and for ever he lives and presides and exercises judgment in his successors the bishops of the holy Roman see, which he founded and consecrated with his blood.

Therefore whoever succeeds to the chair of Peter obtains by the institution of Christ himself, the primacy of Peter over the whole church. So what the truth has ordained stands firm, and blessed Peter perseveres in the rock-like strength he was granted, and does not abandon that guidance of the church which he once received.

For this reason it has always been necessary for every church--that is to say the faithful throughout the world--to be in agreement with the Roman church because of its more effective leadership. In consequence of being joined, as members to head, with that see, from which the rights of sacred communion flow to all, they will grow together into the structure of a single body.

Therefore, if anyone says that it is not by the institution of Christ the lord himself (that is to say, by divine law) that blessed Peter should have perpetual successors in the primacy over the whole church; or that the Roman pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in this primacy: let him be anathema.

Peter’s infallible statement that Christ was the son of God was revealed to him by God. Christ said that it was upon this that He would build the Church and gave Peter primacy in teaching. In order that the Church may remain throughout the ages, free from error in Her teachings, Peter’s primacy and infallibility have passed down through the ages through the apostolic succession of the Bishops of Rome.


1. Matthew 16: 13 - 19
2. Acts 15: 7 – 10
2. First Vatican Council

Related Article: Apostolic Succession

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mary: Mother of God

So far Marian doctrines are taking 57% of the vote in the poll. I've done some research into the doctrine of Mary as Mother of God. I hope that this will be helpful in helping anyone thinking about converting to Catholicism that stumbles across this blog seeking answers. My hope is that this series will be continued by myself or anyone else that wants to jump in and offer an article.

I know that there are much more informed people than myself reading this blog. If you think that anything I post is in error, PLEASE let me know. Also, I hope that you will add your thoughts and comments.

Mary: Mother of God

In the Nicene Creed we profess:

“We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he was born of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.”

In this statement we acknowledge that Jesus Christ was both fully God and fully human. He is, “God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God.” We do not say that he “became like man” but rather say the he “became man.”

Jesus Christ as fully God and fully human is demonstrated by St. John in John 1: 1-21 when he says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.” John goes on to say, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John beareth witness of him, and crieth out, saying: This was he of whom I spoke: He that shall come after me, is preferred before me: because he was before me” John 1: 14-15. In John 1: 29 – 30 he says, “The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him, and he saith: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sin of the world. This is he, of whom I said: After me there cometh a man, who is preferred before me: because he was before me.”

For centuries some have tried to separate the dual natures of Jesus Christ as man and God. The idea that Jesus Christ exists as two persons, the man Jesus and the divine Son of God is known as the Christological heresy Nestorianism2. The heresy gets its name from Nestorius, Archbishop of Constantinople from 428 – 4313. In speaking of the Nicene Creed Nestorius, in a letter4 to Cyril of Alexandria said,
"I believe", they say, "also in our Lord Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son". See
how they first lay as foundations "Lord" and "Jesus" and "Christ" and "only
begotten" and "Son", the names which belong jointly to the divinity and humanity. Then they build on that foundation the tradition of the incarnation and resurrection and passion. In this way, by prefixing the names which are common to each nature, they intend to avoid separating expressions applicable to sonship and lordship and at the same time escape the danger of destroying the distinctive character of the natures by absorbing them into the one title of "Son".
Nestorius believed that calling Mary he Mother of God diminished Christ’s humanity and taught that Jesus was two persons, one divine and one human, living in one body. He said, “Holy scripture, wherever it recalls the Lord's economy, speaks of the birth and suffering not of the godhead but of the humanity of Christ, so that the holy virgin is more accurately termed mother of Christ than mother of God4.”

In his first letter4 to Nestorius, to which Nestorius’ letter above was in response, Cyril stated:
We too ought to follow these words and these teachings and consider what is meant by saying that the Word from God took flesh and became man. For we do not say that the nature of the Word was changed and became flesh, nor that he was turned into a whole man made of body and soul. Rather do we claim that the Word in an unspeakable, inconceivable manner united to himself hypostatically flesh enlivened by a rational soul, and so became man and was called son of man, not by God's will alone or good pleasure, nor by the assumption of a person alone. Rather did two different natures come together to form a unity, and from both arose one Christ, one Son. It was not as though the distinctness of the natures was destroyed by the union, but divinity and humanity together made perfect for us one Lord and one Christ, together marvellously and mysteriously combining to form a unity. So he who existed and was begotten of the Father before all ages is also said to have been begotten according to the flesh of a woman, without the divine nature either beginning to exist in the holy virgin, or needing of itself a second begetting after that from his Father. (For it is absurd and stupid to speak of the one who existed before every age and is coeternal with the Father, needing a second beginning so as to exist.) The Word is said to have been begotten according to the flesh, because for us and for our salvation he united what was human to himself hypostatically and came forth from a woman. For he was not first begotten of the holy virgin, a man like us, and then the Word descended upon him; but from the very womb of his mother he was so united and then underwent begetting according to the flesh, making his own the begetting of his own flesh.
In response to Nestorius’ letter Cyril said,
• he took flesh from the holy virgin and made it his own, undergoing a birth like ours from her womb and coming forth a man from a woman.
• He did not cast aside what he was, but although he assumed flesh and blood, he remained what he was, God in nature and truth.
• We do not say that his flesh was turned into the nature of the godhead or that the unspeakable Word of God was changed into the nature of the flesh. For he (the Word) is unalterable and absolutely unchangeable and remains always the same as the scriptures say. For although visible as a child and in swaddling cloths, even while he was in the bosom of the virgin that bore him, as God he filled the whole of creation and was fellow ruler with him who begot him. For the divine is without quantity and dimension and cannot be subject to circumscription.
Cyril goes on to say,
Therefore, because the holy virgin bore in the flesh God who was united hypostatically with the flesh, for that reason we call her mother of God, not as though the nature of the Word had the beginning of its existence from the flesh (for "the Word was in the beginning and the Word was God and the Word was with God", and he made the ages and is coeternal with the Father and craftsman of all things), but because, as we have said, he united to himself hypostatically the human and underwent a birth according to the flesh from her womb. This was not as though he needed necessarily or for his own nature a birth in time and in the last times of this age, but in order that he might bless the beginning of our existence, in order that seeing that it was a woman that had given birth to him united to the flesh, the curse against the whole race should thereafter cease which was consigning all our earthy bodies to death, and in order that the removal through him of the curse, "In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children", should demonstrate the truth of the words of the prophet: "Strong death swallowed them Up", and again, "God has wiped every tear away from all face".
The Council of Ephesus4 accepted both of Cyril’s letters and condemned that of Nestorius. The Council also accepted twelve anathemas proposed by Cyril. The first of which read, “If anyone does not confess that Emmanuel is God in truth, and therefore that the holy virgin is the mother of God (for she bore in a fleshly way the Word of God become flesh, let him be anathema.” By action of the Council Nestorius was, “stripped of his episcopal dignity and removed from the college of priests.”

Saint Luke provides us with biblical reference to Mary being referred to as the Mother of God in Luke 1: 41 – 455 by saying,
And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.
Earlier in Luke’s Gospel we are told how the angel Gabriel came to the virgin Mary bearing a message from God that she was to bear a son and that he would be the called the Son of God. Notice the significance when Elizabeth calls Mary the, “mother of my Lord” and goes on to say, “because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.”

In our Catholic understanding we do not elevate Mary to the role of goddess by our application of the title “Mother of God” to her. The doctrine’s immediate concern is the maintenance of the belief that Jesus Christ was both fully human and fully God. Cyril believed and the Council of Ephesus found that to deny Mary as the “Mother of God” in favor of “Mother of Christ” endangered this understanding of Christ’s dual natures. This opened up the door to distinguish between Christ the man and Christ the divine. Which in turn led to the teaching that the Word did not become flesh but only inhabited within the flesh of the man Christ while keeping a separate nature. John does not tell us that the Word came to live within flesh but tells us that, “the Word was made flesh.”

1. Douay-Rheims Bible Online: Luke 1

2. Wikipedia: Nestorianism

3. Wikipedia: Nestorius

4. Council of Ephesus

5. Douay-Rheims Bible Online: John 1

Welcome Jonathan

I am a convert from evanglical Protestantism to
Catholicism (with a brief time in Anglicanism in
between). My blog is: (Ancient and
Future Catholic Musings)

My conversion story can be found at the website I run
with my brother (also a convert)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Your conversion story

I would like to invite you to provide a link to your conversion story. In addition to the blogroll directing visitors to your blogs I would like to create a link list that links directly to conversion stories.

If you would like this blog to link directly to your conversion story please leave the address in the comments section or email it to

My conversion story is posted on this blog. Chris' Conversion Story

Vote in the poll!

Please register your vote in the poll. Hopefully this poll represents a few of the common objections that non-Catholics have to the Catholic Faith and some of the things that converts struggle with. Hopefully this will give us some ideas for discussion and the priority applied to each.

Which one did/do you struggle with most?
Papal Infallibility
Marian Doctrines
Real Presence in the Eucharist
Communion of Saints
Sacred Tradition
See Results

*UPDATE* Here are some posts in response to this poll.
Marian Doctrines
Papal Infallibility

Welcome David, Shellie, Red Neck Woman, Jennifer, and Radical Catholic Mom

David's blog: The Fullness of Faith

I am a lifetime, generational, all-the-way-back-to-Pilot Point-Texas Nazarene reconciling with my family of six to Rome this Easter. For some reason, our family's journey across the Tiber was sharp and swift. I like it that way. :)

My first reconciling post is: What's a Girl Like You Doin' in a Place Like THIS?

My blog is: Profound Gratitude

Red Neck Woman:
Anne (NachoMama) said that I counted as a convert even though I converted 20 years ago. I won't feel bad though if you don't want to post my blog on the grounds that I've been Catholic too long. [grin]

Postscripts From The Catholic Spitfire Grill

Jennifer's blog: "Et tu, Jen?"

Radical Catholic Mom:
I grew up Lutheran, but my father was a lapsed Catholic and my mom was from a die hard Protestant, anti-Catholic background. My entire family entered the Church because they were tired of the the in-fighting that goes on at Protestant Churches. So we went to the Catholic Church not out of conviction that it was THE Church, but because it was more stable than the rest. Whatever works.

But it was my work in the pro-life movement where I encountered two fabulous Catholic women who actually believed in the Church's teachings and lived them in their daily lives. I wanted what they had, so as a teenager I started to study and read and ask questions, so in a way I had two conversions. The first is when I entered the Church and the second is when I believed what the Church taught!

So, now I am a Radical Catholic Mom trying to convince the rest of the world that the Catholic Church is the best thing that has ever happened to the world.

Radical Catholic Mom

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Welcome David

I have just found your blogsite, and have added your badge to my own blog. I would like to be listed as a "Catholic Convert". I am a former Lutheran Pastor from Australia, currently working for the Melbourne Catholic Archdiocese as Executive Officer of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission.
In fact, I have three personal blogs, and one blog for work.
My personal blogs are:
Sentire cum Ecclesia (, which is my general daily blog
Year of Grace ( in which I am in the process of publishing my conversion journal from 2000-2001 - a kind of "retro-blog".
Sing Lustily and With Good Courage ( which is where I post stuff about church music and hymnody - one of my personal passions.
Then I have a work blog which is really a news dissemination site for Catholic ecumenical and interfaith news: Ecumenical and Interfaith Newsblog ( You probably won't want to list that one as it isn't very much on the topic.
I very much enjoy reading about other people's faith journey's. We are all unique in many ways, but there is that bond which we all share of coming to the same destination!

David is quite the busy blogger. I will add all Sentire cum Ecclesia and Year of Grace to the blogroll. The other two blogs will be added to the soon to be created resources section in the sidebar. I've suddenly found myself quite busy today. If request to be added to the blogroll continue at this rate I will start doing one post per day to welcome new members.

Welcome Anne

A homeschooling mother of four, I was a Southern Baptist all my life until I converted to Catholicism. My children and I joined my husband in the faith in January of 2006. After many years of marriage, my conversion had nothing to do with the faith of my husband but everything to do with God’s leading in my life and has been an awesome gift.

Visit Anne's blog The Kid Sidter of Blessed Imelda.

On a side note:
This blog has been floating round out there since May 2006. Until today the all time record was 14 page loads. Today, as of 10:47 PM CST, the blog has had 137 page loads from 89 unique visitors. That's doesn't count the numerous times that I've loaded the page in the last few hours. I almost gave up on this project several times and in fact neglected the blog for several months.

My thanks to everyone who has been linking to Catholic Converts today. We were even the subject of a message to a Catholic Yahoo group! My hope is that this will become a great gathering place of converts to the Catholic Faith and a valuable resource for those considering making that journey.

Blogroll Code

I've decided to make the code for the Catholic Converts blogroll available. Feel free to use it on your site.

<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript"

If you are using WordPress the above option doesn't seem to work very well.

Here is the RSS feed for the blogroll:

And the PHP:

And the OMPL:

Welcome Jay

I am a convert to the Catholic Church, having been raised Southern Baptist. I became Catholic because of my belief in and devotion to the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, as well as for the Truth that is found only in the Catholic Church. My wife and I were received into the Church on Corpus Christi Sunday, 2004.

Check out Jay's blog Pro Ecclesia * Pro Familia * Pro Civitate.

Welcome Fr. Longenecker

Fr. Longenecker is a former Anglican priest who converted to Catholicism and is now a Catholic priest.

Drop by and pay him a visit at Standing on My Head

The dilemma of timing

Some people convert, or change faiths, because they find the 'target' faith more appealing, or better suiting to their nature. Others change because, quite simply, they have no choice.

To explain this, let me quote the former Anglican bishop of London, Mgr. Graham Leonard(?)--here he is speaking about ordaining former Anglican clergy, but this is equally pertinent to many converts:
We are talking about men who ... sincerely believed that they were following God's will as regards their vocation. Only later, and sometimes very painfully, have they come to the realisation that the ecclesial body in which they [were] did not enjoy the fulness of Christianity which subsists within the Catholic Church.
So, that's the problem. You think you've done the right thing, you think you've gone to the right place, and then you realise, as if lightning has struck you, that you've knocked on the wrong door.

It's a very tough place for people to be in. It's okay when they don't realise, but once they have, as Msgr. Leonard notes, it becomes a very painful situation. I found this pain accelerated my own journey "across the Tiber". It took me almost two years to work out that the Anglican Communion was not, for me, the full expression of my faith, but once I had realised that, there was an almost frantic desire in me to "get to the right place". Think of it, if you will, as realising you're not only late for the birthday party, but also at the wrong end of the motorway.

I think the important lesson to be learned here, though, is that timing is essential and crucial. You cannot go at faith like a bull at a gate; you must instead learn to work at God's pace. Even when bogged down in the pain of feeling distant and separate from those you long to be with, you must have faith that time will bring about that which is so desired. If we run too fast, then our faith becomes shallow and only skin-deep. If, on the other hand, time is taken--even painful time--then that faith becomes ingrained, and a part of our everyday life. You cannot run before you can walk.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Welcome Mark

Mark is on the journey to reception into the Catholic Church. He has a great blog, Rise and Pray.

In the comments section Mark has recommended these books:

- The Path to Rome, ed. by Fr Dwight Longenecker;
- What Catholics Really Believe, by Karl Keating;
- The Way, by St Josemaría Escríva; and
- Catholicism for Dummies.

I have a copy of What Catholics Really Believe by Karl Keating. It is a great book that answers 52 common questions about the Catholic Faith. It is good to have around as a quick reference.

Mark has also asked to become a contributor to this blog. I believe it would be great to have him post some of his thoughts as he continues on his journey.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Welcome Dana

My blog is more about everyday life and some about what divorce/annulment is like from a faithful catholic point-of-view.

Check out Dana's blog here.