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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Conversion Tipping Point

Runningmom left this comment:

Would you consider doing a poll asking what it was that finally drew folks in to the Church? What was it that finally made them complete the swim? I think it would be fascinating.

I thought about a poll but I think that the options are too many and I dont' want to limit the discussion on this topic. I actually tried to get a conversation started on this about a month and a half ago. Below is a reposting of that post along with the 2 comments that it received.

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.


Mark said...
For me it was not so much a first-time conversion, because I was educated in Roman Catholic primary schools. Instead, it was like a home-coming.

But Priests did it for me. Firstly, the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Benedict XVI brought me back to Church, and the "realness" of Catholic Priests brought me from Anglicanism back to Catholicism.

Anonymous said...
Hi! My name is Heidi, and I entered the Church in 1994. Basically, my "tipping point" was my pastor, who left my Baptist church to become Catholic -- he seemed so happy to be losing his home and his livelihood, I had to find out what had gotten into him! It's more complicated than that, of course ... you can read the whole story on my blog on a post called "Church Girl Runs Home" on my blog
Happy reading ... and Happy Easter!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Back up to speed . . . (almost)

The dinosaur computer just wasn't cutting it. It was getting slower by the minute. It took me forever to post over here today. Since buying a new computer isn't an option right now I decided to risk it all tonight. I determined that the hard drive was the problem with my computer and I really don't want to invest in a new hard drive at the moment. So I took the hard drive out of the dinosaur computer and put it into the newer one. After what has seemed like forever installing drivers I'm back up and running. Obviously I'm still on Windows 98 which does create some issues, but at least I have the benefit of a faster processor and a better graphics card which was also wrecking havic with the dinosaur.

I can do just about anything else that I need to do on my computer at work. But I don't think they would take too kindly to blogging. Being able to keep up with my blogs was the main priority for the home computer so pray that this hard drive holds up.

Welcome Emile-James and Russ

Christ is Risen!hello, from Canada,as a convert ten years ago, from Evangelical-Protestantism, . . .mine is a Video Blog with a collection, some self made, of 35 catholic Videos, mostly vocational , inspirational. keep up the good blogging. PAX! Emile-James


I left the CC at 14 and was a Jesus Freak/Evangelical/charismatic/methodist then came home 2004, 30 years later!
I feel like a convert!
God bless

Crossed the Tiber

Monday, April 23, 2007

CC Blogroll Members: We've Been Tagged

The entire Catholic Converts Blogroll is hereby tagged for a meme.
The Favorite Saints Meme.

Favorite Saints Meme

Leave Your Head At The Door

The parameters are:

Your four favorite saints

Your favorite blessed

One person that you think should be a saint.

This is a pretty tough meme. If you participate it would be great if you left a link to your post in the comments section.

Welcome Kacy

Hey, I'm a Catholic convert who entered the Church March 25.

Meandering Home

And my conversion story is here:Kacy's Conversion Story

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Still here (if not much slower that before) and wondering about veneration

In the most recent Catholic Converts poll veneration of relics/images/etc is taking about 50% of the vote. This is very interesting me. Partly because this is an area that I have very little knowledge of. To be honest my first real life encounter with the topic came during this past Easter Triduum with the veneration of the Cross. I admit that I was actually somewhat uncomfortable at the time and I'm still not real excited about the whole idea. Therefore, I intend to try to educate myself. I will also try to pull together some of what I find for a post here since it seems to be a common issue among converts to the Catholic Faith.
That being said, I don't know when I'll get it done. My researching and blogging is vastly slowed by the dinosar computer that I am now using (see post below). I haven't tried to open a pdf on this machine yet and I'm afraid that it is going to be difficult. I'm having trouble enough with the content of today's webpages that has so vastly evolved since this computer was last in regular use.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Computer Issues

Things may get really slow around here. My computer seems to have died. I'm waiting on my computer guru brother-in-law to call me back to see if there is anything that can be done. In the mean time I've pulled a dinosaur of a computer out of the closet. Right now I'm running Windows 98 and boy is it slow! This thing hasn't even been plugged in for almost five years (yeah, I know I'm a pack rat). Just pray that this one doesn't go do too since I can't really afford a new computer at the moment.

New Addition to the Blogroll

Here is the latest addition to the Catholic Converts Blogroll

the Wacky Wannabe Musical Monk

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Natural Family Planning

In response to the earlier posts on Contraception (Contraception and Contracpetion Part 2) a comment was left here refering to NFP and More as a good online resource.

I wanted to pull this out along with some other NFP links provided by a poster on the Defenders of the Catholic Faith Forum

NFP and More

USCCB: Natural Family Planning

One More Soul

Couple to Couple League

Friday, April 13, 2007

Catholic Converts Poll #4

Time for a new poll. Thank you to everyone who voted in the last one.

This options in this poll follow no particular theme. They are topics picked out of the index of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Which aspect of the Catholic Church was/is the most difficult for you to understand and/or accept?
All Male Clergy
Priestly Celibacy
Infant Baptism
Veneration of relics/images/etc.
See Results

Blogger's Choice Awards

In the "Best Religion Blog" category the top 4 are Catholic blogs with the top 5 being rounded out by an atheist blog.

Jennifer at Et Tu, Jen?, a Catholic Converts blogroll member, is in the top ten!

Two more convert blogs . . .

Look up to the Heavens! is a blog dedicated to the life and works of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and her daughters in religion.

Epiphany of Faith is the blog of Terri who was just received into the Catholic Church at this year's Easter Vigil.

Contraception part 2

Yesterday I received an email requesting a post discussing the Church's teaching on contraception. I posted a reply in the post titled Contraception

Radical Catholic Mom has done what I am unqualified to do and submit a reply to this question from a first hand perspective.

Here is the question again for reference followed by Radical Catholic Mom's response.

At 46 going on 47 years old with the last pregnancy in my late 30s ending in a painful and emotional miscarriage. My husband and I decided it was time not to have any more. I am at a loss on the church’s teaching on no contraceptives. So what is the church’s teaching on this and is there scripture to back it up?

I should also state that my husband and I are on different prescribed mediations for our health that affect unborn babies for the last several years.
I believe that God has taken this issue from me and my husband. My heart is at peace and with my recent conversion I feel that God is strongly leading me to do more for the Catholic church than just sit in mass.

I would like to say "Congratulations" on your entry into the Church. Welcome Home! The good news is that you have joined a Church that refuses to bend in the face of the world. The bad news is that you have joined a Church that refuses to bend in the face of the world.

I am also a convert to the Faith and my own conversion regarding contraception took a period of years before I could finally accept whole heartedly the Church's position. What it takes is an open heart, a desire to do God's will, and a desire for true Joy. I think the very fact you wrote the email you did, reveals you are uncomfortable with where you are at. You want to justify yourself, but I think you yourself are not even fully satisfied with your own explanations.

I would like to add to what Chris wrote. You may have read what he wrote and said, "I agree," but you still may not understand what the big deal is.

The big deal is this: We are not gnostics. We do not believe that there is a separation between the soul and body. We believe they are inherently linked, even our fertility. The non-Christian world says, "we own our fertility". The Catholic world says, "no we don't." We believe our fertility is an integral part of who we are.

It is so integral that the Church says every single sexual act HAS to be honest. And what is honesty? Honesty is not going into a sexual act preparing for war. That's right. Every time a person uses a barrier between herself and her partner, whether it is a physical barrier or a chemical barrier, and chooses to have sex, you are saying with your words, "I love you and give myself to you" but your body is saying "Except for this part of me." The Church demands Her people not split body and soul, but rather unify them as God willed them to be unified. Even if you and your partner don't Say its "war" your bodies cannot not lie. You are placing a barrier between yourselves that IS a real barrier.

By its VERY definition, "CONTRA-CEPTION" is negative. You go and have sex and use something negative. "Against Conception." Our secular world calls this "protection" or "control." So a child no longer is a natural, logical outcome, but rather a "thing" to be planned and a "thing" to be ordered. This is so serious the Church calls "Contraception" as a part of "The Culture of Death." Those are some hard core words, don't you think? Not convinced yet? In its 1992 ruling in Casey vs Planned Parenthood, the Supreme Court sounded like the Catholic Church when it said that contraception has changed the very nature of sex. People have sex and don't want a child. So when a child is conceived, it no longer is a natural, logical product of two loving people, but a thing or a "product of conception" that MUST be destroyed if the parent so chooses.

I really encourage you to reading Pope Paul VI's Humanae Vitae, Janet Smith's "Contraception Why Not?," and John Paul II's "Theology of the Body." Google these and you can begin to read.

For me, I began my own change towards believing in Contraception for two reasons. 1) I was active in the pro-life movement and I began to understand that ALL hormonal contraceptions are abortafacients by nature. Since I believe that life begins at conception and not implantation, I knew no pro-life person in good conscience could justify using them. 2)I met real, open, authentic Catholic people living their faith in concrete ways. I met a Catholic couple who was using Natural Family Planning and they showed me that NFP works, it is good for a marriage, and it most importantly respects God's plan.

If you want to read on NFP I wrote a whole section on it with all the footnotes in January of '07. Go here to read if you like. Since you are nearing menopause, I recommend the Billings method since you can use it for all stages of life.

I hope you have the courage to read on this, challenge yourself and your actions, and are open to change. The fact you have converted means you are all three. Keep it up. God's way is hard, scary sometimes because it means we are going to do something unique from most people, but at the end of it, you receive Peace and Joy knowing you are not offending God, you are loving your husband the way God wants you to love him, and you can participate by receiving the Eucharist.

Radical Catholic Mom

Thursday, April 12, 2007


I received the following question, in italics, in an email from a reader and recent convert to the Catholic Faith. I offer the following article in an attempt to answer the question. Please, if I have missed something, or misspoke in any way, let me know.

At 46 going on 47 years old with the last pregnancy in my late 30s ending in a painful and emotional miscarriage. My husband and I decided it was time not to have any more. I am at a loss on the church’s teaching on no contraceptives. So what is the church’s teaching on this and is there scripture to back it up?

I should also state that my husband and I are on different prescribed mediations for our health that affect unborn babies for the last several years.
I believe that God has taken this issue from me and my husband. My heart is at peace and with my recent conversion I feel that God is strongly leading me to do more for the Catholic church than just sit in mass.

The issue of contraception must be understood in context of the covenant marriage ordained by God. Scripture teaches us that marriage is both unitive and procreative. These are both essential elements contained in God’s divine plan.

In Genesis chapter two, verse 23 Adam said of Eve, “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.” Verse 24 explains, That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.” In Genesis chapter one, verse 28 God blesses Adam and Eve and tells them, “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.”

Christ echoed this in Matthew chapter 19, verses four through six, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that in marriage a man and a woman, “establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life” (CCC 1601).

Scripture reveals to us that it is God’s plan “from the beginning” (Mt. 19: 4) that man and woman should through marriage, “become one flesh” (Mt. 19: 5), for “it is not good for the man to be alone” (Gen. 2: 18). “The consent by which the spouses mutually give and receive one another is sealed by God himself” (CCC 1639).

Over and over again we are presented with this idea of union and oneness: “become one body”, “become one flesh”, “partnership of the whole of life”, “give and receive one anther”. Man and woman are called to give themselves totally to the other in marriage. The pinnacle manifestation of this giving and receiving, or consummation, is the conjugal act.
Conjugal love involves a totality, in which all the elements of the person enter – appeal of the body and instinct, power of feeling and affectivity, aspiration of the spirit and of will. It aims at a deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and soul; it demands indissolubility and faithfulness in definitive mutual giving; and it is open to fertility. In a word it is a question of the normal characteristics of all natural conjugal love, but with a new significance which not only purifies and strengthens them, but raises them to the extent of making them the expression of specifically Christian values.
This conjugal love has as its natural end the gift of a child. “Fecundity is a gift, an end of marriage, for conjugal love naturally tends to be fruitful. A child does not come from outside as something added on to the mutual love of the spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit and fulfillment” (CCC 2366).

Here I will follow momentarily a tangent concerning infertility. The Church recognizes that the inability to have children causes many couples to suffer greatly. (CCC 2374). The Catechism later says, “a child is not something owed to one, but it is a gift” (CCC 2378). “The Gospel shows that physical sterility is not an absolute evil. Spouses who still suffer from infertility after exhausting legitimate medical procedures should unite themselves with the Lord’s Cross, the source of all spiritual fecundity” (CCC 2379). It should be noted here that the use of techniques such as surrogates and artificial insemination are not morally permissible. For more information please see CCC 2376 – 2377.

God established marriage as the means by which man and woman would give and receive of themselves to enter into this “partnership of the whole of life.” Through our sexuality, properly ordered for the bond of marriage, God gives us the awesome ability to share in His act of creation. This is a gift that we should embrace and cherish.

The use of contraception closes this ability to share in God’s act of creation. What more, it removes the full unity found in marriage. The use of contraceptives does not allow the spouses to give themselves fully to the other. Sin is the rejection of God’s will and divine plan. Therefore the Church rightly teaches that the use of contraceptives is morally illicit.

Pope Paul VI says in Humanae Vitae, “to be excluded . . . is direct sterilization, whether perpetual or temporary, whether of the man or the woman. Similarly excluded is every action which, either in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible.” Scripture provides support for this in Genesis chapter 38. Verses 6 – 10 tell us that Judah instructed his son Onan to take the widow of his brother Er as his wife and to father children in order to preserve Er’s line. Verse 9 states, “Onan, however, knew that the descendants would not be counted as his; so whenever he had relations with his brothers widow, he wasted his seed on the ground, to avoid contributing offspring for his brother. What he did greatly offended the Lord, and the Lord took his life also.”

In some circumstances it may be desirable for couples to regulate the birth of children.

“It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood. Moreover, they should conform their behavior to the objective criteria of morality:
When it is a question of harmonizing married love with the responsible transmission of life, the morality of the behavior does not depend on sincere intention and evaluation of motives alone; but it must be determined by objective criteria, criteria drawn from the nature of the person and his acts, criteria that respect the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love; this is possible only if the virtue of married chastity is practiced with sincerity of heart.
“By safeguarding both these essential aspects, the unitive and the procreative, the conjugal act preserves in its fullness the sense of true mutual love and its orientation toward man’s exalted vocation to parenthood.”

Periodic continence, this is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom.
Pope Paul VI summed this up nicely in Humanae Vitae saying that couples who refrain from sexual relations during periods of fertility, “make legitimate use of a natural disposition.”

In summary, the Church’s teachings on contraception must be understood in context of the marriage covenant established by God the Creator. In marriage man and woman are called to give of themselves totally to the other, becoming one flesh. This giving to each other naturally is conductive to the creation of new life. The conjugal act is the supreme manifestation of the marriage bond. Marriage is both unitive and procreative. As this is the natural design of God it is unacceptable to reject either aspect as they are both necessary and equal in accordance with God’s will. Contraception acts to block the procreative aspect of the conjugal act and is therefore illicit. Abstaining from sexual relations during periods of fertility is acceptable because it remains open to the possibility of the creation of new life is seen fit by God.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Perpetual Virginity of Mary

Joes at The Breastplate of St. Patrick was kind enough to write this post concerning the Perpetual Virginity of Mary. I would also suggest that you check out Joel's post Protestantism Is A Lifeboat On Stormy Seas. Even though that post isn't directly related to this post, I think it is a good read.

The Perpetual Virginity of Mary was always a hard sell for me too. It wasn't until the last 6 months or so I started to get a handle on it. There are a few reasons why I feel that Mary needed to be a Perpetual Virgin and I will share them to the best of my knowledge and ability, however if I am off track or I contradict the Magisterium, please let me know and I will conform my opinions to those of the Church. Without further ado, the reasons are as follows.

1) Mary was the Ark of the New Covenant.

If you remember the Ark of the Old Covenant, it contained the 10 commandments (Word of God), the manna from the desert (Bread of Life) and Aaron's budding staff (Pastoral Symbolism). We also know that the foreshadowing of the Old Testament always takes a new form: the Word become flesh (John 1), the Passover Lamb becoming human, circumcision becoming baptism (Col 2:9-12). Following this vein, we can see that Mary was foreshadowed by the Ark of the Old Covenant having in her womb the Word of God, the Bread of Life and the Good Shepherd. What other reason for the Old Ark was there? It went before the Israelites through the wilderness and was the first into the waters of the Jordan, thereby allowing the Jews of the second generation to go through the waters as if in Baptism into the Promised Land. Please note the allegory of the Christian life found in the Exodus story. First in slavery to sin (Egypt), set free by the blood of the Lamb (passover), through the waters of Baptism (Red Sea) into the wilderness of the world where we are aliens on our pilgrimage to Heaven (wandering), fed with the Bread of Life and quenched with water from the Rock, given spiritual formation and training in holiness (Sinai and the 10 commandments), fighting against evil forces (defending against tribes in the area), and finally coming to the Promised Land, again through Baptism. The Ark led the way the whole time. So how does Perpetual Virginity work into this? Well, if you touched the Old Ark, you died. It was holy and set apart for God and God alone. It was a beacon, an object of adoration and a declaration of God's favour and provision. Mary likewise then was holy, set apart for God and God alone and is a beacon, object of adoration and a declaration of God's favour and provision. There is a strict "look but don't touch" rule in effect.

2)This was explained to me by my RCIA leader when I was but on my way to becoming a Catechumen because the Perpetual Virginity was high on my list of grievances with the Church.
The Jewish concept of marriage was a little different than what we have today. Anyone who has seen "The Nativity Story" has seen that when a couple became engaged, they were actually married at that point, but until the ceremony they were to refrain from what led to family so the marriage would be pure and there would be no doubt about the bride's virginity. We can see this in the Church today as the Church is the Bride of Christ, but the Marriage feast of the Lamb is spoken of as a future event. However, if the woman became pregnant, the Groom would marry her anyhow (if he knew the baby was his of course).
When it was announced to Mary that she was to conceive God's Son, she was under no illusions as to what that meant. To have someone's child was to be married to them. In her 'yes' Mary agreed to become God's 'spouse'. This makes sense also if Mary is to be the foreshadowing of the Church itself who is to be Christ's Spouse. Joseph therefore was told to take her into his house anyhow so that the baby would have a father and so God's Spouse would not be put to shame. Having said this, Joseph was a devout man the Gospels say and as a devout man, how could he in good consience have sexual relations with someone else's spouse? Mary had no other Children and remained a Virgin Perpetually because she became God's Spouse, prefiguring the marriage of Christ to the Church.

The question of Matt 1:25 came up to me also. It says:
"but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus."
What about the word "until"? I asked my Priest this question and he answered me thusly: In modern English the word until is used conditionally, that is to imply that whatever condition existed before no longer existed after. The original use of the word did not have this connotation of condition to it. Simply understood, when the author says 'until she bore a Son', he is trying to emphasize that she did not have relations with anyone, not even her own (earthly) husband so there would be no disputing that the child was of divine origin, not to imply this situation changed afterwards. I am quite satisfied with that explaination.

3) In the Garden of Eden, the Man was given the job of heading up the human family (which is more of a curse than a blessing if you are reading this as a feminist). If you will read Gen 3, you will find that Eve cursed herself and the relationships she will have as a result of being tricked, but since Adam chose sin over God, the whole of creation was damned. Sin entered into the world through the man only. This is one of the reasons that the Jewish faith is passed through the Mother only, because Original Sin is passed through the man. This is also the reason why Christ did not have an earthly father in a biological sense. He could not be scarred by sin in order to be our spotless sacrifice. Having said all this, Mary was the new Eve. In Gen 3 Adam named the woman Eve because she was the mother of all living. Likewise as the mother of all living in Christ, she is the new Eve. Therefore she is subject to Christ alone as he is the new Adam (1 Cor 15:35-50). To have sexual relations with anyone else would be to submit to or to put herself into subjection to the body of sin.
I was reading D.G.D. Davidson's conversion story at yesterday, and I noted specifically his ponderings on birth control. My wife asked why we don't allow barrier methods as they do not abort or cause medical complications. I referred to Gen 38 and the story of Tamar, the wife of Judah's son. Judah's son Er was struck down by God for being evil, so his brother Onan was told to go and 'raise up offspring for his brother' by making Tamar his wife. It is said then that Onan practiced the 'withdrawal method' and spilled his seed on the ground (every time it says). God struck him dead for this also. Why? because he refused to give of himself to the woman, he only took. It was the ultimate way to use and mistreat the woman in his day and age. Likewise, barrier methods of birth control have in fact perfected this feat of using, abusing and demeaning by now allowing the man to 'complete the act' without in fact giving of himself at all. Barrier methods allow men to steal more effectively from women. What does this have to do with the Perpetual Virginity of Mary? Well, if denying the gift of himself is evil, then a man does good by giving of himself, by giving of his flesh to his wife if you will for the purpose of creating a new life within her. Since the sacrament of marriage is a foreshadowing of our marriage (in the Church) to Christ, and Christ always does what is good, he gives of his flesh to his bride, the Church, for the purpose of creating a new life within her, both collectively and individually speaking. Finally, as previously mentioned, as the foreshadow of the Church, Mary accepts "the Flesh of God" as the creation of a new life within her. To accept another flesh less than that of God after this is unthinkable and unnacceptable.

4)Like Divine Revelation, the doctrines about Mary are trinitarian to a certain degree. They are Immaculate Conception, Perpetual Virginity and Assumption into Heaven. Mary was Immaculately conceived as I understand as a singular grace given in advance for what Christ was about to do (and had in fact accomplished as he is Divine, outside of the bounds of time and therefore everything is now to Him) so redeeming her also. If she did not receive this grace, Perpetual Virginity and Assumption would be impossible. To be without stain of Original Sin meant that she committed no actual or personal sins. This meant that she was without concupicence or tendency towards sin, and therefore capable of remaining pure in every sense. This also means, since the wages of sin is death (Rom 3:23), then she was free to be assumed into Heaven because she had no sin to be paid for.
What this all means is that if you attack or deny Perpetual Virginity, you then also deny the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. By saying she did not remain a Virgin is to say that she was capable of sinning, and that means she was not born free of concupicence, and therefore not born free of Original Sin. What this also implies is that she had sinned and therefore was capable of dying. Even farther, if Mary sinned, Christ was also marked by sin and could not be our sacrifice for sin, and this would make his death useless and deny also the resurrection due to the fact the resurrection relies on the assertion that Christ was in fact sinless.
There is a good reason that the Church declares these things Dogmas of the Church; because if you deny one of them the whole of the faith unravels and is left a sham.

1 Cor 15:17-19
17 If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. 19 If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

I hope this has helped you out! I had a lot of fun writing it, and putting it all together on 'paper' helps me solidify my own view.

In Christ Jesus the Risen Lord

A Call for Submissions

A couple of months ago I posted this poll asking readers which issues they struggled with most in their conversion to the Catholic Faith. The results of that poll led to the writing of posts about Mary: Mother of God and Papal Infallibility.

The plan was and still is to eventually have posts addressing all of the issues from the poll. However, I have found myself stuck on the Perpetual Virginity of Mary. I've tried several times to gather information and write a post about this but keep getting stuck. So I'm turning to you, dear readers.

If anyone has any interest in writing a post about this subject or any other please let me know by sending an email to the one listed near the top of the sidebar.

The intention of this blog was never to be a place where I alone shared my thoughts. That is what Calling Rome Home is for. I am very open to having guest posts on this blog. I'm also open to having additional authors join the blog with direct posting privileges. Of course, I am aware that everyone has busy lives and their own blogs so I'm not expecting anyone to be posting everyday. Obviously, I don't do that myself. But if you think you may be interested in helping add to this blog from time to time please let me know. If you ever write something that you think would be of value to this blog's readers on your own blog and would like a link to it here, let me know. Or, if you are so moved, writings can be posted here in their entirety with credit back to you.

This blog is not about me. It is meant to be a location where people looking for conversion stories similar to their own and more importantly people who are discerning a call to conversion to come and find information and links to all of your wonderful blogs.

Of course I will always reserve the right to delete any posts, comments, or links from this blog containing heretical material or linking to any site containing such material with the intention of promoting said heretical material.

If you are interested please let me know. At any rate, I hope to have some new stuff up (either written by myself or by others) soon for you all to enjoy.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Welcome Joel

Joel has started a new blog called, The Breastplate of St. Patrick. His first post gives his conversion story.

Joel has also left a comment on this blog asking for help with a question. Here is his comment:

Anyhow, I'm commenting because I wrote a blog entry on salvation and the Church and I would love the input of as many people as possible as I am wrestling with it at the moment.
The post in question is Salvation Ave.

Please offer your insights to help Joel with this issue.

D. G. D. Davidson's Conversion Story

Dear Catholic Converts,

The first part of my conversion story is now up at The Sci Fi Catholic. It is entitled "How I Became a Sci Fi Catholic" and the link is

**Note** D. G. D. Davidson's conversion story is in three parts. All three parts are now posted. Links to each part or provided on his blog.

Welcome Home!

Please join in welcoming the following members of the Catholic Converts blogroll home to the Catholic Church.

Jennifer at "Et tu, Jen?"

Mark at Rise and Pray

Matt at Absolutely No Spin

Runningmom at One Foot in Front of the Other

Shellie at Profound Gratitude

Gloria in Excelsis Deo

Surrexit Christus hodie, Alleluia

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Just some Catholic Converts updates

My thanks to all of you who have read, commented on, and linked to this blog over the last couple of months.

We now have 12 conversion stories linked here and have 32 blogs in the Catholic Converts blogroll.
I was surprised today to see that the blog had received well over 200 pageloads, the second most in one day since the mad rush in mid February.

I then discovered that the CC blog had received a mention by Amy Welborn on open book. Amy is one of the most popular Catholic bloggers out there and I am honored and humbled that she felt this project worthy of a mention on her site.

Please do continue to check back from time to time. I have some ideas for the blog that I hope to put into place over the next few weeks.

Welcome Martha

Martha has a very new blog titled: One Foot In Front of the Other.

Martha and her children will be received into the Catholic Church at this weekend's Easter Vigil. Please stop by her blog and join in welcoming her family home!

Martha's conversion story can by found here: Surprised by God

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A couple of items about confession from this weeks Catholic Carnival

This week's Catholic Carnival is up. Check it out here: Holy Week Catholic Carnival

I don't normally link to the Carnival on this blog but I wanted to highlight a couple of items from this weeks edition. Both of these are posts from members of the Catholic Converts blog roll.

The Kid Sister of Blessed Imelda offers this wonderful post titled The First Time . . .. This is a great reflection on her own first confession and the ones after. Whether you've yet to make your first confession or received the Sacrament of Reconciliation hundreds of times, this is a very good read.

Profound Gratitude describes her first confession with a bit of humor in the post First Confession. Again, whether you've yet to make your first confession or received the Sacrament of Reconciliation hundreds of times, I think this post does a lot to remind us that we all struggle with this aspect of our Catholic Faith at times. However, I think the struggles just make it that much more of a blessing.

Sober Catholic

I am a revert to the Catholicism, not a convert, but I would like to be considered a friend of Catholic Converts.

My blog, "Sober Catholic", is directed at people who may be interested in how the Catholic faith and its spirituality can assist them in maintaining their sobriety. Most would be reverts, or lukewarm Catholics who seek a deeper spirituality than that offered by AA or any alternative recovery program.

Some may be non-Catholics on the same spiritual path. They are not satisfied by the recovery spiritualities or the religious expressions found in non-Catholic religions. Regardless, I think that your blog offers invaluable tools for those who read Sober Catholic, and you would be providing a tremendous service to them. -Paul
Check out Paul's ministry for recovering alchoholics: Sober Catholic