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From Pastor to Parishioner: My Love for Christ Led Me Home (to the Catholic Church)
This Rock Magazine ^ | Drake McCalister

Posted on 05/25/2007 12:48:02 PM PDT by NYer

If you grew up Catholic, it may be difficult for you to relate to those who profess faith in Jesus but whose stomachs turn at the thought of being Catholic. It might seem odd that the Catholic theology you’ve grown up with is seen by others as an offense to God. I was one of the stomach turners. There are days that I wake up and I still can’t believe I’m Catholic.

I grew up in the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, usually referred to as Foursquare. Foursquare is a Pentecostal denomination that began in the 1920s and is not rooted in the Reformation. In fact, we had already rejected many things the Reformers believed. While we did hold to sola scriptura and sola fide, we did not believe in "once saved always saved," and, as Pentecostals, we believed in miracles and the gifts of the Spirit, which many of the Reformers rejected. You could say we had already "reformed the reform."

Our denomination had a hierarchy of sorts, but each church was free to design its services and internal composition as it saw fit. We were more concerned that people’s lives were being changed by Jesus than with church structure. In some ways this is good—there is little value in a well-oiled machine that doesn’t change lives. We were much more experientially formed than theologically formed. We cared about theology, but the life-changing experience with Jesus was what really mattered.

I must say that, on the whole, if you’re going to pick a Protestant denomination, Foursquare is a good place to be. It is firm in its moral teachings, and with its focus on living for Jesus, a person will inevitably grow closer and more like Jesus the longer he attends.

Who’s Ever Heard of Catholic Radio?
In my early twenties, I discerned a call to enter into full-time ministry and became a Foursquare pastor. Through my years of ministry, my wife and I learned to hear the voice of God and were willing to do anything and go anywhere that God wanted us to go. This led us to plant a new Foursquare congregation in the university district of Seattle, Washington, in 1999. Foursquare doesn’t fund you when you start a new congregation, so whatever you bring or raise from outside support is all you have. When I arrived with my wife and three girls, I had no income, three months worth of money in the bank, and great faith that we would reach the people of Seattle with the gospel of Jesus. We knew God would provide. Our desire was to seek first his kingdom and let him take care of the rest (cf. Matt. 6:33), and he always has.

During this time we ministered to teens, college students, young adults, and young married families. Each week we would head out to the strip by the college and pass out food and clothes to street kids and send groups of two around the block to start up conversations about the gospel. None of us were evangelists by nature; we simply knew that the only way the unsaved would find Jesus would be if we went to them—we couldn’t expect them to just wander into our church.

It was during this time that the door first opened to the Catholic Church. I happened to turn on the radio and catch Catholic Answers Live on Sacred Heart Radio in Seattle. "That’s weird," I thought. "Who’s ever heard of Catholic radio? And what do Catholics need with a radio station anyway?" I wasn’t necessarily anti-Catholic, but I held the usual Reformation-inspired opinions of the Catholic Church and how blessed we were to be free from Romanism. As I listened to the show I was shocked to hear not only a clear presentation of Catholic teaching but also that Catholics still believed in transubstantiation, papal infallibility, and so on.

As the years went on in Seattle, I would occasionally tune back in to Catholic Answers Live and many other shows on Sacred Heart Radio, mainly for the purpose of understanding what Catholics teach so that I could have a reasoned defense to the contrary. The problem was that, time after time, the Catholic explanation of theology was every bit a biblical as my beliefs, albeit in a different way.

Now, because our denomination started in the 1920s, I was oblivious to Church history. For us the Reformation wasn’t the good old days; Acts 2 and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues are the good old days. There was virtually nothing done to fill in the gaps between the present and the first-century Church.

But the Catholics I listened to kept claiming that the earliest Christians were Catholic and that their writings from the first few centuries verify that claim. They would regularly present a point of theology that was rooted in Scripture and then support it with quotes from the "early Church Fathers." The speakers were clear that these writings are not inspired, nor are they on the same level as Scripture, but they do provide us with the historical context to know what the early Christians believed. More importantly, these early Christian writers claimed that these beliefs were handed down by the apostles, and some of them were even taught by the apostles.

At that time, Catholic Answers regularly threw out a challenge not to take their word for any of the positions of the Catholic Church but see for oneself if they are true. I decided to take them up on this challenge, figuring it would be easy. First of all, the Catholic Church sets an impossible standard for itself: infallibility in its dogmatic teachings on matters of faith and morals. All I had to do was prove one doctrine false and the entire system would cease to be without error. Secondly, I was sure that when I found the writings of these "early Church Fathers" and read them in context, they would set the story straight.

But there was a catch. Along with this challenge, there was a caution: Be careful—you just might become Catholic. Yeah, right! Impossible.

My Ship Came In
I started with a slow and measured search into Catholic teaching and Church history. This all changed after a most unexpected event. I was invited to speak at a Foursquare high school camp in the summer of 2003. The man who owned the camp was a gracious servant of Jesus and was gifted with what our denomination calls "prophetic insight," meaning that God gave him insight into things of which he had no natural knowledge. I had never met him before, and as we got to know each other that week, he said he might have some insight from the Lord for me. These encounters usually yielded a general word of encouragement that could probably apply to anybody. Nonetheless, I met with him in his office to pray and see if God had any direction for me.

He began to pray and said he could see a picture in his mind. He saw me and my family standing on the ocean shore and in the water was a huge ship. He said on the side of the ship were the words "Queen Mary." (At this point in my study, I didn’t know that this is a title for Mary; my interest was concentrated on the huge ship.) He looked straight at me and said, "I’m not sure, but maybe you’re supposed to have something to do with the Catholic Church."

I almost fell out of my chair. I told him about my unexpected encounter with Catholicism—the radio shows, the early Church Fathers, the challenge. I left the camp thinking that God might use me in some type of bridge ministry between Protestants and Catholics. Of course, I assumed it would be for bringing Catholics out of Catholicism and into the true unity and "fullness" of Protestantism. With my renewed focus, I returned home and aggressively pursued understanding Catholic theology, Church history, and how I could serve God in this capacity. "If I’m going to reach Catholics," I thought, "I’ll need to know what they believe and how they support those beliefs."

Hitting the Wall
As I examined each point of theology, I found that the Catholic Church’s teachings were the most biblical, the most historical, and the most reasonable. I was also surprised to find that Catholics also believed in miracles and the Pentecostal gifts I had grown up with (but with a more sound foundation). I thought, "Oh man! If this is true, I have to become Catholic."

The day finally came where I hit the wall and realized that the teachings of the Catholic Church are true. I realized that Jesus truly did establish a Church and didn’t leave the gospel to survive in an "every man for himself" model. In the end, I found that I, like all Bible-based groups, could support my theology from Scripture, but I always had to ignore certain passages to make it fit, and I couldn’t provide any support for its existence in the history of the Church. I found that Catholic theology makes sense of the whole of Scripture and that only Catholic theology is attested to from writings before the death of the apostle John to the present day.

I wasn’t excited about this discovery, for it would cost me most of what I had invested over thirteen years of pastoral ministry. But my desire was to follow Christ, so I resigned my pastorate in August 2004. Once again my wife and I and three girls were without an income, with three months’ worth of money to live on and full of faith that God would provide. And he has.

Now that all of us have come home to the Church, we are constantly amazed at the grace that God provides for living a powerful, Spirit-filled life. When understood properly, Scripture, liturgy, prayer, and the sacraments are far more capable of shaping our Christian walk than any of the relaxed church structures in which I had grown up. I have found that the structure and liturgies that used to turn my stomach have become a greater source of joy than I could have ever imagined.



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Charismatic Christian; Theology
KEYWORDS: convert; foursquare
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To: Iscool

Innocent question: Do you believe that Jesus was born of Mary and is the Son of God and Mary’s son?


51 posted on 05/26/2007 8:04:18 AM PDT by tioga (Fred Thompson for President.)
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To: Jaded

That’s right. Also the cleansing of the priest’s hands prior to the offertory says “Wash away my iniquity, cleanse me from my sin” from the 51st Psalm. I’m sure there are other short exaltations such as “Blessed be God Forever” as we respond to the priests start of concentration of the wine and bread. It is taken from the Old Testament praying of the Jews.


52 posted on 05/26/2007 8:09:55 AM PDT by franky1
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To: Salvation

Said much better than I. God Bless you.

Frank


53 posted on 05/26/2007 8:12:24 AM PDT by franky1
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To: Suzy Quzy
NYer obviously misunderstood my post. I was refusing to take up the challenge. I listed a number of doctrinal differences, indicating that there was no point in discussing them because no one would be able to convince the other.

I am not being cowardly, I am being practical. I think there are better ways of using our time than butting our heads together!

It is useless, in my estimation for me to attack the Roman Catholic positions...particularly on Mary. I think the RC teaching on Mary borders on idolatry. And since the RC holds Tradition above the Scriptures (think very carefully before you disagree), and I am an advocate of sola scriptura, there is no way we will be able to come to an agreement.

So I comment, and walk on.

Grace and peace to you and yours this Memorial Day weekend

Litekeeper
Chaplain, US Army, retired

54 posted on 05/26/2007 8:49:12 AM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: NYer; LiteKeeper
What could be simpler! Find one Catholic dogma and prove it wrong.

Of course there is no requirement upon you to prove any dogma's?

A dogma of my (imaginary) Church is that Mary Magdalene was appointed by Jesus as the Apostle to the Apostles. Prove it wrong.

55 posted on 05/26/2007 8:55:00 AM PDT by OLD REGGIE (I am most likely a Biblical Unitarian? Let me be perfectly clear. I know nothing.)
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To: Old_Mil

That’s certainly a new spin on the same old....


56 posted on 05/26/2007 8:55:18 AM PDT by Jaded ("I have a mustard- seed; and I am not afraid to use it."- Joseph Ratzinger)
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To: tioga
Innocent question: Do you believe that Jesus was born of Mary and is the Son of God and Mary’s son?

I've been around here long enough to know that you folks don't ask innocent questions, as such...So let me guess...You want to know if I believe that Jesus is God...And if Mary is the mother of God...Of course Mary is not the mother of God...God has no mother...

The point is, God says not to build statues...You guys do...Whos is wrong, you or God???

57 posted on 05/26/2007 8:57:52 AM PDT by Iscool (OK, I'm Back...Now what were your other two wishes???)
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To: NYer; LiteKeeper
The belief that Mary's body was assumed into heaven is one of the oldest traditions of the Catholic Church. Pope Pius XII declared this belief Catholic dogma in 1950. The feast of the Assumption is celebrated on August 15.

The Church teaches that the Immaculate Virgin, by a special privilege, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory at the end of her earthly life


Prove it.
58 posted on 05/26/2007 9:02:17 AM PDT by OLD REGGIE (I am most likely a Biblical Unitarian? Let me be perfectly clear. I know nothing.)
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To: LiteKeeper
You are so wrong. It frightens me a little to know that you pastor Catholics in the Army, yet you have a disdain for our religion and it's teachings. I hope you think very hard before you preach AGAINST Catholicism in the Army.

Catholics are TOTALLY based on Scripture. It is unbelievable that if you are so Bible based, then why don't you do the main thing that Jesus told you to do.... "This is My Body..."Take My Body and Eat It....Take My Blood and drink It"??? Why do Protestants just blow that off like it's not in the Bible, yet they accuse us of not being Bible based?

59 posted on 05/26/2007 9:03:42 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary '08...Her Phoniness is Genuine!!!)
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To: Jaded
Catholic Church Collects Money For Mosque
16 March 2007

Cologne, Germany (dpa) - When the Rev. Franz Meurer stands at the altar this Sunday in his priestly vestments, he'll say to the congregation: "Today's collection is for the construction of the big new mosque in Ehrenfeld."

Meurer, 55, is not expecting protests. Both the board of Cologne's St. Theodore Catholic Church and the parish council have unanimously approved the action.

"It's only natural that we're helping them," he said of the Muslims living in a city that is one of the main centres of Catholicism in Germany.

After the special collection was announced last Sunday, several parishioners asked if it was really necessary - considering, for instance, that four young Turks beat a family man into a coma on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday.

[...after this happened, I waited for some time to see if the Vatican would do anything about it. They didn't. While I understand that no church is perfect, Jesus said in Matthew, Where your treasure is, there too will be your heart. No Christian church has any business building mosques.]
60 posted on 05/26/2007 9:12:15 AM PDT by Old_Mil (Duncan Hunter in 2008! A Veteran, A Patriot, A Reagan Republican... http://www.gohunter08.com/)
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To: OpusatFR

As the Good Book says: “all that is hidden will be revealed.”

The content of posts certainly reveal the minds of the posters.


61 posted on 05/26/2007 9:20:02 AM PDT by Running On Empty
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To: Suzy Quzy
Suzy Quzy...two things

One, I never preached against Catholicism while on Active Duty. And I ministered as openly to RC soldiers as to all others. That being said, if any ever came to me and asked my opinion, I will tell them.

Two, you are apparently unaware of the teaching of the Church. I would like to kindly suggest you go back to the Church and ask what the role of Tradition is...you will discover that it has supremacy over the Scriptures. Don't take my word for it, ask your priest, or Google "tradition" AND Roman Catholic theology.

For instance, you will discover that just about everything you are taught about Mary comes from Tradition, not from the Bible.
You will not find the Immaculate Conception in the Bible.
You will not find the Assumption of Mary in the Bible.
You will not find the doctrine of Co-redemption in the Bible.
You will not for the mediation of Mary in the Bible
And you will not find the veneration of the Saints in the Bible.
You will not find penance in the Bible.
You will not find purgatory in the Bible
And there are many more

Please, look these things up for yourself...you don't need to believe me.

62 posted on 05/26/2007 9:25:47 AM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: LiteKeeper

Ahhhh, but the most important thing in the Bible for us to do that Jesus demanded was the Eucharist. you cannot deny it. I will be praying for your soul.


63 posted on 05/26/2007 9:32:40 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary '08...Her Phoniness is Genuine!!!)
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To: Suzy Quzy
Thank you for your prayers.

I am truly curious, why do you say that the Eucharist is the most important thing that Jesus demanded we do?

64 posted on 05/26/2007 9:46:00 AM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: LiteKeeper

Because He said so!!! Direct Quote....TAKE THIS AND EAT IT...THIS IS MY BODY......DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME”??? Do you?? If not, you are NOT Bible based. You might be a good Christian, but you are not doing the one thing Jesus said to do for Him....and for you.


65 posted on 05/26/2007 9:52:41 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary '08...Her Phoniness is Genuine!!!)
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To: Suzy Quzy
"Do this in remembrance of Me."

And if you are trusting in that act for your salvation, you deny the bedrock doctrine of justification by faith...faith in the grace of God.

Jesus said to the Teacher of Israel, Nicodemus, "You must be born again." Have you been born again?

Have you read the words of the Saint Paul? "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." If your destiny is based on the Eucharist, you are working your way towards heaven. And that is Tradition, not Bible.

66 posted on 05/26/2007 10:08:31 AM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: LiteKeeper

Yes, I am baptized....did you read what you wrote? You came to my side of the Eucharist argument...re-read.


67 posted on 05/26/2007 10:13:27 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary '08...Her Phoniness is Genuine!!!)
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To: Suzy Quzy
Yes, I am baptized....did you read what you wrote? You came to my side of the Eucharist argument...re-read.

Without repentance FIRST, baptism in water only gets you wet...In fact, even after repentance, baptism in water still only gets you wet...

68 posted on 05/26/2007 10:39:34 AM PDT by Iscool (OK, I'm Back...Now what were your other two wishes???)
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To: Suzy Quzy
You might be a good Christian, but you are not doing the one thing Jesus said to do for Him....and for you.

Jesus said for us to do (directly and indirectly) over 250 things in the N.T...

Can you find them???

69 posted on 05/26/2007 10:43:36 AM PDT by Iscool (OK, I'm Back...Now what were your other two wishes???)
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To: Running On Empty

I love Matthew’s words. I also love the hymn based on them.

This is regarding PENANCE according to the Church:

EXERPT> “II. WHY A SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION AFTER BAPTISM?

1425 “You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”9 One must appreciate the magnitude of the gift God has given us in the sacraments of Christian initiation in order to grasp the degree to which sin is excluded for him who has “put on Christ.”10 But the apostle John also says: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”11 And the Lord himself taught us to pray: “Forgive us our trespasses,”12 linking our forgiveness of one another’s offenses to the forgiveness of our sins that God will grant us.

1426 Conversion to Christ, the new birth of Baptism, the gift of the Holy Spirit and the Body and Blood of Christ received as food have made us “holy and without blemish,” just as the Church herself, the Bride of Christ, is “holy and without blemish.”13 Nevertheless the new life received in Christian initiation has not abolished the frailty and weakness of human nature, nor the inclination to sin that tradition calls concupiscence, which remains in the baptized such that with the help of the grace of Christ they may prove themselves in the struggle of Christian life.14 This is the struggle of conversion directed toward holiness and eternal life to which the Lord never ceases to call us.15

III. THE CONVERSION OF THE BAPTIZED

1427 Jesus calls to conversion. This call is an essential part of the proclamation of the kingdom: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.”16 In the Church’s preaching this call is addressed first to those who do not yet know Christ and his Gospel. Also, Baptism is the principal place for the first and fundamental conversion. It is by faith in the Gospel and by Baptism17 that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life.

1428 Christ’s call to conversion continues to resound in the lives of Christians. This second conversion is an uninterrupted task for the whole Church who, “clasping sinners to her bosom, [is] at once holy and always in need of purification, [and] follows constantly the path of penance and renewal.”18 This endeavor of conversion is not just a human work. It is the movement of a “contrite heart,” drawn and moved by grace to respond to the merciful love of God who loved us first.19

1429 St. Peter’s conversion after he had denied his master three times bears witness to this. Jesus’ look of infinite mercy drew tears of repentance from Peter and, after the Lord’s resurrection, a threefold affirmation of love for him.20 The second conversion also has a communitarian dimension, as is clear in the Lord’s call to a whole Church: “Repent!”21

St. Ambrose says of the two conversions that, in the Church, “there are water and tears: the water of Baptism and the tears of repentance.”22
IV. INTERIOR PENANCE

1430 Jesus’ call to conversion and penance, like that of the prophets before him, does not aim first at outward works, “sackcloth and ashes,” fasting and mortification, but at the conversion of the heart, interior conversion. Without this, such penances remain sterile and false; however, interior conversion urges expression in visible signs, gestures and works of penance.23

1431 Interior repentance is a radical reorientation of our whole life, a return, a conversion to God with all our heart, an end of sin, a turning away from evil, with repugnance toward the evil actions we have committed. At the same time it entails the desire and resolution to change one’s life, with hope in God’s mercy and trust in the help of his grace. This conversion of heart is accompanied by a salutary pain and sadness which the Fathers called animi cruciatus (affliction of spirit) and compunctio cordis (repentance of heart).24

1432 The human heart is heavy and hardened. God must give man a new heart.25 Conversion is first of all a work of the grace of God who makes our hearts return to him: “Restore us to thyself, O LORD, that we may be restored!”26 God gives us the strength to begin anew. It is in discovering the greatness of God’s love that our heart is shaken by the horror and weight of sin and begins to fear offending God by sin and being separated from him. The human heart is converted by looking upon him whom our sins have pierced:27

Let us fix our eyes on Christ’s blood and understand how precious it is to his Father, for, poured out for our salvation it has brought to the whole world the grace of repentance.
1433 Since Easter, the Holy Spirit has proved “the world wrong about sin,”29 i.e., proved that the world has not believed in him whom the Father has sent. But this same Spirit who brings sin to light is also the Consoler who gives the human heart grace for repentance and conversion.30

V. THE MANY FORMS OF PENANCE IN CHRISTIAN LIFE

1434 The interior penance of the Christian can be expressed in many and various ways. Scripture and the Fathers insist above all on three forms, fasting, prayer, and almsgiving,31 which express conversion in relation to oneself, to God, and to others. Alongside the radical purification brought about by Baptism or martyrdom they cite as means of obtaining forgiveness of sins: effort at reconciliation with one’s neighbor, tears of repentance, concern for the salvation of one’s neighbor, the intercession of the saints, and the practice of charity “which covers a multitude of sins.”32

1435 Conversion is accomplished in daily life by gestures of reconciliation, concern for the poor, the exercise and defense of justice and right,33 by the admission of faults to one’s brethren, fraternal correction, revision of life, examination of conscience, spiritual direction, acceptance of suffering, endurance of persecution for the sake of righteousness. Taking up one’s cross each day and following Jesus is the surest way of penance.34

1436 Eucharist and Penance. Daily conversion and penance find their source and nourishment in the Eucharist, for in it is made present the sacrifice of Christ which has reconciled us with God. Through the Eucharist those who live from the life of Christ are fed and strengthened. “It is a remedy to free us from our daily faults and to preserve us from mortal sins.”35

1437 Reading Sacred Scripture, praying the Liturgy of the Hours and the Our Father - every sincere act of worship or devotion revives the spirit of conversion and repentance within us and contributes to the forgiveness of our sins.

1438 The seasons and days of penance in the course of the liturgical year (Lent, and each Friday in memory of the death of the Lord) are intense moments of the Church’s penitential practice.36 These times are particularly appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies, pilgrimages as signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and fraternal sharing (charitable and missionary works).

1439 The process of conversion and repentance was described by Jesus in the parable of the prodigal son, the center of which is the merciful father:37 the fascination of illusory freedom, the abandonment of the father’s house; the extreme misery in which the son finds himself after squandering his fortune; his deep humiliation at finding himself obliged to feed swine, and still worse, at wanting to feed on the husks the pigs ate; his reflection on all he has lost; his repentance and decision to declare himself guilty before his father; the journey back; the father’s generous welcome; the father’s joy - all these are characteristic of the process of conversion. The beautiful robe, the ring, and the festive banquet are symbols of that new life - pure worthy, and joyful - of anyone who returns to God and to the bosom of his family, which is the Church. Only the heart of Christ who knows the depths of his Father’s love could reveal to us the abyss of his mercy in so simple and beautiful a way.”

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p2s2c2a4.htm

Wonderful, isn’t it? What a blessing to have a Christ-given faith that calls us what we are: Human and frail and ultimately forgiveable and loveable no matter what. The only stumbling block is one’s own pride in a sinful nature, or refusal to see within and judge oneself according to the Holy Spirit.


70 posted on 05/26/2007 10:49:38 AM PDT by OpusatFR
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To: OpusatFR

The Eucharist is the bedrock of life itself for us for in the Eucharist we are fed by Christ himself.

“1336 The first announcement of the Eucharist divided the disciples, just as the announcement of the Passion scandalized them: “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” The Eucharist and the Cross are stumbling blocks. It is the same mystery and it never ceases to be an occasion of division. “Will you also go away?”: the Lord’s question echoes through the ages, as a loving invitation to discover that only he has “the words of eternal life” and that to receive in faith the gift of his Eucharist is to receive the Lord himself.”

“1324 The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.”

http://ccc.scborromeo.org.master.com/texis/master/search/?sufs=0&q=eucharist


71 posted on 05/26/2007 10:56:27 AM PDT by OpusatFR
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To: OpusatFR

This is great. Thanks much for posting it.

Everything mentioned here is of so much value.

Not to single it out above the others, but I like seeing the reference to the Liturgy of the Hours; this practice, especially done “lectio divina”, has been an incredible nourishment for my soul, after daily Mass, which provides the basis of my Scriptural prayer for each day.

I am not troubled by any claim that the practice of my Catholic faith is in error. I chose to become Catholic as a young adult and have remained so for 60 years—and going.

Again, thanks for this post. I’m printing and keeping it.


72 posted on 05/26/2007 11:05:49 AM PDT by Running On Empty
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To: OpusatFR

And then there is the Blessed Mother for which I am thankful. God prepared her from the beginning.

“721 Mary, the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time. For the first time in the plan of salvation and because his Spirit had prepared her, the Father found the dwelling place where his Son and his Spirit could dwell among men. In this sense the Church’s Tradition has often read the most beautiful texts on wisdom in relation to Mary. Mary is acclaimed and represented in the liturgy as the “Seat of Wisdom.”
In her, the “wonders of God” that the Spirit was to fulfill in Christ and the Church began to be manifested.

509 Mary is truly “Mother of God” since she is the mother of the eternal Son of God made man, who is God himself.”
http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/509.htm

The prayer of the Church after low mass: John 1 the Logos enters the world. The Word from the beginning is God. Mary is the Mother of God.

How good a mother she is to us all!


73 posted on 05/26/2007 11:07:00 AM PDT by OpusatFR
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To: Running On Empty

“I am not troubled by any claim that the practice of my Catholic faith is in error.”

Amen, amen!

That bedrock of faith and belief, a gift of the Holy Spirit is just a great blessing. To be infused with the Paraclete, guiding our lives and thoughts and actions is the most liberating moment in life.

I pray that the most hardened hearts come into the fullness of Christ in His Church and the Eucharist.

To be truly free is to be in Christ. I love meditating on the third decade of the sorrowful mysteries, the crowning of Jesus with thorns where we pray to be given the gift of contempt to the world.


74 posted on 05/26/2007 11:17:10 AM PDT by OpusatFR
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To: Iscool

We have the Sacrament of Confession....we go regularly...not just once. We sin regularly also.


75 posted on 05/26/2007 11:38:18 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary '08...Her Phoniness is Genuine!!!)
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To: Iscool

No tell us.


76 posted on 05/26/2007 11:38:41 AM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary '08...Her Phoniness is Genuine!!!)
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To: Iscool

You make way too many assumptions in your response. I only asked a question. I said NOTHING of my beliefs. At least in that little tirade you answered my question.


77 posted on 05/26/2007 12:02:01 PM PDT by tioga (Fred Thompson for President.)
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To: LiteKeeper
"You must be born again." Have you been born again?

I am born again in many ways, one of them is to renew my devotion and love of God through Communion at mass. It is a JOY to receive my Lord in Communion as He requested. It is just ONE way of many that I renew my love for Him.

78 posted on 05/26/2007 12:07:54 PM PDT by tioga (Fred Thompson for President.)
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To: Scotswife

Interesting thread.


79 posted on 05/26/2007 12:13:00 PM PDT by tioga (Fred Thompson for President.)
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To: LiteKeeper

Have you ever read “Hail, Holy Queen” by Scott Hahn? One of the best books on Catholics and Mary I have read. Try reading it. Maybe you will have some understanding of Mary within the church.


80 posted on 05/26/2007 12:23:17 PM PDT by tioga (Fred Thompson for President.)
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To: tioga

If it is extra-biblical, I am not interested; if it is biblical, I have already read. But thanks for the recommendation.


81 posted on 05/26/2007 2:16:15 PM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: tioga
I am born again in many ways, one of them is to renew my devotion and love of God through Communion at mass.

This is not the biblical concept of being born again.

Rebirth is not something that happens over and over again. Rebirth is a salvation event that moves one from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light. It is the acquisition of eternal life...not a series of activities one engages in at church.

82 posted on 05/26/2007 2:34:16 PM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: Suzy Quzy; LiteKeeper
Because He said so!!! Direct Quote....TAKE THIS AND EAT IT...THIS IS MY BODY......DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME”??? Do you?? If not, you are NOT Bible based. You might be a good Christian, but you are not doing the one thing Jesus said to do for Him....and for you.

Accepting for the moment this was the only thing Jesus asked us to do for him, (it wasn't), do you, and have you always, practiced Communion in the one and only way taught by Jesus? If not, why not?
83 posted on 05/26/2007 2:42:22 PM PDT by OLD REGGIE (I am most likely a Biblical Unitarian? Let me be perfectly clear. I know nothing.)
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To: LiteKeeper
For instance, you will discover that just about everything you are taught about Mary comes from Tradition, not from the Bible.

And you now have the opportunity to discover that the identity of the canon of Scripture comes from Tradition, not from the Bible. Other than in the table of contents, where in the Bible do you find a list of the books that comprise the Bible? How, from Scripture alone, do you know that the Gospel According to John is in, and the Gospel of Thomas is out?

84 posted on 05/26/2007 4:31:14 PM PDT by aposiopetic
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To: LiteKeeper; Iscool; Suzy Quzy
I am truly curious, why do you say that the Eucharist is the most important thing that Jesus demanded we do?

Our faith teaches us that what we proclaim in the Eucharist, Christ's death and resurrection, is also made present in that very action by the power of God's love and goodness. This is the heart of our faith in the sacrament we call the Eucharist, the holy sacrifice of the Mass, the real presence of Christ.

The Eucharist is at the heart of the Church's life. In the celebration of this mystery of faith, Christ himself is present to his people. Rich in symbolism and richer in reality, the Eucharist bears within itself the whole reality of Christ and mediates his saving work to us. In short, when the Church gathers in worship of God and offers the Eucharistic sacrifice, not only is Christ really and truly present under the appearance of bread and wine, but he also continues his saving work of our salvation.

The origins of the Eucharist are found in the Last Supper. The Catechism teaches us that "in order to leave them a pledge of this love, in order never to depart from his own and to make them sharers in his Passover, he instituted the Eucharist as the memorial of his death and resurrection, and commanded his apostles to celebrate it until his return; 'thereby he constituted them priests of the New Testament'" (1337). In the context of the Last Supper Jesus instituted a new memorial sacrifice. As a perpetual memorial to his death and Resurrection, in the course of the Passover meal with his apostles, he took the bread "blessed and broke it and gave it to his disciples and said 'Take, eat, this is my body'" (Matt. 26.26). In like manner he took the ceremonial cup of wine "gave thanks and passed it to his disciples saying 'this cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood'" (Lk. 22.20). Finally, he commanded them: "Do this in remembrance of me" (1 Cor. 11.24).

85 posted on 05/26/2007 4:31:29 PM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: Old_Mil
As for Catholicism itself, I myself was one until they started taking up collections to build mosques.

I hope you can support that statement with some reliable evidence. Please name the diocese and the bishop.

86 posted on 05/26/2007 4:39:32 PM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: LiteKeeper; Suzy Quzy
I am an advocate of sola scriptura

And where is that in the Bible?

87 posted on 05/26/2007 4:44:02 PM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: OLD REGGIE

Your tagline says it all!! And yes.


88 posted on 05/26/2007 5:06:50 PM PDT by Suzy Quzy (Hillary '08...Her Phoniness is Genuine!!!)
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To: LiteKeeper
I have a living relationship with God through the Eucharist, my Baptism, my Confirmation, reading the Word of God, my prayer life.......YOU seem to want to trap people into YOUR concept of God and your solitary route to Him. The Bible is a history of the early Catholic Church - you take a piece of our Christian heritage and neglect the rest. You are free to do so, the rest of us are free to know God as well.
89 posted on 05/26/2007 5:14:50 PM PDT by tioga (Fred Thompson for President.)
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To: tioga

What if you are wrong and the Eucharist is not the actual body of Christ? What if your baptism benefited you not at all?

The Bible is a history of the Christian church, and if it is correct and innerant you can noit expect to see God by your rituals or traditions


90 posted on 05/26/2007 5:20:25 PM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: NYer
I am an advocate of sola scriptura
And where is that in the Bible?

The early church fathers thought it was there.

"They [heretics] gather their views from other sources than the Scriptures...We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith"

- Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 3.1.1

"I beg of you, my dear brother, to live among these books [scripture], to meditate upon them, to know nothing else, to seek nothing else."
- Jerome (Letter 53:10)

"There is, brethren, one God, the knowledge of whom we gain from the Holy Scriptures, and from no other source. For just as a man, if he wishes to be skilled in the wisdom of this world, will find himself unable to get at it in any other way than by mastering the dogmas of philosophers, so all of us who wish to practice piety will be unable to learn its practice from any other quarter than the oracles of God. Whatever things, then, the Holy Scripture declare, at these let us look; and whatsoever things they teach, these let us learn;and as the Father wills our belief to be, let us believe; and as He wills the Son to be glorified, let us glorify Him; and as He wills the Holy Spirit to be bestowed, let us receive Him. Not according to our own will, nor according to our own mind, nor yet as using violently those things which are given by God, but even as He has chosen to teach them by the Holy Scriptures, so let us discern them."
- Hippolytus, Against Noetus, ch 9

"For how can we adopt those things which we do not find in the holy Scriptures?"
- Ambrose (On the Duties of the Clergy, 1:23:102)

"We use Scripture to answer heresy and preceive that it is power and truth."
- Basil the Great

“Let the inspired Scriptures then be our umpire, and the vote of truth will be given to those whose dogmas are found to agree with the Divine words.”
- Gregory of Nyssa (d.ca, 395) “On the Holy Trinity”, NPNF, p. 327

“Neither dare one agree with catholic bishops if by chance they err in anything, but the result that their opinion is against the canonical Scriptures of God.”
- Augustine (354–430) De unitate ecclesiae, 10

“For our faith rests on the revelation made to the Prophets and Apostles who wrote the canonical books.”
- Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) Summa Theologiae, Question 1, Art. 8

They seemed to agree with the words of Paul

2Ti 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

91 posted on 05/26/2007 5:32:11 PM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: ears_to_hear

The early church was entirely Catholic......there was only one church that Christ founded. While I do not condem those of another faith......I stand by MY church. Sounds as if you are periously close to condeming me however.

God’s love for me and mine for him is a living joyous daily experience. This is Pentecost Sunday in the Catholic Church......we are rejoicing in the Holy Spirit. Your words do not concern me at all, I will pray for you.


92 posted on 05/26/2007 5:36:09 PM PDT by tioga (Fred Thompson for President.)
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To: tioga

The church was catholic ( universal) not Catholic as in Roman Catholic.

You can stand by your church all you want, like a captain you can go down with the ship.

I pray that God reach down and lift you off of it before your death.

How do you know you have the Holy Spirit?


93 posted on 05/26/2007 5:40:47 PM PDT by ears_to_hear
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To: ears_to_hear

Your response is insulting. You are assuming that only YOU know the Holy Spirit? That would be the sin of pride nipping at your feet if you are suggesting that. Beware.


94 posted on 05/26/2007 5:50:12 PM PDT by tioga (Fred Thompson for President.)
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To: NYer

Right where Luther put it so justify his own religion.


95 posted on 05/26/2007 6:15:13 PM PDT by Jaded ("I have a mustard- seed; and I am not afraid to use it."- Joseph Ratzinger)
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To: NYer; ears_to_hear
"For how can we adopt those things which we do not find in the holy Scriptures?" - Ambrose (On the Duties of the Clergy, 1:23:102)

You figure some of your church fathers were as ignorant as we are when it comes to sola scripture and your church tradition (which apparently didn't exist at the time of your church fathers)???

So when did your church turn from the holy sola scriptures and start replacing the scripture with tradition???

96 posted on 05/26/2007 9:23:00 PM PDT by Iscool (OK, I'm Back...Now what were your other two wishes???)
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To: NYer

#60.


97 posted on 05/26/2007 9:55:31 PM PDT by Old_Mil (Duncan Hunter in 2008! A Veteran, A Patriot, A Reagan Republican... http://www.gohunter08.com/)
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To: tioga

“Interesting thread.”

yikes!!

It always winds up in the same place...nestorianism.


98 posted on 05/26/2007 10:15:48 PM PDT by Scotswife (Yeah, and when women show up without head coverings someone plops a kleenex on their heads. Thatís b)
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To: Old_Mil
I waited for some time to see if the Vatican would do anything about it. They didn't.

That's it? Some parish in Germany collects money for Muslim neighbors to build their mosque and this is your reason for leaving the Catholic Church? And the Vatican didn't 'do anything about it'. Did you send this story to the Vatican and ask them for a response?

God gave us the gift of 'free will'. While I disagree with the German parish asking their parishioners to help fund the construction of a mosque, they have the free will to decide. Is this your parish?

99 posted on 05/27/2007 6:40:03 AM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: ears_to_hear
The early church fathers thought it was there.

You quote the "early church fathers" - the same ones who believed that Jesus was the bread and wine at communion? Those church fathers? MMmmmm, so you are acutally a cafeteria christian who picks and chooses what to believe.

100 posted on 05/27/2007 8:03:47 AM PDT by tioga (Fred Thompson for President.)
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