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A Visit to Heaven (an Evangelical's visit to a Catholic seminary)
P-Squared ^ | May 1, 2011

Posted on 05/03/2011 11:22:07 AM PDT by NYer

My brother is a Roman Catholic seminarian, and I visited him at Mount Saint Marys Seminary the last couple days to see him installed in his second-to-last office (acolyte) before hopefully being ordained a priest (in about two years). I’ve been hoping to visit John for a long time, and finally got the opportunity.

My Evangelical brothers and sisters typically misunderstand and mischaracterize the Catholic Church, its leaders and theology and practices, so I felt compelled to write this to them, an “open letter” if you will.

First off, much of what Evangelicals believe about Catholicism, what they believe and who they are, is flat out incorrect. I will not dedicate any space here to that, except to say that people don’t listen to each other all that well in the 21st century, even though it’s easier than ever, technologically, to do. We should all try harder.

So let me tell you what I found among the more than 150 seminarians I spent a couple days with.

I found men who love Jesus with a passion and wholeness that I find rare among Christians of any stripe in these days.

I found men who struggle with the same kinds of things that we all do, regular guys who are dealing with what we all deal with… with the amazing support of Christ, of their brothers, and of the church.

I found men who can chuck a frisbee way farther than I ever will be able to.

I found a place where worship is very deep, even sublime, and regular and intentional and heartfelt… and amazing, and where prayer is an intentionally regular and essential and practiced part of every day. I found that Jesus was palpably present in every room and hallway.

I ate one of the tastiest meals I’ve had in forever.

I found generosity that is inspiring.

I found a group of guys that, when it’s time to have fun… have some serious fun.

I found real intelligence, insight and wisdom being leveraged for the kingdom of Heaven. Almost any of these guys could probably lead, and lead well, in any secular company and probably make a lot of money.

I found the presence of Christ in community that I was, frankly, a little envious of.

I found a love of Christ’s body on earth that you don’t find very often anywhere.

I found that not everybody will make it, but if they don’t, it is handled with grace and love. I didn’t find any ambition, though, really.

I didn’t actually really hear anybody say anything that wasn’t uplifting and encouraging.

I met leaders and instructors who care for those under their charge with passion and charity.

I found the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit elevated and exalted and magnified in every single thing. I found some things that are not my particular practices, but even those things did nothing but lift up and exalt our Lord.

Men, what a blessing you were to me! I have news for you. Heaven will be just like this!

If these men are any indication of the kinds of people who will emerge as the priests and leaders of the Catholic Church in this new century, there are great days ahead for them, and more and more people are going to experience the Gospel in real, tangible ways.

Note: In the past few days, this post has become almost all of my internet traffic for the entire year, receiving thousands of hits. Thanks for sharing my joy in people who are passionately in love with Jesus and His Church.

But… I have received some comments (VERY few) I am not allowing to be posted here that were, in my opinion, inflammatory or negative. Sorry. It’s my blog… You’re welcome to start your own… but divisiveness among those who love and follow Jesus, especially divisiveness built on prejudice and ignorance and even past hurts, is not something I can stand any more at this stage in my life. My life’s background has included mainline and evangelical Christianity as well as Roman Catholocism (which I grew up in). I know what I speak of, and many of you that are saying the things you are saying are flat out incorrect, and I’m sorry for your hurts or feelings, but they have no place here. Blessings!


TOPICS: Catholic; Evangelical Christian; Prayer; Religion & Culture
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To: wagglebee
With the exception of rejecting papal primacy (and with it infallibility) and possibly the Deutero-Canonical books can you name a SINGLE doctrinal point upon which ALL Protestants disagree with Catholics?

Well, you've touched on two very important doctrinal items right there so I'll leave it at that.

My intent was not to get into arguing doctrine here; just pointing out that the person in the article really must address doctrine to be believed credible by most Protestants.

21 posted on 05/03/2011 12:46:38 PM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: Siena Dreaming

May the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit elevated and exalted and magnified in every single thing that you do and say.


22 posted on 05/03/2011 12:46:43 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

That’s my prayer every day...and I know that I must strive for pure doctrine every day for God to be magnified.


23 posted on 05/03/2011 12:50:53 PM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: NYer

That’s a beautiful picture of St Mary’s, just down the street from me.

Of course it’s difficult to get a bad pic of that campus (not that I’m biased or anything)

Both Mount St. Mary’s and St Mary’s are beautiful (if not confusingly named! I lived in Baltimore for 7 years before I realized there was a Mount Saint Mary’s in Emmitsburg; I always thought when people talked about Mount Saint Mary’s they were talking about the one in Baltimore, because that St Mary’s is itself on top of the rise of a gentle hillside. Haha)


24 posted on 05/03/2011 12:54:06 PM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: Siena Dreaming
I know that I must strive for pure doctrine

You'll find pure doctrine being taught at Mt. St. Mary's.

25 posted on 05/03/2011 12:54:18 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: it_ürür

Thank you for gracious words and a son-like heart.


26 posted on 05/03/2011 12:54:58 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Blessed are the peacemakers: they shall be called sons of God.)
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To: it_ürür

FRiend, can you enlighten me as to your handle and tagline? Both are rendered on my browser as gibberish characters.


27 posted on 05/03/2011 12:56:28 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Abigail Adams

Is there another Christ?


28 posted on 05/03/2011 12:56:57 PM PDT by AliVeritas (Pray. For all the latest, check out: http://directorblue.blogspot.com/)
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To: Siena Dreaming
However, you spoke of doctrines as if there were many. Do you believe that to be the case?

Do ALL Protestants reject the Real Presence in the Eucharist? You will find that the answer is no.

Do ALL Protestants reject Catholic teachings regarding the Blessed Mother? You will find that the answer is no.

Do ALL Protestants reject the Sacrament of Confession? You will find that the answer is no.

Do ALL Protestants reject Sacred Tradition? You will find that the answer is no.

29 posted on 05/03/2011 12:57:28 PM PDT by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: Siena Dreaming

He was there for his brother, not a debate.


30 posted on 05/03/2011 12:59:38 PM PDT by AliVeritas (Pray. For all the latest, check out: http://directorblue.blogspot.com/)
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To: ArrogantBustard
You'll find pure doctrine being taught at Mt. St. Mary's.

Perhaps...but I would not know that from the article.

31 posted on 05/03/2011 1:09:34 PM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: AliVeritas
He was there for his brother, not a debate

Fine...but if he was hoping to convince other Protestants through the article, I doubt if he would succeed with most.

32 posted on 05/03/2011 1:12:32 PM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: Siena Dreaming
What we do know from the article is that the author, an evangelical Worship Arts Pastor, "found the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit elevated and exalted and magnified in every single thing".

One can believe him, or not, as one sees fit.

He wrote the article he intended to write, conveying what he intended to convey.

One can receive it, or not, as one sees fit.

If one does not like his article, one can always visit the place and write a different article.

Or, one can simply carp about it.

33 posted on 05/03/2011 1:20:39 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard
If one does not like his article, one can always visit the place and write a different article

If one really felt strongly about it I suppose one could.

However, it's just an article...one of many. Not powerful, not convincing for Protestants...just the impressions of a man on a one-day visit.

Slightly interesting to observe and comment on...but not much more.

34 posted on 05/03/2011 1:24:50 PM PDT by Siena Dreaming
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To: Siena Dreaming
but good doctrine is the bedrock of true christianity ... I must strive for pure doctrine every day for God to be magnified

You aren't saved by the "purity" or "goodness" or rectitude of your doctrine, but by a relationship of faith and trust in and with God.

35 posted on 05/03/2011 1:43:18 PM PDT by Campion ("Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies when they become fashions." -- GKC)
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To: markomalley

Thank you for the correction and posting those beautiful images.


36 posted on 05/03/2011 2:19:32 PM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: it_ürür
While I still recognize doctrinal differences that bar the way back to Rome, I also have to honor the real presence of Christ, and of Christians, in that part of the church universal.

Check this out. Perhaps it will address some of those differences.

Pax et Bonum

37 posted on 05/03/2011 2:25:18 PM PDT by NYer ("Be kind to every person you meet. For every person is fighting a great battle." St. Ephraim)
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To: NYer
"First off, much of what Evangelicals believe about Catholicism, what they believe and who they are, is flat out incorrect."

The author then goes on to list a bunch of experiential, subjective criteria which has nothing to do with Evangelicalisms opposition to Roman Catholicism in order to support his argument and make his spurious point. He does so without ever taking an honest look at the extensive unbiblical Roman Catholic DOCTRINE which is the basis for what Evangelicals believe about Roman Catholicism; what they believe and teach.

38 posted on 05/03/2011 2:28:03 PM PDT by Jmouse007 (Lord deliver us from evil and from those perpetuating it, in Jesus name, amen.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

the ü character is the u with umlaut dots atop it. It’s a nifty four-word proverb about the utility of complaining, and means, “The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.”


39 posted on 05/03/2011 2:32:38 PM PDT by it_rr (kervan yürür)
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To: it_ürür

Thanks. Sadly, Firefox (4.0.1) is gagging on it.


40 posted on 05/03/2011 2:50:51 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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