Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tagged: 8 Things You May Not Know About Me

I've been tagged by TheGodFearinFiddler. Here are the rules:

The rules are simple... Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Here are my 8:

1. I cannot drink milk anywhere but at home (and maybe my parents' house). Most people do not keep milk cold enough for me. Also, it MUST come from a paper carton. I will not drink milk from a jug. It just doesn’t taste right.

2. I must have socks on when I sleep or I will toss and turn all night.

3. I am fluent in sign language and interpreted for deaf children for 5 years. God put it on my heart to learn sign language when I was nine but I didn’t learn it until high school. Sadly, I have very few local deaf friends today so I rarely get to use it.

4. I lived in Alaska for a year. I loved the seasonal extremes and the northern lights.

5. I have a former stepdaughter who I still have a very close relationship with. In fact, I believe she is the reason I met her dad in the first place. I was her maid of honor in her wedding a year ago.

6. I hate to touch chalk.

7. I don’t like going to the beach because I don’t like the feel of sand on my feet.

8. I want to learn to ride a motorcycle... (but not a Harley). I have the helmet, gloves, jacket and the boots. I just need the license and the motorcycle!

And now I tag the following fellow bloggers:

Pax In Anima
a word on The Word
Kyrie Eleison
Angela Messenger
Chad Is Not Enough
Resigning the Game

Friday, July 20, 2007

Pax In Anima

Please welcome my dear friend to the Catholic blog-o-sphere. After a lot of prayer and consideration, he has made a firm commitment to join the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Catholic Church. Please offer him a warm welcome and remember to pray for him on his journey!

Pax In Anima

Welcome, friend! May God continue to lead you and strengthen you!


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

New Creations in Christ

Clay was baptized last Saturday. It was beautiful. It was an emotional moment for me as my first child was brought into the Christian faith, knowing at that moment that the Holy Spirit was descending upon him, washing him clean of all original sin. He was buried with Christ and rising to new life... the heavenly witnesses rejoicing!

I love the Sacrament of Baptism... and I love that it's more than a mere symbol. The misconception is that Catholics think the water is "magical". In reality, we know the water is a symbol of the grace of the Holy Spirit and the means by which the Holy Spirit pours out His grace. It isn't the water itself, but the act of baptism, by which the Holy Spirit causes one to be born again (John 3).

CCC 694 Water. The symbolism of water signifies the Holy Spirit's action in Baptism, since after the invocation of the Holy Spirit it becomes the efficacious sacramental sign of new birth: just as the gestation of our first birth took place in water, so the water of Baptism truly signifies that our birth into the divine life is given to us in the Holy Spirit. As "by one Spirit we were all baptized," so we are also "made to drink of one Spirit." Thus the Spirit is also personally the living water welling up from Christ crucified as its source and welling up in us to eternal life.

All three of my children are now united to the body of Christ through baptism.

Thank you, Holy Spirit, for pouring your grace upon my children.

"For everything must die - to rise again."

More Anti-Catholic Ignorance

I find it quite interesting that this guy can call his 25 years as a Catholic a "wasted experience". Never, in a million years, would I regard my experience as a non-denominational Christian a "wasted experience". This only proves how little he knows about the Catholic faith... about the history of Christianity and about the ACTUAL teachings of the Catholic Church. I find it ridiculous that he blames the Catholic Church for his ignorance of Scripture, as if his parents had no responsibility at all... nor did he himself.

And what exactly does he think the Mass is? Prayers from Scripture, readings from Scripture, hymns from Scripture, Holy Communion from Scripture.... the crucifix hanging in the center of the church to show him exactly what Christ did for him - but it's the Church's fault He couldn't see it?

I wish people like this would take the time to actually learn about the role of the Pope (or the Catholic Church) before they start publicly speaking against it. He's utterly clueless and it shows.

Friday, July 13, 2007

We're all the same before the Lord!

I am constantly amazed by the stories of converts. Every one I read contains something I thought of or felt in my own conversion. A friend told me that what makes it so amazing is that it's not as if we're all forced to say the same things. We all come from different walks in life, different faith traditions, different cultures, etc. Yet, we all experience some aspects that are undeniably similar.

I suppose we can only attribute these things to the guidance of the same Holy Spirit and as my friend put it, " has nothing to do with either your religious or social or educational background... We're all the same before the Lord."


Thursday, July 12, 2007

End and the Beginning

Song by Matt Maher - one of my new favorites!


I've put a link on the sidebar under Archives called "Apologetic Posts". This link will bring up all my posts that present a biblical defense of Catholicism.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Peace be with you!

Today is the Feast of Saint Thomas the Apostle!

John 20:24-29
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But Thomas said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

I can recall moments in my life when I begged to feel the presence of God... moments when He felt so distant, I began to wonder if He were really there at all. It is in looking back that I know that God was there all along, perhaps even closer than I realized... but, for whatever reason, God did not permit me to feel his presence at that time.

I love this gospel reading... I love how Jesus just appears before them, the doors locked, and addresses Thomas right away by telling him to do the very things Thomas said he would have to do in order to believe. Jesus wasn't present when Thomas said those words. Can you imagine being Thomas? I love that, in this short passage, the rest of us were also addressed: "Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."

When I struggle in my faith and I feel God is far, I can think of this passage. Jesus didn't condemn Thomas for his unbelief. Instead, He helped him believe. Even while Thomas was doubting, Jesus knew Thomas' heart and mind. Jesus knew that believing without seeing would be a struggle for many... So, when I doubt also, Jesus knows my unbelief and He does not condemn me. Instead, He helps me believe!

"Peace be with you." I love these words spoken by Jesus. Can you imagine? Thomas... in his unbelief, hearing Christ say "peace be with you" and then having his eyes opened to see that the Lord was standing right there in front of him?! Each week, we say to each other during Mass "peace be with you". I wonder how many people feel touched by this simple exchange of words. The words of Christ spoken to one another: to the hurting and the joyful, the doubting and the believing, the loved and unloved, the weak and the strong, the rich and the poor. For that one moment, we are all in that room, Jesus reaching out to us and helping us believe!

Jesus, thank you for your peace and for helping us in our unbelief. Thank you for your patience and unconditional love. Amen.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Quite a Year!

It was just a bit over a year ago when I began my journey into Catholicism. I cannot begin to express the amount of growth I've experienced in that short amount of time. God broke me, brought me into himself and showed me that my pride had caused me to be blind to the reality that a truth existed that was fuller than what I had blindly accepted for so long. What I experienced a year ago was a very painful and lonely experience, one I wish I could have avoided at times but for which I am also very thankful. Without it, I may never have come to know the joy of being Catholic... of knowing, without a shadow of a doubt, that I'm right where God wants me.

Though it's often difficult being Catholic where the rest of my family is not, I have to say I feel very blessed that God chose to open my eyes to the truths of Catholicism. It has strengthened me in so many ways and it has brought my relationship with Jesus to a deeper level. I'm still far from where I want to be in that relationship but I know that each day is a day I grow closer to Christ and His Church.

A year ago, I sat in a row of chairs with my family at church. Now I sit in a pew in another church, obedient to God's call to bring me into the Catholic faith, yet separated from my family... the picture of disunity that brought me to the state of brokenness to begin with. One day, I want to sit in a pew with my family in church, fully united as the body of Christ in ONE faith... the way God intended.

According to my great aunt Sue, my mom's family comes from a long line of Catholics. I hope, one day, that our Catholic roots will be restored... may God use me for this purpose if He so wills it.

Thank you, Lord, for bringing me into the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. I was lost, but now I'm found... I was blind, but now I see. It is only by Your grace that I am where I am. Please pass this grace on to my family and allow them to experience the fullness of faith you desire for them as well. Amen.