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Showing posts with the label Conversion

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An Unusual Path to Happiness

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The Call to Follow In August, 2014, Pope Francis resumed his catechesis on the Church, during his first General Audience since June. He focused his teaching on how Jesus fulfills the Old Testament by giving a new teaching on mercy in the beatitudes.

Key Points:
1.)“John points to Jesus and calls us to follow him in repentance and conversion. The new law which Jesus gives in the Sermon on the Mount perfects the law given to Moses on Mount Sinai.”

In the Sermon on the Mount we are introduced to The Golden Rule – “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.” (NRSV- Catholic Ed). What I find particularly appealing about this translation is the first two words – IN EVERYTHING.


Read more of this blog and the rest of the WorthRevisit linkup.... All Rights Reserved, Allison Gingras 2017

Lent, Faith, and Ashes

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(From U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian May, via Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.)
(Ash Wednesday celebration aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp.)

Ash Wednesday comes this week, so I'll get ashes on my forehead and start doing my Lenten routines — along with folks around the world.

That won't include the usual fasting: I'm past the 18-to-59 age requirement for Catholics in my region, and diabetic to boot. We're called to holiness, not stupidity; common sense applies, or should; and I'm putting a 'resources' link list at the end of this post.1

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

My Conversion Story

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When I attended University, the only place alive in the Spirit was a Catholic Charismatic Prayer Group.  I was confused how Catholics could be filled with the Holy Spirit but I assumed God simply tolerated their heretical faith and would soon show them the truth that they only needed faith in Jesus and the Bible. Period. Yet God pulled a fast one on me. I decided to accompany fellow students to a University Mass and was so shocked by the power of the presence of God, I could bearly stand.  When I heard the priest say, “This IS the Body of Christ”, I wanted, no I  craved the Eucharist. Of course, my Catholic friends told me I could not receive Holy Communion but suggested I make an appointment with one of the young Jesuits the next day. continue reading

Sharing YOUR Faith Story - DVD Review

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Faith: a very personal word stemming from a very personal relationship with God, resulting in an inability to clearly articulate just what it means to you. Sound familiar? Are you like so many people who steer clear from talking about religion, let alone your own personal faith, for fear of rejection, confrontation, or appearing ignorant? Fear no longer! Your faith sharing story is your story. No one else can write it and no one else can articulate it better than you. Easier said than done? I understand. That’s why I am excited to share with you a new DVD by my friend, Nancy Ward, titled, Sharing YOUR Faith Story DVD.

In this three part DVD, Nancy tells of her... Read more...

Scrutinies, Options, and "a Great Multitude"

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Someone called my father-in-law, asking which set of Bible readings were were using this week.

It's a reasonable question. One set for this fifth Sunday in Lent is Ezekiel 37:12-14; Romans 8:8-11; and John 11:1-45. The other, labeled "Fifth Sunday of Lent - Year A Scrutinies," is Jeremiah 31:31-33; Hebrews 5:7-9; and John 12:20-33.

Having options isn't odd: readings for some Sundays include an abbreviated version — I'm not a big fan of those, since I like hearing Sacred Scripture, and my attention span doesn't time out quite that fast....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

It is GOD Who Converts

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My words alone will not convince an atheist. Yes, Catholics need theology and apologetics, but these disciplines will  not convert  anybody, because Christianity is not primarily a moral theology or a philosophy, but a relationship of love. By focusing upon the reality of  our Christian experiences as they truly are, Christ becomes a living Messiah not only to us, but a visible light to others. The contemplative learns about deep trust and complete abandonment to One he knows to be beyond all understanding.  The mystic does not have all the answers; he is not afraid to admit that he does not understand everything and he certainly does not berate or belittle those who are searching. The true mystic  experiences  God as unknowable, not an object nor a thing to be studied.  God cannot be boxed in, defined because He is a mystery. Such  experiential faith  reveals itself in the ground of our being.  This is where dialogue with atheists can begin, because God dwells at the core of our selv…

Telling your Faith Story by Nancy HC Ward

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Several years ago, as I was on my way into St. Patrick’s Church, a man approached me. His eyes looked straight into mine, searching for something. Perhaps directions to some place in the neighborhood? Then he inquired, “Let me ask you something. Why do you go to church?” Spontaneously, I answered, ”Because I love Jesus.” My answer surprised me. It sounded like a slogan from Vacation Bible School. Sometimes the Holy Spirit catches me with my barriers down and blurts out the truth. The man smiled, and then leaned toward me intently. ”But why do you go to this church? He pointed to the church building in front of us. I shrugged, "This is where I live, and Jesus is here. If I lived in a different neighborhood, I’d go to a church there.” He nodded and slowly walked away. That encounter came to mind as I thought about the many opportunities the Lord puts right in front of me to tell about my faith in God. My natural shyness prevents many of these occasions from making any impact on thos…

Chain of Command and a Simple Choice

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When I learned who currently held the authority my Lord gave Simon Peter, recorded in Matthew 16:13-19, I didn't have much choice: I had to join the Catholic Church.

In a sense, I 'knew too much.'

I could either claim to follow Jesus and acknowledge the Son of God's authority, passed along in unbroken succession through the rise and fall of kingdoms, empires, and civilizations — or not. As Simon Peter said, it's a simple choice....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Unbridled Grace by Dr. MIchael Norman, reviewed by Nancy HC Ward

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Fresh out of medical school, Dr. Michael Norman answered a 2-line ad for a part-time job three days a week in a medical clinic to supplement his fledging private chiropractic practice in Carrollton. He managed all the medical clients and paperwork and his two bosses handled the office management and business accounts. After less than two years this young husband and father received a subpoena to testify in a civil lawsuit brought by an insurance company against the two owners who were Taiwanese and Russian. Michael soon discovered their connection with the Russian Mafia. Shockingly, the network of multinational and multimillion dollar illegal businesses of check cashing, money laundering, staged auto accidents and insurance fraud involved hundreds of lawyers, businessmen and criminals. Michael’s signature was not only on all the medical documents but appeared on corporate documents as part owner. He obediently testified against his employers at the deposition with the insurance company…

So I was having lunch with Jen Fulwiler...

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A picture's worth a thousand words, so when I went off to lunch with super-popular author Jen Fulwiler and 7 other lovely ladies I was dead set on getting a picture. Except then I forgot. "You've got to Photoshop something," one of my friends insisted. So with Jen's permission and the guidance of my 9-year-old daughter, I produced this expertly-crafted image, which proves beyond doubt that Jen and I were in the same room on the same day having lunch together. Who says old bloggers can't learn new tricks?


The reason I forgot a picture was because the conversation was so awesomely distracting. We started off talking about recipes, since women do cook. The equivalent for men would be something like "How 'bout those Mets?" The discussion quickly moved on from the genius of bacon-stuffed deviled eggs to who are you, where do you blog, and what was your favorite part of Jen's new memoir/conversion story Something Other Than God, recently released …

Conversion: Driven by Thirst

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Seeking Asking Not content to live on the surface Aware of a hollow within Eating, drinking, shopping or buried in entertainment Thirsty for more of God’s presence. Searching for meaning. Empty, even though  ’saved’ It drove me to Question Listen. continue>

Canonizing Two Thoroughly Modern Men: The Gifts of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII to the Church

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On this past Divine Mercy Sunday, two beloved Popes were canonized in St. Peter's Square -- Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII. Both popes believed firmly in ushering the Church into the modern world, Pope John XXIII by calling the Second Vatican Council and Pope John Paul II by working tirelessly to implement those conciliar reforms in a way that did justice to the Church's past and her present. But Pope St. John Paul II will always be closer to my heart.
When I began contemplating conversion to Catholicism in the late 1990s, Pope John Paul II had already reigned for more than 20 years. The JPII generation was on fire with love for Christ and his Church. They were passionately devout, fiercely intelligent, and quoted passages from the original documents of Vatican II with the same fluency an evangelical might cite Scripture. John Paul II's Theology of the Body (or TOB), with its message that our bodies and sex itself were glorious gifts from God, was just becoming the…

My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints

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Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. ~Apocalypse 13:10
My Peace I Give You by Dawn Eden is a much-needed spiritual resource for those recovering from any type of physical or emotional suffering brought on by the lust, crassness or cruelty of others. It took a long time to read because I had to stop and take time to ponder and absorb, reading several parts of it over again. Not only is Dawn's book well-written but every contention is backed up by solid references. With modesty and restraint, she confronts a topic uncomfortable to many. The misuse of the gift of life-giving sexuality has scourged multiple lives and institutions, not the least of which is our Holy Catholic Church. Too often amid the scandals, the wounded do not receive the treatment which they need in order to heal. This book, coming from the long and painful recovery of a survivor of abuse, will be a grace for many who are hurting from similar wounds. Hopefully, it will inspire all who read it to take ac…

Saint Pelagia - 'A Fragrant Rose Growing From Thorns'

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Another repost from Costing Not Less Than Everything



Saint Nonnos preaching

From ‘The Life of St Pelagia the Harlot’ by Jacob the Deacon:

“Pelagia was the name given to me by my parents, but the Antiochenes call me Margarita (Pearl), because of the masses of jewellery I had earned through my sins. I used to be the devil’s jewel, and reckoned to be part of his work force.”…
On the second day, the devil appeared by night to Pelagia, the handmaid of the Lord, as she was asleep in the cell of her holy mother Romana, and woke her up. “Just answer me this, my lady Margarita,” he said. “Weren’t you plentifully supplied with god and silver? Wasn’t it I who decorated you with gold and precious stones? Tell me, what have I done to upset you? Tell me, so that I can put things right. Don’t make me a laughing stock for these Christians.”
Pelagia, the handmaid of the Lord, crossed herself and breathed at the demon.“My God has snatched me out of your very jaws,” she said, “and led me into his bridal c…