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Archive for the ‘09 Faith Journey’ Category

Winning the World, One Friend at a Time

In 09 Faith Journey on 2017/01/20 at 12:00 AM

As the Catechism reminds us, winning converts should be a constant concern for all Catholics: “The true apostle is on the lookout for occasions of announcing Christ by word, either to unbelievers… or to the faithful.” (#905) How then should we go about it? God pours out his saving grace in many ways, but he normally requires, and we could even say desires, the willing collaboration of his sons and daughters in this joyful task. The famous Catholic philosopher (and convert) Dietrich von Hildebrand said that we should look upon all people we encounter as Catholics “in re” (in fact) or “in spe” (potentially). I agree.

Admit it: Don’t you from time to time think about sharing with your neighbor, your friend, your family member, your colleague, the joy that is in your heart, the fullness of our faith in the Catholic Church? Perhaps some of you have had the wonderful experience of being the godparent or sponsor of a friend whom, by God’s grace, you have guided into the Church. You know then the joy of being God’s instrument.

This delight is always a cause for holy celebration, but particularly in the present threatened circumstances of our culture. Has there ever in the Christian era been a more joyless, aimless, lonely society than our own, one which appears to have gained the whole world but has forgotten its own soul? On the other hand, have there ever been three consecutive Roman pontiffs who have so incessantly and hopefully proclaimed the Gospel in all its fullness, addressing the fallen yet redeemed world’s hopes and anxieties so completely?

Continue reading…
http://www.catholicity.com/mccloskey/winning-the-world.html

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Classic Catholic Converts

In 09 Faith Journey on 2016/10/07 at 12:00 AM

Classic Catholic Converts presents the compelling stories of over 25 well-known converts to Catholicism from the 19th and 20th centuries. It tells of powerful testimonials to God’s grace, men and women from all walks of life in Europe and America whose search for the fullness of truth led them to the Catholic Church. It is the witness of brilliant intellectuals, social workers, scientists, authors, film producers, clergy, businessmen, artists and others who, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, studied and prayed their way into the Church.

Fr. Charles Connor writes insightful and wonderfully readable stories of a rich variety of converts who struggled greatly with many challenges as they embraced Catholicism, including rejection by loved ones, persecution from strangers, and misunderstanding by peers. But, once they responded to God’s call, they experienced great inner peace, contentment and joy. Among the famous converts whose stories are told here include John Henry Newman, Edith Stein, Jacques Maritain, Dorothy Day, G.K. Chesterton, Elizabeth Seton, Karl Stern, Ronald Knox and many more.

“A great gift at a moment of history when conversions to the Catholic Church are receiving renewed attention. Marvelously readable stories highlight the vivid diversity of the personalities and the unity of the truth that still brings restless souls into full communion with the Church of Jesus Christ.”
—Rev. Richard John Neuhaus Editor, First Things

“This fine parade of men and women, described with insight by Father Connor, shows how long is the reach of the Holy Spirit and how varied are the personalities He has gathered to Himself.”
—Rev. George W. Rutler Author, A Crisis of Saints

“The touching conversion stories that Fr. Connor so concisely presents convey the joys as well as the struggles that converts continue to experience on their journey into the Catholic Church.”
—Marcus C. Grodi President, The Coming Home Network

“This book reminds ‘cradle Catholics’ of the pearl of great price that is ours and should motivate many of us to a sharper sense of evangelization as the new Millennium begins. Rich information and valuable insights abound-highly recommended!”
—Most Reverend Edwin F. O’Brien Archbishop for the Military Services

Fr. Charles Connor, a pastor of a parish in the diocese of Scranton, PA, is an expert in Church history. He is the host of several television series on EWTN including Historic Catholic Converts.

DAVID CURRIE

David Currie was raised in a devout Christian family whose father was a fundamentalist preacher and both parents teachers at Moody Bible Institute. Currie’s whole upbringing was immersed in the life of fundamentalist Protestantism – theology professors, seminary presidents and founders of evangelical mission agencies were frequent guests at his family dinner table. Currie received a degree from Trinity International University and studied in the Masters of Divinity program.

This book was written as an explanation to his fundamentalist and evangelical friends and family about why he became a Roman Catholic. Currie presents a very lucid, systematic and intelligible account of the reasons for his conversion to the ancient Church that Christ founded. He gives a detailed discussion of the important theological and doctrinal beliefs Catholic and evangelicals hold in common, as well as the key doctrines that separate us, particularly the Eucharist, the Pope, and Mary.

“David Currie has written what may turn out to be the work on this nettlesome topic of Evangelicals being received into the Catholic Church. With great charity and lucidity, he pursues every conceivable topic – biblical, ecclesiological, theological, and historical – that arises in the discussions on this matter.”
—Thomas Howard, Author, Evangelical is Not Enough

“Currie has given us a work which is eminently intelligible, readable and personal. This book makes an especially happy marriage of the ‘head’ and the ‘heart’ in explaining the when, the why and the how of his pilgrimage. It should serve as a paradigm for the movement of ‘Everyman’ toward God and the Church His divine Son founded.”
—Rev. Peter M.J. Stravinskas, Editor, The Catholic Answer

“Currie’s book is a must read. Seldom is something so deep explained so clearly as Currie does in this wonderful work. Get it and get a copy for a friend.”
— Scott Hahn, Author, Rome Sweet Home

 

SCOTT AND KIMBERLY HAHN

The well-known and very popular Catholic couple, Scott and Kimberly Hahn, have been constantly travelling and speaking all over North America for the last few years about their conversion to the Catholic Church. Now these two outstanding Catholic apologists tell in their own words about the incredible spiritual journey that led them to embrace Catholicism.

Scott Hahn was a Presbyterian minister, the top student in his seminary class, a brilliant Scripture scholar, and militantly anti-Catholic … until he reluctantly began to discover that his “enemy” had all the right answers. Kimberly, also a top-notch theology student in the seminary, is the daughter of a well-known Protestant minister, and went through a tremendous “dark night of the soul” after Scott converted to Catholicism.

Their conversion story and love for the Church has captured the hearts and minds of thousands of lukewarm Catholics and brought them back into an active participation in the Church. They have also influenced countless conversions to Catholicism among their friends and others who have heard their powerful testimony.

Written with simplicity, charity, grace and wit, the Hahns’ deep love and knowledge of Christ and of Scripture is evident and contagious throughout their story. Their love of truth and of neighbor is equally evident, and their theological focus on the great importance of the family, both biological and spiritual, will be a source of inspiration for all readers.

“One of the beautiful and bright-shining stars in the firmament of hope for our desperate days is this couple, the Hahns, and this story of their life and their conversion.”
— Peter Kreeft, Author, Back to Virtue

“Dynamic, fresh, and devoted are terms which describe the approach that Scott and Kimberly Hahn take to assist in the renewal of the Church in the United States. Now, with their conversion, they are admirably suited to assist Catholics in re-discovering the treasure that has been entrusted to them. My hope is that many people will benefit from contact with Scott and Kimberly Hahn through their stories of conversion.”
— Most Reverend John Myers, Bishop of Peoria

STEVE RAY

An exhilarating conversion story of a devout Baptist who relates how he overcame his hostility to the Catholic Church by a combination of serious Bible study and vast research of the writings of the early Church Fathers. In addition to a moving account of their conversion that caused Ray and his wife to “cross the Tiber” to Rome, he offers an in-depth treatment of Baptism and the Eucharist in Scripture and the ancient Church.

Thoroughly documented with hundreds of footnotes, this contains perhaps the most complete compilation of biblical and patristic quotations and commentary available on Baptism and the Eucharist, as well as a detailed analysis of Sola Scriptura and Tradition.

“This is really three books in one that offers not only a compelling conversion story, but documented facts that are likely to cinch many other conversions.”
— Karl Keating

“A very moving and astute story. I am enormously impressed with Ray’s candor, courage and theological literacy.”
— Thomas Howard

Stephen K. Ray was raised in a devout and loving Baptist family. His father was a deacon and Bible teacher, and Stephen was very involved in the Baptist Church as a teacher of Biblical studies. After an in-depth study of the writings of the Church Fathers, both Steve and his wife Janet converted to the Catholic Church. He is the host of the popular, award-winning film series on salvation history, The Footprints of God. Steve is also the author of the best-selling books Upon This Rock, and St. John’s Gospel.

All four books available from Ignatius Press

2cornucopias | 2014/06/13 at 12:00 AM | Tags: Converts, David Currie, Scott Hahn, Steve Ray | Categories: 14 Book Corner | URL: http://wp.me/p1sCht-33V
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St. Kateri Tekakwitha – “Lily of the Mohawks,”

In 09 Faith Journey on 2016/05/22 at 12:00 AM

On July 14, the Church celebrates the feast day of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American has been cannonized.  Known as the “Lily of the Mohawks,” Kateri lived a life of holiness and virtue, despite obstacles and opposition within her tribe.

Kateri was born in Auriesville, N.Y., in 1656 to a Christian Algonquin woman and a pagan Mohawk chief. When she was a child, a smallpox epidemic attacked her tribe and both her parents died. She was left with permanent scars on her face and impaired eyesight. Her uncle, who had now become chief of the tribe, adopted her and her aunts began planning her marriage while she was still very young.

When three Jesuit fathers were visiting the tribe in 1667 and staying in the tent of her uncle, they spoke to her of Christ, and though she did not ask to be baptized, she believed in Jesus with an incredible intensity. She also realized that she was called into an intimate union with God as a consecrated virgin.

Kateri had to struggle to maintain her faith amid the opposition of her tribe who ridiculed her for it and ostracized her for refusing the marriage that had been planned for her. When Kateri was 18, Father Jacques de Lamberville returned to the Mohawk village, and she asked to be baptized.

The life of the Mohawk village had become violent and debauchery was commonplace. Realizing that this was proving too dangerous to her life and her call to perpetual virginity, Kateri escaped to the town of Caughnawaga in Quebec, near Montreal, where she grew in holiness and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.

Kateri lived out the last years of her short life there, practicing austere penance and constant prayer. She was said to have reached the highest levels of mystical union with God, and many miracles were attributed to her while she was still alive.

She died on April 17, 1680, at the age of 24. Witnesses reported that within minutes of her death, the scars from smallpox completely vanished and her face shone with radiant beauty.

Devotion to Kateri began immediately after her death and her body, enshrined in Caughnawaga, is visited by many pilgrims each year. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980, and she was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012.

— Catholic News Agency

Two Converts

In 09 Faith Journey on 2016/02/28 at 12:00 AM

A while back, Joanna Bogle wrote about two now famous converts.

“Dr Scott Hahn has been among the speakers this weekend, talking about Saints John Fisher and Thomas More, and particularly emphasising the scholarship of each of these remarkable men, and the contribution they made to culture and learning even apart from their martyrdoms…..I had not really thought of this before, never having read any of Fisher’s works, and only knowing some of More’s letters. Fisher was something of a Ratzinger figure in his day, a brilliant mind given to the service of the Church, deep in theological knowledge which he communicated well.

Dwight Longenecker, soon to be ordained a priest, is an old friend and we have worked together on various projects over the years. He trained at a very anti-Catholic Evangelical college here in the USA, but went on to think things through for himself and, loving all things English, was ordained as an Anglican and eventually became vicar of a parish on the Isle of Wight, with an English wife and the care of an enchanting old church rich in history……but the pull of truth was strong and he and his family eventually became Catholics……after an odyssey which saw him writing a number of excellent books, and becoming well known as a speaker and writer, he is now back in the USA – and becoming a Catholic priest and a school chaplain near the College where he was initially trained! He has given a excellent lecture here this weekend, explaining the history of Christianity in Britain, going back to Roman times – with illustrations from his former parish on the Isle of Wight, showing features from the different eras of our history…”

Fr. Longenecker is now a pastor in South Carolina. He speaks often at Belmont Abbey in North Carolina.

Edith Stein: A Historical Perspective – Host: Fr. Charles Conner (audio)

In 09 Faith Journey on 2015/07/12 at 12:00 AM

Please copy and paste this Url to access this file:     http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=6102&pgn
1. Edith Stein:An Historical Perspective Part 1
Host – Fr. Charles Connor eshp1.mp3
2. Edith Stein:An Historical Perspective Part 2
Host – Fr. Charles Connor eshp2.mp3

The Role of Church History in Conversion to Catholicism

In 09 Faith Journey on 2014/11/09 at 12:00 AM

by Father John McCloskey

I am often asked to speak about conversions since I have been instrumental in bringing some people to the Faith. I have been invited to speak chiefly on account of the notoriety of a handful. Some were Protestant ministers of various denominations, others well known men of business, others intellectuals, and some politicians and journalists. A good number have been Jews, one the head of a synagogue when I first met him on the Internet. They represent a few of the many with whom I have dealt. I have written a short piece, available on my website, entitled “Winning Converts” with a companion piece entitled “Recovering Stray Catholics.” I am working on a book on this topic in collaboration with Mr. Russell Shaw to be published by Sophia Institute Press.

Now, what do these “high” level converts have in common? Very little except several traits that are highly valued, at least by this priest. They are all men of high intelligence, with a voracious and insatiable appetite for books, and most importantly, an unending thirst for the truth in all matters religious. Many of them faced familial opposition, the possible loss of reputation, and in some cases possible high political office. But their increasing conviction that they had encountered “the pearl of great price,” the Historical Church that is co-terminus with the Lord and Savior, conquered all doubts. Their assent was not simply “notional” to use Newmanian terms, but truly “real.” In some cases, their conversion was a question of years, or more than a decade of patient dealing backed by true friendship, prayer, and sacrifice. The sweetest words that I have ever heard and, thanks be to God, I have heard them often, are “I want to become a Catholic.”

No doubt, the historical argument was powerful in these conversions. Some of the better known converts have already told their story in print or tape, others will, I trust, do the same in the future. I always required that they read several books on the history of the Church because I do believe the argument, at least rationally, is unassailable—the Catholic Church is true, and no other has ever made a credible claim to be the one that was founded by Him. Either the Lord of History established a church with a visible structure on this earth until He comes again or there is simply no authority that guides and must be obeyed. From the time of the great Schism and the Protestant revolution, the principle of private judgment has given rise to thousands of Christian sects and denominations. That is hardly what was intended when He asked His Father “that all may be one.”

Those men and women whom I have instructed in the Faith over the last 20 years have read Philip Hughes, Ronald Knox, G.K. Chesterton, Robert Hugh Benson, Louis Bouyer, Warren Carroll, Orestes Brownson, Russell Shaw, Ken Whitehead and many others. They have also read many anthologies of converts telling how they came to that “Ancient Beauty, ever new.” History is at the heart of all conversion: personal histories and history as it is written by the historian, Flavius Josephus or Pliny the Younger, or Bede the Venerable or even enemies like Gibbon or Macaulay, all give witness to the One Church.

History, in fact, provides an essential perspective for the mission of conversion, and we must understand the historical moment in which we live. It is a post-Christian era in some respects. This is particularly true in what some decades ago was known as the First World, i.e. Europe and North America. Even though it pains us, it should not surprise us. After all, Christianity has all but disappeared at other times in history, for instance in the Middle East and northern Africa after the invasion of Islam by conquering forces. Now an even more rapid and unsettling de-Christianization is occurring in Europe, through minimal practice of faith in any traditional sense, a collapse of morality based on natural law and the Commandments, and a continental suicide of the native peoples by contraception. Hilaire Belloc, one of the great popular Catholic historians, could not have imagined how wrong he was when he said that:” Europe is the Faith and the Faith is Europe.” I am sure all of us are aware of the masterful work of historian Philip Jenkins who points out convincingly that the greatest recent growth in Christianity, both in numbers and orthodoxy, has been and will continue to be in Africa and Asia.

As for us in the United State, liberal Protestantism is fading fast with large decreases in membership and almost no creedal belief that distinguishes one sect from another. Virtually all have caved in on the moral issues having to do with marriage, family, and sexuality. “Private judgment” basically assures that Protestant sects and denominations will not evidence any belief in an objective moral teaching through Revelation. The upcoming 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation, 1517, will show I think, that mainstream Protestantism in any culture transforming sense is finished in America. And there is no possibility of a Third or Fourth Great Awakening because secularism and the new paganism in a society sated by undreamt of affluence is not going to lead anyone simply to read the Bible and be converted. America is not a Christian nation in any sense other than that probably a plurality of our fellow citizens have been baptized, although that may change in the decades to come.

As for the Evangelicals and fundamentalists, I have great respect and affection for our fellow Christians who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible as the sole source of revelation and salvation. I do not believe, however, that a Christian faith without the sacraments, without the liturgy, and without authority, can bring about a renewal of Christian life in our country. Indeed, without denigrating in any way the numerous dialogues that take place at the diocesan, national, and even international level between Catholics and Protestants, I simply do not believe there is any possibility of any one of the Protestant denominations as a group coming home given the decrepit state of their practice and belief. Ironically enough, it might have been possible 75 years ago when Catholic and Protestants generally shared a common moral belief with important doctrinal disagreements, but not now.

Truth be told, (and indeed are we not all truth-tellers?), there is also little possibility of any of the autonomous Orthodox Churches acknowledging the primacy of Peter and arriving at full allegiance to the dogmas and moral life of the Catholic Church. We know there has been virtually no development of common doctrine after the first seven ecumenical councils in the East. How could there be, given there is no universal shepherd of the Orthodox to call and ratify ecumenical Councils? Indeed, separated from the fullness of truth and the magisterium, the moral teachings in some areas have also deteriorated. The result has been a mystical spiritual theology, of great interest to monks, but not applicable to the Eastern Christian in the street. There is no evangelizing zeal, or lay spirituality. The Eastern Churches are largely sacramental and indeed, if a Patriarch were to return home to Rome, how many of his faithful would there be to follow? We must pray above all for a change in heart in our Eastern Orthodox brethren so we can welcome them home.

Having said all of this, I have to acknowledge openly that the Spirit blows where it will, and God’s grace poured into open hearts can indeed perform miracles of mass or denominational conversion to Catholicism. It can happen when and how the Lord wants, but, I think it safe to say that for the foreseeable future which is our lifespan, converts coming to the fullness of faith will come one by one, or family by family, and occasionally congregation by congregation. And that is the way it should be. Early Christianity grew over the course of some 275 years to its legalization. Starting with Pentecost, it spread from 12 to hundreds and eventually to millions until at the beginning of 4tth century, it composed 10 percent of the Roman Empire. The Church was legalized in 313 and less than a century later was the state religion. The remarkable growth was not the result of mass conversion, but rather of the personal witness in behavior of individual persons and families, including confessors and martyrs fortified by prayer and the sacraments.

We must remind ourselves that each year there are hundreds of thousands of adults who are either baptized during the Easter vigil or received into full communion within the Church. This number is growing, and while always a small percentage of the whole, it does mean that an increasing number of “serious” Catholics are entering the Church, the great majority of them removed from the controversies of the post-conciliar Church in the United States. We may take heart in that younger priests ordained within the last 15 years (given the advanced age of current pastors, they will soon become pastors themselves) are more oriented towards evangelization of persons, families, and the society than those who were ordained prior to the pontificate of John Paul II. The Holy Father’s example of his living the “duc In altum” in order to fish souls without apologies will be the standard modus operandi of bishops and priests certainly well into this new century.

Two other factors are helping to break through the wall of mistrust in this post-Christian era. One is various new ecclesial institutions and movements whose impact is just now being felt in the US. They operate with full approval of the Church, are lay oriented, and by their very nature are apostolic and evangelizing. They provide yet another way for non-Catholics to witness a lived Christianity in the world that over time may bring millions to the Church in the years ahead. One of these movements is the Coming Home Network itself, which has contributed to the conversion of thousands of Protestant ministers into the Catholic Church and will be seen in the English speaking world, I believe, as the 21st century equivalent of the Oxford movement of the 19th century England of my hero, Venerable John Henry Newman to whom we should all pray for the unity of Christians in the Catholic Church. He, as many converts, knew the sleepless nights, the serious study, the long hours of prayer, the fears of loss of income, of friends and even the love of family that is involved in coming home to the Church. Such it will always be for acquiring the pearl of great price.

The second factor is tens of millions of Hispanic immigrants in our country with surely more to come regardless of changes in immigration laws. Sadly and ironically, without them the Unites States would be in negative population growth as we are now hovering at the lowest per capita birth rate in our history as a nation. Abortion and contraception continue to take their deadly toll. Without the Hispanics, virtually all of who are at least culturally Catholic, we as a nation would be doomed to the almost certain fate of continental Europe: demographic suicide within several decades. The catechesis and evangelization of Hispanic Catholics is therefore crucial for the health of the Church and country, an important means of breaking through the wall of mistrust to bring other Christians home.

But far beyond all these signs that, in time, the wall of mistrust will fall looms the magnificent figure of John Paul II. The greatest Pope of the last 500 years will leave much magisterial teaching behind for us to study and implement in the decades ahead. Although he has many important themes in his Pontificate, the one that is clearly closest to his heart and to that of Christ is that all may be one. His ecumenical outreach to his fellow Christians has been tireless and nothing less than extraordinary. He has not spared any effort to reach out to fellow Christians, urging them to recognize and embrace” the fullness of truth” in the Catholic Church, always with great respect and kindness in acknowledging all that is true in their traditions, whether Orthodox or Protestant. In virtually every one of the over 100 papal trips, he has always scheduled, when feasible, meetings with other Christian leaders to extend a hand of friendship and fellowship. At times, he has done so and exposed himself to coolness, indifference, and even insult. In doing so, he imitates the example of the Lord and his Apostle Paul, preaching “opportune et importune” (in season and out).

Pope John Paul’s extraordinary witness alone has been enough for millions to become Catholic and for many millions to return to the Faith. I share his vision of the springtime of the Church in this century and pray that the crowning achievement of this springtime will be the unity of all Christians. The favorite short prayer of Saint Jose Maria Escriva, a man whose example and writings have brought many home to the Church, was “Omnes cum Petro ad Jesus per Mariam (All with Peter, to Jesus through Mary!). May it be so.

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No Price Too High: A Pentecostal Preacher Becomes a Catholic

In 08 Book Corner, 09 Faith Journey on 2014/10/06 at 6:28 PM

UnknownAlex Jones was an “on-fire” Pentecostal minister in Detroit who was a completely dedicated shepherd of his flock. He greatly loved his people and they loved him. In seeking to give his flock the most genuine experience of the early Church prayer and worship services, he carefully read Scripture, the Fathers of the Church and writings of the early saints. The more he read, the more Alex came to the startling conclusion that the present day Catholic Church – and the Holy Mass – is the same exact “worship service ” from the very early Church. Alex began to share his findings with his parish, and eventually Alex, and most of his parish, joined the Catholic Church. This is his incredible story of a black Pentecostal minister’s challenging and dramatic spiritual journey, and the flock that followed him. Today he preaches with his usual passion about Christ – as a Catholic deacon! This book tells the story of Alex’s life from his childhood all the way to his conversion to Catholicism in 2001. It simultaneously tells the story of his wife, Donna, and her spiritual journey as well, which shows how they were not always on the same path during Alex’s preparation for entering the Catholic Church. Each had to be personally, deeply convinced that this momentous, life-changing and career-changing spiritual decision was God’s will for them. Illustrated with numerous photos.

 

Cardinal Newman, a former Anglican priest, said that no one could read the Church Fathers and remain a Protestant.  Alex Jones is living proof of this statement as well a countless others.

Ignatius Loyola

In 09 Faith Journey on 2014/08/31 at 12:00 AM

• In the left transept of the church in Rome known as “il Gesu”, i.e., the Church of the Holy Name Jesus, is one of the most elaborate and beautiful tombs in all of Rome.

• Decorated with lapis and marble, this tomb is the final resting place of one of the Church’s most illustrious sons: St. Ignatius of Loyola.

• St. Ignatius, as you probably know, is the founder of the Society of Jesus, the religious order more popularly known as the Jesuits.

• While there is much to appreciate about the life of St. Ignatius and the amazing contributions the Jesuits have made to the life of the Church in the past 450 years, what I admire most about St. Ignatius is simply the way that he came to love our Lord.

• As a young man Ignatius was a soldier and a member of the royal court in the Kingdom of Castile. There the young Ignatius quickly developed a taste for all the luxuries and vanities that were available to him.

• At the age of 30, during a battle with the French in the city of Pamplona, Ignatius was wounded by a cannon ball and was forced to spend many long weeks recuperating at his home castle in Loyola.

• Fond of reading, he asked for books of knight‐errantry to pass the time, but there were none available in the castle, so he was given book on the life of Christ and a collection of the lives of the saints.

• Over the course of his recuperation he read these books several times, often reflecting upon what he read. Other times he would reflect upon his life at court and all that he enjoyed there.

• But over time the sagacious Ignatius began to recognize a difference. While Ignatius reflected upon the things of the world, he felt great pleasure, but he was left feeling dry and depressed after he dismissed these thoughts.

• But when he reflected upon the life of Christ or of the saints, he experienced joy both while he was thinking upon these things and even after these thoughts were gone.

• Thus St. Ignatius began to realize that one type of reflection left him sad and depressed, namely reflecting upon the things of the world, while another type of reflection – reflecting upon holy realities – filled him with joy.

• We are admonish us not to place our hopes and trust in the vanities of this world. We are cautioned against the dangers of greed and materialism.

• Our Lord is very clear that we are to guard our hearts from all greed and not put too much stock in our material possessions. What is important is not that we are materially rich, but that we are rich in what matters to God.

• And what matters to God, my friends, is virtue – is holiness. God doesn’t care how big our houses are, what type of cars we drive, or how much money is in our bank accounts. None of these things will matter when we stand before Him on judgment day.

• What will matter is how holy we’ve become during our time on earth. What will matter is how we’ve tried to grow in virtue throughout our lives. What will matter is how we used our material possessions to help others in need.

• What will matter, my brothers and sisters, is the gratitude we’ve shown God for all our many blessings. What will matter is how well we’ve loved both God and neighbor.

• Ultimately, what we learn from the conversion of St. Ignatius is that the things of this world will never make us happy or give us true joy.

• To the contrary, focusing on the things of this world will only leave us feeling empty. That’s the great sadness of the sin of greed.

• Greed can never be sated; it can never be quenched. If left unchecked, greed simply continues to grow stronger within us, actually consuming our souls as we seek to consume the vanities of this world.

• This is why Jesus is so clear in His warning to us today, telling us to “Take care to guard against all greed.”

• If we place our hopes and trust in the things of this world, then we will end up like the rich man in our Gospel parable today: a fool who has nothing to show for himself on judgment day.

• So the vice of greed must be countered with the virtue of generosity. When we are able to detach from our material possessions and share them with others with charitable abandon, we provide a protection for our souls against greed.

• It is for this reason that contributing to the support of the Church is one of the 6 Precepts of the Church. It is for this reason that the Church promotes the concept of tithing, which means to give 10% of your gross earnings to charity.

• But in addition to providing our time, talent, and treasure to the Church and other charitable causes, we must also learn – like St. Ignatius – to “seek what is above…not of what is on earth” through prayer and meditation.

• There must be an active component to our quest for virtue. But there must be a contemplative component as well. We must learn to be both Martha and Mary, at times serving and giving of ourselves, while listening and reflecting at other times.

• This is how virtue and holiness grow within us: by actively doing virtuous things and by engaging in a life of prayer and contemplation.

• For it is in doing virtuous things that we serve our Lord, and it is in silent prayer that we hear His voice guiding us to what we should do.

• My dear brothers and sisters, as we consider the life of St. Ignatius of Loyola, I must ask you: Where do your hopes lie? In whom or what do you place your trust?

• If you are more concerned with the things of this world than you are with God, if you put more time into managing your money and worldly affairs than you do praying, then you are placing your soul in mortal danger.

• Therefore, let us pray today that our souls may be imbued with a spirit of Christian charity and generosity that we may love God by loving those who are less fortunate than ourselves.

• Let us also seek to raise our minds to the things of heaven, rather than dwelling on the things of earth through our prayer and contemplation.

• St. Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.

Copyright 2010 by Reverend Timothy S. Reid

Reverend Reid is pastor of St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Charlotte, NC

The Journey Home Host – Marcus Grodi / audio

In 09 Faith Journey on 2014/07/20 at 12:00 AM

The Journey Home
Host – Marcus Grodi
Why are so many people, from fallen away Catholics to individuals from other denominations, being drawn home to the Catholic Church? Host Marcus Grodi and his special guests discuss their personal conversion stories.

 

Please copy and paste this URL to access this series:    http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/series_index.asp?pgnu=7&T1=

1. What is the Church?
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Dr. Thomas Howard jh_01.mp3
2. Former Anglican
Host – Marcus Grodi w/ Dean Purdy jh_12162013.mp3
Former Anglican Dean Purdy knew he was ‘Catholic’ in his heart. He discusses with Marcus his journey home to the Church.
3. The Power of Prayer
Host – Marcus Grodi w/ Paul Dupre jh_041403.mp3
Host Marcus Grodi and his special guests discuss their personal conversion stories.
4. Visible Unity
Host – Marcus Grodi w/ Al Kresta jh_090902.mp3
5. The Path to Rome
Host – Marcus Grodi w/ Dwight Longnecker jh_111802.mp3
6. The Anglican Bishop becomes Catholic
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Fr. Graham Leonard jh_02.mp3
7. What Must I Do to Be Saved
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Kristine Franklin jh_03.mp3
8. St. Joseph Covenant Keepers
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Steve Wood jh_04.mp3
9. The Coming Home Network
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Kenneth Howell jh_05.mp3
10. Celibacy of the Clergy
Host – Marcus Grodi with guests Fr. Ray and Ruth Ryland jh_06.mp3
11. The Eucharist as Sacrifice
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Rosalind Moss jh_07.mp3
12. Purgatory & Indulgences
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Colin Donovan jh_08.mp3
13. Why Catholics Leave the Church
Host – Marcus Grodi with guests Bob & Penny Lord jh_09.mp3
14. The Importance of Our Witness
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Michael Welker jh_10.mp3
15. The Importance of Scripture in Our Lives
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Curtis Martin jh_11.mp3
16. Which Teaching is Authentic
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest David Palm jh_12.mp3
17. The Unifying Authority of Peter
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Steve Ray jh_13.mp3
18. The Bible Alone is Not Enough
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest David Currie jh_14.mp3
19. The Place of Mary
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Terrye Newkirk jh_15.mp3
20. Sacred Tradition
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Mark Shea jh_16.mp3
21. Open Line 1st Friday
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Karl Keating jh_17.mp3
22. The Sacrament of Reconciliation
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Kevin Lowry jh_18.mp3
23. The Reality of the Devil
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Paul Thigpen jh_19.mp3
24. The Struggles and the Joys of the Journey Home
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Paul Key jh_20.mp3
25. Contraception
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Kimberly Hahn jh_21.mp3
26. Open Line 1st Friday
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Patrick Madrid jh_22.mp3
27. Why Pray?
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Dr. William Marshner jh_24.mp3
28. Open Line 1st Friday
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Colin Donovan jh_26.mp3
29. Authority
Host – Marcus Grodi with guest Dr. John Haas jh_27.mp3
30. The Journey Home for Married Couples
Host – Marcus Grodi with guests Peter & Regina Cram jh_28.mp3

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Winning the World, One Friend at a Time

In 09 Faith Journey on 2014/03/16 at 12:00 AM

As the Catechism reminds us, winning converts should be a constant concern for all Catholics: “The true apostle is on the lookout for occasions of announcing Christ by word, either to unbelievers… or to the faithful.” (#905) How then should we go about it? God pours out his saving grace in many ways, but he normally requires, and we could even say desires, the willing collaboration of his sons and daughters in this joyful task. The famous Catholic philosopher (and convert) Dietrich von Hildebrand said that we should look upon all people we encounter as Catholics “in re” (in fact) or “in spe” (potentially). I agree.

Admit it: Don’t you from time to time think about sharing with your neighbor, your friend, your family member, your colleague, the joy that is in your heart, the fullness of our faith in the Catholic Church? Perhaps some of you have had the wonderful experience of being the godparent or sponsor of a friend whom, by God’s grace, you have guided into the Church. You know then the joy of being God’s instrument.

This delight is always a cause for holy celebration, but particularly in the present threatened circumstances of our culture. Has there ever in the Christian era been a more joyless, aimless, lonely society than our own, one which appears to have gained the whole world but has forgotten its own soul? On the other hand, have there ever been three consecutive Roman pontiffs who have so incessantly and hopefully proclaimed the Gospel in all its fullness, addressing the fallen yet redeemed world’s hopes and anxieties so completely?

Continue reading…
http://www.catholicity.com/mccloskey/winning-the-world.html