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Conversion

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Presence of God – O Lord, You have created me for Yourself; grant that, with all my strength, I may tend toward You, my last end. ✞ MEDITATION In…Ezekiel 34:11-16, we read: “For thus saith the Lord God: Behold I Myself will seek My sheep, and will visit them … and will deliver them out of all the places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day…. I will bring them to their own land, and I will feed... Read More

How Being a Baptist Prepared Me to be a Good Catholic (IV of IV)

August 16, 2013 by  
Filed under Conversion, Paul McCusker

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Life, As I Find It In my last few posts I mentioned that love for the Bible, for the church, for prayer and chicken casseroles were a few things I learned as a Baptist, each playing an important part in my life as a Catholic.  Well, not so much the chicken casseroles. As Catholic, I think it’s been more about donuts and pizza. The last thing I have to mention in this crazy series is the Baptist emphasis on evangelism. In the... Read More

How Being a Baptist Prepared Me to be a Good Catholic (III of IV)

August 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Conversion, Paul McCusker

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Life, As I Find It In my last post, I recalled how my time as a Baptist actually helped me to become a Catholic – though not in any way that would have foreshadowed such an anti-Baptist decision. But I learned to respect (even cherish) the Bible and to respect the authority of the church. Both are now vital to me as a Catholic. Another lesson I learned had to do with personal spiritual discipline. Admittedly, few Baptists I knew... Read More

Is my reversion real or am I just rebelling against feminism?

June 24, 2013 by  
Filed under Conversion, Featured, Feminism, Fr. Bartunek

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Q: Dear Father John, I am a recent “revert” to Catholicism – and I am so glad to be so! Recently, a friend of mine published a book about finding female power through sacred global feminine symbols. This involves, from her perspective, abandoning all patriarchal religious traditions. I never bought into radical feminism – in fact, in college I rebelled against what I saw as the genderless feminist movement. But parts... Read More

The Novels That Changed My Life

June 13, 2013 by  
Filed under Conversion, Paul McCusker

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Life, As I Find It I was raised to be a church-going boy. My formative years were spent as a Baptist where weekly doses of Gospel preaching and Bible teaching told me everything I needed to know about accepting Jesus into my heart. Yet, for all of the sermons and studies and Bible reading, it was a novel that made the Truth real to me: The Greatest Story Ever Told by Fulton Oursler. Unlike a lot of Protestants, I can’t pinpoint... Read More

I Had No Idea…

June 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Apologetics, Conversion, Paul McCusker

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One of the things I didn’t expect when I became a Catholic was how my “conversion” would bring to light what people really thought of me.  And, admittedly, I wasn’t happy with what I learned. On one occasion a close Protestant friend, whom I hadn’t seen in a long time, tossed out this anticipatory statement: “I’m looking forward to seeing you. I can’t wait to find out what you’ve decided you are this time.”... Read More

Putting the “Big” in Bigotry

May 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Apologetics, Conversion, Paul McCusker

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Life, As I Find It I shudder to think of it now. There I was at a CS Lewis conference and the esteemed teacher Peter Kreeft had been talking about ten things to learn from JRR Tolkien about evil. A brilliant talk. And, at the break, I had a chance to corner Kreeft to ask him a few questions. In the course of that short conversation, he mentioned to me how he had become a Catholic while attending Calvin College. Everyone else probably... Read More

Praying in Humility and Mercy

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Is it possible to pray out of misery without falling into self-pity?   The question, posed by one of our readers, indicates a grave evil confronted in prayer.   Misery is the demeaning absence of God’s love, a love we have rejected.  Without the love God created us to know, we are restless and in our restlessness we are inclined to mistake our own bloated egos for God.  The gravity of such self-occupation is a perilous... Read More

Blessed Angela di Foligno: Resting in Crucified Love

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“You are I and I am you.”  (Words spoken to Blessed Angela di Foligno as recorded in Memorial, Chapter IX taken from Angela of Foligno: Complete Works, trans. Paul Lachance, O.F.M., in Classics of Western Spirituality, New York: Paulist Press (1993) 205.) These are words that Blessed Angela di Foligno believed the Risen Lord addressed to her. An early 14th century Franciscan Tertiary, her devotion to the humanity of... Read More

The Glory of Christ Crucified

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The Cross of Christ brings His glorious grace into the focus of contemplation.  It is a difficult mystery to dwell on.  The heart sometimes finds itself weary and sometimes even too discouraged to fix its gaze on the agony of the Lord.  This is where frequent confession and humble examination of conscience can help the practice of mental prayer – which is a humbled gaze of the heart on the mercy of God. Oftentimes, it... Read More

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