Dear New Catholic Converts: Don’t Give Up Just Yet!

The decision to become a Catholic, as an Evangelical Christian, is an earth-shattering decision to make. It’s a paradigm shift—requiring a complete re-orientation of standards, values, and worldview. Douglas Beaumont, a theologian and convert himself, describes the experience of converting to Catholicism more akin to moving from Atheism to Christianity than to moving from one denomination to another. It’s not as simple as taking your ball to play on another court, it’s trading in your ball for a pair of skates…. Read more

Jesus Knows Exactly What You Need

The biblical accounts of Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene and to the Apostle Thomas is endlessly fascinating to compare. When Mary Magdalene, overwhelmed with joy at seeing Christ risen from the dead, exclaims, “Teacher!” She is told, “Do not cling to me but go, instead, and tell the others what you’ve seen.” She is, it seems, reproofed for her joy. When the Apostle Thomas, however, isn’t among the other apostles when Christ first appears he claims that he won’t believe until he… Read more

I Am But Dust and Ashes

I tore a hole in my brand new coat. My brand new coat. We are by no means poor but we are thrifty and conservative with our spending so a new coat, which I haven’t had in years, was a source of some excitement for me. I loved the feeling—the thrill—of something new to wear; I was happy. And it happened in a flash. Our son, a fussy nearly-two-year-old, was throwing a bit of a tantrum when I wouldn’t let him… Read more

How I Learned to Discern to God’s Will (And Also How Not To)

  The whole thing—the will of God thing—is tricky. As a teenager, in Evangelical circles, it was worn like something of a badge of honour: A young adult tromping off in this or that direction—following this or that fancy—would declare it to be the unequivocal “Will of God” and entertain no detractors. It was a Trump Card—in every sense of the word. But how we discerned such an important thing—what God wanted from us—what such a convoluted, serpentine process. (The… Read more

Thoughts from a Convert in the Confessional Line

  I’m not going to write an apologetic for why confession makes sense. I’ve written that before. Suffice to say, if you believe, as I do, that the Catholic Church exists in a long line of successors right back to the very first apostles appointed by Christ, then confession makes sense. “Whoever’s sins you forgive are forgiven,” Christ told his hand-picked apostles. The Catholic Church carries on that sacred tradition, two-thousand years later. That a priest can “forgive” my sins… Read more

If the Church is a Field Hospital, Lent is Our Medicine

Early in his pontificate, Pope Francis likened the Catholic Church to a field hospital. Rather than a stuffy religious organization, the Holy Father urged us to view the Church as a kind of guerrilla movement—tending to the sick and wounded on the battlefield. Frankly, this sounds an awful lot like the Kingdom of God that Jesus proclaimed. I have a feeling Pope Francis is on to something. A wise, non-Catholic friend of mine, once remarked that if the Church truly is like… Read more

How an Evangelical Learned to Love the Saints

I didn’t know about the saints until my thirties but I came by my ignorance honestly. As an Evangelical we didn’t talk about the saints. If we did, it was to condemn those idol-worshiping Catholics who named and adorned their places of worship with statues of these long dead heretics. Who prayed to mere men and women in the place of Christ. Who worshiped the dead. (We were rather crude in our assessment.) Now, as a Catholic, I find myself enamored… Read more

Shouldn’t Christian Unity Be More Important Than We Make It?

When Jesus prayed, in the Gospel of John, for all future Christians he prayed, “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.”  (John 17:21a) This kind of closeness—this kind of unity—is difficult to imagine. God, as we understand Him, is triune: Jesus, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit existing in one and the same Being. One beautiful old hymn reminds us, “The Godhead, three-in-one.” This is a closeness… Read more

You “Cultural Catholics” Are Killing Me

As I stood in what seemed like the longest line on earth—penance for something, somewhere, I’m sure—I couldn’t help but notice the exaggerated golden crucifix hanging around the neck of the nearest cashier. The cashier who ever… so… slowly bagged item after agonizing item for the shoppers ahead of me as if she were a robot whose batteries were just… about… fully… drained. In the twelve eternal minutes I spent waiting, I rolled my eyes so many times I’d be surprised if… Read more

It’s Lent: Prepare to be Tempted

One of the ever-bearing gifts of the Catholic Church is incredible depth of her teaching. Spanning over two thousand years the Church boasts incredible thinkers from Augustine to Aquinas; from Henri Nouwen to Cardinal Newman; from St. Francis of Assisi to, one of my personal favourites, St. Francis de Sales. Living and writing some 400 years ago, St. Francis de Sales was Bishop of Geneva at a time of crisis for the Christian Church. He stands out for his poignant responses to the… Read more

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