So I sat down to write something entirely different but then I read Pope Francis’s homily from this morning and completely changed my mind. Today’s gospel reading, according to the Lectionary, is about Jesus’s encounter with the Pharisees. It’s one of the famous encounter, you’ll recall, where the Pharisees question the authority of Jesus. They question Him and His disciples who are plucking grain and traveling (or working) on the Sabbath, the Jewish holy day, and healing and performing miracles. They… Read more

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you to learn that I love the Pope. You, my dear readers and friends, are a long-suffering bunch and nothing should really come as a surprise to you anymore. But, I do love the Pope, and I’m going to tell you why. The Pope is an audacious person. The present Pope, perhaps not so much, but the office of the Pope in and of itself is an affront to our modern culture and… Read more

There is a danger in the draw of authority. There is a deep danger is just being told what to do, and doing it. That danger is real. That danger has led to countless conflicts and abuses across the pages of history. That danger leads to abuses and conflicts today. One of the common concerns I hear, when someone finds out that I’m becoming, of all things, a Catholic, is that Catholicism is a faith in which one is just told what… Read more

OK, I’m being facetious, I admit it. I snuck out today, on my forty-minute lunch break, to spend some time sitting in church. Our local parish church is beautiful. It was a built in the 1800’s by a famous church architect who was so popular that he was later hired, in an ecumenical reach across the aisle, by Baptists to rebuild some of their churches too. At any rate, it’s a beautiful building that I’m still discovering and learning to appreciate…. Read more

As a Protestant converting to Catholicism the idea that the Catholic Church is universal has enormous appeal. The idea that I can attend the same Mass in Waterloo, Toronto, Boston, or South Africa is incredibly attractive. The Church, universal in that sense, is pretty incredible to a Protestant like me. At the same time, the Catholic Church isn’t the same everywhere and as I learn more about unique identities within the Church I’m glad for this, too. (more…) Read more

Some days I don’t want to be a Catholic anymore. Some days I’m not even sure God exists. So far in my conversion story I’ve painted what’s probably a pretty sunny picture of the Catholic Church. I don’t want to be a downer, but that’s far from the whole truth. In reality, there are days when I don’t want to be a Catholic anymore. When it falls apart on me and I have to begin, with the help of the Holy… Read more

I have very good, charitable, and patient friends. I learned this, again, this week past week. It was a funny week; an ironic week. On Tuesday, in my RCIA class we practiced for the Rite of Welcoming, the first step for someone joining the Catholic Church. That Rite took place tonight at the Saturday evening Mass. It was surreal. On Wednesday, I went to a Community Conversation in the Protestant church my wife and I attend. It was about the… Read more

As I’ve been headed down this journey towards becoming a Catholic there have been lots of new discoveries—hidden treasures—that have got me really excited. Last time, when I wrote about the saints, I wrote about the excitement of discovering that there were thousands of holy Christians out there who’ve gone before me, who are ready, willing, and poised to pray for me. I called it a hidden treasure because that’s what it felt like—the saints had been there all along (I… Read more

So I’ve been writing about my conversion experience and what’s been drawing me in to the Catholic Church and the bulk of it, in the beginning, was theological, historical, and intellectual. It began with notions of sola scriptura, the Protestant belief of the Bible as the sole authority in the Christian’s life. For me, it fell apart, and I found the teaching authority of the Catholic Church to make a lot more sense. And the more I learned about the Catholic Church… Read more

If you’ve been reading my conversion story from the beginning you’ll know that my journey towards the Catholic Church had, in the beginning at least, a lot to do with the authority of the Bible. That’s where it began. After some exposure to the Catholic Church through a podcasting priest from the Netherlands, a Protestant pastor and close friend asked me that fateful question, “What’s more important, tradition or the Bible?” My journey took me to reading a lot of Catholic… Read more

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