I introduced readers to my Catholic friend, John C.H. Wu, a long time ago. What prompted John, a distinguished jurist, and drafter of the democratic constitution of the Republic of China (back when it was mainland China), to swim the Tiber? Truthfully, I should have said “who” prompted him, not “what.” Blame it all on Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, “the Little Flower.” It is all her fault that my new friend John became a Catholic.
Around the year 1917, when he was 18 years old, John had made the first leap towards Rome when he became a Methodist, in Shanghai mind you. (more…)
A very long time ago (or so it seems from my end), every title of the posts in this space were ledes to an exposition upon the statement “Why I Am Catholic.” The titles themselves were basically one line answers to the statement all in themselves. I can’t promise that they will always be like that from now on. But nowadays I do find I yearn to return to this practice. It is something that I believe I am called to do. (more…)
This is part VII of my conversion story, tagged as 2BFrank in the Tag Cloud. I run it every year on this day to commemorate the death of Thomas Merton, who was also known as Father Louis.
Yes, I am well aware that he is not a canonized saint, but the salient point about Fr. Louis’ life is not whether he was a good Catholic, or a bad Catholic. The main thing isn’t even that his writings helped bring me into the Church. (more…)
The Eucharist has been on my mind lately. This evening at our parish, my wife and I finished a six week long reading and discussion of Brant Pitre’s, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist. What a delight and a treasure trove of knowledge that book is. I’ll share more on what I learned soon, as the thoughts that Dr. Pitre shared from the history of the Exodus to the Last Supper needs to be known by all Christians.
But it’s Wednesday, and late, and I’ve been too busy to post lately. As such, I’ll share a quick post on how to approach Christ in the Eucharist, courtesy of my friend Thomas à Kempis. He’s one of the fellows that helped bring me into the Church. Prior to my call to conversion, I had never even heard of the word until I met my wife. When I learned of its meaning, and who it is (or who Catholics thought it was) I was incredulous. Eighteen years later I woke up, thanks to Blaise Pascal and à Kempis. (more…)
The gospel precept of charity enlightens Christians as to the deepest meaning of political life.
Lately, I’ve been “working out my salvation with fear and trembling.” I’ve also been exploring the task of a Catholic layman in the political order. As I said in a previous post, politics generally isn’t my bag. It takes a lot of time, and basically leaves me unfulfilled. Surely I’m not alone in this regard. (more…)
Another Marian post as we are ten days from the Feast of the Assumption. This one was first published back in December of last year.
Back when I first joined YIMCatholic, I was going to write posts about my conversion. I hammered out seven posts in pretty rapid succession and then, I stopped writing them until recently.
Many of my posts now are simply my observations of the world which are colored through the lens of a convert to Catholicism. It would be difficult for them not to be. Other posts I’ve written are of the “look what I just found!” variety, and the “I want to share this with you” type. Call them the discovery posts if you will. (more…)
I’ve written a little bit in the past about how it was that I came to be a Catholic. Everyone knows Catholics are born and not made, right? That’s what I used to think too.
But when I started looking into the matter, I skipped the opinions of the literati and of “those who know best” and just started reading the books of the Bible that had been removed by Martin Luther and his brethren during the Protestant Reformation.
The wicked said among themselves, thinking not aright: “Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, Reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training. He professes to have knowledge of God and styles himself a child of the LORD. To us he is the censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us, Because his life is not like that of others, and different are his ways. He judges us debased; he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure. He calls blest the destiny of the just and boasts that God is his Father. Let us see whether his words be true; let us find out what will happen to him. For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him and deliver him from the hand of his foes. With revilement and torture let us put him to the test that we may have proof of his gentleness and try his patience. Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him.” These were their thoughts, but they erred; for their wickedness blinded them, and they knew not the hidden counsels of God; neither did they count on a recompense of holiness nor discern the innocent souls’ reward.
Why was this removed from my Bible? Search me. Because that prophecy has been fulfilled. As someone who is much smarter than me said recently, “the Bible is not a book, it’s a Library. And this is key to interpreting Scripture.”
During the Summer of 2007 I read an awful lot of books that led me to join my parish RCIA program in the Fall of that same year. I’ve written about most of my reading program in earlier posts in this series, and I continued reading great Catholic books once my RCIA class started too.
For example, I read Mirabai Starrs’ translation of The Book of My Lifeby St. Teresa of Avila. It is a fascinating book about prayer by a fascinating woman. By reading Big Terry’s book, I discovered the work of another obscure author I had never heard of who had a big impact on this Doctor of the Church and on me. Here is what St. Teresa says on page 20 of her book that peaked my interest,
On the way to my sister’s village, we stopped in to see my Uncle Pedro. He gave me a copy of The Third Spiritual Alphabet by Francisco de Osuna. This is a book all about the Prayer of Recollection. In the past year, I had realized what harm my appetite for romance novels had done to my soul, and I had begun to develop a tremendous appreciation for spiritual books. Since I did not know a thing about the practice of contemplative prayer, or how to go about recollecting my senses and my thoughts, I was thrilled to find a book that told me exactly what to do.
I remember thinking to myself, I don’t know what St. Teresa is talking about (contemplative prayer? What’s that?), but if she liked de Osuna’s book enough to give it such a ringing endorsement, then I need to get a copy of it too, post haste! (more…)