Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Birth Of Jesus

  This is the time of year when we as Catholics as well as other religions celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. I always love watching the various movies on cable television about the birth of Jesus. I have always been fascinated how God made it known to Mary and Joseph through the work of the holy spirit that Mary would give birth to our saviour. I think if God spoke to me that way I may just faint.

  As a child growing up in the Catholic Church I remember all the green wreaths would go up on all the pillars in the church. You could just tell there was a special feeling in the air. I remember seeing the nativity scene set up in one corner of the church. The hymns all changed to beautiful Christmas music. Of course at that time they started with the guitars during the singing of the hymns. I think that’s where I really got my interest in guitars, but that’s another story.

  I remember my Mother and my Grandparents putting up their nativity sets. I remember looking at the different shepherds, wiseman and the various animals. Then they would put an angel up on the peak of the open barn. I that is the time of the year when I was outside looking up at the sky looking for the brightest star. Here is a good link to information on the nativity scene . 

  The intervention of God guiding Mary and Joseph out of danger is awesome and shows how important Jesus is in the salvation plan. How do we know exactly when Jesus was born ? Here is an interesting article from 1991 written by E. L. Martin . Here is some excellent information on the virgin birth in theology . Also here is an article from the catholic news agency about Pope Francis giving his homily at the vigil Mass for Christmas   .
  Well Thank You for reading and Happy Holidays.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Whats It About and Where Did It Come From

  Christmas is really about the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. At this time of year I see so many different movies on cable tv about the birth and life of Jesus how could I forget. Well growing up in the Catholic Church and going to St Thomas The Apostle in Rochester New York through 8th grade that is what I was taught. I was also taught that is a special time of giving just as God the Father gave us his only son. I can remember that in school they would give us a small box of candy. This was to show us that the season was about giving something no matter how simple it was. Here is an excellent link to a website about the season of Advent .

Saturday, December 14, 2013

What Catholic Bible Do You Prefer

  I have a few different bibles that I like to read. My favorite is the New American Bible Saint Joseph Edition. It has a good amount of information in it. It is also very easy to read. I have gone to it many times to look up some information or to read a certain passage. This link can provide some interesting information on Catholic Bibles . Here is another helpful site on choosing a Catholic Bible .

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Catholic Medals, Crosses and the Crucifix

   There are many different medals worn within the Catholic faith. Some medals are for various Saints and a persons patron Saint. A patron Saint is a heavenly advocate or guardian of a place, nation, activity, craft, class, clan, family or person. Patron Saints are people that have already entered heaven. They seem to be able to intercede on our behalf to God more effectively for our specific needs. They will listen to our special prayers and pray with us. We do not pray to the statue of a patron Saint in our home or at church. The statue is only a reminder of who the person is. It is not idol worship as some have tried to say.
  Here are some examples of patron Saints. There is St Matthew, St Thomas The Apostle, Saint Francis of Assisi, St Helen, St Dominic and many others. The various Saints all are associated with certain things such as work, animals, work and places among other things. Here is an excellent link on the subject . Below are some pictures of various Saints.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Some Misconceptions About the Catholic Church

  When I was in other churches such as the pentecostal church and Lutheran church I had heard many misconceptions about the Catholic Church. I had been asked or even told by individuals that the Catholic Church does not read the bible or they worship Mary.They practice idolatry by praying to statues. There are many other incorrect things that people assumed ,because they only see with their eyes and do not know the facts.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

We Need To Pray The Rosary

  First a little history on the rosary. Trying to determine exactly when the rosary came about can be somewhat difficult. There is some evidence from the earliest days of the church that prayer beads were used. There was also the repeating of prayers to help with mediation. There are also roots that go back to before the christian era. There were also strings of beads used in the Middle Ages. They were used to count the Hail Marys and the Our Fathers. These strings of beads were known as Paternosters, which is Latin for Our Father.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What is going on with the Mass

  When I came back to the catholic church maybe 10 or 15 years ago I was very surprised at how it had changed. I remember back in the 60s to late 70s there was a distinct holiness that I do not see today. It seems as though the holiness has been placed aside somewhere. I know it was even different before the sixties, because I remember the old church in the basement of the catholic school where I went had the alter facing the wall and the new church had it facing the people. Plus where have all the statues gone. They are either missing or tucked away in a corner.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Who is Knocking on my Door

  If your like all of us from time to time you get someone knocking on your door. It may be the Jehovah Witness trying to bring you into their church. They are just trying to save you. Unfortunately they are very confused and don't have all the facts about their own faith, because they are told what parts of scripture to read.
  A few years ago I worked on nights for a company and there was a young man who had become Jehovah Witness. He had been catholic and had a problem with a priest. He decided to leave the catholic church and ended up in the Jehovah Witness church. He was a very nice young man and his heart was in the right place.
  He was forever trying to get me to come to his church. I had told him I was in the Lutheran Church at the time and was not interested in his church. He would keep telling me different scriptures to try and persuade me to change. The problem was I did not know how to respond to his questions. I prayed over and over again for some kind of help.
  One day my wife and I were in a christian book store and I was looking for different bibles. My wife came up to me and said look at these books over here. Now I had not told her about this person or what was going on with his questions. The book she showed me was called Jehovah's Witnesses Answered Verse By Verse by David A. Reed. I could not believe this was happening. All I could think of was God was answering my prayers.
  The young man at work had tried to give me one of his bibles and I kept refusing it. A thought came into my head and I told him at some time I would ask for his bible. He thought I was going to want to become Jehovah Witness. I told him again I had no intention of joining his church. After I had read the book my wife showed me I started finding some other books on the same subject. I then decided I would like his bible, so I could see if what was in the books I was reading were true. He thought I was going to use his bible to bad mouth his church and I told him I would never do that.
  One day he came to me and said that Jesus was not God, but was the Arc Angel Michael. I suddenly remembered something I read in the book about that very subject. I asked him do you have your bible here and he said yes. I told him to go to the place where Thomas put his finger in the holes in Jesus hands. I asked him what did he say to Jesus. He read it and it said he called Jesus My Lord and My God, My Savior and my King. I asked him did Jesus rebuke Thomas and tell him that was not so ? Of course he had to say no, because Jesus did not rebuke him. He had to accept that Jesus is God. He then had a very puzzled look on his face and went  away. We had a few more encounters like that and eventually I had another job and left that company.
  The funny thing is that where ever I went whether a job or some place there was always some one asking about Jehovah Witnesses. The main thing I learned through this journey was that you can not try and fill the person with all kinds of answers right away or they will run to their elders and be further brainwashed, which is what some people refer to it as. I would definitely advise anyone to learn about this church before trying to talk to them, because they are very schooled at what they do.
  The main thing in life to treat everyone with love and kindness no matter what they believe. I have also found that when ever I have a problem of any kind I PRAY PRAY and PRAY some more. We don't always get the answer in the way we want, but it will happen according to his will.
  Thank You for reading and God Bless. All comments are welcomed.  

My Journey So Far


 I thought I would write my first post with some information about myself and my journey back to the Catholic Church. I was brought up in the Catholic Church back in the late 50s through the 70s. I was baptized at Saint Thomas The Apostle church in Rochester New York. I went to catholic school from first grade to eighth grade and graduated in 1973.
  My mother could not afford to send us to catholic high school due to money problems. So I ended up going to the public high school. I did miss the learning further about the catholic church in school, but I accepted it. I still went to church on Sunday and confession on Thursdays. I was very shy as a youth and felt uncomfortable going to confession. As I reached the age of 18 in my senior year I started to slack off from going to church. I was working full time and  eventually started going to college. I guess I just got busy and started to forget about what was important.
  I met my wife in about 1981 and we were married in July 14, 1984 on a very hot July day. I never stopped being Catholic, I just wasn't a practicing Catholic. At the time my wife was going to a Assembly Of God Pentecostal Church. I started going to church with her and decided I liked the church. It seemed to be very alive and I learned a lot about the bible and Jesus. I read more and more from the bible and I guess loved it. One Sunday when they called people to come down I felt it was my time to stand up for my faith in Jesus. Again I will say I never denounced the Catholic Church, it was just that I came closer to Jesus.
  I remember one day at church they started saying things about getting others to accept Jesus as their personal savior. The next thing I knew is I started judging all my friends and family. I started thinking they are all going to hell if they don't accept Jesus as their personal savior. One day I looked at my own mother and had that thought. Something inside me said wait a minute this is not right. I stepped back and started to do some real thinking. I asked my self what does my mother believe. I realized that my mother  has always believed in Jesus. I knew right then and there that this was wrong and decided it was time to leave this church. I spoke to my wife and we both decided to look for a different church that we would be happy in and was not teaching to judge others. That is when my favorite saying happened, Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged.
  My wife and I went to a number of different churches from the Baptist church to the Methodist as well as others. We ended up in the Lutheran Church and both loved it. It seemed to combine both catholic and protestant ideas. All three of my children were raised in the Lutheran Church. Everything was going very good and then one Sunday the pastor was speaking about the Eucharist and he spoke of it as just a symbol. Once again something inside me said this is not right and this is where my journey started back to the Catholic church.
  I decided prayed for some kind of answer as to what was right about the Eucharist. I happened to turn on cable tv and started flipping through the channels as usual looking for something to watch. I stopped at the Catholic channel EWTN ,which I really never watched. The show that happened to be on was called The Journey Home with Marcus Grodi. To my amazement the subject of the show was about a person who had come back to the Catholic Church, because of the Eucharist. I could not believe that this was happening to other people. From that day this show became one of my favorites.
  The next thing I was asking my self was what church is doing the right thing. I started praying a lot once again for an answer. My mother was going to garage sales so I had told her one time if you see any religious books get it for me. Well she bought me a book called thirty years with Christ. I started reading it and the person made a statement about what church is right and who is wrong. Basically she said there are so many denominations out there who is right and who is wrong. This book was written in 1943 and there were thousands of denominations then, so now there are more. She said that various churches say the Holy Spirit told me this about a certain subject and others are saying something different about the same subject. Well someone has to be right and someone has to be wrong, because the Holy Spirit is either lying or does not know what he is saying. Of course I knew that this could not be true. So I decided to go on a search through history to find out what church was doing about the Eucharist.
  I had a book on the history of religions of the world. I did some reading and everything seemed to end up at the Catholic Church. I then heard about the early church fathers on EWTN one day and got a book on this subject. I found that some of the early church fathers were directly associated with some of the Apostles. The further I searched I found that the Catholic Church was the only church teaching that the Eucharist was the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ. I saw another show on the Journey Home about the Eucharist and the person explained that you could tell that Jesus really meant that this was his body and blood by the reaction of the people. They could not accept this teaching and left. Now if Jesus only meant it as a symbol he would have rebuked them and told them so, but he did not.
  My final decision was that I had to come back to the Catholic Church and leave the Lutheran. I spoke to my wife and explained what I had decided. I told her I could not tell her what to do, she had to what she believed her self. Once again I was amazed, because she decided to become Catholic. I went through the classes with her and she became Catholic. My three children also became Catholic. I will have to say I am not perfect and do miss Mass some times, buts that is another story.
  I have to say that I have never been happier in my life then when My wife, my children and myself walk down that aisle and partake in communion. I feel in my heart that I really have come home. I also feel that this is the closest relationship that any person will ever have with Jesus until I see him face to face.
  Thank You for reading about my journey. I believe it's not over and there are more paths to take and I will never stray from the Catholic Church again. Any Comments are always welcomed.
  Take Care and God Bless.