Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Examining Why Martin Luther was Excommunicated I

I am having a great discussion with a non-Catholic friend of mine where we are examining the reasons why Martin Luther was excommunicated by the Catholic Church. My friend believes that Luther was excommunicated because he was pointing out the sins of the Church, namely Pope Leo X. I believe that Luther was excommunicated based on the doctrine that he was preaching that was contrary to what divine revelation had revealed thus far.

Although I have studied the Protestant Revolt in the past, I have not studied Martin Luther, the man. Outside of watching Luther, the movie, I have not gone into much depth regarding who this man was, what it was that he taught and the response he received from the Catholic Church. Everyone knows that the Catholic Church excommunicated him, but based off of what? Was he teaching Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide, before or after his excommunication? Was his 95 Theses, completely erroneous and without foundation? Was the Catholic Church justified in their actions to excommunicate him?

These are some of the questions that I am pondering and researching currently. Feel free to chime in and share your thoughts. I am interested in historical facts as well as theological, so please, if you are going to share information, support it with evidence. Unsupported accusations and unfounded beliefs, doesn't help facilitate discussion and diminishes opportunity for learning.

God bless...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What have I done???

What have I done? Why did I spend 2 weeks staying up late hours at night, working my way through the New Testament? Why did I read the Early Church Fathers to learn more about the faith that has been handed down to us from Christ to the Apostles to the Church Fathers? Why did I invite the Holy Spirit to direct me and lead my path in choosing to become Catholic? Why did I spend almost a year learning more and more about the Catholic Faith, the same faith that I once believed worshiped Mary and idols?

I was doing perfectly fine as a Protestant. Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide, all the way. I had a great relationship with Jesus Christ and the Father. I was a Christian and there was no doubt about it. I didn't have people accusing me of blasphemy or heresy when I was a Protestant, and now as a Catholic, here I stand - condemned by some of my Protestant brothers and sisters.

In case you are wondering what may have provoked these thoughts of panic, my parish chooses a particular characteristic of Christian Stewardship to focus on. This month's characteristic is Responsibility. In the newsletter that encourages it's reader in this particular characteristic, they share the following Scripture passage:

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (Luke 12:48b)

I know that the Holy Spirit has chosen to reveal to me the truth of the Catholic Church and Faith. Namely, it was established by Christ himself, therefore it is not just a mere institution created by a man, and that Christ is literally the Head of the Church and it is being led into all areas of Truth by the Holy Spirit. Do you know what this means for me? This means that I am the one who has been entrusted with much and therefore I am much more responsible than those who are not.

Why, oh why, didn't I just remain a Protestant. Not that Protestants have it easy at all, but I think that the demands of a Catholic are far greater, especially if we truly hold the belief that the Catholic Church is what She says that She is - the Bride of Christ. In other words, Catholics really don't have any excuse, whatsoever, for not being saints. We have the fullness of truth, and we have access to the entire revelation of God through Scripture and Sacred Tradition. We have been given so much, and therefore, much will be expected of us.

Only just begun my journey in full communion with the Christian Faith, I am full of hope. I am full of hope because I now have access to all of the Grace that God has intended for all of us through the sacraments. They will be my source of nourishment as I walk through this life in joyful hope of eternity with Christ. They will dispense to me the grace necessary for holiness that we all must achieve prior to seeing God (Hebrews 12:14).

If I rely on myself to carry the weight of the responsibility that I now have, I will certainly fail. If instead, I rely on Christ, His Church, His Sacraments, and my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, I will undoubtedly succeed.

Pray for me, as I pray for you. Pray that we will all be worthy of being able to call God, Our Father - because Lord knows, we really don't even deserve that responsibility.

God bless...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thanks be to God, I am home

Thank you all for being with me on this journey.

God bless

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Preparing for the Sacraments of Initiation

I cannot believe Easter Vigil is almost here.  Easter Vigil, the night before Easter, is a special service where Non-Catholics are welcome into full communion with the Catholic Church.  We have spent almost a year in study and prayer preparing for this once in a lifetime event.

I am very excited, and I ask that you would all pray for me, as well as the estimated 150,000 people in the US who are planning to join the Catholic Church this year.

This will probably be my last blog entry as a Non-Catholic.  God bless you all, and thank you for being with me on this journey of faith.  See you on the other side of the Tiber.