A Catholic Convert talks about faith and life

What did Jesus claim to be?

The first time that I opened the Gospels with the intention of actually learning anything, I had no idea what I would find.  I knew that Jesus had claimed to be the Son of God, that he was born of the Virgin Mary, and that he was crucified and resurrected.  I knew nothing about the fact that Jesus was believed to be both fully divine and fully human.  I thought that Son of God simply meant that he was sent here by God to teach us something, and then he had to die  and be resurrected.  So this is where the journey begins – what did Jesus and his apostles claim him to be? Continue reading

Finding the True Jesus

The four Gospel writersWho was Jesus?  That may seem like a simple question, but that was literally where I had to start.  All I knew about Jesus was that Christians said he was the son of God, he was crucified for our sins, and that he rose from the dead.  I really had no idea what that meant, and I hadn’t really spent any time trying to find out.  Sure, I had seen those “John 3:16” signs at enough sporting events over the years that I had actually looked it up.  “God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life”.  Here’s what I thought that meant – God is sitting around saying “wow, I really love the world.  I think I’ll send my son there so they can kill him”.  Since that made no sense to me, I just gave up on the whole thing. Continue reading

Why do I believe what I believe?

Why do I believe what I believe?  That is a question that I ask myself on a fairly regular basis.  Don’t get me wrong, I am a devout Catholic, who believes in EVERYTHING the Catholic Church teaches, but that was not always the case.  I spent the vast majority of my life serving no one other than myself.  Everything was fine as long as I was having “fun”, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  I was doing massive damage to my mind, body, and life with alcohol.  I had entered into a marriage that I never should have, mainly because I had no idea what a marriage truly was, and that marriage quickly ended.  And then I found myself in another marriage that I was promptly destroying by living my self gratifying life.  I still thought that I was fine, it was just everyone else who had a hard time dealing with me.  Then, one night in January 2009 it happened.  I was sitting on the couch, minding my own business, when my wife, Emily, says to me “I want to bring our marriage into the Catholic Church.”  I had no idea how that was going to change my life. Continue reading

My contraception argument goes down in flames

As I talked about in my last post (here), my argument against the Catholic Church’s teaching on contraception was already beginning to fall apart.  I learned that God’s kingdom has no room for sexual relations outside of marriage due to the fact that such relations amount to no more than one person using another for their own personal pleasure.  It is the objectification of one of God’s creatures for the purpose of our own self gratification – unacceptable.  As for the use of contraception inside of marriage, there is also no place in God’s kingdom for this.  This takes the complete giving of one to another and reduces it, holds something back.  Due to the loss of the procreative nature of the relationship, the sexual act can once again be reduced to sheer self gratification, even inside marriage.

I am not giving up quite so easily, however.   Continue reading

Prove that contraception is ok, and prove the Church wrong – Piece of cake, I thought

I remember it like it was yesterday, it was February, 2009 and I was just sitting on the couch minding my own business when Emily says “I want to bring our marriage into the Catholic Church”.  My first thought – Where the he__ did that come from?  ”OK, OK, compose yourself,” I thought, “You’re ready for this, be calm”.  ”Why would you want to do that?” was my first question.  ”I don’t know, it’s just something I feel like doing,” she answered, “and I already made an appointment at St. Pat’s for us to go and meet with someone to talk about how to do it”.  OK, now she’s playing dirty, so I’m going to have to play my trump card – “Do you know that being a Catholic means that you can’t use any form of birth control”.  Her answer “No one really follows those rules.”  Game, set, match.  This is not something I will ever have to take seriously.  Despite being born a Catholic, Emily has no idea what the Church really teaches.  All I have to do is prove how the Church is wrong and I can put all of this to bed.  Piece of cake. Continue reading

Contraception is a touchy subject, but was my first step to conversion

HHS Rally Image

If you read your daily newspaper today, and I mean really read it because the story was probably not too big, you may have seen that there were some rallies yesterday to protest the HHS mandate requiring ALL health insurance policies to provide coverage for contraception and sterilization procedures (read about it here).  The rallies took place in about 140 cities, drawing anywhere from 200 to 2000 people at each according to news reports I’ve read.  Now, let’s say that the average number was 500 at each location (a light estimate); that would mean that 70,000 people across the country showed up at noon on a workday to protest this.  How much did you hear about it on the evening news last night?  I’m guessing not much.  I’m not sure how many total people took part in the “occupy” movement last fall, but I know I heard about it every night for weeks. Continue reading

A visit from my long lost brother

Sometimes as we’re walking through life, minding our own business, we will be struck by a thought that sticks with us for the rest of the day.  That happened to me today, and the thought was of my brother Gary.  Gary was the third oldest in our family of six.  I was the youngest, by far, thirteen years younger than Gary.  In my childhood memories, Gary is probably the sibling who shows up the least, yet he told me one of the most reassuring things I can ever remember being told.  And I was probably about eight years old when he said it. Continue reading

Who exactly is behind daylight savings time anyway?

Mama Boucher

Have you ever seen the movie The Waterboy?  Do you remember Booby Boucher’s Mama saying everything was “the devil”?  Football is the devil (actually she said foosball, but you know what she meant), school is the devil, even Ben Franklin was the devil according to her.  Well, at the risk of sounding like Mrs. Boucher, I think daylight savings time might be the devil.  Let me make my case here, and let’s see if you agree. Continue reading

We’re still standing, and our enemies have taken notice

Anti-Catholic ad in the New York Times

Just in case you really didn’t believe that we and our Church are in a battle, check out this full page ad that ran in The New York Times.  You can read the full text of the ad at Creative Minority Report.  I have a million things I can say about the content of this ad, but so many others have done such a great job of commenting on it already (see links below).  Instead, I just want to mention a couple of points.  First, that The New York Times would have never run a similar ad attacking any other religious institution (imagine if someone wrote a similar ad about Muslims, and The Times ran it). Continue reading