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Old 09-01-2018, 06:20 PM
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I was drawn to the Roman Catholic Church by the Holy Spirit. Of this I am sure. I may post my story one day, if there are people truly interested - and if I decide not to publish it somewhere else.

I have always been drawn to people who BELIEVE in God and His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. With some people, it seems a matter of passing importance, but with others, when you talk to them about the Church or about the Spirit, you can see something come over them, and you will hear wondrous things.

One of the best ways to meet someone like this - i.e. a very holy person, is to visit a convent or a monastery. Some of the most holy people I have ever met are nuns. I remember one who almost exuded light from her eyes as she spoke of her love of God.

I would like to share some videos, audio and perhaps some written materials here in an effort to expose some of you to something positive about Catholicism. Something less logical and historical, and more otherworldly.

I will begin with the story of Betty Brennan. Betty was raised as a Roman Catholic. She had a good life and married and had a child, who died. She left the Faith and became a Satanist. Here she tells the tale of how that happened, and how the healing power of Christ and His Church brought her back. It is an incredible story.

https://gloria.tv/audio/cmkryENYAuSW...L3q8noxk8XEbJo
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Old 09-01-2018, 06:38 PM
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Here is another story. This is the conversion story of Father John Corapi. Father Corapi is currently the subject of controversy. He is a powerful speaker, and a great witness of the Faith. I believe he will overcome the accusations (nothing to do with kids or seminarians) and be restored someday. God willing.

https://gloria.tv/video/VjaLkXatUwbD2r71HewSKuSjM
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Old 09-01-2018, 07:29 PM
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Another story. This is the story of how Dr. Paul Schenck came to the Roman Catholic Church. He was previously a minister in the Reform Episcopal Church. He is married, and was one of the early pro-life crusaders.

He actually went to prison, and his case was eventually heard by the U.S. Supreme Court where he won a victory, which allowed people to pray outside ******** centers. This was a landmark case for the first amendment and religious liberty. There is a lot of the miraculous in his story too.

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Old 09-01-2018, 08:09 PM
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One of the deeply spiritual men who used to be featured on EWTN was Father Benedict Groeschel. Fr. Groeschel was a monk and a priest. He had a show called "Sunday Night Live" on EWTN for several years.

Here he is talking with a Lutheran Pastor and author, Rev. C. Bernard Ruffin - author of "The True Story of Padre Pio"

They are discussing Padre Pio - one of the recent Saints of the Church.

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Old 09-03-2018, 09:49 AM
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Here is another story. This is the conversion story of Father John Corapi. Father Corapi is currently the subject of controversy. He is a powerful speaker, and a great witness of the Faith. I believe he will overcome the accusations (nothing to do with kids or seminarians) and be restored someday. God willing.

https://gloria.tv/video/VjaLkXatUwbD2r71HewSKuSjM
Father Corapi never set well with me. To me he seemed to revel in a bad-boy image which he constantly projected with stories about his alleged Special Forces training in the U.S. Army and drug dealings with Hollywood celebrities. Also, I sensed a line of b.s. in his stories.
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Old 09-03-2018, 10:06 AM
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Father Corapi never set well with me. To me he seemed to revel in a bad-boy image which he constantly projected with stories about his alleged Special Forces training in the U.S. Army and drug dealings with Hollywood celebrities. Also, I sensed a line of b.s. in his stories.
It's good that the Church has many fine speakers. If you don't like one, there are others with different personalities and styles. I'm a veteran, and Fr.'s story rang true for me. I also am an accountant. What is most important is his preaching, which covers topics rarely addressed by other clergy, (Spiritual warfare, the 7 deadly sins, the seven virtues, the church's stand on moral issues, etc.). Nobody has ever criticized the truth of his sermons on the Faith. He is considered very Catholic in his teaching. I posted this story because of the parts about his healing, confession, the peace he felt, and his possible sightings of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

But again, if he doesn't speak to you, hopefully you have someone who does.
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Old 09-03-2018, 12:14 PM
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It's good that the Church has many fine speakers. If you don't like one, there are others with different personalities and styles. I'm a veteran, and Fr.'s story rang true for me. I also am an accountant.
I remember years ago that the military’s SF community posted Fr. Corapi’s military personnel (201) file online for all to see that he was not truthful in this regard.

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What is most important is his preaching, which covers topics rarely addressed by other clergy, (Spiritual warfare, the 7 deadly sins, the seven virtues, the church's stand on moral issues, etc.).
If we rely on a once-a-week 10 to 15 minute homily during Mass, which should be a short reflection on the readings, prayers, or commemoration of the day, these topics will never be covered with any regularity if they are covered at all. These topics are easily addressed by at least reading the Second Reading of the Office of Readings of the Liturgy of the Hours, and also having a well-thumbed Catechism of the Catholic Church and Catholic Bible close at hand. For online purposes I have used these particular resources for years:
http://universalis.com/readings.htm

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc.htm

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/
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Nobody has ever criticized the truth of his sermons on the Faith. He is considered very Catholic in his teaching. I posted this story because of the parts about his healing, confession, the peace he felt, and his possible sightings of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

But again, if he doesn't speak to you, hopefully you have someone who does.
In my opinion it is safer to stay with the approved writings of Church Fathers, Doctors of the Church, and Church councils. I would much rather read a passage from a work by St. John of the Cross than listen to any present day speaker to include the Pope. Even Fr. Groeschel has strayed beyond the bounds of Church doctrine while speaking on EWTN.

I understand your enthusiasm as a convert to the Faith, as I am one also. EWTN was on most hours a day in our household, so I am familiar with all the shows of 10-20 years ago. However, too many (for me at least) of those priests ran afoul of the Church in various ways during that time.

With regard to devotions, I will only consider the Rosary (which I pray), the Stations of the Cross, and the Sacred Heart (these last two I have not embraced). That consideration is because these are mentioned or alluded to in the Catechism. Usually my personal devotions involve praying the Psalms and reading Scripture.
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Old 09-03-2018, 01:37 PM
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In my opinion it is safer to stay with the approved writings of Church Fathers, Doctors of the Church, and Church councils. I would much rather read a passage from a work by St. John of the Cross than listen to any present day speaker to include the Pope. Even Fr. Groeschel has strayed beyond the bounds of Church doctrine while speaking on EWTN.

I understand your enthusiasm as a convert to the Faith, as I am one also. EWTN was on most hours a day in our household, so I am familiar with all the shows of 10-20 years ago. However, too many (for me at least) of those priests ran afoul of the Church in various ways during that time.

With regard to devotions, I will only consider the Rosary (which I pray), the Stations of the Cross, and the Sacred Heart (these last two I have not embraced). That consideration is because these are mentioned or alluded to in the Catechism. Usually my personal devotions involve praying the Psalms and reading Scripture.
One of the things I like about Catholicism, is that there are things which you are required to believe, and others which are not required, but may be helpful to some. That's how the Church treats all devotions - with the possible exception of the rosary. Same with Marian apparitions. You may believe them or not. The Church will only pronounce whether they are worthy of belief - but never makes a requirement. I don't personally follow the Divine Mercy devotion completely. I don't pray the chaplet for instance - except on occasion.

I get your point on not putting your trust in men. There have certainly been plenty of errant messengers. I think you could find some fault with any of them, if you listened to them enough. At least of the ones I like to listen to.

But the vast majority of the teaching of the people I've cited is good "orthodox" Catholic teaching.

I do want to delve into reading the Church fathers. I've looked a some writings of the earliest ones from the 1st and 2nd centuries, however I still have not read Aquinas, or much of Saint Augustine, or any of Catherine of Sienna, or Therese of Avila. I have read St. Therese of Lisieux's "Story of a Soul" and snippets from the diary of St. Faustina Kowalska. I also have a large collection of Catholic books and a few CDs. My hope is to read all of these when I retire. I try to read a Catholic book now and then though. Mostly when I want spiritual reading, I open the Bible and try to read a chapter or two.

Again, my purpose here is to show something of Catholic spirituality. The stories I've cited all speak of either visions, prayer, miracles, reconciliation, sacramentals, and/or sacraments. Our Church is alive with the Holy Spirit, and that is what I've trying to convey.
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Old 09-01-2018, 08:33 PM
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Last one for tonight. This is part of a broadcast from "Relevant Radio" and the daily show "Go Ask Your Father" with Fr. Stuart Swetland. In this hour of the show, the intended topic was about the cross and suffering. Listen at the 39 minute mark, and you will hear one of the most beautiful examples of Catholic spirituality regarding suffering and the cross - which you will ever hear. This woman could teach us all.

https://relevantradio.com/2018/08/go...ugust-31-2018/
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Old 09-01-2018, 09:32 PM
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Some good selections. Padre Pio was an amazing person and the stories inspiring, even without getting into some of the attributed stories that are without actual basis in fact. To have been able to attend one of his Masses must have been an experience.

If you have not already done so I invite you to explore the story of Medjugorje and the fruits of it, which are occurring even this very day.

RR
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Old 09-01-2018, 09:58 PM
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Ok, here's another. Catholics read the Bible too. It's considered good for your soul. Very much so - so the Church encourages it. In my wanderings on the internet several years ago I came across a Youtube account of a young woman who had recently converted from Protestantism to Catholicism. She has an astounding grasp of the Scriptures, and is able to explain many things better than most priests. Here she discusses the scriptural basis for the papacy. Incredible stuff here. And sorry guys! She's married!

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Old 09-01-2018, 11:02 PM
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Good stuff, Atticus.

I find that those who convert to the Catholic Faith, in general, come in because it "fills in the blanks" that existed from where they came from.

Those that leave the Faith invariably do, not because of Theology, but because of the weakness of men.

Dr. Scott Hahn, former evangelical Protestant, and Steve Ray, former Baptist preacher, are two of the better speakers who can clearly explain their thought processes in their conversion.


P.S. Relevant radio is a wonderful mix of Catholic theology and apologetics, along with current events. I especially like Fr. Rick Simon. Awesome knowledge of the faith along with excellent Ancient Greek and Latin. And any Christian would appreciate his awesome sense of humor.
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Old 09-02-2018, 05:40 PM
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I hope you are all having a great day this Sunday! I found the original (to me) conversion story of Scott Hahn. Scott is a professor at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. He also is a frequent guest on EWTN and also has a show called "Signs of Life." He has also been in the news recently with his comments regarding the current scandal in the Church. More interesting is his background. Scott was a Presbyterian Minister who was rising in his profession when he had several experiences, both academic and supernatural, which led him to give it all up and become Catholic. Here is his fascinating story. Enjoy!

https://gloria.tv/audio/7UdJwFdK6iaw...L3q8noxk8XEbJo
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Old 09-02-2018, 09:26 PM
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Divine Mercy

3:00 p.m. is known by Catholics as the "hour of mercy." Sister Faustina Kowalska wrote a diary in the 1930's, where she describes several visions of Jesus in which he gave her a new devotion for the Church now known as "Divine Mercy." This devotion (or spiritual practice) is very widespread throughout the Church. It was approved by Pope John Paul II, and includes displaying the Divine Mercy image - which can be seen over the altar in this video, praying the "Chaplet of Divine Mercy" and other acts which the faithful can perform. The basic idea is that we should trust in Jesus. In fact, the original image says, in Polish "Jesus I trust in you" The original image was painted by a local artist in the town of Vilnius. Sister Faustina described her vision of Jesus to the artist, and he had to make many corrections to the painting, until the final version was finished. Sister Faustina was never satisfied with it, since it did not capture the beauty of Christ. This video shows a sung version of the chaplet, led partly by Vinnie Flynn and his family, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy. It is shown on EWTN daily, except Sundays, when a version with new, modern music is shown.

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Old 09-02-2018, 10:46 PM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Orthodox_Church
The Eastern Orthodox Church,[1][2] officially the Orthodox Catholic Church,[3] is the second-largest Christian church, with over 250 million members.
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Old 09-02-2018, 11:01 PM
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Very well. At your request I have removed the conversion stories. I will limit my participation in this thread to Catholic spirituality.

Did you attend Mass today?
What was the Gospel reading?
Did you receive the Eucharist?
When was your last confession?
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Old 09-02-2018, 11:12 PM
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The Sacred Heart

Another one of the great devotions in Catholicism is devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This devotion predates the Divine Mercy devotion by several hundred years. Many Catholic homes have an image of the Sacred Heart displayed in their homes. Here is a description of the practice:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_Heart
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Old 09-02-2018, 11:52 PM
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The Holy Rosary

The Rosary is a prayer dating from the Middle Ages, when it was said to be given to St. Dominic in 1214. The prayer is recommended for all Catholics to recite daily. It is considered to be a weapon against evil. The prayer begins with the Apostle's Creed and the Lord's Prayer, then three "Hail Mary's", followed by meditation on a scene from the life of Jesus. Then 10 "Hail Mary's" are prayed. Next the next "decade" begins with the saying of the Lord's Prayer and the next scene (also known as a "mystery"). There are 4 sets of mysteries. These are the Joyful, Glorious, Sorrowful, and the Luminous. Here Mother Angelica, founder of EWTN and the nuns recite the rosary. This program appears several times each week on EWTN so that Catholics may pray along with the nuns.

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Old 09-03-2018, 01:24 AM
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Jul 22, 2012
I took Friday off to go to a Catholic Homeschooling Convention in a nearby town. I was able to bring my wife for one session on Friday evening - as our respite worker was here to sit with our son, and for one session on Saturday morning, when we were able to have my mother-in-law sit for my son for a few hours.

This was the first conference of its kind which I have ever attended. My wife and I are considering homeschooling our son, if the class he is registered for next year doesn't work well for him. We had such a rough year last year, that we're unwilling to give the public school system as much latitude this year. We will be watching closely for signs of resistance and for being overly hard on our son. If we get signs that they are too hard on him, or that they don't want our suggestions, then we will either move to a private school, or bring him home and begin a homeschool program.

I was very impressed at how structured such a program can be. I was able to hear seminars by parents who have done this for 8 to 12 years, and was able to meet representatives from most of the major schools (companies which publish textbooks and teachers guides, and which provide guidance).

The gathering was also very spiritual. The first day began with praying the rosary...which was the first time I have ever attempted it. It was a very humbling experience, not knowing all of the prayers, and stumbling over the words at times. There also was a seminar on prayer led by a sister of the Carmelite order. She began by talking about the theology of the trinity....and then moved on to talking about religious vocations, and the vocation of marriage. She told us what had drawn her to take her vows, and why marriage was equally important. She then spoke about prayer. Her order is one of contemplative prayer. They pray as their main function. Most of the time, they pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament. This is also commonly known as Eucharistic Adoration. It is praying in the presence of Jesus Christ.

Whenever she spoke about God, her face broke into a broad smile which made her face seem to brighten. She radiated an inner joy which I have rarely seen in anyone else. She was clearly in love with God, and absolutely at peace with her life.
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