This Catholic Journey
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Name: Amber
Location: Reno, Nevada, United States

I am a 34-year-old single mother of three. I am a convert to Catholicism and came into the Church on April 7, 2007. This blog is a collection of thoughts and things I learn in my journey of faith. All comments are welcome!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Are they listening?

It seems I will never reach those close to me with the truth of Catholicism. It nearly seems like a pointless uphill battle. But then, I think of how I used to be. When I was talking about faith matters with Damion, and I found I could be wrong, I never admitted it. But this is what brought me into the state of seeking God that finally brought me into the fullness of truth. So, I realize that even if my own friends found that the Catholic position makes sense, they will probably not be quick to admit it either... In fact, they'll likely never let on that they'll consider it for a moment...

No one wants to be wrong. No one wants to think that what they've believed their whole life about their own faith could be lacking a bit of truth and very few non-Catholic Christians ever want to admit that Catholicism could have some truth in it. Non-Catholic Christians have been brainwashed with straw man arguments for so long, they have no idea what true Catholicism is!

This is something I need to keep in mind when I speak to my friends about Catholicism. While they may not let me see that I'm making sense to them, they may be hearing more than I think they are.

Often, when an airtight position is presented, people will begin to say the most ludicrous things and it's likely that even THEY will think that what they are saying is ridiculous.... After all, anything is better than admitting that you could be wrong, right? But eventually, they will be alone with God... pondering the truth. Eventually, it will all make sense. For some, this is a slow process. For others, it's nearly instantaneous. But we must always be ready... ready to share our faith with others, even when it seems they don't hear a word.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Thanksgiving and Prayer

Pray for a Rose by Imolly on deviantart.comPhillipians 1:1-11
Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus,
to all the holy ones in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi,
with the bishops and deacons:
grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you,
praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you,
because of your partnership for the Gospel
from the first day until now.
I am confident of this,
that the one who began a good work in you
will continue to complete it
until the day of Christ Jesus.
It is right that I should think this way about all of you,
because I hold you in my heart,
you who are all partners with me in grace,
both in my imprisonment
and in the defense and confirmation of the Gospel.
For God is my witness,
how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer:
that your love may increase ever more and more
in knowledge and every kind of perception,
to discern what is of value,
so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
filled with the fruit of righteousness
that comes through Jesus Christ
for the glory and praise of God.


I love the part above that states, "I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it..." This gives me encouragement that if I put my trust in God, He will help me finish the race. I am expected to increase in love and to grow for the glory and praise of God. I cannot live my life with an attitude that says, "I have faith and so I can live my life any way I see fit." I must renew my mind daily to follow Christ in obedience and to share his love with others, even if they reject me. And I must never forget to thank the Lord for his presence in my life...

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Joy will be restored...

I've been reading "Rome Sweet Home" and I cannot begin to express how great this book is. I can relate so well with Kimberly Hahn.

"Lord, the joy is gone. Who are you? I've known you all my life. I thought I understood you but now I don't understand anything... I'm so confused."

Joy. It is what I've longed to have restored to me. I desire to feel God's presence in my life again... like I did when I was a child but with a greater thirst and a more mature heart. I no longer want to be a child in my faith. I want to be where God wants me to be. I want to do what God wants me to do. I don't want to just get in the boat, but I want to be in the center of the boat... I don't want to make excuses and I don't want anything to hold me back.

Last night, on the way to RCIA, I felt so content. It was a feeling I cannot recall feeling before. I mean, I really felt GREAT! I knew this was the last class in the Inquiry stage and I was anticipating the move to the next step. On October 21, 2006, I will go through the Rite of Acceptance and become a candidate. Though I have had people come at me from all sides, God is keeping me firmly planted. I have no doubt that I am obeying God and coming home to the Church He established.

Some of these good feelings are so foreign to me that I don't know what to do with them and I try to push them away. It seems strange but I have to focus on NOT pushing them away... on letting God just work on my heart. I know now that living my life they way I have, has caused more damage than I imagined to my heart and to my spirit. God is pulling me out of the miry clay and setting me upon His truth. But there is still a lot of work to be done in order to heal all the damage.

Joy. It is what I've longed to have restored to me. And the more I surrender my will to the Lord, the more joy I feel. Last night, I thanked the Lord for breaking me and for bringing me into the fullness of truth.

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Friday, September 08, 2006

Beginning RCIA

I haven't had much time to write lately. I've been really busy at work and with life in general. RCIA began on Wednesday night. I enjoyed it and I'm really looking forward to continuing through it.

I finally finished "Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic". It was another great book that I'd recommend to anyone exploring the Catholic faith.

There are so many books I want to read, it seems I'll never get through them all, especially since school has started and I now have a class to read for as well. I'm lucky if I can sneak in two or three pages during breaks at work!

Though I feel I am still struggling with my faith a bit, I'm seeing little things happen that remind me that God truly is in control. The first night at RCIA, they handed out a prayer and it was one of the prayers I found online that SAME day that was SO perfect for what I am going through.


The Road Ahead - Prayer of Thomas Merton

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore, will I trust You always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.


What a wonderful prayer and a great reminder that I am not alone!

Another thing... I've been having a lot of anxiety lately but every time I begin to feel it, I simply pray that the Lord will take it away and He does, until the next time and then I just give it to Him again. Every morning, I thank Him for another day and ask for help to live it for Him.

Now, if I can just find the words to start that letter to my parents!

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Pride and Comfort

ComfortNo one wants to believe that what they've known their whole lives to be true is only true in part... and pride is WAY up there in justifying why you won't look deeper.

This described me only a few months ago...

Pride.

The Real Presence or a Memorial Supper?
Scripture and Tradition or Sola Scriptura?
Mary: Sinless Perpetual Virgin or only the Mother of Jesus?
"Not by faith alone" or "Faith alone"?
Visible church or invisible church?
Catholic or Protestant?

I never even KNEW these differences existed before a year ago... and finding out about them completely rocked my faith.

I was unintentionally ignorant and it caused me to realize how severely I lacked scriptural knowledge but what it really all boiled down to was pride.

I didn't want to be wrong...

I'm feeling much better today. God is really giving me encouragement through other people who have been in my shoes. I've read about them in books but it's nice to have access to real-life people.

In addition, I remembered this passage which has served to comfort me many times in the past and even moreso now:

Second Epistle Of Saint Paul To The Corinthians
Chapter 4

1 Therefore, seeing we have this ministration, according as we have obtained mercy, we faint not; 2 But we renounce the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor adulterating the word of God; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience, in the sight of God. 3 And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost, 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Jesus Christ our Lord; and ourselves your servants through Jesus.

6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Christ Jesus. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency may be of the power of God, and not of us. 8 In all things we suffer tribulation, but are not distressed; we are straitened, but are not destitute; 9 We suffer persecution, but are not forsaken; we are cast down, but we perish not: 10 Always bearing about in our body the mortification of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our bodies.

11 For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake; that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you. 13 But having the same spirit of faith, as it is written: I believed, for which cause I have spoken; we also believe, for which cause we speak also: 14 Knowing that he who raised up Jesus, will raise us up also with Jesus, and place us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes; that the grace abounding through many, may abound in thanksgiving unto the glory of God.

16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man is corrupted, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For that which is at present momentary and light of our tribulation, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory. 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen, are temporal; but the things which are not seen, are eternal.
~Douay-Rheims Bible

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