You asked! I am a sinner,

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  • #2103

    Joxios
    Member

    Born Cradle Catholic, From Spanish and Irish Catholics, Went to 8 yrs of Catholic Parochial School. Served as altar boy when the Mass was in Latin. Pre 1965 @ Good Shepherd Parish Inwood, Manhattan (NYC).

    I do not pretend to be an expert in the Bible, in fact, I don’t believe any one person can possibly be an expert in the whole Bible, That is the Holy Spirits domain.

    I am a truck driver, with 1 yr. of college, who was brought up with the attitude of ‘Work hard, play hard.’

    I developed a rift with God early teens, still went to Mass Easter & Christmas.. and didn’t forget to show up for Ash Wednesday. Still I often prayed as a Child, as an adult I became a fox hole pray’er, I knew he was always there.. but out of guilt I only turned to Him in dire need.

    It is said, “That the first image of God you experience is your Father, I grew up with a punishing Dad, so my image of God the Father was twisted to say the least… When I got caught doing a wrong, I have always admitted it, however if I did not get caught, and knew I was guilty of a wrong, I would try to put of the punishment as long as possible… everybody doesn’t mind getting way wtih a wrong, once they get caught in a wrong Then they become sorry.

    So I became a lapsed Catholic, showed up for Weddings and funerals, sometimes Christmas, or Easter. Spent twenty yrs away from the confessional.

    Let’s say my cup filled up, I was too full of myself, and God showed me he was God, I had nothing left to do but to drop to my knees and ask, (about 1999) “How did [b:vp6zap1p]’I'[/b:vp6zap1p] get here.”
    I realized yrs later, I was so prideful that even when I dropped to my knees, it was about [b:vp6zap1p]me ‘the great I am.[/b:vp6zap1p]’

    Four walls and iron bars a prison does not make” We can imprison ourselves in our sinfulness.

    With my Catholic background, I did not want to return to the Church, I thought I knew what it was all about. So about 1990, I started to struggle, my way back and ‘discover’ God. Tried this through a twelve step program, first but couldn’t buy the God of my own imagination.

    Met a gal who introduced me to the Lutheran Church, they did Bible studies, and I struggled for a several years, I met a few guys who took the time to walk me through scriptures daily, one a pentecostal, the other a pastor at an Calvary Church. Then studied with Baptists, Jehovah Witnesses were a regular @ my door, Wesleyan Protestants, small congregational Church’s in the local area.

    But the greatest discussions were @ Borders, I would sit and study with a table full of books, and people would look and comment and we were off.
    In 2000 while reading the Book “Lion of God” by Taylor Caldwell, which literally fell in my lap, something transformed me, I couldn’t stop reading Scripture, and I hungered for more.

    Through all those years of struggling it was the Protestant Church, that taught me believe it or not that the Catholic Church is the Church Jesus Christ started.
    But it wasn’t until a Catholic Deacon confronted me as I left a Baptist Bible study, and invited me back to Mass, and his tuesday night Catholic Bible study in 2001 that I began my road back. He then introduced me to a Deacon Levison, who introduced me to Scott Hahn, Tim Staples, Envoy Magazine and Parick Madrid.
    I converted back to Catholicism, (even though I really never denied it) After reading ‘A Father who Keeps His Promises’ By Scott Hahmn which Deacon John Levison made sure I’d read. Well, Scott Hahn, a Protestant convert spoke ‘protestantese’ and put his experience in plain terms. He went to Mass to discover what all the hoopla was about for his own study, and as he sits through the Mass, with his Bible in hand in the back of the Church, refusing to participate, he realizes he is living Scripture, specifically the Book of Revelations, so whenhe hears Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the World, and the Priest raises the Eucharist, he drops to his knees and says my Lord and my God, and starts his journey to convert and follow the Road to Rome.
    Well I had forgotten what the Eucharist meant, because I had gotten into the habit of just showing up to Mass, and The Holy Spirit worked through several people and Scott Hahn to remind me what the Catholic Church, and the Eucharist means.
    After that with my knowledge of Scripture and applying that to Catholic teachings, I can honestly state, the Catholic Church IS the Church established by Jesus Christ, and that everything the Catholic Church does IS Scriptural.
    Today, I keep my Bible and Catechism with me wherever I go… I’m no expert, in fact coming out of all the negative things said of Mary, she was hardest to accept, but I learned to trust in the Catholic Church and its teachings, and that even if I don’t understand something, not to fight its teachings, that with patience and perseverance it will be revealed to me.

    As far as quoting Scripture, I am backing up what I believe, with references to our faith and why I believe it. I don’t expect anyone to believe or accept why I do what I do, I just do it.. the Holy Spirit does the rest. But if I can back up what I believe with scripture and the Catechism all the better… you see there are those who are outside the Catholic Church who will tell you what the Catholic Church isn’t, if you want to show them there incorrect, you have to show them what it is..and in my experience they don’t want to know… they simply look away even with the plain truth right in front of them. I heard a Baptist minister say something about the church that wasn’t true, I asked are you sure? I don’t remember it like that? Looked it up presented the facts to him as what the Catholic Church did teach, and he looked away, and then made an example of me during his service.. I never attended that service again, however I did attend his bible study often.
    Today, in the Parish I am in, I helped with the RCIA in which my experience and knowledge is welcomed to help those who are converting to Catholicism.

    God bless,
    John

    #10298

    Andres Ortiz
    Keymaster

    Welcome! You have a great story. Thanks for sharing!

    Scott Hahn’s Rome Sweet Home was an important book for me. Although I never had left the Church, it certainly helped me to connect the dots.

    #10302

    LARobert
    Participant

    John:

    Nice to read your story. I was in Manhattan last week, Went to the 8:30 Divine Liturgy at St. George’s Ukranian Catholic Cathedral (Lower East Side) on Sunday and then the 11 AM Latin Mass at St. Agnes, (One of Abp. Sheen’s first parishes, as a priest) daily Mass at Holy Innocents on W 37th between Broadway and 7th Ave. It was so nice to be in NY and fly home just as the snow began to fall.

    As a convert to the Catholic Faith over 30 years ago, I continue to learn about the Faith each day. For me two things prompted me to investigate the Faith, first, my family was saved from the Shoah by the intervention of Pope Pius XII, and Cardinal Rancolli, (Later Pope John XXIII) while no pressure was put on my family or other jews to convert, as Pope Pius felt the love of Christ would shine through the actions of Catholics who did what was needed to save the lives of Jews, (and in the case of my family I was the first of many to convert). The second factor was when I entered Medical School at a SDA school. While I had to drop out because of health issues, I heard quite a few false accusations about the Catholic Church which did not sync with what I knew about the people who saved my family, I investigated these claims by going to Catholic sources, and learn what the Church really taught. This was before Dr. Hahn, Patrick Madrid and the rest. So I read the same books as they did, Cardinal Newman, Msgr. Ronald Knox and Msgr. Philip Hughes All converts to the Catholic Church. I read anti-Catholic writers too, and when I compaired what they said about the Catholic Church to what the Catholic Church actually taught, I learned that the Claims of the Catholic Church were valid, and that the statements of the Anti-Catholics were a perverted Catholic Faith that did not resemble the truth taught by the Church. One false teacher Louis Bottiner taught that Catholics all believed that only Catholics would be saved, and all Protestants were living in sin, making them all fornicators, because the Catholic Church claimed the power to invalidate all Protestant Marriages. So you may understand why I hope to present the Catholic viewpoint on the subject.

    Well enough about me, and a hearty welcome to you. I’ve enjoyed your postings thus far, and hope to see more.

    #10303

    Joxios
    Member
    "LARobert":1yj4auck wrote:
    John:

    Nice to read your story. I was in Manhattan last week, Went to the 8:30 Divine Liturgy at St. George’s Ukranian Catholic Cathedral (Lower East Side) on Sunday and then the 11 AM Latin Mass at St. Agnes, (One of Abp. Sheen’s first parishes, as a priest) daily Mass at Holy Innocents on W 37th between Broadway and 7th Ave. It was so nice to be in NY and fly home just as the snow began to fall.

    As a convert to the Catholic Faith over 30 years ago, I continue to learn about the Faith each day. For me two things prompted me to investigate the Faith, first, my family was saved from the Shoah by the intervention of Pope Pius XII, and Cardinal Rancolli, (Later Pope John XXIII) while no pressure was put on my family or other jews to convert, as Pope Pius felt the love of Christ would shine through the actions of Catholics who did what was needed to save the lives of Jews, (and in the case of my family I was the first of many to convert)… I heard quite a few false accusations about the Catholic Church which did not sync with what I knew about the people who saved my family, I investigated these claims by going to Catholic sources, and learn what the Church really taught. This was before Dr. Hahn, Patrick Madrid and the rest. So I read the same books as they did, Cardinal Newman, Msgr. Ronald Knox and Msgr. Philip Hughes All converts to the Catholic Church. … One [b:1yj4auck]false teacher Louis Bottiner[/b:1yj4auck] taught that Catholics all believed that only Catholics would be saved, and all Protestants were living in sin, making them all fornicators, because the Catholic Church claimed the power to invalidate all Protestant Marriages. So you may understand why I hope to present the Catholic viewpoint on the subject.

    Well enough about me, and a hearty welcome to you. I’ve enjoyed your postings thus far, and hope to see more.[/quote:1yj4auck]
    Hi LA Rob,
    thank you, thank you for yours,It’s amazing.

    I have also read Msgr. Knox, Cardinal Newman, “[i:1yj4auck]to Study Church history, is to cease to be Protestant[/i:1yj4auck]” and how true that is!

    I’m out on Long Island have been attending the Catholic Underground once a month, [url:1yj4auck]http://catholicunderground.net[/url:1yj4auck]

    i’m not really into the Charismatic movement, but it is comfortable being there.

    I ran into this guy passing out anti-Catholic propaganda, Just about took all the air out of me. Well we had a long discussion, I brought my Bible, Catechism, about a ten inch file of my Handwritten apologetics. Also been e-mailing, He would stop Catholics exiting the Church, and hit them with falsehoods about the Catholic church, And I am amazed at their responses of faith (young and old) in the Catholic Church. Sitting there listening to their responses enlightening. They know their stuff and hold their own!

    I had read a copy of Lorraine Boettner’s book, ‘On Roman Catholicism’
    It had been used a reference on a Catholic Teaching, but the reference’s were vague or erroneous, outside of the footnote they couldn’t be found or didn’t exist! And that book is considered the Protestants authority on the Catholic Church.

    God bless,
    John

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