My Conversion Story

To read my conversion story, I have posted it in .pdf format available for download.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Angelus and the honor due to Our Blessed Mother

I am writing this in response to a Facebook email from a friend from my former Baptist Church (actually the church is still Baptist. It is I who am former). I also have several friends that I just added to Facebook. I met these friends in Texas when I was stationed at Fort Hood in the early ‘80s. We attended a Baptist church together, where I was a charter member and deacon. They now live in various parts of the country and we have only recently made contact again after several years. They did not know until we connected on Facebook that I came back to the Catholic Church about three years ago.

I had posted The Angelus on my Facebook page and my friend took exception to it indicating that I was giving Mary undue honor that should belong to Christ alone. I decided to post it here on my blog site rather than a personal response as I am sure there are a lot of others of my friends from both churches who may have the same questions of me.

Personally I’m having trouble figuring out what part of The Angelus a Protestant might have a problem with. I posted a Christmas prayer that I thought would not be offensive to my non-Catholic friends. The Angelus is a string of Bible quotes about the announcement of the birth of Christ. Like it or not, Mary was a part of all of that.

Here is The Angelus in it’s entirety. Facebook wouldn’t allow me to post the whole prayer as it is too long:

V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, etc...

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to Your Word.

Hail Mary, etc...

V. And the Word was made flesh,
R. And dwelt among us.

Hail Mary, etc...

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

Pour forth, we beseech You, O Lord,
Your Grace into our hearts;
that as we have known the incarnation of Christ,
your Son by the message of an angel,
so by His passion and cross
we may be brought to the glory of His Resurrection.
Through the same Christ, our Lord.


If it’s because of the Hail Mary, the first part of that are quotes from the Bible also. The title “Mother of God” was developed by the early church to confirm the dogma of the full diety and humanity of Christ.

The part where it’s a prayer to her is completely consistent with the dogma of the Communion of Saints. Hebrews 11 gives a list of many of the great heroes of the faith (including some only mentioned in the Deutro-Canonicals that most Protestants reject as part of the Bible), and then says that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. This is not symbolic or a figure of speech. We really are surrounded by them. Revelation 5:8 and 8:3 show angels and heavenly saints offering to God the prayers of the saints on earth in the form of incense.

Maybe it’s because of the erroneous belief that many Baptists, Evangelicals, and Fundamentalists often have, that Catholics pay too much attention to Mary. Even when I was a Baptist, I thought we didn’t pay enough attention to her. She is virtually ignored except for womens' Bible studies, and a little bit at Christmas. As the Mother of our Lord, she is the most unique person in history, save the Lord Himself. Revelation 12 clearly shows her as the Queen of Heaven, as she is the woman who “gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.” It further goes to say, “Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God's commandments and bear witness to Jesus.” Showing that she is the Mother of the entire Church.

This is the belief of the earliest Church Fathers, and quite frankly, I would take their word—people who knew her and the apostles—before I would take the word of someone 1,500 years or more later that is acting out of rebellion. If we rebel against the Church, we rebel against her, and against God. To not give her the honor she is due is to disrespect our Mother in the faith, directly against the 5th Commandment to honor your father and mother. 

I do not mean that my non-Catholic friends are rebellious. They may just be ignorant. It is John Nelson Darby, Cyrus Scofield, D. L. Moody, Harry Ironside, John R. Rice, and people like that who are in rebellion. I have found that virtually all non-Catholics and ex-Catholics, even those who have had a Catholic education, simply do not understand Catholic teaching. I was in this boat myself for almost 30 years. Rather than looking at actual Catholic teaching, they have been reading anti-Catholic material, mostly based on Loraine Boettner’s “Roman Catholicism,” and the books of Dave Hunt who are poor excuses as biblical scholars. All of these works are full of errors, untrue suppositions, straw-men, and red herrings.

Scripture is very clear about how to deal with disputes in the Church. Matthew 18 says that if your brother offends you, take it to the Church. It does not say to break off in rebellion and start your own denomination based on your own personal interpretation of the Bible. "No Scripture is of private interpretation..."

Perhaps the issue is with praying to saints in general. I have already touched on most of the reasons that the Bible teaches the exact opposite. The main argument would probably the Biblical prohibition against contact with the dead. But as is often the case with Protestants this is a gut-reaction rather than exhaustive Biblical research. A superficial reading of Deuteronomy 18:10-11 may lead you to believe this. But this is another instance where Fundamentalists take things out of context in order to fit a pre-conceived idea.

Rather than me writing this I am going to quote from the Catholic Answers website. Here is a link to the article. While you are there, go ahead and register on the forums. There is an incredible about of information there. You do not need to register to read anything there, but you do need to in order to post.

"'No Contact with the dead'

Sometimes Fundamentalists object to asking our fellow Christians in heaven to pray for us by declaring that God has forbidden contact with the dead in passages such as Deuteronomy 18:10–11. In fact, he has not, because he at times has given it—for example, when he had Moses and Elijah appear with Christ to the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:3). What God has forbidden is necromantic practice of conjuring up spirits. "There shall not be found among you any one who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, any one who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. . . . For these nations, which you are about to dispossess, give heed to soothsayers and to diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you so to do. The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren—him you shall heed" (Deut. 18:10–15). 

"God thus indicates that one is not to conjure the dead for purposes of gaining information; one is to look to God’s prophets instead. Thus one is not to hold a seance. But anyone with an ounce of common sense can discern the vast qualitative difference between holding a seance to have the dead speak through you and a son humbly saying at his mother’s grave, 'Mom, please pray to Jesus for me; I’m having a real problem right now.' The difference between the two is the difference between night and day. One is an occult practice bent on getting secret information; the other is a humble request for a loved one to pray to God on one’s behalf."

© 2010 The Cathoholic - All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Often Protestants, in an effort to completely separate themselves from everything that even appears Catholic, overlook historical events that are the Providence of God made manifest. This is one of the reasons that Protestants are missing the fullness of God’s revelation.

One of these is Mary, in the form of the Holy Virgin of Guadalupe. The story of Our Lady is a story of the largest conversion from paganism to Christianity that the world has ever experienced.

If you saw Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto you can see what the Aztec religion was like. It was polytheistic, and to maintain control over the other tribes, they would conquer them then sacrifice alive as much as 20,000 men every day. The sacrifices were brutal, including ripping a man’s heart out of his chest and eating it in front of him before he had a chance to die.

Within ten years of Cortes’ conquest, very few had converted to Christianity. The people still had a fear of what would happen to them if they abandoned their former gods. They also saw a big inconsistency with the lifestyles of the conquistadores and the lifestyle that was preached.

Mary appeared to Juan Diego, and performed the miracle of the roses and her image appeared on his tilma (Like a poncho). After the people saw incontrovertible proof of the Providence of God, they began paying attention to the Gospel. News of Christianity spread like wild fire, and within a span of a couple of years, over 9,000,000 (that’s not a typo!) people abandoned the pagan religion, and embraced Catholic Christianity.

This one incident completely obliterated the disgusting practices of the Aztec people.

For more details of this well-documented historical event go to

© 2010 The Cathoholic - All Rights Reserved.

Original source:
© 2008 Discovering Majesty - All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Life is precious

I spent a couple of hours yesterday holding my newest family member, Jamal. When I look at him, his precious 4-month old cousin, Gabriel, and my 7-year old great niece, Isabel, I can't help but think of all the little children who have been killed through abortion. "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come!" - Matt 18:6-7

© 2010 The Cathoholic - All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Purity of Mary

One of the primary reasons I left the Catholic Church many years ago was because I didn't understand the role of Mary. I honestly thought that Catholics pay too much attention to her. They claim that they don't worship her, but it seemed that they did, because of the things that they would say, and the things that they would do compared with how little about her is said in the Bible.

Now that I have come back I can't imagine life without her. And I don't understand how I could not see how important she is, and how important it is that she be pure. It's purely logical that she be Immaculate. Please look at this excerpt from Fulton J. Sheen's "The World's First Love, Mary Mother of God" published in 1952. even if you're not a Catholic, look at this with an open mind:

His Mother was not like ours, whom we accepted as something historically fixed, which we could not change; He was born of a mother whom He chose before He was born. It is the only instance in history where both the Son willed the Mother and the Mother willed the Son. And this is what the Creed means when it says "born of the Virgin Mary". She was called by God as Aaron was and our Lord was born not just of her flesh but also by her consent.

Before taking unto Himself a human nature, He consulted with the Woman, to ask her if she would give him a man. The Manhood of Jesus was not stolen from humanity, as Prometheus stole fire from heaven; it was given as a gift.

The first man, Adam, was made from the slime of the earth. The first woman was made from a man in an ecstasy. The new Adam, Christ, comes from the new Eve, Mary, in an ecstasy of prayer and love of God and the fullness of freedom.

We should not be surprised that she is spoken of as a thought by God before the world was made. When Whistler painted the picture of his mother, did he not have the image of her in his mind before he ever gathered his colors on his palette? If you could have preexisted your mother (not artistically, but really), would you not have made her the most perfect woman that ever lived -- one so beautiful she would have been the sweet envy of all women, and one so gentle and so merciful that all other mothers would have sought to imitate her virtues? Why, then, should we think that God would do otherwise? When Whistler was complimented on the portrait of his mother, he said, "You know how it is; one tries to make one’s Mummy just as nice as he can." When God became man, he too, I believe, would make his Mother as nice as he could -- and that would make her a perfect Mother.

God never does anything without exceeding preparation. The two great masterpieces of God are Creation of man and Re-creation or Redemption of man. Creation was made for unfallen men; his Mystical Body, for fallen men. Before making man, God made a Garden of delights -- as God alone knows how to make a garden beautiful. In that Paradise of creation there were celebrated the first nuptials of man and woman. But man willed not have blessings, except according to his lower nature. Not only did he lose his happiness; he even wounded his own mind and will. Then God planned the remaking or redeeming of man. But before doing so, he would make another Garden. This new one would not be of earth but of flesh; it would be a Garden over whose portals the name of sin would never be written -- a Garden in which there would grow no weeds of rebellion to choke the growth of the flowers of grace -- a Garden from which would flow four rivers of redemption to the four corners of the earth -- a Garden so pure that the Heavenly Father would not blush in sending His Own Son into it -- and this "flesh-girt Paradise to be gardened by the Adam new" was our Blessed Mother. As Eden was the Paradise of Creation, Mary is the Paradise of the incarnation, and in her as a Garden were celebrated the first nuptials of God and man. The closer one gets to fire, the greater the heat; the closer one is to God, the greater the purity. But since no one was ever closer to God than the woman whose human portals he threw open to walk this earth, then no one could have been more pure than she.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Going "trick or treating"? No one's home!

I see we are gearing up for another year of churches telling their neighbors how much they don’t trust them. Yes, I’m talking about “trunk or treat.” We don’t trust the neighbors to not poison our kids (mostly an urban myth) so we destroy what little trust there is in the neighborhoods by taking the kids out of them.

This changes Halloween from a neighborhood event, into a church one. It’s supposed to be for outreach. But is it outreach, or is it fear? Or is it lazy parents who don’t want to go around the neighborhood with the kids? It’s no longer about seeing your neighborhood kids getting dressed up. It’s just about grabbing as much candy in one spot as you can.

Copyright 2010 The Cathoholic. All rights reserved.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Catholic Vote

Dear Catholics,

Did you know that voting for the wrong candidate may be a serious sin? According to the Michigan, and the US Conferences of Bishops, only in very rare instances can you vote for a pro-choice candidate.

If you knowingly vote for a pro-choice candidate, you are probably guilty of a grave sin--one that needs to be confessed before a priest before partaking in the sacraments.

For the Michigan state Governor election next month, there are only two viable candidates. One plainly says he is pro-choice (or as I like to call it "anti-life" or "pro-death"). The other says that he is pro-life, yet he is for embryonic stem-cell research.

Of the fringe parties, the Libertarian candidate will not answer questionnaires, so you can be pretty sure that he is anti-life as most Libertarians are. The Green Party candidate is also anti-life. The Taxpayer Party candidate is the only truly pro-life candidate on the ballot. But she has absolutely no experience. She is a stay-at-home mom who has a running mate who is a member of the Michigan Militia. Her qualifications as stated on her website are that  she knows "how to run a household and the importance of individual responsibility, of sacrifice when necessary."

As far as I am concerned, there are only two choices that Catholics may vote for in good conscience, and one of those has virtually no chance of winning, so voting for that person may actually be a pro-choice vote.

See this publication for more information.

© 2010 The Cathoholic - All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 11, 2010

English: A beautiful language

Lately I’ve been reading a book by one of my new favorite authors, Michael D. O’Brien. It is called, “Saint and Sojourners,” the second installment in the Children of the Last Days series. O’Brien is one of the best authors I’ve seen in a long time. Not only are his stories engaging, but his poetic style of prose is stunningly beautiful. Authors like this remind us that English is truly a lovely and lyrical language. When used properly.

Here is an example. Just to give a little background—it takes place in about 1920. The young man in the story is struggling with the remembrance of the death of his father, an Irish revolutionary, killed by the English, and his subsequent hatred of all things English. It has not yet been revealed in the story, but I suspect that he ends up fighting in skirmishes with the British, or kills the one responsible for his father’s death. He is now essentially an hermit fur-trader in British Columbia. He has had a near-death experience and has been nursed back to health by an Englishwoman. This is causing him to reflect on his hatred.  In this scene he has just chased away a bear near his front door. He didn’t want to shoot it. Being so close, he didn’t want to injure it and make it angry:

"The man exhaled a long stream of breath and sank to the porch to rest his quaking muscles. He understood then what bear it would be his lot to wrestle with. Not blacks or grizzlies. But the one that struggled for mastery within his own being and had already been identified for him: fear.

He stood into the shaft of the rising sun, the shivering lord of creation. Then he went down the footpath to the edge of the river, where he might complete those small tasks that reassured him the order of existence. He drew in the net slowly as if he were not performing the visible act but had deciphered in the simple, hand-over-hand motions the knowledge of cosmic order. He untangled the gills of a grayling and two whitefish, tossing them up flapping onto the snow. Later, he cooked and ate them.

The man slept early that night. He did not dream of bear or war but was pulled by a tide into an ocean upon which he miraculously floated.

Beside the sea a noble man with silver hair, wearing a rough-spun woolen cloak of burgundy and green, turned and looked into Stiofan’s eyes. The seagulls cried, Malachi, Malachi, who art holy upon the waters!

Do you see this ocean Stiofan? said the man, pointing at the surf with his shepherd’s crook.

Yes. I see.

It is the ocean of God’s mercy.

But the boy Stiofan covered his face with his hands, and his hands were red with blood, and he ran, he ran from the sea.

In his sleep he sang, as the soul will sometimes release at the deepest level of being the music of a dirge that the ancient ones had keened in the cottages of his childhood:

You have taken the east from me, and west,
You have taken sun and moon from me,
You have taken love from me,
And my great fear,
And my great fear,
That you have taken God
From me.

He sang in longing notes, which no one heard."

© 2010 The Cathoholic - All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New blog site

I've decided to start a new blog site to separate my testimony of my return to the Catholic Church, from other things I have learned along the way.

You can still find my conversion story at: