Tag Archives: conversion

Saint Monica

saint-monica.jpgEveryone ought to have a “Saint Monica” figure in their lives. The sainted mother of Saint Augustine is the patron of spiritual maternity. Even though Monica was the biological mother of Augustine, she worked hard in the spiritual realm to get her son to give himself to Christ and his plan rather than his own plan of self-destructive behavior. Her constant prayer, fasting and good works all contributed to Augustine’s conversion. The collect for today’s Mass speaks volumes.

The Church prays
O God, who console the sorrowful and who mercifully accepted the motherly tears of Saint Monica for the conversion of her son Augustine, grant us, through the intercession of them both, that we may bitterly regret our sins and find the grace of your pardon.

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Created good and love by God

Going along in my uncertainties I muddle over questions of life that affect me on the spiritual level. Perhaps others do the same. One of the things that Father Carrón is asking in his 2011 retreat for the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation is: do we recognize that despite our human weakness, or failings, that Christ still loves every part of me? Yes, but not always. Sometimes it is difficult to be aware such an expression of the Other. Why this is so, I am still trying to figure out. Let me know when you get the answer. The Abbot of Christ in the Desert in New Mexico writes a weekly online column which is often insightful. The following is a portion of that column that used for reflection:

Some people are insistent at times, to me, that it is
impossible any longer to lead a truly chaste and celibate life. My general
reply is that it has always been more or less impossible and is only truly
possible when there is a strong faith and a deep commitment to the Lord and a
trust that God will give us the strength that we need. Without a doubt that
have always been failures and there will always be failures, but that is to be
taken for granted in the human condition. Repentance and conversion are a part
of any Christian life and are always values and realities that struggle against
the brokenness that we find within us.

There is no doubt that all of us are
created good and that God always loves us. Our own understanding of ourselves,
though, helps us understand that our goodness has been compromised by others,
by ourselves and by situations outside of our control. The gifts of repentance
and conversion help us in our struggle against all within us that has been

This gift of the capacity to struggle against our brokenness is
one of the gifts of salvation given to us in Christ Jesus. Jesus is a model for
us in His humanity because He lived for truth and for the glory of His Father.
Jesus won and wins salvation for us by giving Himself up to death and by rising
from the dead.

Father Philip,

Abbot of Christ in the Desert Monastery

Byran Kemper reverts to Catholicism…why?

Bryan Kemper.jpgComing to Christ –that’s what I am calling it when some comes into full communion with the Catholic Church (or Orthodoxy)– is not an easy thing for some people. Family, friends, employment, fear, and second-guessing the discernment can make “converting” all the more a royal pain. Only grace can sustain one’s move from one ecclesial body to another. A case in point has been those of the Anglican Communion coming to Catholic Church and now Byran Kemper, a baptized Catholic turn Presbyterian who founded the Stand True Ministries, among other things. Kemper is also the author of Social Justice Begins in the Womb (2010).

Why is Byran Kemper coming into full communion with the Catholic Church (he’s reverting to the Church in which he was baptized and through whom he received the pledge of future glory)?
He mentions a few factors that cradle Catholics often dismiss as important: the Liturgy, the Seven Sacraments, church authority, pro-life theology and activity, and friendship.
In the coming weeks as we move closer to the great feast of our faith, the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, and where our brothers and sisters come home to Christ, add Bryan and the others in the RCIA programs around the world who will receive the Easter Sacraments at the Easter Vigil to your prayer list. Beg the Holy Spirit for the grace of fortitude.

Calling to Continuing Conversion

Dolan preaching Mar 20 2011.jpgEarlier this afternoon at St Patrick’s Cathedral, hundreds of people gathered to formally state their intention to receive their sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil. The Church of Saint Catherine of Siena has three men intending to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. We joined 67 other parishes in the Archdiocese of New York for the “Rite of Calling the Candidates to Continuing Conversion.”

The Most Reverend Archbishop Timothy Michael Dolan, archbishop of New York, presided at an hour long ceremony in which sacred Scripture was proclaimed and preached, prayers of supplication prayed and the candidates prayed over by His Excellency. Calling down the Holy Spirit asking for the grace of conversion was the goal.

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The Baptist calls us recognize the voice in desert

St John the Baptist Pellegrino da San Daniele.jpg

Advent is time of hope and expectation, it is also a time of repentance and conversion. Today’s readings in the Liturgy orient our attention to changing our life’s to reflect more and more the Lord’s. And the Baptist is the amazing and stirring Advent proponents to follow Jesus more closely. What is more identifiable than the Baptist’s exhortation: Prepare the way of the Lord?

St. Augustine on the gift of conversion: “What, then?
It is perhaps dependant on you, O man, if converted to God once you have earned
his mercy, while on the contrary those who have not converted have not obtained
mercy but have encountered the wrath of God? But you what resources available
to convert, if you had not been called? Was it not He who called you when you
were the enemy, to grant you the grace of repentance? So do not ascribe to
yourself the merit of your conversion: why, if God had not intervened to call
you when you fled from him, you would not have been able to look back.” St.
Augustine Expositionson the Psalmi, 84, 8-9.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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