Thursday, July 17, 2008


Hey, did any of you bloggers watch EWTN LIVE last night? I just watched it at 3:30 a.m. Yeah, I wake up early. I grinned the entire hour. Steve Ray (above) was Fr. Pacwa's guest and is he ever phenomenal! I love his passion, his zeal, his humor and the hour just flew! If any one isn't familiar with Steve Ray, he's a Catholic convert of 14 years. He was brought up Baptist fundamentalist and very anti Catholic. (He thought Catholics were 'going to hell.') What is that line? If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans? Anyway, he married a Presbyterian, Janet, and they both converted at the same time. We watched a couple dvd's of his video series, Footprints of God, in our first apologetics class at our parish in the Fall of 2005.

Watching him on EWTN Live was just so great, because I know exactly how he feels being a convert, too. I never knew the fullness of Truth was in the Catholic Church. I thought it was a "man made" religious institution that was or had been corrupted by man. I thought the Catholic Church was 'stodgy' and too "old fashioned" to be where anyone could possibly come to know Christ as their personal Savior. (what a little presumptuous ignoramus I was!) I married my husband, a Catholic, in 1976 and then joined the Church in or around 1979-80. But after reading some anti Catholic propaganda, (God rest Keith Green's [ignorant about the CC] soul) it wasn't long before I wanted to stop going to Mass and start going where the "real truth" was, and where the music was better and the sermons more "alive."

So for 26 years, we were bleating out in the wide open evangelical/pentecostal/fundamentalist fray. Yep, we were sheep w/out a shepherd. Doing our own thing in little "independent flocks." Worshiping how and where "we" wanted to worship. So Christianity became dull and lifeless because it was all about "me" and what floated my "spiritual boat." Though there was some truth preached, mostly it was just a pastor's opinion or interpretation of a couple of verses. Since there was so much disagreement among even those of us in the same congregation, it was not long before some would just leave or I'd become bored and disillusioned and just stop going to church for weeks or even months sometimes longer. We'd been in 3 different fellowships. All of us being "led" by the Holy Spirit, which to think about that now gives me shivers.

As an aside: You know, Jim Jones was a bible believing man. He grew up on the "word of God" like a good pentecostal. He was "led" by the Holy Spirit, too, wasn't he???? So how would the doctrine of Sola Scriptura ever conclude he was wrong?
If someone claiming to be taught by the bible only, the bible being someone's only "authority" then NO ONE can say Jim Jones went off the rails and was wrong, by what authority would one claim to correct him? See what a slippery slope Sola Scriptura is?

We were all believing such different things and having such conflicting interpretations of the bible. Is God a God of order or chaos? It ended up weighing me down. But I still couldn't put my finger on why, or where to go and I was seeing myself falling into a scary pattern that I'd been in before. Drifting back into being a happy little heathen and hoping for the best in the end. Well, God and his grace took care of that. Read the first post of my blog May 2006 for more details. I am now IN LOVE with the Catholic faith and the Catholic Church! I absolutely love the authority and safety of Holy Mother Church. She is the ONE TRUE CHURCH Jesus established to keep us SAFE and growing in virtue and where all the grace of all of the sacraments is there to help us on our way to becoming saints. God's protection and safety net is IN HIS CHURCH. The Holy Spirit leads docile folk into the complete Truth, not partial Truth where chaos reigns. God, I thank you for such a gift!!! I am so grateful to be HOME!!! ROME SWEET HOME!!! Hey, if you're a Catholic that's wandered away from the Church come home, your Mother's waiting and she has much love and grace to give!

Check out Steve's website It's wonderful.


Kim said...

No, I didn't see it. Will have to check the EWTN schedule for the next showing. I'm reading his book, Crossing the Tiber right now, in fact. Well, not right this minute! lol But it is the book I'm reading currently when I read anything.

Your enthusiasm is certainly encouraging, and thanks for the heads up, Susie!

Joyful Catholics said...

Hi Kim! Good to "see" you. Great book it is. Hope you can catch another showing, you'll love it.

Tiber Jumper said...

Crossing the Tiber by Steve Ray was one of the books that really did it for me. When I read how Catholics "gave us" the Bible and the early Church believed in the real presence and has continued to up to the present day, I was verklempt!
A chill went through me when I realized I have been looking for Jesus trying to get closer my whole life and He's been here all the time in the Eucharist .
Hence the name of my blog is from Steve's book. God bless his ministry. His Footprints series have had me in tears several times.

Joyful Catholics said...

me too, TJ.