"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history." -Cardinal Francis George

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Being recieved into the Church Dec. 19

Holy Family Catholic Church, St. Louis Park, MN This December 19th, which is the fourth Sunday of Advent, I will be recieved into Christ's Church, the Catholic Church. My wife and I will both be confirmed as well. My wife Bridget is a revert so only needs confession and confirmation. I can't express my feelings about all of this properly. It is... sublime, but at the same time strange and frightening. My family is so very blessed and I thank God that He lifted the scales from our eyes to see His Church. In our meetings with our Priest, Fr. Thomas Dufner, he has often asked what questions I have for him, or pointing out some doctrine that is radically different from my Reformed past he will ask if I understand it. My reply has been "That is why I am here, I want it all". In our first meeting, he drew a picture of Luther's snow covered dunghill on a piece of paper, and gave a very good description of the crucial difference between my former religion and my new one. Is the dung (me) covered with snow (imputation) or is it changed into snow (infusion)? When the question came to Papal infallibility, I said "that is why I am here, bring it on!" I want whatever Christ has to offer, and therefore whatever his Church has, I want it! Our church is just an amazing place filled with very holy people. There will be plenty of oportunities for spiritual growth for us if we look to their example! I am reminded of Chesterton's three stages of conversion now that I am reaching the culmination of the third stage. The first is giving the Catholic Church a fair viewing, or just being objective with it. The second is a result of the first... being aware of the percieved falsehoods as well as the stunning truths of the faith, and being excited and amazed at the quantity and quality of the truths. The third I will just let Chesterton himself give: It is impossible to be just to the Catholic Church. The moment men cease to pull against it they feel a tug towards it. The moment they cease to shout it down they begin to listen to it with pleasure. The moment they try to be fair to it they begin to be fond of it. But when that affection has passed a certain point it begins to take on the tragic and menacing grandeur of a great love affair. The man has exactly the same sense of having committed or compromised himself; of having been in a sense entrapped, even if he is glad to be entrapped. But for a considerable time he is not so much glad as simply terrified. It may be that this real psychological experience has been misunderstood by stupider people and is responsible for all that remains of the legend that Rome is a mere trap. But that legend misses the whole point of the psychology. It is not the Pope who has set the trap or the priests who have baited it. The whole point of the position is that the trap is simply the truth. The whole point is that the man himself has made his way towards the trap of truth, and not the trap that has run after the man. All steps except the last step he has taken eagerly on his own account, out of interest in the truth; and even the last step, or the last stage, only alarms him because it is so very true. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND CONVERSION BY G. K. CHESTERTON As I prepare to take that last step, the image comes to mind of the Jewish High Priest having a rope tied around his ankle when he went in to sprinkle the mercy seat with the blood of the lamb on the day of atonement. (the rope was to pull him out if he didn't uh-hum make it out). How much more sacred and profound an event I will participate in when I finally recieve the Lord's Body and Blood in the Eucharist. I might come to mass with a rope around my ankle. Any local Twin City readers can come and celebrate with us at the 9am mass on Dec. 19. Directions in the link under the picture above.


  1. Congratulations, David! This is wonderful news.

  2. Congratulations and WELCOME HOME! :-)

  3. Welcome home, David! God is good!

  4. Congratulations David. That is excellent news.

    Prayers for you and your family.


  5. Congratulations and Welcome Home!
    Dimas (from Brazil)

  6. David,

    I am so happy for you and your family. It is truly an amazing thing.

    My family experienced this joy again when my daughter received her first reconciliation (and was received into the Church) a week ago Sunday and her first communion on Wednesday, The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and it was also her 10th birthday. The Monsignor who guided the rest of us into the Church called her up for Holy Communion before everyone else (it was a student Mass - she goes to school there). I was blubbering. It was honestly one of the best days of my life. When I asked my daughter how she felt later, she replied: "Great, but Jesus blood burned in my chest!" That led to a good discussion on species.

    It will be our prayer that you experience this amazing joy on the 19th.

  7. David,

    Congratulations! May God fill you with love for His Church, and with joy at finding her and the communion of all the saints.

    In the peace of Christ,

    - Bryan

  8. David, I didn't know you had a blog. Good stuff. Congratulations on your pending confirmation. Soon you and I will be in full communion! Angels are rejoicing.

    I'm excited for you.

  9. Thanks so much to all of you for the encouragement. 2.5 Hours from now I will be making my first confession. 20 years of dirt is going to get dumped in that little booth. Thank God.

  10. Have a blessed day today, David, you and your family.

  11. David and Family, I am happy for you all. My family has prayed for you in the past, and we will keep you in our Prayers this week as you celebrate Christmas as Catholic Christians.

    God Bless and Peace to all of you

  12. David and Family, God grant you many blessed years! Welcome home! I swam the Tiber 16 years ago and I have never looked back to my OPC roots! It is such a relief to leave behind the false theology for the truth! We will keep you in our prayers!

    Annie Witz Class of 94!

  13. Annie,

    I listened to your story on Called to Communion. Very powerful, and I really was blessed by it. I found myself nodding along with a lot of it. Especially the comment about women being pigeonholed in the Reformed church. There is just simply no equivalent to a religious vocation like being a nun in the PCA/OPC, and therefore no vocation for some women.

  14. Congrats! We reverted last Easter.

  15. Congrats David! Welcome to the Church.

  16. David,
    I followed you from CTC and enjoy what you write here a lot. I'm a PCA guy right now but have been wrestling with many of the same issues that you did before converting (in fact it prevented me from becoming an elder this past summer because I just couldn't accept that with uncertainty).
    Anyways, that's just background, I was curious about your wife's role in all this. I think I've read somewhere that she's a revert, but how did you go about discussing this stuff with her? Did you, or did you just say, we're leaving and going Catholic, come on? I'm asking because this is a topic I've brought up with my wife a couple of times and it's pretty much a non-starter even to discuss some of the issues that are being raised. Anyways, keep up the good work!

  17. God bless you Anon.
    And Godspeed your journey home. Email me ANYTIME and I would love to help.
    About my wife. Things happened very fast. I “crashed” over a period of 2 or 3 days, and knew I was no longer a Protestant. I don’t do things halfway. (except my prayer life! ;-) My wife was very skeptical, and had lots of questions. Her and I had become Reformed together under the tuteledge of R. C. Sproul and she was very skeptical of Catholicism.
    I corresponded with Bryan Cross to get answers for her questions that I could not immediately answer. I told her up front that this was something that IF I did, would be something I did not (and could not) expect her to follow.
    Then I prayed like a man on the gallows that God would work it all out.
    I told her I expected her to at least fairly listen to the arguments, which is something that is simply loving and the right thing to do. If a spouse says “issue X is VERY important to me” and the spouse says “whatever, it is not important to me”, that is not love. At least they should study and research until they know the issue backward and forward. In my case, my wife had been listening to late night rantings from me for years about how I hated the disunity among Protestants. And she agreed with me 100% about that. When I told her I was investigating Catholicism, and that I could no longer be a Prtoestant unless sola S. was repaired to its former glory in my eyes, she really “got” where I was coming from. From there it was not hard for her to trust the Catholic Church of her childhood again. After seeing the disunity in the Reformed community, she knew the dark side and was ready to leave it behind.
    Hope that helps.