Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Prayer Disciple!

This is a great site I found on prayer: www.gospel.com Below is a blog about how to pray and some links to help those in need of some guidance in praying.

Prayer Disciple
I think we’ve all had questions about prayer: when should I do it, what’s appropriate, what should I say? For the disciple of Christ, prayer is a necessity that shouldn’t be taken for granted; yet, on a personal note, I know I so often do. There’s plenty of information out there to help guide you in your prayer life, from the Prayer of Jabez to the Book of Common Prayer.
Today, we’d like to highlight Delve Into Jesus, a site that is devoted to providing accurate information about Jesus on the internet.Here’s a short introduction to prayer to help you get started, but after you’ve prayed do you know how God might answer you? Delve Into Jesus has an article detailing some of the ways in which the author has seen God respond to his prayers called God’s Response To Prayer Requests. And if you want to have someone pray for you, there is an area to post your own prayer requests.

If you’re wondering whom you might pray for, Arab World Ministries publishes a prayer calendar that is specific to their ministry each month. This is a fantastic resource that can help build the discipline of prayer for global missions into your quiet times.
And if you’re at a loss as to what or how to pray, pray as Jesus did. From Matthew 6:9-13

“This, then, is how you should pray:

‘Our Father in heaven,hallowed be your name,your kingdom come,your will be doneon earth as it is in heaven.Give us today our daily bread.Forgive us our debts,as we also have forgiven our debtors.And lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from the evil one.”

Please feel free to send me your prayer requests. I know that I sure have a lot and always am wishing that I had more people to ask for prayer from. If you feel comfortable leaving me your requests, I will be happy to pray for you and have my fellow Christian friends and family pray as well. Annomysly of course! I know that it's sometimes hard to reach out to others...I'm here to listen (or should I say read) to your requests!

God Bless!!!!<><

Monday, October 6, 2008

Day3: Creation & the fall of Man

September 29, 2008 - Day 3 of RCIA

Creation & the fall of Man
1. The Angels
2. The earthly world
3. Original Sin

This night was by far the most interesting for me and the most enlightening! I learned so much….it was a good night! There were two things that were brought up that have always been my two biggest issuses with Catholics: Mary and confession! I want to start with Mary, the mother of Jesus first.

Mary - Mother of Jesus
Being raised protestant there is not a whole lot of emphasis on MARY. We emphasize Jesus Christ and the importance of Him more than any other human being. Catholics I always thought WORSHIPPED Mary. It seemed as though she was more important than God himself…God became second. Prayers were prayed to Mary first, then given up to God by Mary is how I saw it. God was important, but Angels/Saints seemed to be the focal point of Catholics beliefs and it bothered me. I was taught that we shall worship one God, and one God only. The worshipping of MARY seemed like another God to me. Then, it became clear!:-)
Mary is not worshipped, she is HONORED! She is honored because of her amazing mircale birth of Jesus Christ. She gave birth to Jesus, and Jesus is the reason we are here today…so we Honor her for the gift of life and worship Jesus (God) for giving his life so that we could have life. How could you not Honor Mary for this amazing gift? It just makes sense that we would. I know there is still a lot for me to learn about the HONORING of Saints/Angels and others who have done great things….I'm still unclear on why there seems to be more emphasis on others rather than God himself…example in a Catholic Church there are a lot of other statues other than Jesus that are present and they are everywhere….where in a protestant Church, you will see more images of Jesus and the main focus will be on Him. This racks my brain and I'm sure in the days to come, I will be more clear on this.

Why on earth would I confess my sins to anyone other than God? The idea of walking into a little room to confess my sins to a priest sitting behind a thin wall has always been so weird to me. I couldn't imagine doing this. It's hard enough confessing to God. I asked the Father Hathaway to clerify this for me because when you become a Catholic, this is something that is strongly encouraged. I tend to not be so diligant in confessing my sins to God. I can just say to myself, oh God please forgive me and move about my day. I don't seem to be really sorry or do any sort of repentance. Although it seems harder to tell somebody else your sins, I believe that it will mean more if you say your sins out loud to someone. I know for me saying things out loud makes me feel better and when I'm hurting, it hurts more to keep the pain inside than to tell someone who can pray for you. Confessing your sins out loud to a priest is pretty much the same. It's like speaking with a counseler for help, or to a good friend. They will listen to you with their un-devoted attention and at the end can pray with you and ask God to heal your pain and bring you comfort and peace. This is what the priest does. They are there to listen in the same way and pray for you that God forgives your sins. Going to the priest first, isn't bypassing God, it's going to someone to talk to who can deliver the message for you to Him. I feel like I will be more sincere if I have to say out loud my sins. With this explanation, this does not mean that I am able to do this just yet. The thought of it makes me ill (in a nervous way)! I know it will take time, but for now, I'm good with doing it my way until this day comes when I do feel ready to confess my sins out loud. This may be confusing to some and I hope that I was clear enough for you all to understand what I was truly trying to explain.

These past 3 classes have been such a learning experience for me. I have another class tonight and I'm excited. I know God has an amazing plan for my future and I know this is part of it. I'm blessed with an amazing life and I couldn't be happier. Thank you to everyone who has played a part in making my life so amazing!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Day 2: Existence of God, Trinity

September 22, 2008 - Day 2 of RCIA
1. God: Unity & Trinity
2. Attributes of God & His existence

In today's class we learned about the Trinity and God and His existence.
CROSS ------> Trinity
- - Father
- - Son
- - Holy Spirit
Central saving mystery of our faith

Coming from a Protestant background this was review for me. As I sat in class listening to Father Holmes describe the Trinity, I thought to myself, how does somebody who has no religious background what so ever grasp this concept? Being a follower of Christ my whole life, I still sit in wonder at this concept so I couldn't imagine what those are thinking, feeling or wondering who are new to Christianity.
Why did God create me? God created me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him!

Those who questioned the existence of God, were spoken to by Moses - Excodus 3:14-16
[14] God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, `I AM has sent me to you.'" [15] God also said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel, `The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you': this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations. [16] Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, `The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, "I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt.

FAITH is a gift from God, a supernatural virtue infused by him.
FAITH is certain
What does Faith offer you? ETERNAL LIFE!!!!

BELIEVING is an act of the intellect assenting to the divine truth by command of the will moved by God through grace
Believing in Jesus Christ and in the one who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation.
"We walk by Faith, not by Sight"

This is just some notes from my class that I wrote down that stuck out Father Holme's lesson. This is such a great learning experience for me. A lot of it so far is review, but a lot of this is all new to me as well. I feel there is definitely a purpose for me in this class….what it is, I do not know! God is very present in our class and I feel at peace when I'm sitting listening to the lecture. I'm experiencing feelings that I have never felt before…it's a little scary for me, but at the same time, it's exciting!

Hope you all enjoy reading my posts!
Current feeling: A bit overwhelmed

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Day 1: Introducion

September 15, 2008 - Day 1 of RCIA - the path to becoming a Catholic

1. Why Catholic?
2. Faith
3. Religion
4. Relationship with God
5. Man's Dignity and Vocation

Here is a look at what my first class entailed. I learned a lot in just a short hour and 30 minutes. The REV. Father Hathaway taught this class and was very enlightening. I learned a little about the creation of man. Some basics to how we were created. The trinity was brought up explaining the 3-in-1. For the most port, everything that was brought up was familar and I felt like I was in my hometown church. We have a few books that are part of the RCIA lessons: The Bible, The Cathechism, Outlines of the Catholic Faith, and The Faith Explained. The Cathechism was like a foreign language to me...they explained briefly how it's used and it's such a great tool that clearly outlines the Bible in a very effective way. It's not another book to the Bible...it's a tool to use along with the Bible for explanations of each Bible verse basically. Then, there was the question of the signing of the cross. This has always been so strange to me...not in a bad way. After many dinners with my fiance and his mother and watching them do the signing of the cross, I became very intrigued by the use of this. I never thought I would actually be doing it. So, from this night on, all students of the class began doing the cross signing at the end of the beginning prayer and at the end prayer. It's a pretty cool feeling I have to say. This was an eye opening class for me. I'm glad that I made the decision to go and I'm really looking forward to the next 8 months. We covered a lot this night, the basics basically and I will have more to update on a later post!

Current feeling: EXCITED!

The missing puzzle piece of FAITH!

You are probably wondering what I mean by Conversian Diary. Well, getting engaged in June brought up the conversation of where we were going to get married. He is Catholic and I am not. After a few discussions, we decided that we wanted to have a Catholic Mass Ceremony, which meant a couple of things for me: I had to be baptized Catholic and take the RCIA classes for 8 months in order to be baptized. I went into this at first with the decision that I would become catholic for our wedding, but after that day, I would continue being protestant but also attend Mass as well. I wasn't so sure about this whole becoming Catholic thing, but I knew it had to be done to have a Mass ceremony. It didn't bother me, I just wasn't serious about being a practicing Catholic. So, we signed up to have a Catholic Mass Ceremony, which meant I had to soon sign up for my classes. I'm now officially signed up! I've attended 3 classes so far…every Monday night from 7:30-9:00 pm. I was very excited about my first class. I wasn't sure what to expect, but went in with an open mind to learn and to decide if this is truly the faith that I wanted to follow. I have always been very opposed to Catholcism…I always thought that some of the ritualistic things practiced by Catholics were strange, one being, "the worshipping of Mary", and the other, "confession". I will touch more on this in a later post…my thoughts on these two things have changed, but in a good way! :-)

This is a huge decision for me to take part in these classes. I have never really researced any other faith than protestant (that's how I was raised and just assumed it was right) and never questioned my faith until recently. I've never been baptized either. So, this is a huge step for me, and yet an exciting one. At the end of the class, the night before Easter, is Holy Saturaday otherwise known as the "Easter Vigil". This is where students of the RCIA class will partake in the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion for the first time. I wasn't sure in the beginning how I would go forth with being baptized Catholic, but from 3 classes so far, and a lof of prayer, I’m leaning more and more towards being "only" a Catholic. This is a huge decision for me. I've never decided for myself what I wanted to believe, or what was right to believe. I'm still not quite sure. I have a lot to think and pray about. I have a lot of questions still. I had my 3rd RCIA class lastnight…and something hit me lastnight and I was moved my Father Hathaway's lesson. Things are becoming clearer and I'm beginning to not think that "Catholics" are so weird anymore! I never thought I would be thinking or saying this. I feel truly blessed to have been given this oppourtunity to learn about the Catholic Faith and I’m excited for what the future holds. I'm not 100% convinced just yet, but I honestly can say, that I think I may have found the missing puzzle piece to my life! :-)