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Anni Current Events Discipleship Evangelization Ink Slingers Real And Raw Relatable Spiritual Growth

To Whom Shall We Go?

It’s human nature – when we are forced to look in a mirror and confront uncomfortable truths, we are destined to squirm.

The Catholic Church rocked by incendiary and evil sexual abuse scandals? There is nothing but critique for Church leadership in my mind. The victims have been forever scarred, and their families and friends have been left to assist with the fall-out of the impact sexual abuse has on a victim. Church leadership continues to mishandle opportunities to right a horrible wrong that has been committed, erring on remaining silent, rather than acknowledging the pain caused by one of their agents. There is absolutely no way to defend the indefensible, and I can attest that silence does not make things better. Silence reeks of shadows, in which we know the evil one loves to hide.

Belonging to a universal church… a universal organization… whose leadership continues to jaw-droppingly bungle every opportunity to get it right can seem counter-productive and absurd, to some many.

I get that.

St. Peter is one of my favorites, and I have often shared this with my husband when he has (lovingly) asked what keeps me going to Mass through the entire scandal, “Simon Peter answered him, ‘Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God’” (John 6:68-69).

If I did not truly believe, deep in my heart, that the One Who is raised up over the heads of us all at church was the True Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ at every single Mass, I would have left the Church two years ago as the Pennsylvania sex abuse scandals broke.

Yet, if I leave the Church – the physical Body of Christ left on earth – to whom shall I go?

There have been half a dozen studies released in the past couple years which point to an amazingly low number of Catholics who either know, or believe, in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Often, it appears the generation of the respondent seems to drive their understanding of Church teachings, and most likely fuels their subsequent answers.

The Church teaches that, when the priest says the words of consecration (“this is my Body…” and “this is my Blood…”), something amazing happens. At the moment of (big word alert) “Transubstantiation,” the physical appearance of bread and wine remain the same, but that “mere” bread and wine undergo a spiritual conversion into Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

Christ becomes present, tangible, and a living witness in our lives at every single Mass. In fact, the Catholic Church just universally celebrated this amazing belief in the Feast of Corpus Christi on the 14th of June!

I don’t have a major conversion story, and I honestly can’t tell a soul a single instance in which I felt Jesus truly come to me in a big way. Yet, He reveals Himself to me in the little ways… and He comes to me at every Mass. This I know… this I profess.

But, to let you in on a little secret…

This, I have sometimes doubted.

In my course as a Catholic social media influencer and blogger, I have to confess that I, too, have sometimes doubted if the Church teachings are true… are just… and, are sound.

The Bible, itself, appears to be a timeless story. The stories (and lessons) were applicable as the books were written, as they were when the Bible was officially put together, as they remain today. There’s infinite love, there’s loss, there’s the antagonist, there’s the Savior. It’s all there, and the lessons and stories span the centuries.

Just as the Mass spans the centuries, so, too do the teachings of the Church, found in the Bible and Tradition.

Yet, sometimes, doubt lingers.

As some of the words of the translated Tantum Ergo point out, “Faith will tell us Christ is present, when our human senses fail…” and sometimes, our human senses fail to an irreconcilable level, and our faith crumbles entirely.

And, when a person in a position of authority within the Church begins to doubt, to whom shall they go?

I have been guilty of “faking it until I make it,” at times in my life. Either sitting out of the communion line, or going to communion with a simple prayer on my heart, “Lord, make my belief as strong as Peter’s,” I readily acknowledge I have been guilty of going through the motions at times.

As Dr. Brant Pitre asserts in his book, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, Peter acknowledged in the aforementioned Bible quote (John 6:68-69) he didn’t quite understand everything Jesus said, but he placed his trust in the One Who spoke the words. And, at times, the simple prayer to give me faith like Peter’s has been what has held me together spiritually.

However, it’s uncomfortable to sit and look in the mirror, knowing you publicly profess one thing, and privately struggle with that teaching.

Whether it’s one certain teaching that one struggles to understand, or whether it’s a central teaching that shakes a person to their core, it’s uncomfortable to acknowledge that there remains a doubt.

And, well-meaning (or otherwise) individuals in our Church don’t often make it feel safe to express our doubts and discomfort.

St. John of the Cross explores the concept of the, “dark night of the soul,” when he wrote his same-titled book. I once was told by a priest in a confessional that there was no way I could be experiencing a dark night of the soul, “because you are a wife and mom with a little kid. Dark night of the soul only occurs to really holy people.” The absurdity of that young friar’s statement sticks with me four years later.

But, if I weren’t prepared to seek other counsel when faced with that response, to whom would I go?

Little girl running with abandon with the question "To Whom Shall We Go" as the feature title. #catholicsistas #recentevents #beautifulcamouflage

Jesus, present in the Eucharist, is on a mission to change hearts and minds. When we approach Him with an open heart, we receive the Graces He bestows on us, even in the midst of our doubt.

Yet, the previously mentioned statistics beg the uncomfortable “reflection” moment destined to make us squirm. The rhetorical question for each of us to ask ourselves as we stare in the mirror is: are each of us truly receiving Christ with an open mind and heart?

After we have received Jesus, do we go back to our daily lives and continue to live unchanged from mere moments before?

Do we leave Mass without a care or thought of the One Whom we are called to know, love, and serve with all our heart, mind, soul, and body?

Do we invite Christ into our lives on a daily basis, and ask Him to actively help us in being more loving toward our family, toward our neighbors, toward the stranger on the street, or toward those in our Church – lay and ordained alike?

Are we giving Christ room to change our minds, hearts, and ultimately, our actions?

When those in a position of leadership within their church begin to doubt, is the atmosphere welcoming to discussion of those doubts? Or, are they shut down with the trite, “You need to pray harder, study Scripture more, get involved more…”?

Do they find a safe space to voice their normal and natural doubts? Or, are they being told that it makes them a lesser Christian and a worse Catholic because they dare to voice their doubts?

Do they have support in unpacking a lot of the anger, confusion, frustration, pain, and doubt? Or, are they told they are not worthy to express any of those normal emotions?

When we don’t have the support within our community to explore these emotions and doubt, we can become increasingly isolated…

we become lonely…

we become discouraged…

we become weary…

we begin to give in to our doubts…

When we try to muddle through the doubt on our own, we open ourselves up to succumbing to the lure that maybe Christ, His teachings, and that of the Church are not all true.

In light of recent events, perhaps each of us need to take a moment to reflect on where we are on our own faith journey, and dig a little deeper for the compassion to recognize that not everyone is on the same journey, nor on the same part of the path.

Perhaps each of us need to squirm a little to recognize those actions we have done, and the ones we have failed to do, which led to another person experiencing doubt, or wading alone in their doubt.

Finally, perhaps we, as a collective Catholic group, need to get better at meeting all of our members – lay and religious, outspoken and reserved, well-known and inconspicuous – where they are at, recognizing them, and embracing where they are on their journey.

There comes a time in everyone’s spiritual journey where we can’t go it alone – we need the compassion, the empathy, the guidance, and the love of others to continue to grow spiritually. When we don’t find that around us, and when the Truths of the Church are hard to comprehend, we need to be able to rely on the strength of others to support us.

If we can’t find that strength or support in the midst of the doubt, when we can’t find Christ at work in our lives, and have trouble seeing Him working around us, to whom shall we go?

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Advent Anni Evangelization Faith Formation Ink Slingers Spiritual Growth Year of Mercy

Sacramentals, Mercy, Advent, Oh My!

Not long ago, I attended an event where an icebreaker game was played. The icebreaker was to count up how many Sacramentals we had on each of us, and whomever at the table had the most won a prize. I happened to be at the table with our chaplain, who gave us a run for our Sacramentals, until he was told he had his own gift set aside for him.

Before he had stepped out of winning the Sacramentals game, our chaplain posed to us, “Do you think each individual is a Sacramental? Because, I count all of you as a Sacramental,” as he tried to tally us up as some of the Sacramentals he brought to the table.

His question, while posed in jest, has stuck with me several months later.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) states in 1677,

Sacramentals are sacred signs instituted by the Church. They prepare men to receive the fruit of the sacraments and sanctify different circumstances of life.

Every baby baptized into the Catholic Church has been anointed and sealed with the Holy Spirit. At Confirmation, that child takes on a conscious decision to reaffirm the baptismal vows their parents typically, initially undertook on behalf of the child. And, the individual then becomes re-anointed and re-sealed with the Holy Spirit.

In essence, our chaplain was correct – we do become Sacramentals. We become a living, breathing, walking “sacred sign instituted by the Church,” to spread the Good News and the Joy of the Gospel.

Knowing we are sacred signs, what are we doing with that knowledge? Are we hiding our light under the bushel so as to not attract attention? If so, how do we get back on course?

I once confided to another Army chaplain that I wasn’t cut out for evangelizing. The “E word” scared me, and I was afraid I was too immature in my Faith to be able to defend it against questions. He chuckled at me, and asked me if I was a mother. I looked at him strangely, and answered in the affirmative because my oldest at the time was a year and a half old. He then shared that evangelization as a mother or father looks a little different than evangelization of others – by virtue of teaching our children their prayers, we are evangelizing. By ensuring our children go to church, we are evangelizing. By living and encouraging the Works of Mercy, as identified by the United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), we are evangelizing.

Being a sacred sign comes with responsibility. Part of that responsibility is to our neighbor – to the soul we see next to us… looking past the physical presence before us, to recognize the soul behind the eyes. The Works of Mercy are such a beautiful, powerful reminder of the stepping stones to living as the hands and feet of Christ.

The saints are prime examples of having the faith and trust in God to recognize God’s children in those suffering, destitute, and in need. St. Francis of Assisi embraced a leper shortly after his conversion, while amazed at how his former self would have been repulsed to see someone else do the same. St. Damien of Moloka’i, and St. Marianne Cope would go on to not just embrace lepers, but to live amongst them, and tenderly care for them. The list of saints who lived the Works of Mercy can go on for days!

Through Christ, we get the promise of entering Heaven. Yet, in order to truly pass through Him, we are challenged to meet Him on the road, to recognize Him in others, and to extend His reach through us, to another person.

And, the Church, in her infinite love and wisdom, has shown us how to do this through the Works of Mercy. While we may no longer be in the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are still called to extend mercy to those in our lives – whether they are family, friends, or complete strangers.

So, as we enter Advent this year, I encourage all of us to spend some time focusing on how we are a living Sacramental. Commit to a Work of Mercy each day during Advent, knowing you’ll repeat some several times. Don’t be afraid to take the Good News and Joy of the Season to those to whom you may initially be afraid to reach out.

Recognize Christ in your neighbor, and better yet, be Christ to others.

It is our duty and our sacred responsibility.

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Current Events Reviews Victoria K

Why I Binge Watch Black Mirror

Disclaimer

“Black Mirror” is a TV show filled with every “no” in the book: adult content and themes, violence, language, drug use. I would never, ever, EVER let my (at present, nonexistent) children watch it.  To be honest, I wouldn’t recommend it to some of my adult friends.  It’s a show that’s hard to stomach.  

With that rousing disclaimer, you may be tilting your head, thinking…how could she possibly love this TV show? Stay with me here.  I promise it gets good.

The Basics

We’ve all questioned the influence technology has on our lives. Does scrolling through Instagram lessen self-esteem?  Should Google really know my location at all times?  Does Facebook stalking help or hurt relationships?  Are smartphones re-wiring kids brains?

Over the course of 3 Seasons, “Black Mirror” explores these questions—and take them to the extreme.  It’s reminiscent of “The Twilight Zone.” There’s a new set of characters every episode.  It takes us into the future (or a different present), showing us how our lives might be…or already are.  

It’s hard to shake the feeling: “This could be us…”.  As their creator stated, it’s: “…all about the way we live now – and the way we might be living in 10 minutes’ time if we’re clumsy.” (Source below). The black mirror is put up to our faces—and we see what technology is/could be doing to us.  

 

Why I Love It

You might see now why I love it—our society (me definitely included) needs some serious introspection.  My love was cemented by two episodes in particular (my husband and I stayed up super late discussing them—SO.  GOOD.):

 

“Fifteen Million Merits” (Season 1 Episode 2)

This episode challenges the media, “reality” tv, online “selves,” and the impact these have on our “real” lives.  The main question it asks are: in a world centered on entertainment, are our lives cheapened? (Answer: yes).

The whole episode is great, but I love it for a particular moment—a seemingly small but SUPER profound moment (I won’t spoil it all, because the reveal is great).

The main character finally gets to vent his frustrations publicly.  One of the main “baddies” responds to the frustrations: “You are so articulating something we all…and I mean everyone in this hall, something we all agree on.  Even though we might not comprehend all of it, I think I’m right in saying we do feel it. Even me.  I know you’ve got me down as this creature.  But, you know, hey, I get where you’re coming from and I like your stuff.”

“It’s not stuff it’s…”

“It’s truth.  Am I right?  Your truth, admittedly, but truth nonetheless.”

HOLD THE PHONE.  The main character was standing up for Truth? The “baddie” was on the side of relativism?? I wanted to stand up and applaud.  Because I’ve never seen relativism attacked so outright in a tv show, ever.  

 

“Nosedive” (Season 3 Episode 1)

This episode really shook me.  It presents a world where everyone is addicted to their phones (so, not much different than ours, right?).  Their lives revolve around an app in which people are constantly rated (from zero to five stars).  Feels a lot like what Instagram might be two or three updates from now.

These ratings effect your jobs, where you can live, who you hang out with, what you can buy.  We experience this world through a main character (Lacie) who is sweet, funny, caring.  She’s obsessed with raising her rating…she’s a 4.3 and wants to be over 4.5.

What really spooked me about his episode?  Lacie. Is. Me.  Lacie longs for love, to be appreciated, to be liked, to be affirmed by others—and I long for that too, so much.  With Instagram and Snapchat, it feels like my life is constantly up for rating.  I hunger for the “5 star” rating that Lacie is searching for—even, at times, to the point of cheapening my authentic self.  

After the ending, I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling, seriously re-evaluating how I present myself…and what I look to for affirmation.

 

Black Mirror as Evangelization?

I heard about Black Mirror from some of my husband’s friends (they LOVE it).  Admittedly, they might be drawn to Black Mirror by the “bad” stuff (see disclaimer above).  But I love that they love it.  

Why?

These friends aren’t Catholic, aren’t practicing a religion, aren’t really concerned with living a moral life.  These are guys who would never read C. S. Lewis, Chesterton, or a Catholic Blog.  They might never enter a Church or encounter a priest, ever. But by watching this show, they’re facing questions about relativism, authentic self…the list goes on.  Maybe, just maybe, these questions might lead them to the Truth.

 

Source: Chalie Brooker, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/dec/01/charlie-brooker-dark-side-gadget-addiction-black-mirror

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Evangelization Ink Slingers Mary P.

An Introvert’s Guide to Evangelization

Several months ago, my husband became involved with a ministry called St. Paul Street Evangelization. He goes out into the community and talks to random passersby, handing out rosaries or other religious items. Recently, he asked me if I wanted to go. My answer was a firm, unhesitating “no.”  As someone who is both introverted and shy (despite popular belief, those are not synonymous), the last thing I want to do is go up to strangers and start conversations with them. Yet, evangelization is a requirement of the Christian life. We are not meant to keep the light of Christ and the joy of the Gospel to ourselves, but to go out and spread them to others. And our society needs this so badly right now.

So, what is a shy introvert to do?

I’m not an expert on evangelization, as I am just starting to make a more conscious effort at it. It’s been difficult for me to think about reaching out to others while I’m deep in the trenches of raising and homeschooling young children. I used to use this fact (along with my personality) as an excuse to avoid the mandate to spread the Gospel outside of the four walls of my home. But, lately, God has been calling me out of that mindset. Here is what I’ve learned about how to evangelize as an introvert:

  • Get out from behind the computer screen. If it were up to me, I’d just sit at my computer and stick to the written word as a way to reach out to others (like most introverts I know). Introverts can articulate their thoughts much better in writing. And, internet evangelization takes off so much of the pressure of social interactions. But more often than not, attempts at keyboard evangelization fail to bear truly good fruit. True evangelization requires making connections with people. And the irony of social media is that it can be a barrier to that. The internet certainly has its place (I am writing on a Catholic blog, after all). But, even in this digital age, human-to-human interaction is still the best way to make those connections and spread the love of Christ. Don’t be fooled into thinking you are doing your part simply by posting an article on Facebook or engaging in a combox debate on a theological or cultural issue
  • Seek out opportunities to evangelize in a one-on-one or small group situation. For example, my husband and I recently started volunteering for our parish’s marriage preparation ministry by becoming a sponsor couple. This means that we invite one couple at a time into our home and help them prepare for marriage one-on-one. Although this is not always comfortable, it is a better fit for my personality than some other forms of evangelization. Since the couple is coming to our home, knowing what we are there to discuss, there’s no need to figure out how to start the conversation nor to make a lot of small talk. This is much easier for me than going out into the street and striking up conversations with strangers. It’s also more suited to me than standing up in front of a large group and talking at them. (That was the format of the marriage preparation that my husband and I went through when we were engaged). Introverts are good listeners, and we also articulate our thoughts better when we have some time to think about them. Therefore, the one-on-one format of being a sponsor couple is a good use of my gifts.
  • Be ready to go outside your comfort zone. Like he summoned Peter out of the boat onto the raging sea, God often calls us to stretch ourselves and do things that seem scary. Maybe one day he will call me out into the streets with my husband. In the meantime, he still wants me to do things that are not easy for me. Like I said, I’m not always comfortable in one-on-one settings, either. When it comes to marriage preparation, I’m particularly nervous about discussions related to hard teachings such as cohabiting and contraception. But this discomfort makes it easier for me to lean on the Holy Spirit and let him do the hard work. If we are completely confident and at ease, we might not leave room for the Lord to work through us. Which brings me to my next point…
  •  Realize that you are just a conduit through which the Holy Spirit works. Understanding and accepting that other people’s conversion of heart is not in our control reduces the pressure of evangelizing. As an introvert (and a perfectionist!), I’m prone to stressing over what I’m going to say to people so that it’s “just right,” and over-analyzing conversations after the fact to see where I might have gone wrong. Putting the situation in the Lord’s hands makes it easier to let go of that stress. 
  • Pray. This is the key to the previous two points, and to the whole endeavor or evangelization. I pray often for the couples that I am helping to prepare for marriage. God is the only one who can truly equip them for marriage, changing and strengthening them where necessary. He is the only one who can equip us for the job of helping him.
  • Evangelize without words. I’ve been forcing myself lately to smile at strangers when I’m out and about. This probably seems silly to extroverts, but it takes a lot of willpower for me to do it. Generally, I prefer to keep my head down and avoid eye contact with people out in public. Though making eye contact and smiling at strangers is a lot easier than talking to them. (Contrast this with some extroverted relatives of mine who strike up conversations with everyone they meet!) When I do smile at people, some of them look at me strangely and maybe give a half-hearted smile back (probably fellow introverts!). But some of them light up, and respond with a genuinely warm smile. This small, seemingly insignificant interaction doesn’t impart any theological knowledge, but it does brighten their day and possibly make them feel more loved. This is a form of evangelization, too. Making a similar effort at warmth and kindness toward people you see on a regular basis but have no real relationship with (such as co-workers) eventually might lead to direct, verbal evangelization. They will be drawn to you and the light you exude. This will open the door for you to give an explanation for the hope that is in you. (1 Peter 3:15)

To everything, there is a season. Maybe you aren’t in a season of life where you can volunteer for ministries in your parish, such as marriage preparation. But don’t do what I did and use your personality as an excuse to not do God’s work. I often think of Moses, who God called to confront the Pharaoh despite his protestation that he was not a good public speaker. Trust in the Lord to show you how to make use of the gifts he has given you, and to equip you for whatever task to which he calls you. 

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Allison Bible Catechism Conversion Ink Slingers Interviews Rosary

An Interview with Ken Howell, former Assemblies of God pastor

I’ve told of our conversion many times, and Catholic Sistas has published the story. This is the first time my husband has answered questions posed by some of our Ink Slingers on his journey from Pentecostal preacher to Catholic convert. Some of his conversation surprised me (I guess I do talk more than he does!); some of his words were forceful and some were poetic. I have posed their questions and written his answers as he talked. And talked. And talked.

What caused you to start looking at the Catholic Church?

I began looking at how a church should make decisions and examining church government throughout various sects and denominations of Protestantism. I found that the Catholic Church followed what I saw in Acts. That is, questions regarding faith or morals (as in Acts 15, whether all converts had to be circumcised) were settled by Christian leaders retreating to think and pray together, then to explain to the faithful what they and the Holy Spirit had decided. It was in perfect accordance with what Jesus told the Twelve in John 16:13–the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth.

One problem with independent, self-governed congregations is that they tend to operate on a democratic model, which is little more than mob rule. It happens all the time – people demanding a change of mission or a “vote of confidence” to recall the pastor, a nice phrase meaning to kick him out (and his wife and children). This is one of the hallmarks of Protestantism, each one deciding what the Bible means and how Christianity should be lived. And if some people don’t agree with the interpretation at that time, then they “protest” by divorcing themselves from that “assembly” and then starting their own. Thus the cycle sadly continues.

While there are numerous forms of church government, it is the hierarchy of Catholicism that is absolutely Scriptural, as well as historically Jewish, since Christianity is a child of Judaism.

What was the determining factor in your conversion?

Short answer? The Catechism.

We started going through Catholic teachings one by one from the Catholic Answers tract page. We learned about the Eucharist, the communion of saints, the headship of the pope, the necessity of purgatory, and a sacramental worldview. The scales fell from our eyes as we read our Bibles again and saw things anew. We read of John Henry Newman’s studies on the development of Christian doctrine and how he traced back, century by century, doctrines that would make any Protestant blanch. Catholic teaching goes all the way to the New Testament and even to the Old Testament, since it prefigures the New. Of the thousands of Protestant denominations, not one traces itself in an unbroken line to the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. They are all breakaways of a breakaway of a breakaway, all from the Catholic Church. Newman coined a poignant sentence: “To be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant.”

So there arose within me a self-proposing and answerable question: Who would I rather align myself with – roll the dice and pick a group I like, hoping they got it correctly or (as uncomfortable as it might be) go with the church that is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic? This was the turning point. This was when I began to think that we may have to align ourselves with the truth, come what may.

I began reading anti-Catholic books and websites, just to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind. I realized that Protestant accusations are completely false (“Why” should be another article). Their “verse wars” and “one-liners” to justify their protesting are mostly from a 1962 book, Roman Catholicism by Loraine Boettner. I recognized in it many statements that I had been taught, not knowing that they had their origins in this book. It has been proven to be poorly researched, to say the least. Once I knew what the Catechism said, I recognized the lies.

Again, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is a great work. I read it from cover to cover, with Bible, lexicon, concordance, and computer (to check historical figures) at hand. It brought me in and keeps me in.

How much did losing your career slow you down in taking the plunge?

I had already gotten wise to the fallacies of the Assemblies of God, voluntarily returned my license to preach, and eventually began working in the mental health field (my bachelor’s degree is in theology; my master’s degree in pastoral counseling). However, leaving our local church, which was not AG, was difficult. We lost friends and connections. I taught a popular adult Sunday school class, and was often invited to guest preach in our valley in many churches, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed.

When we decided to become Catholic, we wrote a letter to the pastor and to the church council stating such politely. We thanked them for their friendship and support and wrote that we would miss everyone. We still miss the family feel and connection in that world.

How long before you could pray your first Rosary?

I was slightly familiar with the Rosary because my parents sent me to a Catholic middle school in Rhode Island in an attempt to reform my juvenile delinquent ways (!).

Praying the Rosary was not a huge draw for me, but not because I thought anything negative. It just wasn’t something I felt drawn to at all.

I do have favorite prayers. The first is the Sign of the Cross, which I do many times throughout my day. Reading The Sign of the Cross by Msgr. Gaume, from 1863, moved me to embrace and love it. My two other favorite prayers are from the New Testament. “Lord, save me!” which are words from Peter when he stepped out of the boat. Another is “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” which are words from the blind beggar on the road to Jericho.

All of who I am…all of who He is…all of my relationship with Him is in these short, prayerful words.

However, roughly seven years after converting, I decided to revisit the Rosary and after a few weeks, found that I could pray through the whole thing. For several years now, and on most days of the week, I pray a full Rosary twice a day.

(This is Allison now.)

While I’ve always wanted Ken to begin the process of becoming a deacon (I miss his preaching), he is adamant that the time is not right. That his focus is on the children at home and on his job that provides for us all. I trust him.

An Interview with Ken Howell, former Assemblies of God pastor