Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in spirit, for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:3-12

Oh Lord,

Teach me to seek You and reveal yourself to me when I seek You.

For I cannot seek You unless You first teach me, nor find You unless You first reveal yourself to me.

Let me seek You in longing, and long for You in seeking.

Let me find You in love, and love You in finding.

~Saint Ambrose of Milan

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Name: Erin Yonke

Location: Aurora, IL

Info: I'm happily married to my husband and champion pro-life activist, Matt. I stay home with my three small boys; Ambrose (11/06), Peter (3/08), and Joseph (9/10).

Saturday, September 09, 2006

One.

It's been a long time since the very first rumblings of Catholocism began to stir us--particularly in Matt. I've regretably been fairly removed from any arguments or reading he's done on the topic just until recently, when I really felt things were heating up. Most of the arguments, anyway, were easy for me to dismiss, the protestant girl I am, with a quick, "Well, of course we can't believe that because they Bible doesn't say so."

And here is what (almost) sold me. Again, I'm not looking for an argument here. This is the thought process, as best as I can explain it, that got me where I am today...and, I think it's important because I'm well aware that alot of people I care about are convinced that I've not given this any thought at all.

Scripture doesn't teach that. It doesn't say, "This book is the only standard by which to judge truth!" It doesn't say, "You don't need anything else but these books, ever." Or, "This is everything God ever wants to say to you." And in my desperate quest to find this verse that doesn't exist, I came across a far greater number of verses that would suggest otherwise.

The closest I came to soothing my troubled mind here was in II Timothy 3:14&15 (...."how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ") and in 1 Cor. 4:6 (...that you may learn through us not to think beyond what is written, that no one should be puffed up on behalf of one against the other)

In further searching, I also found 1 Thess. 2:13 (We constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as what it really is, God's word...), 1 Peter 1:25, 2 Peter 3:2, 1 Cor. 11:2, 2 Thess. 2:15, 2 Tim. 1:13&14, 2 Tim. 2:2.

And it was here that I stopped, for almost a week, constantly weighing in my mind the arguments for Scripture being the sole and exclusive authority...and the evidence that even from the earliest times, God's people have regarded the verbal teaching of the apostles as God's word as well. And I prayed. I prayed that:

1. God would grant us wisdom and clarity of mind.
2. God would give us teachable hearts, so that we might not be lead away from the truth because of our own hard-head/heart-edness.

As a person who doesn't think much about history (it's a character flaw, I know, okay?), it took a totally undeniable truth and the Holy Spirit placing it right in front of me to get through this one.

The first century church didn't have the New Testament (and even when they finally did get the NT, the better part of the population was illiterate). They had the Church. Even in the early creeds, it's always been "We believe in one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church" and not "I believe in Scripture alone." And, even further, if I were to believe that Scripture alone was the only authority, that the teachings and traditions the early church held were wrong, I would also have to believe that the early Christians weren't being saved--for 1500 years, until Martin Luther figured it all out. That's a heavy thing to have on your chest when you're trying to sleep at night.

And so, if Scripture itself--my prime authority--doesn't even claim to be that very thing, then someone else must have taught me that. And, as it turns out...they did. And if that's the case, I am left to believe that whether I am Protestant or Catholic, I must base what I believe on what someone else said. The question then, is who do I believe?

Let me just say, I'm not trying to make Scripture out to be less than the Holy and inspired word of God. It absolutely is! And it certainly contains the seeds for everything necessary for salvation and to live a life pleasing to God. This is a decision made out of obedience and love for Christ and his church.

In other news, 11 weeks to go! The joy of motherhood--overwhelming:-) The joy of pregnancy? I've enjoyed things more. (cold showers, broccoli, hangnails...it's been a rough week, alright?) And you know, I wouldn't trade it for anything. At 29 weeks, baby weighs somewhere between 2 and 3 pounds, and is probably about 15 inches long. 9 out of 10 babies born at this stage survive without any long-term effects. And I can totally not get enough peanut butter.

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