Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Random thoughts about being Catholic.

I've been Catholic since Easter of 2008 and it feels like I am just Catholic and at the same time as if I've been forever Catholic. The Catholic faith is so rich that no matter how deeply you study it, there is a surprise, a wonderful joyous surprise around every corner. Which keeps the faith alive and new. And at the same time....because my husband and I study it, ponder it, daily we also feel like we know the faith better than most Catholics. When you become Catholic and submerge yourself in it, you no longer live as you did before. Your mind itself changes. Protestantism seems a distant, a very very distant memory after only five years.

It is hard being Catholic. Most Americans assume you have been deceived into a false gospel. It's hard because, in America, if you decide to kneel and take the Eucharist on the tongue or if, as a woman, I wear my head covered, then all the liberal Catholics judge us with some unchristian severity. We didn't intentionally walk into this family battle, but by choosing to kneel we unknowingly took sides and so we have had constant fire our direction. Liberal Catholics made automatic assumptions about us because we must, naturally, be SSPX-sympathizing, holocaust-denying, Latin mass pushers. No on all three. I do love Palestrina and the Litany of the Saints, but I also love all the sweet little songs we sing at the Eucharist about the bread being the body. (See I don't even know the names of them.)

I feel like wearing a t-shirt to mass that says, "Hey, I'm just happy to be here!" All this girl altar boys and when we kneel or stand....  or if we say "and with your spirit" rather than the old "and also with you" I don't get. I haven't been Catholic long enough to have an opinion. All I know is that someone told me sometime while learning Catholicism that you can stand or kneel, so I thought, "How sweet, I'd like to kneel." I didn't know I was going to be ticking off so many people each mass. (At least some people--including a priest-- have told me that I am displaying my pride and making everyone judge me.)

I also really like Michael Voris. His programming on church militant tv is outstanding. I've also learned not to say that out loud because for some reason a lot of Catholics don't like him.

And we love EWTN and when Father Pacwa said something or other about not holding hands during the "Our Father" I didn't. Again, making mass quite uncomfortable for the man next to me who kept trying to grab my hand. I'm tired of the family feud and I just and finally got to the party. And even with it all I am incredibly glad to be here. I love being Catholic. I mean.... I LOVE being Catholic.

What I realized is that when all this stuff happens in other churches and people start taking sides, the Protestant churches have an easy out. They split apart and everyone goes to church with everyone else who agrees with them. Catholics can't do that. You are made to stay and learn how to get along. And that means obedience. AND humility often accompanying some true humiliation depending about how loud you were on insisting you were right. God set up the Catholic Church to be one. Unity is hard. So, therefore being Catholic is harder than being Protestant.

So here in Catholic land, Dave Armstrong (a Catholic convert) is going to have to get along with Michael Voris (a Catholic revert). And I get to love them BOTH!! (hee hee!) There are so many wonderful people to love within Catholicism on  all sides. If I could have one wish granted. (Other than everyone being saved and peace on earth) I would wish for all people to see Catholicism through my eyes and heart.

I'm now being hit from within Catholicism and from without, from Protestants. It's worth it. Really. I've never been so targeted with people wanting to "correct" me and yet even when I am sobbing with hurt I feel a joy, a joy expanding within my soul that I cannot explain. In Catholicism there is a suffering in each joy and a joy that pervades and infuses every suffering.

As a Protestant, I knew and felt Jesus. In Catholicism He and I are becoming one. As wonderful as both are, the struggle of being Catholic makes my life an epic story. And that story looks very much like Christ's.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Meaning of the Bible

I remember Ginger's room. She was much older than I and her room was a mysterious place of grown-up girls and make-up and women's dresses. Her room was a world of wonder for me, a four or five-year-old. I wasn't supposed to go into her room. I don't remember being told not to, I just remember feeling guilty when I once went in and she wasn't in her room. There, on a table or chair or something, was her purse and a writing pad and a pen. She had something written in cursive on a piece of paper. I was absolutely intrigued. 

I stared at those rounded scribblings and contemplated what they meant. I knew that all those black ink symbols held some very important information and I wanted to know what. It seemed a great mystery to me, a great challenge to figure it out. 

Then, I took a pen and next to her writing, I strained to copy it. I mimicked the little loops and the short straight lines. Somewhere in my child's mind I felt certain I had written something and that no one would ever know these weren't real words. 

And that is the end of my memory. 


"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
 Psalms 119: 105

Most Protestants believe that anyone can read the Bible and know the definition of many of the words. Okay, I would say to that, yes, most people can read the words, but that is not the problem. Reading words doesn't mean we understand them. The promises of God about His word, such as the text above, is not for those seeing the black symbols on paper. The writing itself contains no blessing, no insight. Many people will read and understand all the definitions of each word, but they will not be able to grasp what the text means. Jesus didn't promise us understanding of His words: 

"When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart." (Matt. 13:19)

The light we receive from God's word is when we understand what the author meant. We must know the intent of the words and that entails interpretation. What did God mean when He wrote (insert text here)?

This question must be asked with every single line of God's word. The blessing we receive from God's word doesn't come off the paper just by looking at it. We receive the Word of the Lord when the meaning of the words is understood. If someone gets the wrong meaning, the Bible then was of little value. In fact a wrong understanding of scripture can create a lot of theological angst in our lives. That promise above of a lighted path? Well, the path will remain dark if the meaning of the word is unclear. It all depends, not upon the reading, but upon the correct understanding of scripture. 

It takes more than reading scripture. God must open your mind to understand the scripture as Jesus said to His Apostles in Luke 24: 45 (See also I Cor. 2:12, 14). 

As the Ethiopian was returning from a trip to Jerusalem, he found out that he was unable to comprehend a passage in Isaiah. Christ's disciple Philip asked him, "Do you understand what you are reading?" and the man responded, "How can I, unless someone guides me?" (Acts 8:29-31) Why wouldn't God have just sent the Spirit to guide the Ethiopian in his studies? Why send Philip? Evidently God didn't have in mind that the scriptures were always simple and direct. The passage in Isaiah that the Ethiopian was reading was confusing not because the man didn't know how to read, it was because he could not grasp the meaning. 

As obvious as this seems, many people have never really contemplated it. Just like my story above, being able to see the words doesn't covey what the writer is communicating. And when I was a year older and able to read the words, I supposed I still would not be able to understand a lot of what Ginger had written on the paper. Until I knew Ginger, until she explained to me what she meant, I wouldn't have understood her and been able to relate to her writings. And that is more than being able to read. 

The Bible contains things hard to understand. (Matt. 13: 13-15; Mark 4: 13; 6:52; 8:17, Luke 2: 50; John 8:43; 10:6; John 12:16) and the gift of the written word is lost when it is not understood. It must be "rightly divided" (2 Tim. 2:15) Peter writes of Paul's letters, "There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do other scriptures." (2 Peter 3:16; See also Ephesians 6: 13-17)

So it all comes down to the correct meaning. Reading scripture wrongly can cause your destruction warns Peter. Rather than assume we know what God means in scripture, the critical question we need to ask is, "What did God mean to say in this story or passage?" We are to go and discover it. Seek and ye shall find. For unless we understand what God meant, we are no more than I was as a four-year-old just scrutinizing little loops and lines in black ink. 


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The True Story

This is a true story:

There was a Christian man who had several children. He loved his wife and he loved his children.

The man and his wife got a divorce. The woman told her children dreadful things about their father and why the divorce happened. The man remained quiet and would not defend himself. The children grew up believing what their mother said about their dad.

Grandchildren were born and told the same story. All blame for the terrible divorce was placed on the grandfather.

One day, the grandfather died. And years went by and great-grandchildren were born and told the same story as they were told. 

A half century went by since the divorce.

Until, now old, one of the children of the Christian man admitted to the family her father had come privately to her and pledged to her that he had not done what her mother had claimed he had done.  

The Christian man had admitted the divorce was partly his fault but that nothing, nothing of immorality was done, but it had been because of irreconcilable differences, no act of dishonor on either side.

The child had kept that part of the story hidden for fear her mother would find out she knew and it would upset her.

The child assumed the mother, the wife of the Christian man, had lied because she wanted her children not to blame her but be on her side against their father. 

The truth was out and everyone was shocked.

The great-grandchildren had seen the devastation of the lies the wife told. For two generations lies had been spread unknowingly. The Christian man had been shunned by the entire family because of the lies. Cousins had not seen cousins because the family had broken up. 

One day the Christian man’s grandchild sat down and took an overview of the fifty years of damage the divorce and subsequent lies had wreaked upon the family. And the grandchild cried, for there would be few who would really think about the effects of the lie. No one would really care about all the years the Christian man had suffered in silence while his family rejected him. Perhaps he didn’t know why. Perhaps no one had even cared to ask him if he had done the things he was accused of.

These things really happen all the time to many, many families and they did happen to my family.

As a Protestant, when I studied Catholicism, I couldn’t help but wonder if Protestants were not like me. We were taught to distrust and suffer over a story told in our family about a Christian man who had gone very bad and had done very terrible things. Because our parents had passed down a sincerely held lie, we were cut off from the fullness of the truth. We were cut off from a Christian man, imperfect but not at all what we had been taught.

Because of my family, I knew it could happen. And so I looked into Catholicism and I looked for the true story.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Want to be humbled? 

Think about these questions:

How much knowledge is out there? Of the billions of light years wide and billions of years old this universe is, of all the dimensions that we are not even aware of, additional universes and different ways of perceiving things we are not even aware of, from the galaxies to the eleven dimensions of particles smaller than the string theory... Of all that is there and of all that is possible to be there --- how much is perceivable and knowable? (Assuming you are an entity that is as big as the universe and old as the universe and can know all.) How much of the all is there?

It is infinite. The possibilities of what is knowable to an infinite entity is infinite. So basically, a lot of knowledge is out there.

Let’s bring it down:
Think about this, humankind is limited in time and space and perception, so human ability is wildly constrained compared to the things that might be out there in different dimensions and perceived with different senses. If all humankind of all ages could catalog everything humanly knowable, of the things knowable within our senses and timeframes and spacial dimensions--every book ever written, every history ever lived, every thought ever thought, every feeling ever felt, every experience ever experienced in every place at every time in humankind history what percentage of all knowledge would it be? Compared with the knowledge of an infinite entity?

All human knowledge is infinitesimal.

Let’s bring it down further:
How much do you know? Of all that is humanly possible to know about everything, how much do you personally know? What percentage of all books and manuscripts and letters and emails have you read? What part of every conversation and experience were you part of? 
What percentage of ALL things humanly possible to know, do you know? 

An infinitesimal amount.

So you personally know an infinitesimal amount of what is humanly knowable which is an infinitesimal amount of all that is knowable. So if what is knowable is infinite, compared to that, what we know is a quark size... probably a whole lot less... we don’t know...

Let’s bring it down again even further:
So of the things that you do know, that totality of what you have learned and know, how much of it are you certain is right? What percentage have you gotten wrong?
Can you please list the things you think you know but in actuality are wrong?

You can’t... We have a blind spot inside us that hides from us where we are wrong about what we know. We are, by ourselves, incapable of seeing clearly where our seeing is distorted.

So actually we know less than an infinitesimal amount of the infinitesimal. And of the things you do think you know, some of it is wrong. And of the things you are wrong about, you are not certain what they are and cannot discover where you are wrong without using something outside ourselves.

Kinda humbling.

Why shatter someone’s confidence in what he knows? What’s the point in that? Why create such an eternally deep space between our perceptions and what is knowable?

Because we live in a culture that demands that we judge everything by our own perceptions. And our perceptions cannot be trusted to make big decisions. We have been given the gift of enough perception capability to make immediate decisions and assessments such as, “Have I gotten enough exercise today? Do I need to check on my elderly neighbor who told me she was sick? Where are my car keys?

Those are things we can judge. We have that capability.

We can of course ponder universal thoughts that are vast, but we cannot judge them. We should indeed ponder things bigger than we can think and know... like the string or M theory, how quantum physics has created a dilemma that something is and isn’t all at the same time, or what is infinite or if language is proof of God. Ponder and study and grow in knowledge and wisdom. But be careful to judge the things we cannot know. Like God.

When we hardly can judge our own spectrum of knowledge, how can we possibly think we can judge God? How can anyone possibly think that with their perceptions they can decide whether or not there is a God? We cannot know what goes on in that vast cosmology of unknowns. To try and judge what goes on in unknown dimensions and with unknown senses is like sending a blind astronaut into space.  

More than you think is possible.  

Friday, April 12, 2013

POWER CORRUPTS! Naw... Not Really.....

Okay, I am going to freak you all out. Well, when I learned this, it freaked me out anyway....  

(drum roll please).... 
The infamous quote of Barron John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton:

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

Now the BIG LIE isn’t this quote taken as is. Because in some cases power does corrupt. Some great men are bad men. 
The problem with this quote is 1) It was taken out of context and 2) the idea of power and authority were conflated deep in our psyche and it comes out in our perception and thought process that authority is, by nature, evil and corrupt.

The adage that power corrupts isn’t a natural law, it isn’t a quote from scripture. Yet this idea of power corrupting has been received into our worldview as if it is an absolute. My best guess is because we have a predominately Calvinistic “totally depravity” worldview. We all think because man is so bad, give him power and he will be able to become worse.

This deep cynicism, this deep distrust of authority coerces us into reverencing self-reliance and autonomy. It foments resentment and a harsh criticism of anyone in public office or in any leadership position. In fact, in order to prove we are fair and balanced in our assessment of our favored political candidate, we equally run our candidate down. We can’t praise the other candidate because that would make both authorities good! And so we criticize all, rather than praise all because we see the position of authority itself as problematic. All conspiracy theories are based on the idea that power corrupts. And I realize that it is sometimes true, just not always.

God isn’t anti-authority. It is in God’s plan to have authorities with power. God’s kingdom in heaven as well as on earth isn’t a democracy, there are people with power.

Let me pause here and explain a little bit about the original Lord Acton quote and how it is misused. Lord Acton was a brilliant leading historian of the 19th century and faithful Catholic who was even asked to be part of first Vatican Council. He characterized his life’s work as a defense of God’s goodness and providential care of the world. He wrote that the Catholic Church faithfully fulfills its mission by encouraging the pursuit of scientific, historical, and philosophical truth, and by promoting individual liberty in the political realm.

Acton was not anti-cleric nor anti-authority. (Me pointing to Action) uh... Catholic.

That quote about power corrupting was from a letter to his bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887. He and the bishop were arguing over Acton’s harsh critique of the pope during the Inquisition. The context was that without a leader being subject to God’s morals, men will tend to be corrupted by power. He is not advocating a lack of leadership. But those who wish to thrust off all authority have used his words to seem as if they are advocating anarchy.

As Christians we know that authority is good.

Now let’s get down to proof that God is pro-authority (and by nature authority has power).
God set up authority in scripture. 
He appointed twelve--designating them apostles... that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.” Mark 3: 14, 15
“I will send them prophets and apostles...” Luke 11:49 
“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,” Eph. 4:11
“And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers...” I Corinthians 12:28
“Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?” I Cor. 12:29
“until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.” Acts 1:2 

They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching ...many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.” Acts 2:42, 43
...those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money... and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.... sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet.” Acts 4:34, 35, 37 
“The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders...” Acts 5:12
“When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money.”Acts 8: 18

“The apostles and elders met to consider this question.” Acts. 15:6
“...they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey.” Acts 16:4

“...built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” Eph. 2:20
“...it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets.” Eph. 3:5
“I want you to recall... the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.” 2 Pet. 3:2

“...remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold.” Jude 1: 17

The Bible never records that Christians should struggle for independence from God-appointed authorities. In fact, it explicitly says many, many times we are to obey them. We are sheep with shepherds, we are not all shepherds. 
"A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.” Matthew 10:42

“It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master.” Matt.10:25

"Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?” Matt. 24: 45
Though sin has made us likely to fall to the temptation of abusing power, not all in authority fall to it. That is why Jesus warned his Apostles that: 

“...whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,” Matt. 20:26

“...just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve..." Matt. 20:28

The power of fathers, mothers, civic leaders, church leaders are from God. The Bible tells us he places people in leadership positions. And western civilization has fallen and entered a dark ages precisely because we have assumed our leaders all fall into corruption. 

Hierarchy of God’s leadership: Parents
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Eph. 6:1 (Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Col. 3:20)

Hierarchy of God’s leadership: Husbands
“Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Eph. 5:22, 24 see also Co. 3:18

Hierarchy of God’s leadership: Civic Authorities
“Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority,” I Peter 2:13

We are to obey God’s chosen leaders:

“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. ... Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.” Rom. 13:1, 5

“to submit to such as these [church leaders] and to everyone who joins in the work, and labors at it.” I Cor. 16:16

“If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.” John 15:20

“If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed.” 2 Thess. 3:14

“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Heb. 13:17

Jesus admonished us to obey even hypocritical leaders: “..you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.” Matt. 23:3

Being made in the image of God means we can handle power and authority. In fact God’s plan is for us to reign with Christ. Being in a situation of original sin means that we won’t be perfect and some will be rotten leaders. Some people may become corrupted with power but that is not an absolute. Most leaders have done a good job. Authority isn’t our enemy. Anarchy is....

This distrust of authorities subtly creates a mindset vulnerable to distrusting God. We may tell ourselves that God isn’t human therefore he is the only thing that can be trusted with absolute power, but in the end, this skepticism has to affect even our most precious thoughts about God.

Within the realm of sin, God gives power to people knowing that we can abuse it. And yet He gives it to us through authority structures of parent and husbands and masters and church leadership. If Lord Action’s words were some type of natural law, then God set up an evil system of power. 


Friday, April 5, 2013

There Is Only ONE Enemy.

Do not be deceived. Mankind has only one enemy.

This enemy uses ideas to rip humans apart and put us at enmity with each other. The enemy's hatred for us bursts forth by creating political dramas that make us turn to our eyes off Christ and place our faith in the "right" political candidate. Right vs. Left, Democrat vs. Republican. Conservative vs. Liberal. This certainly is a big problem but the enemy is keeping us yelling at each other rather than listening to each other in love. 

The Enemy of mankind whips us up and plays with our patriotic hearts and minds and confuses us with the idea that if our side could only be in charge of the government that God would win. Our Enemy keeps us focused on being angry at our political opponent.

But our Enemy uses much more than politics. He is currently killing our souls us in a culture war.

As critical as the crisis is about marriage, our enemy isn't the radical anti-Christian agenda, anti-traditional marriage or anti-life groups. Our enemy knows us well and these moral earthquakes that are shaking the foundation of our culture, these deadly moral tornadoes our enemy is tossing at us that are ripping our country to pieces are only a diversion. Our enemy is pitting we humans against each other: America vs. the world, Capitalism vs. Communism, Christianity vs. Islam, Secular Humanism vs. Christianity, evolution vs. creation, men vs. women, rich vs. poor, adults vs. teenagers, Republicans vs. Democrats, Protestants vs. Catholics, Protestants vs. Protestants, Pro-choice vs. Pro-life, home schoolers vs. public schoolers.... 

The list is endless. Human's Enemy knows us... and he wants us divided over anything and everything. He chooses to pit us against each other in any way he can, with fighting over trivialities such as sports teams to eternal issues of great weight such as religious differences. All to keep us divided. He wants humans to be eternally at war with each other, so he can slip in unnoticed. He is the man behind the curtain who is confusing us, deceiving us, playing with our souls and keeping us in despairing chaos. And we are stupid enough to fall for it. 

Love cannot win when we are divided.

The bowel of the abyss of hell is spewing forth its moral filth onto the American culture and we are tempted to blame the homosexual lobby, the North Koreans, President Obama, President Bush, President Clinton, Hollywood, the Feminists, the ACLU, the sleeping Christians, the educational system, the NRA.... and do not take me wrong... people are to blame. But all the conspiracies of the world do not point us in the right direction. Our Enemy loves conspiracy theories for whether they are dead on target or completely insane, our Enemy's will is done, for they turn us against each other. 

Ephesians 6:12 points directly to the problem and it is not us: 

For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

The Enemy is not humans. The Enemy is the Father of Lies, the malevolent dictator of the spiritual hosts of wickedness. And the context of this verse tells us how to fight our enemy: 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

We are in a mortal battle for souls--our children's, our neighbors, our family's, our own. Whether we like it or not, the time is now. The war has come and our enemy is at the doorstep.  Gird you loins, oh Christians, the evil day is upon us.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Becoming Catholic Makes You Smarter

Since coming into the Catholic Church in 2008, I have found something miraculous happen. I seem to understand things better, as if a fog I didn't even know I was in has lifted, as if colors and sounds have become sharper, not to my eyes and ears but inside my brain. Concepts that were too complex for me to fully grasp now make sense. Things that were beyond my imagination and my understanding now seem obvious, even simplistic. 

My personal change is dramatic enough to write about. I am wondering if other Catholic converts have had this happen. 

For a concrete example: I have always been a voracious reader, mostly theology, history, philosophy and self-help books. I have never read a 250 page book in a few hours though. Lately I have been able to get through books--deeply theological books--in a few hours.  (I'm not speed reading.) And my comprehension has skyrocketed. Weird. 

What is going on?

I have always heard that sin makes us stupid. If so, then here's my analysis: 

1. I am going to confession regularly. 
2. I go to communion weekly, often more. (Partaking of the divinity of Christ has GOT to make one wiser!)
3. I am reading the Catholic Catechism (which is brilliant and can improve one's IQ just reading that!)
4. I am reading Catholic theology and history. 
5. My prayer life is full of Catholic prayers which don't dumb anything down. 

Doing all these things, especially partaking of the Eucharist often, must be raining down grace upon me, cleansing me of my sins that I may see more clearly, hear more clearly and understand. The process of sanctification given freely through merits of Christ and through my seeking first the kingdom of God in obedience of faith must be slowly pulling me out of the stupor of sin. My "stupid" is decreasing while Christ in me is increasing! Surely, that has to make one wiser!

Can becoming Catholic make one's IQ increase? I actually believe being obedient to my faith has opened my eyes that I may see, fulfilling the words of Christ found in Matthew 13:10-17:

And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?" Jesus answered them, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, 'You will keep on hearing, but will not understand: You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; for the heart of this people has become dull, with their ears they scarcely hear, and they would see with their eyes, and understand with their heart and return, and I would heal them. But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it."