Friday, January 06, 2006

Dion: Truth Will Set You Free

I listened to NPR today and they interviewed Dion. I grew up listening to Dion. My parents played his religious songs all the time and I loved to sing the lyrics. For Christmas, my parents gave me Dion's cd "The Best of the Gospel Years" which has the songs that I loved the most. NPR said that Dion has a new CD called Bronx in Blue and it sounded cool. Dion is famous for his secular songs "I Wonder Why," "A Teenager In Love," "Runaround Sue," and "The Wanderer." Here is a quote from Dion's conversion story that is on his website.

It seemed to me that each individual believer has to acquire enough knowledge on his own in order to know which church can bring him to eternal life. Instead of accepting the Church on God’s terms, I’d have to choose a church of my liking, a church that agreed with me. In those years, I did come to love God’s Word and met some wonderful pastors. But with a new church opening every week with a little different doctrine, it became increasingly difficult and confusing to know what the truth really was.

In late 1997, I came upon a television program called "The Journey Home" on the Eternal Word Television Network. John Haas, a former Protestant clergyman, was Marcus Grodi’s guest. He was talking about the question of authority in the Church. As a Protestant, his final authority was "the Faith and practice of the early, undivided Church." However, there was a problem. He saw there was no living voice of authority to really settle and resolve disputes or controversies in the church he was in.

This started my inquiry into some of the teachings I’d accepted and believed from a Protestant standpoint without serious study.

When I looked, I found that St. Paul called the Church the "pillar and foundation of truth" (1 Tim. 3:15) and said to hold to the traditions passed on, "either by word of mouth or by letter" (2 Thess. 2:15). I saw how the early Church recognized the bishop of Rome as the earthly head. I discovered that the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit to make decisions without error. This promise by Jesus — this infallible divine guidance — gave us the Bible.

I discovered that Jesus is present in the Eucharist. Not symbolically present. Not kind of present. He is really there, under the appearance of bread and wine. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch in the first century, wrote about the truth of the Real Presence in the Lord’s Supper. And he sat at the feet of St. John who penned John 6:25-69.

Little by little, God helped break through my defiance and ignorance. My misconceptions about the Church were falling away fast. All the questions I had as a Protestant were being answered, as I finally felt those deep parts of me satisfied.

And so I went back to Mount Carmel Catholic Church — where it all began. I went to confession and let it out to Father Frank. I told him where I’d been and what I’d done. When I finished, he stood up, stretched his arms out and said, "Dion, welcome home." I tried to be a man, I tried to stifle myself, but I couldn’t do it. I broke down right there. At last, I met the God who is a Father — a Father who is strong, but loving; tough but gentle. I met a Father who took this wanderer in His mighty arms, and led him home.


Here is a couple of his religious songs that are online. Link
Here is Dion's homepage; Link
Here is the NPR article; Link

1 comment:

Phil Shea said...

I would have loved to have heard those words on NPR! I wonder what else he said that they edited out.