November 2009

Confrontation at Mass

by Steve Ray on November 29, 2009

I usually mind my own business and worship God at Mass, but there are times I step out of my comfort zone. Once was when the priest said no miracle took place at the multiplication of loaves and fish. Today if was for other reasons. My wife Janet said I was antsy and nervous at Mass today — and I agreed I was.

They walked in and sat down a few pews away from us. To the right a loneyoung boy about 16 years old and to the left a tall white American male with his short oriental wife and two-year-old son. Mass began and the small boy began to fidget while the mother dutifully attended to him, holding him on her hip and trying to keep him quiet. The father was in another world and paid no attention to his struggling wife and child. He was oblivious.

I usually try to pay attention to the liturgy. But I could not but feel empathy for the lonely young man and the struggling mother. The young man of about 16 was sitting by himself and looking around for a friend or support. He was obviously lonely. I have to admit I was distracted out of compassion for these two struggling people.

As the Mass progressed I was progressively agitated as I saw the poor mother struggling with her 2-year old while the tall husband completely ignored her. She looked up at him several times with desperation in her eyes but he refused to look at her or show any support. Yes, as a father of four and grandfather of eight, I was feeling a bit sympathetic for the poor mother thinking of my own daughters with their children.

I also kept wanting to reach out to the lonely young man looking around for someone to give him a bit of affirmation. I wanted to take the poor young wife under my wing and encourage her.

Finally the little wife hoisted the little boy on her hip and pushed past her oblivious and stupid husband and went to the back of the church where she remained — ignored — for the rest of the Mass. He never acknowledged her or even looked back once. I know I should have been paying attention to the Mass and not involved in the others problems — or, should I have? I am not sure.

congregation_easter016The young man offered to usher and quickly stepped up to volunteer with the offering plate. I watched the smile on his face as he was proving to be of some value. People hustled and bustled around him without paying much attention. He looked around for some sign of approval.

When he was done I gestured to him with my finger and called — “Come here!” He was shocked but stepped over to me with a quizzical look on his face. I reached out my hand and said, “You did a great job, thanks for serving Our Lord!” His face lit up like a candle!

Then came the Sign of Peace. The tall white man had never once looked back at his oriental wife still struggling with their son. I had been aggitated with this the whole time. Was I meddling, too curious, or distracted, too intrusive?

Maybe, but when the Sign of Peace came I walked over to the young man first and again said “Thanks for serving us and peace be with you.” I then walked two rows over and shook the tall father’s hand and said, “Peace be with you — you need to be more attentive to your wife and child.” I then walked back to my seat.

In a matter of seconds the tall man walked over an stood by my side and said indignantly, “I am a child psychologist!” We were in Ann Arbor and he probably graduated with a PhD from the University of Michigan. I turned and said, “You may be a psychologist but I am observant! You have completely ignored your wife and child.”

He responded, “This is the Mass!” I said, “I realize that, but your poor wife and child have been in the back and you have ignored them completely. I am a father of four and a grandfather of eight and I have learned a few things over the years. You need to pay more attention to your wife and child or you will some day lose them.”

He was stunned and went back and sat down. His wife was still sitting at the back door struggling with the boy and unable to attend communion. I looked back at her and smiled to encourage her as I had done several times during the Mass.

A child psychologist? I wish he had been a construction worker or bus driver — his conduct would have been more understandable. But a child psychologist?! How can such educated people be so stupid and selfish.

OK, I probably should just mind my own business — not be so judgmental, but I can’t! I am a dad and a husband, a grandfather and a member of the human race and member of the Body of Christ. How can I turn a blind eye? How can I not encourage the young man desperate for attention and the young wife yearning for basic respect and attention from her husband.

The other day I was on a plane. A very heavy woman boarded the plane with a heavy suitcase and told the flight attendant “I will need some help getting my suitcase up in the storage bin.” I jumped up and said, “I will help you,” and I followed her to her seat. After hoisting her heavy suitcase into its place I smiled and said, “I am a Catholic and I love helping people.”

She had a surprised look on her face and said “Thanks.” You don’t have to be a convert to do and say such things.

It is time we began acting like Catholics. It is time we stop being so shy, so politically correct, so careful, so timid. It is time we confront and speak out. Be proud to be Catholic. Challenge our brothers and sisters! Challenge the world! Encourage the weak, chastise the selfish, poke the complacent, share the faith!

Sorry, but I can’t be quiet. Maybe I just have a big mouth.

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Dominic Memorizes John 3:16

by Steve Ray on November 27, 2009

Dominic will be seven years old in January. We spent Thanksgiving together and I told him he’d get $5 to memorize John 3:16 by the end of the afternoon. He wrote it out, looked it up in the Bible, and began to seriously concentrate on memorizing this important verse in the Bible — the first verse I learned as a boy of seven years old.

He was pretty proud of himself and we will now embark on many more verses — until he has the whole New Testament memorized :-)

Hey parents and grandparents — this is serious business, as well as fun. Help your kids and grandkids memorize Scripture while their minds are young and supple. Like riding a bike or a horse, it will always stay with them.

Remember Proverbs 22:6 (hover you cursor over the verse reference to read it.)

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Monday I am on Catholic Answers Live

by Steve Ray on November 27, 2009

circumcisionMy topic is “Faith and Works” — and how we are justified before God. You can listen live over the internet by visiting www.Catholic.com.

Much of my discussion will revolve around “the flint knife” and I will post all the questions and the link to the archived show after the fact.

You can prepare for the show by reading a few blogs I posted in the past here.

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22,000 Young People Fill the Streets

November 27, 2009

There is hope for our land when we Catholics rise up and demonstrate our love for God and the Church. It is time again for bishops to take the lead and promote and teach and demonstrate the truth of the Catholic faith! I love seeing things like this. Click on this impressive picture for a [...]

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630 Beautiful Pictures from our November Pilgrimage

November 27, 2009

Thanks to Ryan and Kim Broker for sharing their beautiful pictures on Snapfish. You can see them here. They write: “I’m sure you have many wonderful photos as well…and I’m excited to see them. Kim and I can’t thank you all enough for your sharing this experience with us. God Bless you all! In Christ, [...]

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Take a Few Minutes to Sign the Manhattan Declaration

November 27, 2009

The Manhattan Declaration is a short but potent call of Christian Conscience. It is a statement of Christian truth against the encroaching secular culture hell-bent on stripping us our our freedom of religion and the sactity of life and the dignity of marriage. This Declaration has already been signed by over 150,000 Christians in less [...]

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If you don’t receive Zenit, you should

November 27, 2009

I read Zenit every day. It is a good way to keep up on the world through the lens of the Catholic Church. Here is their offer for a free subscription. In the midst of many problems and chaos in the world, the Catholic Church continues to raise her voice and proclaim the truth of [...]

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Resistant American Nuns, no surprise, eh?

November 25, 2009

American nuns mount ‘almost universal resistance’ to Vatican inquiry Many leaders of women’s religious orders in the US are refusing to answer questions submitted to them as part of the Vatican’s apostolic investigation, the National Catholic Reporter reveals. One informed source told the Reporter that only about 1% of the religious contacted had responded by [...]

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Deal Hudson on Abortion, Health Care and Obama

November 24, 2009

As usual, a pithy and good article on the current battle facing all of us by Deal Hudson. http://insidecatholic.com/Joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7227&Itemid=121&ed=1

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Researcher Interprets Writing on Shroud

November 24, 2009

Visit link below for article. This is very interesting and will be interesting to read. http://www.newsmaxworld.com/global_talk/italy_shroud_of_turin/2009/11/20/289011.html We have a pilgrimage to the Shroud of Turin in May 2010. We will also visit Assisi, Padre Pio, the Lanciano Eucharistic Miracle, Veronica’s Veil and finally–Rome! Http://www.stevegoes.com

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Last Day of Pilgrimage

November 23, 2009

The Pilgrimage has come to an end. It always seems like forever since we were first on Mount Tabor, but it also seems to be over in a flash and it is always so hard and sad to say Good-bye as new friends have to leave and go back home. But we are always full [...]

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What My Grandpa Said About the Pope

November 23, 2009

(Billy Boy teaches Grandpa a thing or two) “My grandpa is a nice old gentleman, with gray hair, and gold spectacles, and very fond of his little grandson Billy—that’s me. Grandpa and I often go out to walk together, that is, on fine days, because on cloudy days he never goes out of the house, but [...]

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Bishop Bans Kennedy from Eucharist?

November 22, 2009

Bishop Tobin, Rep. Kennedy, and Holy Communion: Two posts in quick succession about Bp. Tobin and Rep. Kennedy, the first questioning the coherence of reported claims that Tobin has barred Kennedy from receiving Communion, the second, confirming that no such order has been issued. Not yet, anyway. Read them together here: http://www.canonlaw.info/2009/11/bp-tobin-rep-kennedy-and-holy-communion.html

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Pilgrims Running Around the Old City

November 22, 2009

We took off about 1 PM and ran around the city walls. What a great way to see the city of Jerusalem! Join us virtually on our run and see all eight gates to the city. We started at the New Gate and then ran subsequently around these in order: Jaffa, Zion, Dung, Golden, St. [...]

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Persecution of Catholicism on the Rise in USA

November 22, 2009

‘Hate crimes’ against US Catholics on the rise American crime statistics, furnished by the FBI, show a substantial increase in the number of “hate crimes” in which Catholics were the victims during 2008. The FBI figures showed an overall increase of 9% in the number of crimes apparently motivated by the victim’s religious faith. Jews [...]

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Unbelievable Day of Pilgrimage

November 22, 2009

We had a long but marvelous day! Started with a wake-up call at 4:45 AM (to make them feel like this was a pilgrimage and not a vacation :-)  We walked the Via Dolorosa through the streets of Jerusalem from the site of the Antonia Fortress to Calvary and the Tomb. After a tour of [...]

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