April 2014

FRIENDS AND FAMILY, PLEASE LEAVE COMMENTS FOR YOUR FRIENDS AND RELATIVES ON THIS PILGRIMAGE.

IF YOU LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW I WILL READ IT TO THEM ON THE BUS. IT IS ALWAYS A LOT OF FUN SO RIGHT A FEW HUMOROUS AND FRIENDLY COMMENTS BELOW. THANKS!

You can watch today’s video HERE

 

 

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A Powerful Story of Conversion and the Rosary

by Steve Ray on April 30, 2014

A lady named Leah shared this story:

Throughout my abusive childhood, my mother dragged my siblings and I through every possible religion, Church, alternative spiritual groups/cults and was so thoroughly confused by my teenage years, I firmly believed in “nothing”.

When I was around 18 and taking my usual walk after dinner one evening, I forgot to bring my music/headphones that I always listen to. So as I passed a Church, I heard singing, it sounded like nothing I’d heard before, so beautiful, that I felt “moved” by it, (literally!) as I crossed the street, went inside and saw the Church was empty, aside from the choir practicing.

As they sang I sat down the in back, and began to feel an overwhelming sensation of just pure love, pure joy, enveloping my body, with a peace like nothing I’d ever experienced. As tears streamed down my cheeks, a Priest sat down next to me, smiled and patted my hand.

That Church became my “home” and I discovered the real power of Prayer.

Years later my dreams suddenly became “lucid” and strange …..then turned very dark and evil, so much so, that I was terrified to sleep and continued in spite of all my repentance and prayers, until in one dream, I began to recite “Hail Mary” and immediately woke up.

The next night I wore my Holy Mother Medallion Necklace to bed and slept peacefully that night and every night. Then a few years ago when I was involved in a highly charged personal court case and during the hearing- at a break, my attorney grimly explained that the odds of the Judge ruling in my favor were about a million to one and I must be prepared.

Devastated, I ran to the ladies room sobbing, went into a stall, crouched down and recited Hail Mary over and over, begging her with a gut wrenching plea for her protection, justice, for a mother……as the decision was read, ….in MY favor!!…my attorney looks at me wide eyed and says, “I seriously just cannot believe what just happened here…in all my 25 years of practice and all my cases in front this Judge….I am stunned.”

She knew about my prayers in the bathroom but had promptly disregarded them as she was raised an atheist. Then asks: “What religion are you?? I may have to look into that? What was that Prayer called again??” Oh, I felt SO proud, humbled and GRATEFUL.

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Absent from the Body = Present with the Lord?

by Steve Ray on April 30, 2014

I realize now – that as a Protestant — I misquoted the Bible when challenging Catholics about Purgatory. Catholics taught that there was a “transition” between earth and heaven—a place or state of final purification called Purgatory.

purgatory.jpg“But how can there be a Purgatory?” I asked. “Doesn’t St. Paul teach that ‘to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord’?  Since ‘absence from the body’ means that we are immediately in ‘the presence of the Lord,’ there can’t be anything called Purgatory. Catholics deny the clear teaching of the Bible!”

Whoa! Slow down! Is this really what the Bible says?

First, that is a misreading of the Bible—a twisting of Scripture to score a point. The Bible does NOT say “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” Rather it says,

“So we are always of good courage; we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. We are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Cor 5:6-8).

This is very different from my old argument. Paul would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord, but certainly doesn’t say it the way I twisted it in my old anti-Catholic days.

If I want to be away from Michigan in the winter I might say “In the winter we would rather be away from Michigan and present in Arizona.” It does NOT say that to be away from Michigan that I am instantly or automatically in Arizona. My in-laws go between Arizona and Michigan twice a year and they stop a lot along the way. It usually takes them 3-4 weeks to get from one to the other as the visit and camp along the way.

We understand that this language leaves room for a transition period—especially in an automobile or plane with a possible motel or visit along the way. Paul’s words also leave room for such a transition; it does not exclude Purgatory.

Second, Paul teaches that we will pass through fire. Notice what he says in 1 Corinthians 3:15: On “the Day” if “any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”  Sounds like Purgatory to me.

Third, Purgatory is not “away from the Lord” strictly speaking. Those in Purgatory—whether it is a place or a state of transition—are not apart from the Lord. In fact, it is the love of God that is purifying them. I have always said that Purgatory is like the front porch of heaven. Those who are in Purgatory know they have arrived! But you can read more about that in my article on Purgatory here. (link fixed)

So, don’t let someone trick you with the old “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” argument. It is fallacious and deceptive. Again, the Catholic Church is correct.

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Why Protestants Reject 7 Books of the Bible – the Short Answer

April 30, 2014

Gary Michuta is an expert on the canon of Scripture, especially in regards to the Deutero-canonical books, what the Protestants call the Apocrypha. You can read his book Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger to see what I mean. Recently a friend asked Gary for the short answer as to why the Protestants removed seven books from [...]

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Mount of Transfiguration, Wedding Vows in Cana, Prayer at Grotto of Annunciation

April 29, 2014

This group is full of curiosity and questions. I love it! Sunny but not too hot. Breezy but not enough to blow your hat away. Like always we were the first ones up to the Mount of Transfiguration so we didn’t have to wait in line. Brian! I hate lines instead of my groups. We [...]

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Holy Land Group Arrived with Fr. Scott Courtney

April 28, 2014

Excellent arrival, drive to Sea of Galilee, Mass on the shore. Off to a great start.

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Day Before Canonization in Rome; Touring Ancient Rome

April 26, 2014

Another great day in Rome right before the canonization. We toured Ancient Rome, had Mass at Peter’s Tomb, studied the martyrs and had a great party.

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Great Start for Canonization Pilgrimage

April 25, 2014

Rome is packed with people! Buses are pouring in from every direction. I think the educated estimate is there will be 2 million people here for the canonization on Sunday. Our group arrived this morning and everyone is in good spirits and excited. We had a great start for the day with Mass at St. [...]

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Video of Pre-Canonization Rome

April 23, 2014

Janet and I arrived a few days early in Rome before our group. There will be 63 pilgrims arriving on Friday. We like to make sure everything is in order and ready for their arrival. And it is! We decided to take a walk around the walls of the Vatican and get a feel for [...]

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Rome is Happy and Excitement is in the Air; We can Feel it!

April 22, 2014

A bit goofey but fun. Nice to see young people in Rome happy and excited about the canonization of two popes. Reflecting the festive mood in Rome ahead of the imminent canonizations of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, the official website on the event, 2popesaints, has released this upbeat video with the soundtrack of [...]

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How you can push back against Mozilla/Firefox’s gay marriage thuggery

April 22, 2014

National Catholic Register  Sunday, April 06, 2014 5:15 PM, by Jimmy Akin Brendan Eich is the creator of the JavaScript programming language and the co-founder of the Mozilla Corporation, which makes the popular web browser Firefox. Several years ago, he made a donation to support Prop 8, a California ballot measure designed to protect true marriage by definining [...]

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A Long Month Ahead; keep us in Your Prayers

April 20, 2014

Janet and I are at the airport in Detroit heading out to Rome to lead a group of 63 people in a double-decker bus on a Rome-Assisi pilgrimage including the canonization of John Paul II and John the 23rd. Rome will be crowded but we’re looking forward to sharing this experience with our pilgrims. After [...]

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Carrying our Cross with Jesus, Touching Calvary, Mass at the Tomb…

April 18, 2014

A Day in the Life of our Pilgrimages so you can SEE an LIVE what happens Good Friday. This is always the highlight of the pilgrimage. We start early – very early – and pray the Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa where Jesus carried his cross. We arrive before the crowds at [...]

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Was Jesus Crucified Naked?

April 17, 2014

A gentleman heard me on Relevant Radio earlier. I had mentioned on the air that one of the great humiliations of a crucifixion was that a man was crucified naked. This thoughtful gentleman wrote to challenge my comments. Below is his e-mail and my response. Dear Mr. Ray, Please correct your description of the Passion. [...]

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Catholic Answers Live: Stations of the Cross and Pain of the Crucifixion

April 16, 2014

Wow, what a fun show. Great questions and lively discussion. Listen on-line HERE and other audio options HERE. the audio links as soon as they are available on Thursday. Also, for those who are interested in my audio talks on this topic, visit Steve Ray’s Store/audio. Look for “Stations of the Cross” and also “Pain of [...]

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Lots of Radio Shows this Week; Join Us!

April 16, 2014

I love Catholic Radio and all that it is doing for the Catholic Faith. I love contributing as much as I can. Here are shows I am doing this week. Monday 1) Son Rise Morning 7:10 AM EST: Palm Sunday Tuesday 1) Son Rise Morning 7:10 AM EST: Mary, Martha and Lazarus: Jesus preparing for the Passion [...]

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