Holidays/Feast Days

A Southern Baptist writes:

I am a Southern  Baptist who has a lot of respect for the Catholic faith. The Immaculate Conception is a hard concept for me. Does it also include the belief that Mary never sinned? How does that pass muster with Rom. 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God?” It seems like Paul would have noted the one exception here in Mary if that were the case.

 From my limited studies, I think Catholics have a very good argument for their position regarding the Eucharist. But wasn’t it several centuries before this concept of Mary arose in the Church?

 Dear Friend: yours is a good question. From the early centuries, Mary was considered the All Holy One and considered as without sin. Rom 3:23 is a general statement but does not mention exceptions to the rule. For example, Jesus was a man without sin, therefore an exception.

 The New Adam (Jesus) is without sin. From the 1st century Mary has been viewed as the New Eve. It would be appropriate, actually proper, that the New Eve be without sin also.

Those who die before the age of reason, or who are mentally deficient are also exceptions. Job could even be called an exception if you take God’s report of him literally (Job 1:8).

Romans is also discussing that it is not only the Gentiles that have sinned but also the Jews. All can be a collective of peoples. “You Jews think you are righteous because you are of Abraham? You think only the Gentiles are in sin. No, all have sinned, Gentile and Jew alike”

This is born out in Psalm 14 from where Rom 3:9 (parallel passage to Rom 3:23) is quoted. Here is says, Psalm 14:2–3 “The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any that act wisely, that seek after God. They have all gone astray, they are all alike corrupt; there is none that does good, no, not one.”

Yet immediately following we find that God has his righteous. Psalm 14:5–6 “There they shall be in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous. You would confound the plans of the poor, but the Lord is his refuge.”

As a Baptist I used to use the Bible often for proof-texts and sound bites. Scripture is much more subtle than that. It is our tradition, whether Baptist, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, etc., that guides us in our approach to Scripture. The real question is, which tradition will you allow to direct your interpretation and study? I chose the tradition that was practiced from the first century until today – which is Catholic.

Wish I had more time. I warn you (tongue in cheek) that if you want to stay Baptist you are asking dangerous questions and dancing very close to the fire :-)

You will find helpful writings on this matter here, especially the short explanation on the radio of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption.

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The Ray family will happily celebrate Mass on Christmas Eve (Sunday) and Christmas (Monday). Yeah, I know there is a lot going on. I know hams have to cook and presents be presented. But come on … it is the celebration of the birth of Our Savior!

One priest thought he would make it easier on his parishioners and dispense them from the Christmas Eve Mass (Sunday). Oh boy, he made a mistake…

Canon Lawyer Ed Peters addresses the issue in his recent article “What an Invalid Dispensation Looks Like“:

Christmas falls on a Monday this year, so the bis-septennial angst over back-to-back Mass attendance obligations is upon us. The US bishops could have suppressed the Christmas obligation under Canon 1246 § 2 (as they did with Solemnity of Mary, Jan 1) but they chose instead to let it stand. Most practicing Catholics will say, “Fine, two Masses on two days. No big deal.”

Not a pastor in Pennsylvania, however, who is attempting to dispense his parishioners from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass the day before Christmas, via a bulletin notice no less:

“Therefore, by my authority as pastor, I hereby grant a dispensation from the obligation for the Fourth Sunday of Advent in individual cases that meet the following conditions: 1. You are reading this dispensation as an individual right now; 2. You are my canonical parishioner, either by geography or by registration; 3. You place ALL the envelopes for BOTH celebrations in the collection basket at whatever Mass you attend.”

I think “Fr. Penn’s” scheme fails utterly as a dispensation. Let’s see why…

For the rest of the article, click here.

UPDATE: “The Diocese of Pittsburgh has just overruled that purported dispensation. Deo gratias.”

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Where Have All the Christmas Carols Gone?

by Steve Ray on December 2, 2017

I’m not that old. I’ll only be 63 years old this month but I still remember when the frosty month of December was filled with marvelous Christmas carols. It was like magic when the first snow covered the ground and the melodies sprang to life and everyone knew them, believed them and sang them with a smile on their face.

Christmas_Carols_HongKongI remember the glorious carols like “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “Joy to the World”, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Silent Night, Holy Night.”

Those warm and cozy memories are rare these winter days. Something is missing. The new generation is being deprived and the world has changed.

I sat for an hour in a dentist chair and heard a litany of secular Christmas songs. Not one religious Christmas carol was heard. All about Santa coming to town, Frosty the Snowman, “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” and “I’ll be home for Christmas” and “jingle bell rock”

t54223134-b389781788_s400These are all nice songs too and I remember them from my youth. But isn’t something wrong when I walked through the airport today and I saw mythical Santa, reindeers, Christmas trees but not one manger scene or reference to what it’s all really about? Christmas songs reverberated through the airport but again not one of the beautiful old classic Christmas carols. It had a tinny shallowness to it.

Christmas-Carols-1960-billboard-650It’s Christmas after all. It’s named after Christ which was celebrated for millennia by a Mass — thus Christ-Mass! And it is so bizarre that all the music heard today explicitly and dogmatically refuses to reference Christ which is what the whole holiday is about.

The insanity of our current secularism and pluralism has deprived us of far more than we realize. Our political correctness forces us to retreat in obsequious silence for fear of offending someone. I weep for the current and coming generations that will be so separated from the past that they will never experience what I once knew as a boy.

no-baby-jesusPeople say “Happy Holiday“ to avoid the dreaded association with Jesus Christ. But even when saying “Happy Holiday” they don’t realize that they’re using another Christian phrase. Where do you think the word “holiday” comes from? It means, “holy day” made sacred by the birth of Christ.

I remember in my younger years that the joy around Christmas had to do with Jesus Christ and the joy brought to the world by this divine Savior. It was reflected in the music we sang from our hearts.

I may be giving away my age again here but it reminds me of the Wendy’s commercial — a little old lady looking up from her hamburger bun and saying, “Where’s the beef?“ Approaching December again this year I feel like asking a similar question, “Where’s the heart? Where’s the meaning? Why deny the obvious?”

2012-01-08_00008As for me and my house, we still sing the beautiful religious Christmas carols, honor Christ as the center of Christmas, we will still celebrate Christ at Mass and pray for the days when modern people will hopefully again understand the true meaning and joy of the season.

I’ll enjoy some chestnuts roasting on an open fire but the whole time I’ll be singing, “Oh Come Let Us Adore Him.”

Below: This is beautiful and what Christmas is about – it may even give you chills.

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6 Interesting Catholic Thanksgiving Facts You Need to Know

November 23, 2017

6 Interesting Catholic Thanksgiving Facts You Need to Know by Dr Taylor Marshall (Good website!)(http://taylormarshall.com/2013/11/6-interesting-catholic-thanksgiving.html) When you’re sitting down for that wonderful feast on Thursday, here are 6 interesting Catholic Thanksgiving Facts you can share with your family. Print them out and read them aloud over some pumpkin (or pecan) pie! The history books will […]

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Joachim & Anna: The Birth and Presentation of Our Lady, from a 2nd Century Document

November 20, 2017

Join us next year on our pilgrimage to see the Saints and Shrines of Italy and to go see the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico or join our St. Paul Cruise/Pilgrimage on the Mediterranean!  Visit http://www.FootprintsOfGod.com ************************* FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF OUR BLESSED VIRGIN MARY November 21 “The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin […]

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Visit St. John Lateran with me today for the Feast of Its Dedication

November 9, 2017

I am in Rome and decided to run to St. John Lateran this morning a make a video — so all of you could enjoy the Feast Day of the Dedication of St. John Lateran Church on November 9, 313. Yup, that’s right! It was the first Christian church ever built and it was the […]

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Happy Feast Day of St. Luke, Friend of Mary

October 18, 2017

St Luke: Greek Physician, Historian & Friend of Mary (Feast Day October 18) “Her face shone as she related the stories—the words were vibrant, and though older now, her memory was excellent. He sat enraptured as she brought the past into living color. He had traveled a long way to see her and he sat […]

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Understanding St. Matthew and his Gospel on his Feast Day Today

September 21, 2017

Since it is the Feast Day of St. Matthew, let’s learn a lot about him. Matthew: Understanding the Tax Collector and his Gospel By Steve Ray If looks could kill, he’d be dead. The Jews glared at Levi as he counted his coins. Tax collectors in Israel had great wealth and were considered renegades and […]

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St. Mark: Very Important; Very Little Known

June 17, 2017

To listen to our show about St. Mark on relevant radio: We’re discussing feast of St. Mark at :30 sec mark w/SteveRay@JerusalemJones relevantradio.streamguys.us/MA%20Archive/M… or download hour 1 @relevantradio app St. Mark: Very Important Biblical Guy, Yet Relatively Unknown Let me introduce you to him… “His voice boomed over the crowds in Rome as it had all around […]

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I’m a Skeptic, but I DID See the Dancing Sun

May 13, 2017

We DID see the dancing sun! It was several years ago at a Marian Shrine on a May 13 on the Island of Cebu in the Philippines I’m a skeptic and I don’t always trust even what my own eyes see… …so I asked my wife Janet and my daughters what they saw… I’ll try […]

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Fatima and the Modern World – St. JP II

May 13, 2017

Fatima and the Whole Modern World In 1982, Pope John Paul II visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima to commemorate the first anniversary of the attempt on his life and the sixty-fifth anniversary of Our Lady’s first apparition there. He delivered the following homily. St. John Paul II on Our Lady’s message at […]

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Joseph the Sissy or Joseph the Worker – Feast Day of the Worker

May 1, 2017

Today is the Feast day of St. Joseph the Worker! There are some pictures of Joseph I don’t appreciate so much. They present him almost as soft, effeminate like he just came out of a beauty parlor. It appears he never worked in the real world and has not a wrinkle on his clothes or […]

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Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live about the Resurrection

April 18, 2017

Questions I Answered on the Resurrection on Catholic Answers Live. You can listen on-line here or download podcasts here.  1.  Why does Paul say Peter was the first to see Jesus when the Gospels say it was Mary Magdalen? 2. Why did you call a priest a heretic? Or, was the resurrection a real physical […]

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My Favorite Easter Painting: Rushing to the Tomb! Anticipation! It is Empty!

April 16, 2017

Anticipation, uncertainty, wonderment, fear, excitement, doubt — but it is TRUE! The Tomb is empty and the angels announce He is not among the dead. He has risen!

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How Long Was Jesus in the Tomb? Another Contradiction?

April 15, 2017

“For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:38-40) Skeptics claim to have discovered an error in the New Testament —claiming Jesus was not in the tomb […]

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When Was Jesus Crucified? How Long on the Cross? Do the Gospels Contradict Each Other?

April 14, 2017

Do the Gospels Conflict? How Long was Jesus on the Cross? (See also Was Jesus Crucified Naked? and How Long Was Jesus in the Tomb?) The question intrigued me sufficiently enough that I spent the best part of a day working on it. On the surface there seems to be a contradiction in the Gospels, mentioning different […]

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