Prayer & Spiritual Life

Rent to Own

by Steve Ray on October 15, 2016

6935632_f520-520x357The Father sees my sign and knocks on my door, seeking a home for his Son.

“Rent is cheap,” I say.
“I don’t want to rent, I want to buy,” says God.
“I’m not sure I want to sell, but please come in to look around.“
“I think I will,” says God.
“I might let you have a room or two,” I say.
“I like it,” says God. “I’ll take the two rooms. You might decide to give me more some day. I can wait,” says God.
“I’d like to give you more, but it a bit difficult. I need some space for me,” I say.
“I know,” says God, “but I’ll wait; I like what I see.”
“Hmm, Maybe I can let you have another room. I really don’t need that much.“
“Thanks,” says God. “I’ll take it. I like what I see.“
“I’d like to give you the whole house, but I’m not sure.“
“Think on it,” says God; “I would not put you out. Your house would be mine and my son would live in it. You’d have more space than you’ve ever had before.“
“But, I don’t understand at all,” I say.
“I know,” says God, “but I can’t tell you about that. You have to discover it for yourself. That can only happen if you let me have the whole house.“
“That’s a bit risky,” I say.
“Yes,” says God, “but try me.“
“I’m not sure. I’ll let you know.“
“I can wait,” says God. “I like what I see.”


Kissing Statues

by Steve Ray on October 8, 2016

We are in Jerusalem today ready to pick up our group of 50 people at the airport in a few hours. When I woke up this morning to the Muslim “call to prayer”, church bells ringing and horns honking I read this email that came from the United Kingdom…

It read, “Hi Steve! I know you are a busy man. Please answer the above issue when the time permits you. I am a Catholic but I cannot accept the kissing of statues. It goes against my conscience.  I feel also it is against the bible teachings. Thanking you and awaiting your reply.”

I responded: Greetings from Jerusalem! I understand your sentiments and I don’t make a practice of going around kissing statues either though I have at times and certainly understand the reasoning and sentiment behind the action.

Notice the picture to the left. He is kneeling in front of a Bible. Is the man worshiping the Bible – he is kissing it after all. No, he loves the Word of God and is showing his love for God and his word. It is the same if a man kneels in front of a Bible while reading it.

Imagine your wife, if you’re married, is in a different country for a while and you miss her. Every once in a while you take an old picture of your wedding out of your pocket and look at it and think of her and it makes you miss her and love her. Once in a while you might close your eyes and kiss the picture as a means of demonstrating your love and devotion to her and your union together.

It’s no different with the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a saint or Jesus. It’s simply a way that people acknowledge and express their love and respect for the person behind the statue.

Just like you don’t fall in love with a picture and begin to worship the picture of your wife, so Catholics don’t love the statue or worship it; they are simply expressing their love and respect for the person behind the statue or that the statute represents.

There’s no need to read anything more nefarious into the action than that. It is simply an act of devotion and love for Mary, for Jesus, or for our brothers and sisters the saints who are alive in heaven.

Paragraph 1192 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Through sacred images of the holy Mother of God, of the angels and of the saints, we venerate the persons represented.” In other words, I as said above, we do not worship the image we love and honor the people they represent.

If you understand it this way you will be understanding it properly and you will do well.


I Choose the Narrow Gate; Wanna Join Me?

by Steve Ray on September 23, 2016

Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13–14)

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My Defiant and Proud Declaration for My Few Remaining Years

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Why don’t these young people hear this? They should have fathers who stay home and teach their boys these things. 

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One of the talks I gave while we were just in Rome today is about the Apostolic Fathers and Suffering for the Faith. It is dear to my heart since we just traveled all over following the footprints of St. Paul and the Apostolic Fathers. I will be speaking on the suffering and martyrdom of early Christians. We […]

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How do YOU Read the Bible?

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Did St. Paul Pray for the Dead? Yes!

June 22, 2016

Since we are in Rome today and touring Ancient Rome, especially the Roman Forum and the Mammertine Prison where St. Paul wrote 2 Timothy shortly after his martyrdom. While in that prison he wrote to Timothy and says a prayer for the dead. It seems apparent that St. Paul DOES pray for the dead. Here […]

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The Kiss of Mercy

June 14, 2016

My daughter-in-law Anna is very insightful about spiritual things, and in raising our grandkids. Couldn’t ask for a better daughter (in-law, though we consider her our daughter by now :-) She put this up on her FaceBook page and I was compelled to share it. Janet and I read this with tears in our eyes […]

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Meaning of Sacred and Immaculate Hearts – Feast Days are Upon Us!

June 2, 2016

A non-Christian friend found two paintings at an art show and asked me, “What in the world are these? They seem to have pagan elements. What do they have to do with Jesus and Mary?” Here is my explanation. If you readers have anything to add, please post it in the Comments below. Thanks. Thanks. […]

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Did Jesus Ever Run?

May 17, 2016

I posted this awhile ago, but thought it fun to post again. Though my running days are over (Doctors have told me I ran to much and my knees are shot), I still do a lot of fast walking and even have a bike in Jerusalem. But it is good to remember the days I […]

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Mary and the Other Body of Christ; How Many People were in the Upper Room and Why?

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The room was pretty full. It was warm but a gentle breeze was blowing—that would change. There was fear in the room. The Roman army was a thing to be feared, they had just crucified Jesus and it was a dangerous thing to associates of an executed criminal. They were also anxious about the promise. […]

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One Mass, Two Joys! “Better to Give than to Receive”

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Two things profoundly touched me at Mass today. These things are shared not for my sake but to encourage and inspire the reader — you.  First, the Mass was full and people were standing in the back. This is a “poor parish” but Fr. Bob and a team of young people have reached out to […]

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“The Sinner’s Prayer” – All You Need to Get to Heaven?

March 13, 2016

When I was a kid, the “Sinner’s Prayer” was a big deal. It was at the heart of everything we knew about Jesus and getting saved. It was almost used as an incantation. My mom coached me to pray the Sinner’s Prayer when I was 4 years old. We knelt together in front of the […]

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Question I was asked on Relevant Radio today: What Should we Think of the Taize Prayers?

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In answer to the question I was asked on Morning Air this morning I thought it best to post this article from Crux.

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