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If you’re on social media today, you’ll likely see a Facebook link claiming to show a goodbye video message from Robin Williams to his fans.

Don’t fall for it.

The video, which claims to show the actor shortly before his suicide Aug. 11, is a hoax, internet experts say. The link – which has been shared more than 24 million times, takes users to a fake BBC page that asks them to go through a series of surveys. They surveys ask for personal user information and can be used to send spam and junk mail to those who take part.

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Nice article from LifeTeen:

About twelve years ago a teen named Billy asked me this question, “Why do you Catholics believe that Mary ascended into heaven, when it’s not even in the Bible?”

He said “you Catholics” because he went to a local Bible Church but had been coming to a Life Teen Summer Bible Study with some of his Catholic friends.

“Well, first . . . ” I replied, “Mary did not ascend into heaven; the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed into heaven. Jesus ascended by His own power. Mary was taken up into heaven by God.” That little difference is a big difference, so I wanted to be sure he understood it.

Billy then replied, “Okay, fine . . . but it’s still not in the Bible. The Church made it up.”

This is where the conversation got really interesting.

DID MARY DIE?
Maybe Mary didn’t die. Maybe she’s living in Brazil . . . next door to Elvis. Some people point to the fact that only Elijah and Enoch are mentioned as being carried off to heaven in Scripture, and since Mary is not, then “it must not be true.”

Have you ever noticed that although the Acts of the Apostles is an incredibly detailed accurate account of Sts. Peter and Paul, we do not read of their deaths on the pages of Scripture? Everything we know of their deaths comes from early oral tradition. In fact, the Bible doesn’t say what happened to most of the disciples. The Bible is silent in this area. Many Evangelicals accept the witness of Church history that Saint Peter was crucified upside-down in Rome, that Paul was beheaded, etc. — even though Scripture does not record these events.

We know, from oral tradition, that Mary was taken into the care of St. John (the writer of the fourth gospel and the Book of Revelation) and went to live with him in Ephesus (where he was a Bishop). We know that she was sought out for her counsel and wisdom and that she was exalted and honored throughout the community. Early Church Tradition upholds these facts as true, as do historic and non-canonical writings.

What is different, though, is that we know where the bones of Sts. Peter and Paul and other disciples like Mary Magdalene are because the early Christians took care of them. There is no record of where the bones of Mary are. It seems a little odd that if there had been a body no one would have given her a proper burial or that her tomb would not have become a landmark, does it not?

HOW DO WE KNOW MARY IS IN HEAVEN?
Well, if the woman who God specifically chose to bring His Son into the world and raise Him is not in heaven . . . none of us have a shot.

Seriously, though, is there Scriptural backing for this teaching about the Assumption? Absolutely!

While it does not explicitly state, “Mary assumed into heaven” in the Bible, stop and take a look at the verses from Revelation, written by John, of visions that were seen:

“Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm. A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod… Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed . . .” – Revelation 11:19, 12:1-6, 10

This revelation is referring to Mary in heaven. Mary is often referred to as the new “Ark of the Covenant.”

Indiana Jones went searching for the Ark of the Old Covenant which contained the Ten Commandments (Law), a pot of manna (heavenly bread) and the staff of Aaron (symbol of Priesthood). You can read about the Ark – but not Indiana Jones – in Hebrews 9:4. The Ark was kept free from all defect and corruption, made from the finest most pure materials to God’s exact specifications.

As the Ark of the New Covenant, Mary carried Christ who is the Law, the Bread of Life, and the Royal High Priest. Her Immaculate Conception and her state as ever-Virgin kept her free from defect and sin, preserving her throughout her life, until her death where she was immediately assumed to preserve her from any bodily corruption on earth. Notice, too, in this passage from Revelation that we see the Ark (which is missing on earth) in heaven immediately preceding our vision of this woman crowned in stars and holding a baby.

Don’t forget – to whom did God give this vision (Revelation)? He imparted it to St. John, the one who was entrusted with caring for Our Mother, Mary (John 19:25-27) for the remainder of her days on earth prior to her assumption.

In 1950, Pope Pius XII defined the doctrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the universal Church. The teaching was not new – only now formally clarified. He affirmed that at the end of her time on earth, Mary experienced immediately the resurrection of the body that is promised to all faithful followers of Jesus.

Basically, since Mary was preserved from original sin by the unique gift of Christ’s grace, she was able to experience the immediate perfect union with her Son in heaven, never knowing, tasting or suffering from bodily corruption or decay (due to death) in any way.

Remember, as Christians we believe in the Resurrection of the Body. As the Papal encyclical Lumen Gentium (68) asserts, Mary’s assumption and heavenly presence preceded and foreshadows our own future glory (1 Corinthians 15). You might want to check out how the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains it, too (CCC 966).

One of the things that sets us apart as Catholics from other Christian denominations is that we have a rich understanding of Mary and a tradition of giving her the honor she deserves. She can teach us a lot through her example of virtue and her special role within the Church. Pray with Mary and she will lead you into a far deeper relationship with Her Son than you could ever achieve by your own direction.

I’m reminded of that conversation with the teen every year around this Feast Day, only I no longer call that teen, Billy, my friend . . . now I also call him, Father Bill. He went looking for Mary and found her . . . in the Catholic Church.

Hail Mary!

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Islam a Religion of Peace? Why the Silence?

by Steve Ray on August 12, 2014

Islam a religion of peace? Is so, where are American Muslims protesting and speaking out against genocide of Christians by ISIS Muslims in Iraq?

Children beheaded, women raped, Christians slaughtered as animals, many starving as they flee the terror and Muslims are saying nothing. Are they sending money and supplies? Why the silence?

Will prominent Muslims and politicians speak out against this? Wake up America!

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My Prayer for Today :-)

August 11, 2014

Lord, grant me a mug of coffee for the things I can change and a glass of wine for the things I cannot change.

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115° in Phoenix but the Abraham video is coming along charmingly!

July 21, 2014

Janet and I will be locked away in the edit bay at Skyline Productions in Phoenix Arizona for the next two weeks. Today we laid in all of the voiceovers and tomorrow we begin working on the behind-the-scenes and the B roll footage. Then art, maps, music… We’re very excited about this documentary and are [...]

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On Catholic Answers Live Tonight (Monday)

July 14, 2014

Join me at 6:00 PM EST for Open Forum for Non-Catholics.

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Official Statement of the Diocese of Baton Rouge Regarding Order for Priest to Break Confessional Seal

July 12, 2014

by Diocese of Baton Rouge Featured eBook Description: The Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has issued this official statement vigorously denouncing a ruling by the state’s highest court that would compel a priest to violate the seal of confession or face possible imprisonment. Publisher & Date: Diocese of Baton Rouge, July 7, 2014 Official Statement [...]

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Three Israeli Teenagers Found in Shallow Grave North of Hebron in the Palestinian West Bank

June 30, 2014

This is very sad news and deplorable. These three teenage boys were hitchhiking and called the police with a distress call that they had been kidnapped. They had not been heard from for several weeks and have just now been found in a shallow grave north of Hebron in the Palestinian West Bank. This is [...]

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My Show “Loving Your Wife” on Relevant Radio got a LOT of Response

June 5, 2014

If you’d like to listen, click HERE.

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Pray for Us as We Continue Filming Abraham DVD – now in Israel and Turkey

June 1, 2014

We finished shooting our footage in Iraq in January. I’ve now finished the script and we are now going for three weeks to Israel, Palestine and then to Turkey to finish filming our Footprints of God Abraham DVD. Our crew of four will join us on Wednesday. We have been granted permission to film inside [...]

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On Catholic Answers Live Tonight

May 19, 2014

Topic: Q & A for Non-Catholics. You can listen online HERE. I will post the questions I answered tomorrow along with MP3 and download info.

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Mothers are Closest to God the Creator

May 11, 2014

The most important person on earth is a mother. She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral — a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby’s body . . . The angels have not been blessed [...]

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Is Peter the First Pope? Join us in the Holy Land to See the Answer is YES

May 10, 2014

Today we started out at the Mountain of Beatitudes where we had a wonderful Mass looking out of the sea of Galilee. Fr. Keith in persona Christi proclaimed the gospel during our Mass where Jesus preached. We drove up to Caesarea Philippi where Jesus said to Peter, “You Are Peter and on This Rock I’ll Build [...]

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Istaeli Security Already Preparing for the Pope at our Notre Dame Hotel in Jerusalem

May 7, 2014

The Pope owns the hotel where we always stay with our groups. It is the Catholic Center in Jerusalem. Janet and I have stayed at the Notre Dame Ctr. over 130 times. Today when we arrived back from dinner at our favorite Christian restaurant in the Old City we found six Israeli security vehicles in [...]

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Finding the unknown site where Abraham met the Trinity

May 2, 2014

Remember in Genesis 18 when the three angels came to visit Abraham? We are told in the first verse that it was the Lord that came to visit him. Christian tradition has seen these three messengers as being the Trinity coming down to visit Abraham and to judge Sodom and Gomorrah. That took place 4000 [...]

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Surprise in the Restroom

May 1, 2014

Little surprise while using the restroom in Galilee. He jumped and I jumped :-)

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