Today was all day Florence. We step back hundreds of years to marvelous Catholic culture of the Renaissance. What a beautiful and enchanting city full of history and art, good food and nice people.

We started our day by walking to Santa Croce Church (Holy Cross). This commemorates the finding of the true cross and is a Franciscan church—the largest Franciscan church in the world.  Besides marvelous art and history it also has the tombs of Galileo, Michelangelo, and Dante along with other luminaries.

Mass at the Duomo was marvelous and we could’ve spent an hour more discussing the amazing paintings inside the dome. Father Fran’s homily was excellent again!

We took off walking again through the city and came to the museum which houses Michelangelos “David“.

Everybody have the afternoon free to find a nice café or pizza shop, walk around revisiting the churches, shopping or resting.

We regrouped at 4:30 and walked to a exquisite experience. We had a fun cooking class in Florence and then we ate dinner after watching the chef prepare it (fantastic video of cooking class uploaded tomorrow). I hope you enjoy today!

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Why Can’t Evangelicals See the Eucharist?

by Steve Ray on April 24, 2018

I was recently asked why Evangelicals cannot see the Eucharist and Real Presence in the Bible. This person said that when they read the Bible it seems so clear — especially John 6 where Jesus says “Unless you eat my Flesh and drink my Blood . . .” and at the Last Supper when he said, “This IS my flesh.”

“Why is it so easy to see for me,” she wrote, “while Evangelicals miss  it?”

alife-super-sunglasses-1There are a good number of explanations for this, but I tried to put it in simple terms. I responded:

“In answer to your question it all depends on what kind of glasses you are wearing. If you wear dark colored glasses you see things differently than if you wear clear or red shaded glasses. Every tradition, whether it is Catholic, Baptist, Mormon, or Lutheran has a tradition or grid through which they read and interpret the Bible. No one approaches the Bible objectively without any preconceived ideas or convictions.

“If one wears Baptist glasses and is convinced of the Baptist teaching, then they will see everything they read through their own Baptist ideas or tradition; they read their tradition into the text. Since they are told the Eucharist is only symbolic, they twist and tug to make Scripture fit their perspective.

“Also, as Evangelicals we (or at least I) was convinced the Catholic Church was wrong and we didn’t even understand what they believed or the basis for it. I also didn’t know that ALL Christians for the first 1500 years believed what Catholic’s now teach. And that even now ALL Christians around the world believe in the Real Presence except for a very small sliver of the Christian pie — the Evangelicals, Fundamentalists and a few other newly invented groups.

“The Catholic also has a tradition which has been handed down from the apostles. We can trace it with full confidence back to Jesus himself. When we read the Bible we have on our Catholic glasses which enables us to understand the Scriptures the way the apostles wrote it and the early Church understood it. We trust Scripture and the Tradition and this tradition is that which was taught by the apostles (2 Cor 11:2; 2 Thess 2:15; 3:6).

Be proud, yet humble, to be Catholic!”

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Visit Tomb of St. Augustine, Tour of Florence…

by Steve Ray on April 23, 2018

We left Milan early in the morning and drove to Pavia where we had a tour and Mass at the tomb of Saint Augustine. Fr. Fran’s “home run” homily.

Then a lovely drive what prayers and stories, lunch and nap time arriving in Florence.

We took a an initial tour of the city, another great dinner and then settled into our beautiful hotel overlooking the Duomo.

PART ONE:

PART TWO:

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Milan Italy: Da Vinci’s Last Supper, St. Ambrose Tomb and more…

April 22, 2018

Enjoy today’s incredible spiritual adventure in Milan Italy! Inspiring homily at Church of St. Ambrose.

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Hair Cut only Once a Year

April 22, 2018

David had a very handsome son. His name was Absalom and he betrayed his father the king and led a rebellion against him. The Bible says that Absalom was “beautiful“ and he only cut his hair once a year. Here is what the Bible says about him: “Now in all Israel there was no one so much to be praised […]

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Arriving in Milan Italy, Amazing Duomo Cathedral, Renewing Baptismal Vows at St Augustine‘s Baptismal Font…

April 21, 2018

Everyone arrived safely in Milan Italy and we had an amazing day. The emphasis of the day was the amazing Duomo Cathedral which took hundreds of years to build and is one of the most beautiful churches in the world. The Duomo is the 3rd largest church in Europe and it contains the baptismal font […]

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Simple Chart on Hierarchy of Authority, Infallibility, Dogma and Doctrine in the Catholic Church

April 20, 2018

From Jimmy Akin: Periodically, I’m asked what the difference is between dogma and doctrine. People have the idea that they are kinds of Church teaching, but they’re not sure precisely what the difference is (or even if there is one). To help folks understand this, I’ve created an infographic that shows how dogma and doctrine […]

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What Do We Mean by “Unanimous Consent of the Fathers”

April 19, 2018

Unanimous Consent of the Fathers By Steve Ray The Unanimous Consent of the Fathers (unanimem consensum Patrum) refers to the morally unanimous teaching of the Church Fathers on certain doctrines as revealed by God and interpretations of Scripture as received by the universal Church. The individual Fathers are not personally infallible, and a discrepancy by […]

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The Technology of Scripture Study: The Middle Ages (and a hilarious video at the end)

April 16, 2018

“I am an ecclesiastical historian by training and a Bible software guy by trade. Which, I think, puts me in the unique position to write about the history of the intersection of technology and Scripture study in a series of posts.” Written by my friend Andrew Jones PhD: “We might start with a description of […]

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What Tim Staples said about our new Elijah-Elisha movie

April 16, 2018

Hey Steve, We watched the video the other night WITH THE KIDS! THEY AND WE LOVED IT! Here’s a blurb: This newest from Steve Ray is phenomenal! In the Staples household, not only did mom and dad love it, but the kids were riveted! And they are a tough crowd to please! This video is […]

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Death, What a Wonderful Way to Explain It

April 14, 2018

Hope you enjoy this. I found it quite nice with a ring of truth to it. When it comes my turn to die, this will be my attitude.

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Steve’s Short Story “The Last Nightmare” Might Scare the Hell Out of You!

April 13, 2018

The Last Nightmare A Short and Terrifying Story by Steve Ray Everything went blank for a moment, but that moment seemed like eternity. He felt a motion, not with wind and breeze, but a motion none the less. He was traveling, moving, floating, transcending-he wasn’t really sure. The sudden blackness gave him time to regain […]

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Good-byes, Farewells & Comments

April 12, 2018

Enjoy meeting our pilgrims and sharing their emotions, thoughts and good-byes.

 

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Full & Fun Final Day: Jericho, Camels, Dead Sea, Jordan River…

April 12, 2018

The last day is always fun and exciting. We started off the day with Mass and breakfast at the beautiful and elegant Notre Dame Center. Father Courtney gave another wonderful homily to summarize the trip and to bless all the religious items. From the Israel Museum to the Jordan River and from Jericho to Qumran. […]

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Crap, Castration & Two Creations – Colorful New Testament Wording

April 12, 2018

Since we are in Philippi Greece today, I thought I would post this colorful blog :-) We miss a lot when reading the English Bible. We’re at a great disadvantage. The early Christians read the writings of the apostles in the original language – they understood the words and expressions must better than we do. […]

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Via Dolorosa, Mass at Calvary, Western Wall, Visiting Tomb, Dinner on Roof of Jerusalem…

April 11, 2018

There was too much happening today to fit in one 15 minute YouTube video so we have two shorter videos for you today. To avoid the huge crowds we got up very early in the morning for the Stations of the Cross arriving at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for our tour and Mass […]

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