2 Timothy: St. Paul’s Last Letter before Martyrdom

by Steve Ray on January 26, 2020

2 Timothy: Last Words of Paul Written from the Mamertine Prison
By Steve Ray

[NOTE: In my articles on the Pastoral Epistles, I use each one to relay a theme: 1 Timothy emphasizes Timothy; Titus emphasizes Paul’s ecclesiology; 2 Timothy emphasizes the end of Paul’s life.]

It was dark and damp. The scurrying feet of nasty rats was constant in the everlasting darkness. He could feel the scratchy feet as the rodents scrambled over his body and their yellow teeth nipped at his flesh. It was hard enough to sleep on the wet dungeon floor and the rats only made it worse.

The acrid stench was unbearable—the years of accumulated excrement and urine was revolting. Vile prisoners fought over scraps of food. Once a doomed man was lowered into this subterranean chamber through the hole in the roof, there was no escape and death was certain.

Julius Caesar had dispensed with his enemies here and it was now in use by Emperor Nero who was using it to dispense with the Apostle Paul.

Welcome to the Mamertine Prison, located in Rome near the Roman forum at the base of the Capitoline Hill. It can still be visited today and it was here that many believe, with good reason, that St. Paul spent his last days.

Earlier, about ad 61-63, Paul had spent two years under house arrest in Rome awaiting his appeal to Caesar—much better conditions than he suffered now. The Acts of the Apostles abruptly ends with the earlier imprisonment during which Paul wrote letters to Ephesus, Philippi, Colossae, and to a man named Philemon.

But Paul was eventually released and early writings indicate that he spent several more years (c. ad 63-67) preaching Christ and traveling as far as Spain (Rom 15:24, 28) (Endnote 1). But now Emperor Nero ascended the throne and the Christians took the brunt of his cruelty. Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom under his insanity.

While bound in shackles and awaiting execution (2 Tim 2:9; 3:6) Paul wrote his last existing letter to his most loyal friend and companion, Timothy. It is a very personal final letter. Prison could not dampen Paul’s spirit or confidence in his eternal destiny.

He spent those miserable days and nights praying for Church. His spirit soared far above the stench of the dungeon and while caged he exulted in his “Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim 1:10).

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Should This Baby Be Aborted? You Decide

by Steve Ray on January 25, 2020

In the United States, there are many situations in which abortions are recommended, even encouraged by family, counselors, medical personnel and even religious advisors.

Sometimes an abortion is recommended because of difficult circumstances and other times simply for convenience. Here are four cases for you to consider. Should these babies be aborted? You decide!

Four Cases:
Case #1. There’s a traveling preacher and his wife who are living in poverty. They already have fourteen children. Now she finds out she’s pregnant with the 15th child. They are very poor and probably will be unable to afford a doctor’s attention. Considering their poverty, the excessive world population, and the number of children they already have, would you recommend she get an abortion?

Case #2. The grandmother is an alcoholic and the father spends his evenings out drinking in the taverns. His mother has tuberculosis. She has already given birth to four children. The first child is blind, the second child died, the third child is deaf, and the fourth child has tuberculosis. Now the mother is pregnant again. Given the extreme situation, would you recommend an abortion?

Case #3. A white man raped a 13-year-old black girl and now she is pregnant. Her family lives in extreme poverty; in fact, to survive, they often have to steal food. If you were her parents, would you recommend or require her to have an abortion?

Case #4. A fifteen year old girl is pregnant. She is not married and lives in a cave in an outback area with very little money or resources. The man she is engaged is not the father of the baby. There is no hospital or doctor available. Would you recommend that she get an abortion?

The Reality:
Case #1: You would have just aborted the world-famous Methodist preacher John Wesley.

Case #2: You would have just aborted the great composer Ludwig van Beethoven.

Case #3: You would have just aborted Ethel Waters, the marvelous black Gospel singer.

Case #4: You would have just aborted Jesus Christ, the savior of the world!

Since we are killing off over a million of our babies each year, how many other geniuses, artists, musicians, scientists, saints, and others have we assassinated? If the “pro-choice” (read: “pro-abortion”) folks have their way, the world may be deprived of a genius with the cure for cancer, the first female president, the inventor of new technologies, the saint who could have led us closer to God, the inventor of medical miracles, etc. In the lust of personal peace and pleasure, are we Americans killing the very people that God has sent to assist, teach, and save us?

I used to run my own business with over 400 employees. We were always short of employees. In many business settings my peers commented: “I just don’t understand why we can’t find workers. The labor market is tough and everyone is short of employees. I just don’t understand.” I always chimed in and said, “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that if we have killed off 1.5 million babies a year over the last twenty-five years that we are going to drastically reduce our employee base. What don’t you understand about that?” Add the contraception issue and far less employees are out there.

May God have mercy on our land! Vote pro-life! If we get the “Life Issue” wrong we’ve got it all wrong. The foundation is the most important part of the house.

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[NOTE: In my articles on the Pastoral epistles, I use each one to relay a theme: 1 Timothy emphasizes the life of Timothy; Titus emphasizes Paul’s ecclesiology; 2 Timothy emphasizes the end of Paul’s life.]

He was a young man with a past and because of this letter, many were now aware of his past. It was not a sordid life he had lived—but it was unusual. He stood out from the crowd, not in a loud or brash manner, but in a quiet and calm manner. He was not like the rest.

Coming from a mixed marriage in fluctuating times, he was amazingly focused and steady on his path. He was a loyal friend and companion which also caused him to stand out from the rest. Humility and gentle quietness enhanced his image as he stood at the right hand of the great apostle.

His Jewish mother Eunice gave him the name Timothy—“honoring God”—because she had high hopes for her young son, as did his grandmother Lois (2 Tim 1:5). We know nothing about his father other than Scripture says we was a Greek, implying that he had died. It also leads us to conclude that was not a believer (Acts 16:1).

But the two women in Timothy’s life taught him by word and example, passing the sincere faith on to this third generation (2 Tim 3:14-15). A son born to a Greek father and Jewish mother was Jewish by birth—he had learned the sacred Jewish scriptures from childhood.

One day a Jewish rabbi appeared in his city of Lystra (in modern day Turkey) preaching about the promised Jewish Messiah, the same Messiah Timothy had heard about in the scriptures (Acts 14:5-7).

It seems apparent that the young teenager Timothy listened intently to the Apostle Paul, and believed—especially after seeing the man lame from birth miraculously healed in the center of town (Acts 15:8-10). Even though young, he made a momentous decision and joined the small group who believed in Jesus.

Several years later Paul returned to Lystra and found that young Timothy had made quite an impression and was very well spoken of—he stood out from the crowd. Paul chose him to join him in his apostolic travels (Acts 16:1-3) and Paul became a father to him, a father in the faith (1 Tim 1:2).

Timothy was circumcised (Acts 16:3), ordained by the laying on of hands (1 Tim 4:14) and from that point on he was Paul’s most loyal and ever-present companion, even suffering persecution and prison for the name of Christ and for his loyalty to Paul.

His legacy is forever sealed in the New Testament since two of Paul’s letters were addressed to Timothy—and something most people don’t realize, Paul includes Timothy as co-author of six of his epistles.

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Speech of the 1st President to Ever Attend the Pro-life March for Life in Washington DC

January 24, 2020

Bravo President Trump, the most pro-life president ever, at least since the legalization of abortion in America! What a turn of events from Obama! The Pro-life movement is winning in America. We are changing the hearts and minds of people, especially young people. Here is President Trump’s whole speech – eight of my grandkids were […]

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How do YOU Read the Bible?

January 24, 2020

A Little Poem about Reading/Studing the Bible in Context I supposed I knew my Bible, Reading piecemeal, hit or miss, Now a bit of John or Matthew, Now a snatch of Genesis, Certain chapters of Isaiah, Certain Psalms (the twenty-third), Twelfth of Romans, first of Proverbs — Yes, I thought I knew the Word! But […]

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Imagine the Music in Hagia Sophia, Largest Church for 1,000 Years

January 21, 2020

For 1,000 years the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (today’s Istanbul) was the largest church in the world. What would it have sounded like to attend the Easter Vigil with all those newly baptized Christians singing in their native language of Greek with Doctor of the Church, St. John Chrysostom presiding. Coming in from the farms […]

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This is the Faith! Thank you Cardinal Müller!

January 21, 2020

Speaking into the confusion of our modern world, and unfortunately the Vatican. Bravo Cardinal Müller!

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Protestant Pastor Discovers the Eucharist of the Early Church!

January 20, 2020

Protestant pastor Chan with a huge following is sharing his new ideas about the Eucharist and the Early Church. As a convert, I know the signs, and I would suggest he’s realizing the truth of the Catholic Church. Only 3.5 minutes; WORTH a listen. Pray for him. 

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8 Concrete ways parishes can support persecuted Christians

January 20, 2020

8 Concrete ways parishes can support persecuted Christians MAJDI FATHI | NurPhoto | AFP From Aletia (highly recommended) Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP | Jan 07, 2020 From a small gesture you can do single-handedly, to something that will take some networking, these are ways we can help our brothers and sisters in so much need. A […]

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“Francis was never pope? Call me unpersuaded.” By Dr. Ed Peters

January 20, 2020

Article below by Canon Lawyer, Dr. Ed Peters: (Steve Ray here: It is amazing how many people today are rejecting the papacy of Pope Francis, claiming that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is really the pope. It comes up on my Twitter and Facebook accounts almost daily. Even though Canon Lawyer Ed Peters wrote his legal […]

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St. Paul Mediterranean Cruise & Seminar at Sea is Filling Fast!!

January 17, 2020

Our popular St. Paul Mediterranean Pilgrimage Cruise and “Seminar at Sea” is now open for registration. We visit 10 biblical sites!! Cabins are limited – first come, first serve. Already over 1/3 full. Register soon because this trip is very popular and there is already filling quickly. We only do this Mediterranean Cruise every two […]

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“Becoming Catholic” – A Friend’s Protestant World Collapsed and his Profound Discovery of the Church BEAUTIFULLY PRESENTED!

January 16, 2020

An enthusiastic Evangelical Protestant got in touch with me over a year ago with a thousand questions. I usually don’t have time for this kind of discussion, but there was something different about this guy. He was a music leader, actor, speaker and involved in a Protestant church that collapsed due to in-fighting and bitterness. […]

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Go with us to Oberammergau in 2020 – Germany, Switzerland & Italy

January 15, 2020

We are going to the Passion Play in Oberammergau Germany in 2020. This play is only performed every ten years. Visit our “Oberammergau Page” June trip or August trip. where you can see the full itinerary and register. s and soon be able to register. Contact us at footprintsofgod@cts.central.net or call 866-468-1420. We have packed these trips with loads of […]

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Iranian Medal-winner Defects from Iran: One of Iran’s Many Heroic Protesters (link fixed)

January 14, 2020

Iran’s only female Olympic medalist, Kimia Alizadeh, defects with blistering attack By Lee Brown  January 12, 2020  Kimia Alizadeh REUTERS Iran’s only female Olympic medalist announced she has defected from the Islamic Republic — posting a blistering online letter over the weekend describing herself as “one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran.” Taekwondo champion Kimia Alizadeh, […]

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Conversion Stories Galore!

January 13, 2020

Many people don’t realize that we have a Conversion Story page on our website with hundreds of stories. There are wonderful, emotional, educational and exciting stories of Catholic converts from all walks of life and all types of religions. Some are long and some are short, but they are all interesting with their own story […]

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Benedict XVI Breaks Silence

January 12, 2020

New book out on Monday written by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Cardinal Sarah and published by my publisher Ignatius Press. Can’t wait to read it. FROM THE DEPTHS OF OUR HEARTS: PRIESTHOOD, CELIBACY, AND THE CRISIS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.

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