People are ready to get out of the house. Go to a warm state that is open to tourists. Florida is warm and inviting.

Join us in St. Augustine Florida where Catholicism first came to America. Enjoy the history, the spirituality, the fellowship — and swimming in the ocean!

Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life will join us for Mass and dinner and a talk. Be inspired. Br. Kevin Peek will be our spiritual director.

Have a great pilgrimage, enjoy the sun, learn about the history of the Catholic Church in America, renew baptisms where the first Catholics were baptized and enjoy good food, hotels, fun and fellowship.

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 Confusion of Many Protestants

Too often well-meaning Protestants get confused and accuse of things that are outright nonsense if not lies. It is usually because they never take the time to really understand what the Catholic Church actually teaches and practices.

Below is a good example of a kind and well-meaning Protestant pastor who wrote to me earlier today. He is obviously a good man and thinks he understands but his use of the same-old, same-old, worn out and misrepresentative arguments show that he has not done his homework and is parroting things some other parrot taught him.

Let’s look at what he says. First, his letter was posted in my Combox under a blog post “Do Catholics Worship Mary?” in which I give a long explanation. I think our good pastor failed to read the whole article or he wouldn’t have written what he did.

He starts by saying, “I believe the confusion comes because the Church chose to remain theologically in the Old Testament – using priests – when Jesus has become our High Priest.  I am a pastor, and I pray for my people, but I am NOT their ‘priestly mediator’ – Jesus is!  

Though I could write a book on this topic alone, and it has been done by others, it is sad to see people still have such a basic misunderstanding of the priesthood of Jesus and the priesthood of believers.

My answer can be as simple as this: We are all priests! We are priests but it does not keep us in the Old Testament, nor does it mean we are trying to undermine the priesthood of Jesus.

St. Peter tells us, “1 Peter 2:5, 9  “And like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. … But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” See also Revelation 1:6; 5:10; 20:6.

Not only are we priests, but we also offer sacrifices. My, that sounds awful Old Testament doesn’t it? Yet it is the reality of the New Covenant.

Levites minister with the High Priest

In the Old Testament there was a 1) High Priest (Aaron and his sons), 2) a ministerial priesthood (Levites) and 3) the general priesthood of all the people (Ex 19:6).

The Church is the new Israel. Should we expect it to have a different structure? Of course not. In the Church we still have three levels of priesthood: 1) Jesus is our new High Priest, 2) the ordained priesthood, called by the early Christians “Levites” and 3) the general priesthood of all believers like in the Old Testament. This is exactly what the Catholic Church has and exactly what the Protestant churches have abandoned.

No priest today thinks he has replaced Jesus Christ. They work with him just like the Levites worked with and for Aaron. The Catholic Church is biblical and certainly not stuck in the Old Testament. In fact, we could say the Protestant churches have gone the way of Korah. As we read in Jude 8,

Woe to them! For they walk in the way of Cain, and abandon themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error, and perish in Korah’s rebellion.” Jude 11.

What was Korah’s rebellion? None ordained, non-Levitical priests claimed that they too were holy and could offer the sacrifices relegated to the priesthood. When they protested and said they could do what the priests do the earth opened up and swallowed them. Jude is not writing to Jews but to Christians and warns them not to claim what is not allowed to them. The priesthood is the priesthood.

We are all priestly mediators! Every time we pray for someone we are in the middle between them and God. If this pastor says he is praying for his people then he is putting himself in the middle between them and God and acting as a mediator, an intercessor.

I remember my father saying “We have only one meditator between God and man, and it is the man Christ Jesus!” I responded, “Don’t EVER ask me to pray for you again.” Why? Because it puts me in the middle and makes me a mediator.

Mediator between heaven and earth

Jesus is the mediator of a new covenant which only he could establish, but he then asks us to share in his mediatorship by praying for others and acting on their behalf. And he asks the ordained priests to share in his priesthood, working as the Levites to serve him in the sacramental duties of the Church.

The pastor then writes, “The Bible is clear that we MUST NOT try to communicate with the dead – and Mary and the apostles are dead!  Lev 19:31 “‘Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.  Lev 20:6  “‘I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people.

He is assuming here, and quite wrongly, that the Catholic and age-old teaching of the “Communion of the Saints” is equal to occultism. It is certainly not. In one of our oldest creeds, recited by most Protestants too, we hear, “We believe in the Communion of Saints…”

What is this? It is the fact that saints are not dead but alive and with Our Lord in heaven. We are all still one family and in communion with one another. Death does not divide the body of Christ. The body of Christ is one whole including those on earth and those who are with the Lord in heaven.

We ask one another on earth to pray for us (making them mediators) and knowing that the saints are alive in heaven, we also ask them to pray for us.

 Now our pastor friend makes a bold statement, “Mary and the apostles are dead.” Really? Has he read the New Testament lately? He sounds more like a Sadducee than a Christian. The Sadducees denied life after death. They said that the dead were dead.

But Jesus refutes the Sadducees and our Protestant pastor when he said, “But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to him.” Luke 20:37–38

When someone asks, “Where does the Bible say we should pray to dead saints?” The Catholic should answer, “Where does the Bible say saints are dead?”

If we want to see Mary alive in heaven all we have to do is read Revelation 12:1.

In the Old Testament the Israelites were chastised for following spiritist and mediums and abandoning God. Saul certainly did this when he refused to wait for God and decided to go to a witch instead of God. We Catholics also condemn occultism and divination. The pastor should know this. It is clearly stated in our Catechism,

CCC 2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

CCC 2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others—even if this were for the sake of restoring their health—are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.

We do not consider asking the saints who are alive in heaven to pray for us a violation of Old Testament or New Testament law. The confusion lies with the pastor who accuses Catholics without knowing of what he speaks.

One needs only look at the Transfiguration to understand a bit more about the spiritual world and its interconnection to believers on earth. Jesus is talking to whom on the mountain? A dead guy? Moses had died and been buried over a thousand years earlier yet he is very much alive and talking to Jesus.

And notice, Moses is aware of what is going on on the earth because he came to talk to Jesus about what is soon to take place in Jerusalem (Lk 9:31). They were discussing the real world. They were dead, but not dead. They were very much alive. They did not appear as spirits or ghosts. Luke specifically said “the two men.”

There was more that the pastor wrote but only to repeat what we’ve already responded to. I suggest he study the Catholic teaching and the teaching of the very first Christians and come back to the fullness of the Faith. And if he wants to quote the Bible he ought to study his Bible a little more carefully too.

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We have added three new pilgrimages for 2021. 

Do you know where the Catholic Church first started in the USA? The first Mass, the first Shrine and more? It was in St. Augustine Florida. Join us for a very historical pilgrimage, renewal of baptismal vows, some great meals and an afternoon to enjoy the Atlantic Ocean.

Where is the only approved Marian Apparition in the USA? It is in Wisconsin. Join us for the Shrines of Wisconsin and celebrate the Year of St. Joseph at his national shrine where we will have a consecration to St. Joseph. Cardinal Raymond Burke will join us.

What country can be called the 2nd Holy Land? It’s where Paul did much of his missionary work, St. John was bishop and Mary lived there. The 1st Eight Ecumenical Councils took place here. It is Turkey which is now open for American tourists. This is our first time to do this extensive trip. It is marvelous!

Visit our Pilgrimages page or contact our Reservations Team at 866-557-2364, or write them at FootprintsOfGod@ctscentral.net.

 

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What Kind of Music Did Abraham Listen To?

April 6, 2021

One of our DVDs in the Footprints of God series is entitled “Abraham, Father of Faith & Works.” We filmed the first chapter it in Iraq — in Ur of Chaldees — which is the home of Abraham, just south of Baghdad (Gen 11:28-31). Thanks to the Biblical Archaeology Society to which I subscribe, we can now listen to […]

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Resurrection Appearances: Places & People

April 3, 2021

Here is the list of the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. Click here for the document: https://catholicconvert.com/wp-content/uploads/Resurrection-People-who-witnessed.pdf For the podcast of my show with Drew Mariani — the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus and the institution and need for Confession, click ? below  or click this link: https://relevantradio.com/2020/04/the-importance-of-sacrament-of-confession/ My segment begins at 06:45 minutes into the show.

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Sharing the Story and Glory of Holy Thursday and Good Friday

April 2, 2021

A bunch of international young people asked me to share with them the story of Holy Thursday and Good Friday – to take them on a virtual, biblical, typological and geographical tour.

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Two Helpful Timelines for Easter Week

March 30, 2021

A lot is going on this week leading up to Easter. Here are two timelines that will help you navigate.  

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The Story of Oberammergau – Join us in June or August 2022

March 29, 2021

Oberammergau: The Passion of a Vow Michele Malia McAloon If you don’t subscribe yet to The Catholic Thing, click here. SATURDAY, MARCH 27, 2021 In 1633, halfway into the brutal conflict between Protestants and Catholics known as the Thirty Years War, a small Bavarian village made a plea for God’s mercy and protection against a […]

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“Why Be Catholic?” In Person Conference in Keller TX – or Live Streamed

March 29, 2021

WHY BE CATHOLIC?: When You Could Be Anything Else! KELLER, TX    June 11th – 12th, 2021 Space is limited for LIVE in-person attendees. Get your tickets today! VIRTUAL “LIVE-STREAM” option available Click Here to Register!  This Summer, on June 11th & 12th at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Keller (Ft. Worth), TX, Fullness […]

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Palm Sunday in Jerusalem 2021: My Friend in Jerusalem Shares Videos

March 28, 2021

My good friend Jeries made some videos and took some pictures of the procession for Palm Sunday today. They processed with bagpipes down the Mount of Olives across the Kidron Valley and into the Old City of Jerusalem to the Holy Sepulchre and the Tomb. We will be going back there in the fall and […]

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Love Cruz all the more…”No I won’t wear a mask”

March 26, 2021
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Mary in the Old Testament: Typology and Titles of the Blessed Virgin

March 26, 2021

William Albrecht and I had a one-hour discussion on Mary in the Old Testament. I told him that in my conversion process I learned about Mary more from the Old Testament than the New. Typology opened up a whole new vista in understanding God’s amazing plan of salvation. Sad that I missed it all as a […]

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“Old Glory” the American Flag, beautifully done!

March 26, 2021
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Israel Invites Us Back – Soon!

March 25, 2021

We are going back to the Holy Land in September, November and over the Christmas break in December! Join us! Visit www.FootprintsOfGod.com for more info or to register on-line!
Contact our Reservations Team at 866-557-2364, or write them at FootprintsO…

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Join Steve Ray on a Daily Journey thru the Stations of the Cross

March 24, 2021

Journey to the Cross and Resurrection. A pilgrimage through the Stations of the Cross by Steve Ray. Let’s travel these final days together by sharing the journey of the 14 Stations of the Cross. From Sunday March 21st until – Easter Sunday, April 4th, we will meditate on the 14 Stations of the Cross with […]

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Letter to the National Education Association – A Protest by Union Members

March 24, 2021

Bravo to Kurt and other teachers to take this national stance of resistance to the corrupt and corrosive NEA. God bless their efforts. Please spread this around. ******************************************* To Teacher Unions of the United States, This letter is to inform you that you are on notice from concerned teachers across the United States to stop […]

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