June 2016

Torture2.jpgOne 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 visited the Church of Santo Stefano Rotundo (picture to right). Many people think the church is morbid, disgusting and even gross. As you can see in the picture it is a round church with all the walls covered with paintings of the tortures and martyrdoms of the early Christians. They are graphic and detailed.

The two pictures below are from the walls of the church (man with molten lead being poured down his throat and woman with her hands cut off and hung around her neck). These are only two pictures of hundreds. You will see them in our next DVD. (Thanks for the correction below in Comments.)

Torture1jpg.jpgBut back to my question: Are you prepared to Witness for Christ?” Be careful before you say YES! In Acts 1:8 Jesus said to the Apostles, “You will be my witnesses.” By virtue of our baptism, we are ALL called to be witnesses for Christ. But when Jesus used the word “witness” he may have implied more than we think. We tend to think he meant to give testimony for Christ with words alone. But the early Christians gave witness to Christ with much more than their words.

The New Testament was originally written in Greek and the Greek word used for “witness” is martur. Sound familiar. Say it to yourself out loud a few times and see if it sounds like an English word we use. I bet you guessed it. The English word “martyr” derives from the Greek word martur meaning witness.

Torture3.jpgThe Catechism states, “Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the truth of the faith: it means bearing witness even unto death . . . ” (CCC 2473). When we traveled to the sites of the Apostolic Fathers and the place where they and many others spilled their blood on areana floors, it was a sobering trip.

Are you and I really prepared to be witnesses for Christ in the full sense of the word? The early Christians suffered horrendously to pass the faith on to us. Would we have the faith and fortitude to follow in their steps? For myself, I like to think I would. But I also know I don’t like pain–I avoid it like the plague.

But I commit myself to this, and ask you to join me — if martyrdom is required of me, I will trust God to give me the grace and strength to go down heroically with these words on my lips:

“I am a Christian! Lord Jesus, receive your servant!”

“And they have conquered [the Devil] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony (martur), for they loved not their lives even unto death.” (Revelation 12:11, RSVCE)

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You think this is a religion of peace? Look what they teach and do with their kindergarteners. 

For my new talk “Islam: What Every Infidel Should Know” click here. It is now on MP3 but Audio CD is coming soon.

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Bible Riddle

by Steve Ray on June 27, 2016

I am one but you’d see three,
and people barely think of me.
But I am often on their lips,
or found beneath their fingertips.
I warrant very little thought,
but with my help billions are taught.
And while I span a space so small,
I help you see what’s one, not all.
When God’s words first appeared on scrolls,
I was not found among their roles.
But in God’s word I’m now throughout,
to help you his will learn about.
Read just his first verse and his last,
and you’ve seen me there five times fast.
In fact this verse is one of few,
in which I’m not found through and through.
Although it’s true I’m found in “there”
but you will never see me here.

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Free Day in Rome, No Video Today – except the Mass

June 26, 2016

No video today since everybody went in their own direction discovering and seeing and eating wherever  and whatever they wanted. There are wonderful cafés and restaurants on every corner and over 800 churches in Rome alone. Excitement was in the air! But here is a short video of our early-morning mass and father Hersey’s homily especially […]

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Following St. Paul to his Death, his Burial in Catacombs and his Present Sarcophagus: Great Day 6 in Rome

June 25, 2016

We started out at Tre Fontone where St. Paul was beheaded. Very few people have visited this marvelous location where there is still original Roman Road Paul walked to his death. I gave my overview of the life of St. Paul. Then to St. Paul Outside the Walls where the bones of Paul are — […]

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Google and the Vatican Work Together so you can Tour the Catacombs in Rome

June 25, 2016

Since we are touring the catacombs today, thought you would all enjoy a tour yourself. Early Christian burial sites are now easier to see, both in person and via the Internet, thanks to 21st-century technology and collaboration between Google and the Vatican. “This is perhaps the sign of the joining of two extremes, remote antiquity […]

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Jerusalem Patriarch Resigns and new Administrator Appointed

June 24, 2016

Father Pizzaballa nominated as Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate STATEMENT His Holiness Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of His Beatitude Patriarch Fouad Twal, having reached the legal age, according to article 401, §1 of the Code of Canon Law. His Holiness has appointed the Very Reverend  Pierbattista Pizzaballa, OFM, former Custos of the […]

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How do YOU Read the Bible?

June 24, 2016

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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Tombs of Apostolic Fathers for Mass, Holy Door at Mother Church of the World…

June 23, 2016

Everyone who knows me knows me knows I love the Apostolic Fathers. Mass at the tomb of both Sts. Ignatius of Antioch and Clement of Rome — both of whom personally knew the Apostles and had their “words still ringing in their ears” — is always a thrill for me and our groups. For Fr. […]

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We Saw the Pope Up Close – and Took a CATHOLIC Tour of the Forum and Coloseum

June 22, 2016

Although it was very hot today we all drank lots of water and had a great day. We started with the General Audience with the Pope and got some great shots. One on our young pilgrims even got a KISS from the Pope.  Then we took a marvelous CATHOLIC tour thru the Roman Forum and […]

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From A Full Morning in Assisi to an Evening in Rome

June 21, 2016

Today was a full second day and we had a wonderful itinerary. Mass at St. Clare’s in Assisi, a tour with a local guide who was a REAL believer whose brother is in seminary to be a priest. The “spirituality” of local guides is essential which is why we tolerate NO guide who is not […]

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Steve’s Newest Talk Available: “Islam, What Every Infidel Should Know”

June 21, 2016

Without holding back any punches or “uncomfortable truths” Steve exposes Islam for what it is and gives the politically incorrect explanation of Muslim beliefs and practice.  Steve’s New CD available now for Pre-Order. CD’s will ship in mid-July. All orders of multiple items containing the pre-order will ship together. Want the mp3 version? Find it HERE. […]

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Arrival in Rome and Drive to Medieval Assisi

June 20, 2016

Today everyone arrived safe and sound in the Rome Airport and we drove north to Assisi. We had a great day with Mass at the Church of San Francesco in the monastery. We had free time to explore the city and pray at his tomb. A great Italian dinner and then to bed for a […]

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Two Sample E-mails that Make My Heart Sing

June 19, 2016

Number 1: Steve, I know you get a ton of emails, but I still want to email you and tell you how much of an impact you had on me converting to the Catholic faith. Your talks on he Church Fathers had the biggest impact on me. After studying the Church Fathers, I knew Catholicism […]

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Canon Law and the Pope’s Unfortunate Words on Cohabitation and Non-sacramental Marriages

June 19, 2016

There are so many issues to write about; I would have wished that this would not be one of them, but… Canon Lawyer Dr. Ed Peters brings clarity to the confusion caused by the Pope’s recent words.  If you’re concerned about marriage, the problems in the Church in that regard, the Pope’s recent words about […]

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Can’t Believe I Agree with Comedian Bill Maher: He Embarrasses Newscaster Charlie Rose on Islam

June 18, 2016

I cannot believe I agree with the uber-liberal, anti-religionist comedian Bill Maher. But on this I do! Interesting video with two liberal, anti-religion guys discussing Islam. Bill Maher buries Charlie Rose, making him look like a fool – which he is of course. Worth watching. This version is edited for three reasons: 1) Lots of […]

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