January 2017

IMG_1855Questions I answered about Mary’s real life on Catholic Answers Live — it was a FUN show! To listen on-line, for podcasts and other listening options, click here

(Photos: Top photo painted by James Tissot; bottom two pictures are actual photos of girls at the well in Nazareth over 100 years ago.)

1. Did Mary ever sin in her life?

2. When Mary and Joseph got engaged (betrothed), were they allowed to have sexual relations?

3. What is the tradition about where Mary lived the end of her life and where she died?

Nazareth4. What was Mary’s age when Joseph died?

5. Where did an earlier guest get the idea Mary lived with her parents—I thought she was dedicated to live in the Temple?

6. How old was Mary when she conceived Jesus? Didn’t she have another son too?

7. How do you explain how important Mary is to a non-Catholic?

8. If Mary didn’t experience pain in childbirth, could that pain have been transferred to the pain she experienced at the crucifixion?

Nazareth9. Did Mary age as she grew older or did she remain young looking?

10. The did Mary enter the Temple and when did she leave the Temple and why? Who arranged their betrothal?

Nazareth11: What is Steve’s opinion on whether Russia was ever consecrated according to Our Lady’s wish?

12. Who had the vision of Mary’s home in Ephesus? Explain the vision and the involvement of Blessed Ann Catherine Emmerich.


Why Saint Thomas Aquinas Opposed Open Borders

by Steve Ray on January 31, 2017

Every nation has the right to distinguish, by country of origin, who can migrate to it and apply appropriate immigration policies, according to the great medieval scholar and saint Thomas Aquinas.

by THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D.31 Jan 2017

St-thomas-aquinas-Carlo-Crivelli-15th-cIn a surprisingly contemporary passage of his Summa Theologica, Aquinas noted that the Jewish people of Old Testament times did not admit visitors from all nations equally, since those peoples closer to them were more quickly integrated into the population than those who were not as close.

Some antagonistic peoples were not admitted at all into Israel due to their hostility toward the Jewish people.

The Law “prescribed in respect of certain nations that had close relations with the Jews,” the scholar noted, such as the Egyptians and the Idumeans, “that they should be admitted to the fellowship of the people after the third generation.”

Citizens of other nations “with whom their relations had been hostile,” such as the Ammonites and Moabites, “were never to be admitted to citizenship.”

“The Amalekites, who were yet more hostile to them, and had no fellowship of kindred with them, were to be held as foes in perpetuity,” Aquinas observed.

immigratinoFor the scholar, it seemed sensible to treat nations differently, depending on the affinity of their cultures with that of Israel as well as their historic relations with the Jewish people.

In his remarkably nuanced commentary, Aquinas also distinguished among three types of immigrants in the Israel of the Old Testament.

First were “the foreigners who passed through their land as travelers,” much like modern day visitors with a travel visa.

Second were those who “came to dwell in their land as newcomers,” seemingly corresponding to resident aliens, perhaps with a green card, living in the land but not with the full benefits of citizenship.

A third case involved those foreigners who wished “to be admitted entirely to their fellowship and mode of worship.” Even here, dealing with those who wished to integrate fully into the life and worship of Israel required a certain order, Aquinas observed. “For they were not at once admitted to citizenship: just as it was law with some nations that no one was deemed a citizen except after two or three generations.”

“The reason for this was that if foreigners were allowed to meddle with the affairs of a nation as soon as they settled down in its midst,” Aquinas logically reasoned, “many dangers might occur, since the foreigners not yet having the common good firmly at heart might attempt something hurtful to the people.”

In other words, Aquinas taught that total integration of immigrants into the life, language, customs and culture (including worship, in this case) was necessary for full citizenship.

It requires time for someone to learn which issues affect the nation and to make them their own, Aquinas argued. Those who know the history of their nation and have lived in it, working for the common good, are best suited to participate in decision-making about its future.

It would be dangerous and unjust to place the future of a nation in the hands of recent arrivals who do not fully understand the needs and concerns of their adoptive home.

When facing contemporary problems, modern policy makers can often benefit from the wisdom of the great saints and scholars who have dealt with versions of the same issues in ages past.

Aquinas’ reflections reveal that similar problems have existed for centuries—indeed, millennia—and that distinguishing prudently between nations and cultures doesn’t automatically imply prejudice or unfair discrimination.

Sometimes, it’s just the right thing to do.

{ 1 comment }

I Was Stopped by Immigration at the Airport

by Steve Ray on January 29, 2017

In fact, I have been stopped by Immigration many times. That is what Immigration does. It makes sure you should come into our country. They stop me every time to check my Passport, ask what I did while away, who I met with and what I am bringing into the country.

imgresThree times US Immigration has pulled me from the line and detained me while they looked things up on their computers. Irritating? Yes, but I am glad they do it.

I was detained when I entered Iraq to film our story of Abraham. It took two hours of questions and interrogation before we got in. Even then for two weeks we were never left without an escort and checked everywhere we went.

We were stopped in Rome for two hours until they vetted and cleared us, especially with all our equipment. I was “detained” in Istanbul Turkey, in Cairo Egypt and Dubai. In London we were detained because we didn’t have “an address.”

I was forbidden entry to Lebanon and Syria simply because I had an Israeli stamp in my passport. I could not enter until later when I acquired a new passport. Several times Israel stopped to question us at length because we had a Lebanese stamp in our US Passports.

1892_small_fullsizeCountries have the right AND the obligation to scrutinize, vet and restrict those who come into their country. Not only who comes in but why.

My relatives all came over from Europe but many people on the same boats were sent back because of diseases, criminal backgrounds or for many other reasons.And where were the hysterical media and Leftists in 2011 when Obama ordered that that no refugees from Iraq were allowed into the US?Generous and welcoming America had to be smart and that meant exclusive. Obama also sent people back who came from Ebola-affected countries.

Was our country wrong, immoral or un-Christlike to restrict people from countries with the Ebola Virus a few years back? No, of course not.

Then comes the question: “Is it Christian to do that?” What does that have to do with anything? Is it Christlike for a man to cut another man open with a knife? Yes, if he is a doctor removing cancer.

imageproxyThe government is not about being Christian or not Christian in this matter — it is about doing it’s God-given responsibility to protect its citizens! Every country has the right and obligation to do so. If allowing immigrants into a country is Christian or non-Christian, I would say our country has been the most Christian of all and has been very generous–but it also has to be careful. Being careful is not “un-Christian.”

People seem unaware of St. Paul’s exhortation about the role of government – and it is not to be walking around hugging everyone. Paul writes,

Romans 13:1–7  “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of him who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer.”

For those who make no exceptions for Muslims, go visit Paris or Sweden or large areas of Germany and Holland. If you haven’t heard about what is goings on there then educate yourselves. Muslims in general do not assimilate into society. Islam is more a political ideology than it is a religion. This is where many people err. Islam drives toward a theocracy. It does not accept democracy. It’s ultimate goal is to have all people and countries under Sharia Law in obedience to Allah.

IMG_6441President Trump is only imposing this restriction on seven of the most egregious Muslim countries. I think they should include a few more like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Qatar but what he has done is a good start. This extra vetting of seven countries is not only not outrageous like the hysterical media says; rather, it is wise and proper.

As I understant it, his weekend 325,000 people entered the US. Only 300 were stopped and questioned and of those only 30 were detained. Yet the media made it sound like anyone without a valid US passport was sent home!

Many of the Muslims coming here are doing so with the very purpose of Islamizing the United States! All of them? No. And neither am I saying all should be kept out, but the ones who don’t want to respect us and our way of life should be kept out. Not just Muslims but anyone who does not respect our country and our form of government.

Wake up America! I am glad when Immigration vets people (even me) and I applaud Trump for being the first in a long time with the hutzpah and political incorrectness to do something about it.

Here are two other excellent resources: Bobby Jindal interview and Crisis Magazine article. Also Separating Fact from Hysteria.

Fr. George Rutler’s article On Immigration short, precise and correct!

President Trump’s Sunday afternoon statement:Screen Shot 2017-01-29 at 5.17.30 PM

(Pictures below: Muslims protesting in England  and maybe someday in your hometown.)

islam-in-london-is-dominate-730x430Screen Shot 2017-01-29 at 12.21.27 PM


Beatitudes are Sunday Readings: Enjoy Fun, Amazing Homily on Location in Galilee

January 28, 2017

Fr. Scott Courtney LOVES the Beatitudes as you will see. Watch his 10-minute Homily at the Mount of Beatitudes while our chaplain in Israel. Enjoy!

Read the full article →

Bishops Ignore Laws of Probability and the Reality of Islam – Great Article in Crisis Magazine

January 28, 2017

Excellent article by Crisis Magazine on the ignorance and blindness of our bishops on the pressing issue of Islam. Is it a religion of peace? Here is just a few paragraphs in article that should be read and shared by all Catholics, especially our priests and bishops. The bishops’ unwillingness to pay attention to the […]

Read the full article →

Interesting Twist for Explaining Abortion

January 27, 2017

Posted by Phil Lawlor at CatholicCulture.org Among many excellent analyses published in time for the March for Life, “When Abortion Suddenly Stopped Making Sense,” by Frederica Mathewes-Green, deserves special mention. The arguments are familiar—how could they not be, after 44 years?—but she offers some new variations on familiar themes, such as her reminder that abortion […]

Read the full article →

The Story of the Birth and Adoption of Baby Charlie

January 23, 2017

 Now that my daughter and her husband Wes have received the new baby and begun to learn the fine art of changing diapers and bathing such a precious human life, she has taken the time to write the story of the incredible experience. We were able to “live through it” with them though the marvelous […]

Read the full article →

Ignatius Press prepares for 100th anniversary of Fatima with a historic pilgrimage and new release

January 23, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rose Trabbic, Publicist, Ignatius Press, (239) 867-4180 or rose@ignatius.com Ignatius Press prepares for 100th anniversary of Fatima with a historic pilgrimage and new release San Francisco, November 21, 2016 – The long-awaited 100th anniversary of the appearances of Our Lady at Fatima in 1917 is around the corner, and Ignatius Press has exciting plans to […]

Read the full article →

Good Riddance Obama; Welcome Trump!

January 20, 2017

Good riddance Obama and your eight miserable years as president. It will take a decade to really ascertain how much you’ve damaged our country and the world. Welcome Donald Trump! Loved the way you invited God back into our country during your Inaugural Address. Proud to have you in the White House. You’ve made a […]

Read the full article →

An Attempt to Understanding the Differences between Islam and Christianity – Very Detailed 26 pages

January 18, 2017

An Attempt to Understanding the Differences  Between Islam and Christianity by Bill Christian December 2016 (updated)  Our governments, schools, media and many Christian denominations tell us that there is no real difference among the Abrahamic religions of the Jews, Muslims and Christians. Islam teaches that Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him […]

Read the full article →

Dear Friend Dcn. Alex Jones, RIP

January 15, 2017

I remember the call. The voice on the other end of the line said, “Are you Steve Ray?” I said, “Yes, why?” The voice said, “Of all the men in all the world I need to talk with you.” In response I said, “Who are you and why do you need to speak with me?” […]

Read the full article →

The Maltese directive makes answering the ‘dubia’ urgent

January 15, 2017

Dr. Ed Peters, Canon Lawyer wrote two days ago about the Maltese Disaster. The excellent article on The Catholic Thing Here is his latest entitled “The Maltese Directive (allowing divorced and remarried easy access to Communion) Makes Answering the “Dubia” Urgent When highly placed Italian prelates declare that “only a blind man cannot see” that […]

Read the full article →

We Welcome Grandchild No. 13 Adopted Today by our Daughter Charlotte – What A Cutie!

January 13, 2017

After finding out she had endometriosis our beautiful daughter Charlotte and her soon-to-be doctor husband Wesley decided to adopt. After praying, working, reading, fund-raising $40,000 today culminated with a dream come true for our whole family! The paperwork is done and it is final. Yahoo! We welcome Charles “Charlie” Thomas Sorrill into our loving family […]

Read the full article →

Bob Dylan’s “Neighborhood Bully” song about Israel – I Like it!

January 13, 2017

Lyrics to “Neighborhood Bully” by Bob Dylan Well, the neighborhood bully, he’s just one man His enemies say he’s on their land They got him outnumbered about a million to one He got no place to escape to, no place to run He’s the neighborhood bully. The neighborhood bully he just lives to survive He’s […]

Read the full article →

Defund Planned Parenthood – You Can Help RIGHT NOW

January 12, 2017

For the first time in decades it is a real possibility to shut down the baby-killer machine called Planned Parenthood. You can help now. Act Now! Help Defund Planned Parenthood Secular liberal Democrats have fought to maintain the mandatory federal funding of Planned Parenthood far too long! America is on the verge of pulling the […]

Read the full article →

Daughter Charlotte to Receive her new Adopted Baby any Minute!!

January 12, 2017

Daughter Charlotte waiting for adoption mother’s c-section to see and hold her new baby boy for the 1st time. As soon as the baby boy is born they will bring him directly to my daughter so she can be the first to hold and feed him. She is so excited, the whole family is excited. […]

Read the full article →