August 2020

Screen Shot 2020-08-29 at 9.46.56 AMThe long-awaited new Fatima movie is out! Check it out HERE and watch it in theaters or at home.

Based on historical events, three young shepherds in Fátima, Portugal, report visions of the Virgin Mary, inspiring believers and angering officials of the Church and the government who try to force them to recant their story.

************************************

Our new Fatima & Lourdes pilgrimage is up and getting registrations. Check out the itinerary, interactive map and the brochure HERE.

You can watch the 90-minute video of our last pilgrimage to Fatima and Lourdes below.

{ 3 comments }

catholicFaith_rayStoreBanner

Like most things we take for granted, the Catholic Creeds have an amazing story—actually a lot of stories.

What seems a simple prayer or statement of faith has a fascinating origin.  And there is a reason it’s precisely worded the way it is and each word was fought over with great passion. It had to be worded just right.

The Catholic Faith: An Introduction to the Creeds takes a look at the struggles, the heresies, the truth, and the men who fought to hand it down to us. We will discuss important elements like these:

  • Why is it called a Creed and how was it used in the early Church?
  • Why do Christians have a formal statement of their beliefs when other world religions don’t?
  • Are the words and concepts of the Creeds found in Scripture and if so, where?
  • What is the one most crucial, fought over and non-biblical word in the Nicene Creed?
  • What are the four important “marks” of the true Church that distinguish it from sects and denominations?
  • What is the significance of the Creed’s emphasis on the bodily resurrection?
  • Includes fascinating facts, historical development, arguments for defending the faith, a biblical summary and much more!

Knowing the story behind the creeds brings to life our fascinating history and beliefs.  This book introduces the creeds as both a prayer and a personal commitment. Here you have the summary of Catholic doctrine in a nutshell, easy to read, memorize and practice.

Click here to learn more or to purchase.

{ 1 comment }

Can Relics and Sacramentals Relay the Power of God?

by Steve Ray on August 28, 2020

Some might claim that Catholic teaching on relics and Sacramentals is unbiblical. Really?

Check out these biblical passages:

“So extraordinary were the mighty deeds God accomplished at the hands of Paul that when face CLOTHS or aprons that touched his skin were applied to the sick, their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them” (Acts 19:11-12).

“So they cast the dead man into the grave of Elisha, and everyone went off. But when the man came in contact with the BONES of Elisha, he came back to life and rose to his feet” (2 Kgs. 13:21).

“They even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his SHADOW might fall on any one of them. Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed” (Acts 5:15).

“When [Jesus] had said this, He spat on the ground, and made CLAY of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam ” (which is translated, Sent ). So he went away and washed and came back seeing” (John 9:6-7).

OIL – see James 5:14-15

WATER – see 2 Kings 5:14

SACRAMENTALISM (Quoted from Dave Armstrong’s “One Minute Apologist“)

Objection: Matter cannot convey grace. Sacramentalism and relics are unbiblical magic

The Bible teaches that grace and salvation come through the spirit (Jn. 6:63), not through “holy objects”

Initial reply : The Incarnation of Jesus “raised” matter, and His death on the cross was intensely physical. Protestants often speak of “the blood” (Rev. 5:9; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; Heb. 9:12; 1 Pet. 1:2; 1 Jn. 1:7), which is but one of many examples of sacramentalism.

Extensive reply 

 The New Testament is filled with many concrete examples or teachings about the “incarnational principle” and sacramentalism. Baptism confers regeneration (Acts 2:38, 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21 – cf. Mk. 16:16; Rom 6:3-4 -, 1 Cor. 6:11; Titus 3:5). Jesus’ garment (Matt. 9:20-22), saliva mixed with dirt (Jn. 9:5 ff.; Mk. 8:22-25), and water from the pool of Siloam (Jn. 9:7) all were used in healings. Anointing with oil for healing is also prescribed (Jas. 5:14). The Bible often calls for a laying on of hands for the purpose of ordination and commissioning (Acts 6:6) and in order to heal (Mk. 6:5; Lk. 13:13).

Catholics believe in seven sacraments: all of which are established on the basis of extensive biblical evidences: 1) The Eucharist: Lk. 22:19-20; Jn 6:53-58; 1 Cor. 11:23-30; 2) Baptism: Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38, 22:16; 3) Penance and Reconciliation: Matt. 16:19; Jn 20:23; 1 Cor. 5:3-5 with 2 Cor. 2:6-11; 4) Confirmation: Acts 8:14-17, 19:1-6; Eph. 1:13; 5) Anointing of the Sick: Mk. 6:13; Acts 9:17-18; Jas. 5:14-15; 6) Ordination: Mt. 18:18; 1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6; 7) Matrimony: Matt. 5:31-32, 19:1-9; Eph. 5:21-33.

Even relics (remnants of the bodies of saints and holy people, and related physical items), have (perhaps surprisingly) strong biblical support. Perhaps the most striking proof text is a story about the prophet Elisha:

2 Kings 13:20-21: So Eli’sha died, and they buried him. Now bands of Moabites used to invade the land in the spring of the year. And as a man was being buried, lo, a marauding band was seen and the man was cast into the grave of Eli’sha; and as soon as the man touched the bones of Eli’sha, he revived, and stood on his feet.

Examples of second-class relics (objects that came into contact with holy people) are also clearly found in passages about the prophet Elijah’s mantle, which parted the Jordan River (2 Kings 2:11-14), and Peter’s shadow (Acts 5:15-16) and Paul’s handkerchief (Acts 19:11-12), used by God to heal sick people and to cast out demons. If all of this is “magic,” then it is a sort of “magic” directly sanctioned by God Himself.

Objection 

Protestants can agree with some of this. What cannot be found in the Bible, however, is the excessive veneration of relics. This goes too far, and is idolatry. We can remember the deeds of great heroes of the faith (Acts 7; Hebrews 11) and thank God for them, but we shouldn’t get into worshiping bones or pieces of hair and so forth, or go on pilgrimages to “holy places.” That’s too much like paganism or heathenism and adds nothing to our spiritual life. All places are equally “holy.”

Reply to Objection 

If matter can indeed convey grace and blessing, according to the Bible, then we can give glory to God for what He has done with lowly matter by venerating (not worshiping) even now-inanimate objects. Protestants themselves would not, for example, think that the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem or the hill where He died on the cross or His tomb, from which He rose from the dead, are merely rocks and dirt like any other rocks and dirt. In their own way they do indeed venerate and honor them. If the physical location were so irrelevant, why visit it at all; why not simply ponder Jerusalem and Israel in their heads, in “spirit.”

Plenty of Protestants are also fascinated and intrigued by the Shroud of Turin, which is an extraordinary secondary relic related to our Lord Jesus. That is an object, too; a mere piece of cloth. But would any Christian treat it like any other cloth and tear it up for rags to dust with? Of course they would not, because it was connected with Jesus and has miraculous properties (like Elisha’s bones): a supernaturally produced image. Therefore it is highly regarded and revered. It all goes back to God and His great works, using matter. Sacramentalism and relics flow from the Incarnation: God Himself taking on flesh and matter and becoming man.

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) 

The death of Christ is the universal cause of man’s salvation: but a universal cause has to be applied to particular effects. Thus it was found necessary for certain remedies to be administered to men by way of bringing Christ’s death into proximate connection with them. Such remedies are the Sacraments of the Church.

And these remedies had to be administered with certain visible signs: — first, because God provides for man, as for other beings, according to his condition; and it is the condition of man’s nature to be led through sensible things to things spiritual and intelligible: secondly, because instruments must be proportioned to the prime cause; and the prime and universal cause of man’s salvation is the Word Incarnate: it was convenient therefore that the remedies, through which that universal cause reaches men, should resemble the cause in this, that divine power works invisibly through visible signs.

Hereby is excluded the error of certain heretics, who wish all visible sacramental signs swept away; and no wonder, for they take all visible things to be of their own nature evil, and the work of an evil author. These visible sacramental signs are the instruments of a God Incarnate and Crucified. (Summa Contra Gentiles, IV, 56: “Of the Need of Sacraments”)

{ 0 comments }

Trump’s Speech Accepting his Nomination- Wow!

August 27, 2020

If you did not hear President’s speech on Thursday evening I would highly recommend you watch it online. You should listen to Trump’s speech when he accepted the nomination for president for another four years. He was on the top of his game and made us all proud. He buried the Democrats tonight. If you […]

Read the full article →

Avoid slavery to every fad

August 24, 2020

Chesterton said that one of the main reasons for becoming Catholic was that Catholic Church “is the only thing that saves a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age.” And this has been true throughout the ages.

Read the full article →

The Catholic Church and Her 23 Liturgical Rites

August 24, 2020

I was recently asked if there was a difference between the “Catholic Church” and the “Roman Catholic Church”. Are they the same thing? What is the correct name of our Church? So I provided this simple answer (PDF version here). The official name of our church is “Catholic Church”. But the Church has 23 different […]

Read the full article →

What Translation of the Bible Should You Use?

August 23, 2020

No translation is perfect. Translating ancient and foreign languages into English is not as easy as it would seem. There are ambiguities and linguistic hurtles. Picture a sliding scale from left to right. Every translation fits somewhere along that scale. At one end of the scale literal  translations and on the other extreme are dynamic […]

Read the full article →

Freedom from Pornography

August 22, 2020

The statistics about guys addicted to porn is staggering. There are some good services to help if you want deliverance. Here are a few Catholic ministries that have been recommended. If you know of others, let me know and I will add them here.   ______________________________________________________________________

Read the full article →

Free Market Economy or Socialism?

August 22, 2020

I was recently asked: “Between a Socialist system of economics or a Free market Capitalist system, which is more Moral? Which system best represents a Christian view? My short response: The Catechism reflects the teaching of the Church by stating that a society should protect the right to private property and to free enterprise (CCC […]

Read the full article →

Mary and Jesus More Closely Related than we may have Thought

August 21, 2020

The scientific word is “microchimerism”. It is the transfer of cells from the baby’s body into the mother’s body and the transfer of cells of the mother’s body in the baby’s body. These cells of the baby remain in the mothers’ body after birth. Very interesting indeed when considering the relationship between Jesus and his mother Mary. The microchimerism website […]

Read the full article →

First Flight in Six Months

August 19, 2020

Today I had to fly from Detroit to Minneapolis Minnesota so that I could give a talk here at Legatus. I was also supposed to give a talk at the seminary but the seminarians have not returned yet. So it was my first flight in six months and I was curious to see what the […]

Read the full article →

My First Flight in Six Months

August 19, 2020

Today I had to fly from Detroit to Minneapolis Minnesota so that I could give a talk here at Legatus. I was also supposed to give a talk at the seminary but the seminarians have not returned yet. So it was my first flight in six months and I was curious to see what the […]

Read the full article →

Atheist Thinks we should Sell Churches and give Money to the Poor

August 19, 2020

A friend just shared an objection his atheist friend had to the Catholic Church. It went like this: “My atheist friend told me one of the things she disliked about the church was that they had all these great big fancy churches in poor countries but still asked for money from the poor and why […]

Read the full article →

Catholic Vote: Help Needed to get Trump Re-elected

August 18, 2020

I just received this e-mail from Catholic Vote. I want to share with as many people as I can especially in swing states. Please share it with your friends and family. Dear Steve, Did you see the new CNN poll? It shows Biden leading Trump by just four points — a drop of ten points […]

Read the full article →

Are Verses Left Out of Modern Translations of the Bible?

August 16, 2020

Bible Verses Missing in Modern Translations? By Steve Ray       (PDF version here) There are a lot of people today that are what we call “King James only“ Christians. They believe that the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible is the only inspired version and that modern translations are modernist. One argument for […]

Read the full article →

“Dear Mr. Bible Guy, Thanks for Confronting my Son…”

August 15, 2020

Posted in National Catholic Register: Dear Mr. Bible Guy Who Tried to Convert My Son and His Friends: These kids don’t just know the Bible, the Catechism, and Church history. They know how to think. Excellent article written by Jennifer Fitz Dear Christian Bible Guy, I want to thank you for coming up to my son and […]

Read the full article →