Wednesday, August 19, 2020

First Flight in Six Months

by Steve Ray on 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 airports and what the flights would be like. It was a bit surreal but quite easy and I would encourage people to get back in the air.

We have just finished putting together a full and exciting schedule of pilgrimages for 2021. Brochures are all being uploaded this week and we hope you can join us.

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My First Flight in Six Months

by Steve Ray on 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 airports and what the flights would be like. It was a bit surreal but quite easy and I would encourage people to get back in the air.

We have just finished putting together a full and exciting schedule of pilgrimages for 2021. Brochures are all being uploaded this week and we hope you can join us.

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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 they didn’t sell all the fancy stuff and help the needy.”

Here was my answer, maybe a bit more animated than necessary, but . . .

“Your friend has it back-asswards. I have been to the poorest areas of the Philippines and India and visited their beautiful churches. Who owns those churches? The Vatican? No! They are owned by the poor people who scratched every dime together to build a house for God worthy of him.

The Church, funded by these poor and wealthier donors, has also built the hospitals, schools, clinics and it feeds the poor. One quarter of the world’s population has no health care but that provided by the Church.

Why does your friend have a better house and nicer car than she probably needs? It is certainly much more opulence and expensive that people who live in poor countries. Why not quit being a hypocrite and sell her possession and distribute them to the poor? Let her put her money where her mouth is? Let her learn the real truth before she criticizes and condemns?

B397A1B3-5CEE-487C-AFFF-537CBE856F28In the Philippines on the island of Cebu (as everywhere else) they have Mass every hour on the hour 12-14 hours a day in churches that are only separated by a few miles. The Masses are every hour on the hour starting at 5 AM and there is standing room only at every Mass. I’ve seen the same in India, and many other countries.

Who would DARE to take confiscate those churches and sell them? These churches are the center of the community, educators of the people give me five minutes and where they are always baptized at first I’m buried at that. The poor people would rally around their churches and kill anyone who would dare touch them.

D206E034-F2CB-448B-A36A-3BC666FA22C8One day while praying in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome I thought, “What does God think about all this magnificence, beauty and expense? Is He shaking his head in disapproval?”Then an example came to me.

Imagine my son Dominic works hard all summer to earn money and spends his summer building something magnificent to give to me—his grandfather whom he loves. Now imagine the day arrives and he presents me with an extravagant gift that represents his heart and soul and labor.

What would happen if I responded by saying, “Dominic, this is a big waste of your time and money! You should sell it and give it to the poor.”

E735EE3E-19C8-4837-954C-C2A1B5EFA24CGod’s heart is moved by the generosity of these faithful disciples, building such an edifice out of their adoration for Him. He too is a Father and we are his sons and daughters. He appreciates our appreciation and gratitude but those who know God and do “not honor Him as God or give thanks” (Romans 1:21) are displeasing to Him.

Your atheist friend is foolish, or at least misguided and parroting all the tired old lies of her age. I love Chesterton who said, “The Catholic Church is the only thing that can protect you from becoming a slave of your age.”

I get a bit animated because I get sick of the hypocrisy, stupidity, and the same old, same old…

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