Uncategorized

We Voted Today!

by Steve Ray on October 5, 2018

0CAF68D5-DE37-463D-AEB3-D79B1D75C8C1Janet and I voted today – absentee ballots – we’re over 60 years old and away on election day.

We visited Right to Life Voter Guide at election.rtl.org/ballot. Consult them for educated voting.

We proudly voted Pro-life, Conservative, pro-Kavanaugh, pro-business, pro-2nd Amendment, Religious liberty…

{ 3 comments }

“It is very important to look at the doctrine,” he added. “The Eucharistic celebration of the Mass is not an ecumenical service. It is not a gathering of those who believe in Christ and who invent a prayer for the occasion. It is a celebration of the mysteries of Christ who died for us on the Cross, who made bread into His body and wine into His blood and told the Apostles ‘do this in memory of me’.

D4D50991-3E30-4744-A0CD-F4E15287C9A6“So the Eucharistic celebration of the Mass is the celebration of the faith community, those who believe in Christ. They are communicating in the faith, and in the sacraments, and in ecclesiastical communion, not now Holy Communion but ecclesiastical unity with their pastor, their bishop and the Pope. It is the community that celebrates the Holy Eucharist. Anybody who is not a member of that community does not fit in at all.

“It isn’t just that we wish one another well. After Mass, you can have a cup of tea and even a glass of beer and a bit of cake. That’s OK. But the Mass is not like that.

“But we wish other Christians well. The Holy Eucharist is not our private possession which we can share with our friends. Our tea is such and also our bottle of beer. We can share those with our friends.”

He said that if Protestants wished to receive Communion in Catholic churches they should become Catholics. “Come, be received into the Church and then you can receive Holy Communion seven times a week. Otherwise, no.”

Furthermore, Catholics who have committed mortal sins must receive absolution before they can receive the Eucharist, he said.”

For the whole excellent interview, click HERE.

{ 1 comment }

IMG_0178Today I broke the law… I picked kernels of  wheat and ate them as I walked through the field. It was Saturday.

Had the Pharisees caught me I’d have been reprimanded, “Why are you doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”

The amber waves of grain were blowing in the wind over the hundred-acre field behind our home. It’s a beautiful site looking at the golden stalks of wheat ready for harvest and walking through the field and seeing the grains of wheat up close. There’s something entrancing about the whole scene. 

612A878E-07C6-46CF-B35F-1E8359F76E94-7744-0000091961AF5755On another Sabbath, 2,000 years ago, Jesus and his disciples were hungry as they were walking through the fields. There were no restaurants and fast food joints along their path. They walked through a field of grain and picked the heads of grain eating them along the way. We’re told this story in Matthew, Mark and Luke.

“One Sabbath [Jesus] was going through the grain fields and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. And the Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the  Sabbath?’ … And [Jesus] said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath; so the Son of Man is Lord even of
the Sabbath.’” (Mark 2:23-24, 27-28).

IMG_0175What’s the big deal? High crimes and misdemeanors? According to the Pharisees this action was classified as “work” and was a violation of the Law of Moses. The Mosaic Law forbid working on the Sabbath. But how does one define “work”? 

While slaves In Egypt, the Israelites had to work seven days a week and had no day of rest. Can you imagine working as a slave from sun up to sun down, seven days a week without ever having a day off? Now THAT was work!

The 3rd commandment to keep the Sabbath day holy was not to be laborious, burdensome or difficult. It was not to be tedious or a maze full of traps. It was to be a blessing! 

The law against work on the Sabbath was actually to be liberating. It was a way of God saying, “Unlike your slave masters in Egypt, I am a more merciful Lord and Master. I am going to require you to take one day a week off. In fact, (and my guess is God said this with a smile on his face), I’m going to demand that you sleep in, take time with your family, time for worship, rest and relaxation.” 

IMG_0181But the Law was serious business. Moses told the people that if they obeyed the Law they would always be the head and never the tail and one from among their own people would rule over them (Duet 28). The opposite would be true if they neglected the Law. Blessings and curses!

Looking at it one way, the Pharisees were not such bad guys. They were only trying to call the Israelites back to a very fastidious and detailed obedience to the Law. If they can get Israel to follow God‘s Law again maybe they could kick the Romans out of their country and they can again be in charge with their own king like they had been in the past.

But the Pharisees were hypocrites. Jesus exposed that over and over again.

What God had planned as a wonderful day of rest for family and worship, the Pharisees turned into a massive list of laborious, tedious and impossible rules. Forbidding work on the Sabbath was to give people freedom — not to turn them into slaves again bound by a million details of minutia from which they would be condemned every time they blinked.

IMG_0182The Pharisees turned God’s freedom into bondage again. This is why Jesus  tweaked and mocked them in public. Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man, not man to be slaves of the Sabbath. We must remember this when we are required to keep Sundays as a day of rest (CCC 2172). 

“The institution of Sunday helps all ‘to be allowed sufficient rest and leisure to cultivate their familial, cultural, social, and religious lives’” (CCC 2194).

Let us not fall into either error: the legalism of the Pharisees nor the flaunting of libertarians, but let us realize what our Christian day of rest is for and thank God for the day that we can spend with families, to rest, to worship God–and even to sleep in once in a while :-)

So today I walked through the hundred-acre field of wheat and smiled as I picked the grain and chewed on it — as I meditated on the history of salvation, the words of our Lord Jesus and the teaching of the Catholic Church.

{ 1 comment }

Videos of 100’s of Protestants, Many Pastors, who have converted

May 26, 2018

Videos of 189 Protestants and other religions who converted to the Catholic Church. Many of them are pastors. You will find Baptists, Pentecostals, Mormans, Jehovahs Witnesses, Atheists, and more. Enjoy! Click here to get started :-)

Read the full article →

Mary and the “Other Body of Christ” — A Reflection on Pentecost

May 18, 2018

Mary and the Other Body of Christ The room was pretty full. It was warm but a gentle breeze was blowing—that would change. There was fear in the room. The Roman army was a thing to be feared, they had just crucified Jesus and it was a dangerous thing to associates of an executed criminal. […]

Read the full article →

I’m excited to share Daily Catholic Wisdom with you!

May 17, 2018

I think you’ll love this new, simple way to explore our rich Catholic tradition. I was honored to see that Daily Catholic Wisdom recently featured my talk The Birth of the Catholic Church! Sign up to receive a snippet of Catholic thought every morning from literary giants, beloved saints, and relevant voices from today. Read it in 60 […]

Read the full article →

Are You Born Again? Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live

March 23, 2018

You can click here to listen to the show or click here for other listening options. Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live Topic: “Are You Born Again?” 1.   What do you say if someone asks “Are you born again”?  What is the Catholic understanding of being Born Again? 2.   A former Catholic, now Evangelical […]

Read the full article →

Why the USCCB (US Bishops) is Wrong about Islam

February 21, 2018

This in an excellent article in Catholic Workd Report about the wrong-headed ideas and disservice being propagated by the US Council of Bishops. Here is an excerpt: “Deadly anti-Christian attacks have become commonplace in the Muslim world. Catholics need to know about them, and they also need to know the “why” of these attacks. There […]

Read the full article →

The Rebel in Me LOVES Quotes Like This

February 19, 2018

“Enemy occupied territory — that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.” C. S. Lewis For the larger context from Lewis’ Mere Christianity click HERE.

Read the full article →

An Excellent Summary of Christianity in China, and What in the World Is the Pope Doing?

January 29, 2018

Janet and I have been to China. We attended Mass there and talked to people about the situation for believers. It is a sad situation and the real believers and the priests loyal to Rome are underground. There is also a political “church” which is loyal to and controlled by the Communists in Beijing. This […]

Read the full article →

First-hand Report on Safety in Jerusalem

December 30, 2017

Steve Ray here. I know a lot of people are watching the mainstream media and seeing protests, fighting and devastation in Israel. Hey folks, it ain’t happening. It’s the media hyping things like they always do. They have to be sensationalists. (See my post from a week or two ago.) I just took a nice […]

Read the full article →

The State and the Alteration of the Fundamental Laws of Marriage

December 15, 2017

From a brilliant, even prophetic, 1933 essay/chapter by Christopher Dawson titled “Christianity and Sex”, published in “Enquiries into Religion and Culture”: Leo XIII writes: ‘No human law can abolish the natural and original right of marriage, ordained by God’s authority from the beginning. . . . Hence we have the Family, the society of a […]

Read the full article →

Picture of Morning Walk as Sun Arises

December 1, 2017

Out for our morning walk with my girlfriend of 41 years as the sun rises.

Read the full article →

A Father-Son Story

November 16, 2017

By Fr. Joseph Fessio 2018 will be the 40th anniversary of Ignatius Press. There are many stories I could tell about all the blessings God has showered upon us during that time. But one story is especially pertinent because it’s also about the next forty years of Ignatius Press—and it’s one we hope you’ll consider being […]

Read the full article →

Day 4: Lourdes to Loyola to Burgos Spain

October 31, 2017

Early departure from Lourdes and a beautiful drive through the countryside of France and Spain. Four hours at Loyola Spain as we toured the house of St. Ignatius of Loyola and had Mass in the beautiful church there. For Bishop Archbishop Lucas’ homily click here. Enjoy today’s video.

Read the full article →

2 Timothy: St. Paul’s Last Letter before Martyrdom

August 5, 2017

2 Timothy: Last Words of Paul Written from the Mamertine Prison By Steve Ray [NOTE: In my articles on the Pastoral Epistles, I use each one to relay a theme: 1 Timothy emphasizes Timothy; Titus emphasizes Paul’s ecclesiology; 2 Timothy emphasizes the end of Paul’s life.] It was dark and damp. The scurrying feet of […]

Read the full article →