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Screen Shot 2018-05-13 at 9.37.19 AMVideos 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!

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Mary and the Other Body of Christ The room was pretty full. It was warm but a gentle breeze was blowing—that would change.

mosesatmtsinaiThere 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. They were also anxious about the promise. The only thing they knew about God descending in fire was the experience of their ancestors at Mount Sinai. When that happened they all ran and hid and said to Moses, Never let God speak to us again; you go talk with Him and come back and tell us what the said.

Pentecost was approaching. Pentecost means “the 50th day.” Fiftieth day from what? From the Passover. Almost fifty days ago the Passover lambs had been slain, and so had THE Passover Lamb.

Then there was the forty mystery days when Jesus was gone but not gone—with them but not with them, at least not like before. And he kept just appearing and then disappearing. He taught them a lot in those forty days, He had breathed on them, gave them power to forgive and retain sins, fed them loaves and fish, appointed Peter as his shepherd, commanded them to go out from Jerusalem to the world. He explained to them much about the Kingdom of God and their tasks as His emissaries.

The last meeting was the most unusual of all. He answered a few questions, gave a few instructions and without even a formal Good-bye He started going up—and continued going up until all they saw was the bottom of his sandals as he disappeared into a cloud. Daniel 7:13-14 says he went back to the glory of heaven. They looked at each other with obvious concern on their faces—they were fearful.

img_0213-0They locked themselves in the Upper Room to pray as He had commanded. They were praying for what they feared—fire upon a mountain, Mount Zion. They prayed for nine days, the first Novena, before the promise of the Holy Spirit fell.

We are specifically told that there were about 120 people in the room. Actually the word is “names” not people. How strange. Can you imagine me saying, “About 120 names came on our pilgrimage to the Holy Land”? This made me curious so I looked up 120 in early Jewish literature and law. Sure enough, my research paid off. In Israel is a group of Jews desiring to leave the big city and start their own new community they needed a minimum of 120 names on a list. What was happening here in the Upper Room? A new community was being started.

The word “church” in the New Testament is ecclesia which means “a group of people called out.” Even today the Knessett (lawmaking body in Israel) is made up of 120 representatives. A new government was being formed, not just an amorphous fellowship of like-minded Christians but a Church, a family, a governmental body.

Mary is listed among the believers in that Upper Room. It was important that she is listed among the names with others. She is the mother of Jesus. She gave birth to him in Bethlehem as was, in a sense, giving birth to him again on Pentecost. What is our affectionate term for Pentecost? Can you sing “Happy Birthday, to you…”? Yes, it is the Birthday of the Church.

What is being born? The Mystical Body of Christ. Who is there for the birth? The mother of course. Mothers have to be present when their child is born. Mary is the mother of Jesus the God-Man and Mary is the Mother of the Church, the Body of Christ (Rev. 12:7). She was necessarily present at both births.

holy-spirit-fireMary was also there because the others were afraid of the descent of God in fire on this new mountain. I am convinced they trembled in fear not only of the Jews and Romans outside, but of the prophesied “baptism of fire” within—as they wondered and feared that might be. The gentle breeze was about to become a rushing wind. But Mary was there to calm their anxieties. I bet she said something like, “Don’t be afraid my friends, the Holy Spirit has already overshadowed me and He was pure love. Just wait until you are bathed in His love!”

The gentle breeze became a rushing wind but it was warm and After nine days of praying the Holy Spirit fell in fire on the tenth day—which was the 50th day from the death of the Passover Lamb Jesus on the cross.

germination-of-a-seedThe Jewish festival of Pentecost also celebrated the first fruits of the harvest. Remember, Jesus said he was like a grain of wheat that would be buried in the ground. The grain must be buried and die to bear its fruit. Jesus died, was buried in the ground and rose from the dead as the first fruit. Now on the “Feast of First Fruits” the first of the harvest is brought to God.

We learn that 3,000 people were added to the Church that day—all in keeping with the tremendous symbolism and deeper meaning to all these events. And with these deep mysteries and truths we are just scratching the surface.

Come to the Holy Land with us, get out your Bibles and study books (or Verbum Catholic Bible Study software) and dig deeper. “There is gold in them there hills” for those with eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts and minds to learn.

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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!

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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.

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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.

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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 […]

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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.

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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 […]

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Silence of Bishops in Response to the Pope: “A New – and Encouraging – Form of Collegiality?”

July 27, 2017

An excellent and insightful article by Fr. Mark Pilon on The Catholic Thing website (worth subscribing to). This article accurately, I think, describes and explains the current rift between this Pope and the vast majority of clergy, including bishops and cardinals. A recent article in L’Osservatore Romano by an Italian priest who teaches biblical theology is yet another […]

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Too Many Children Harm the Earth – Correct?

July 17, 2017

I saw this on a response from Jennifer Fulwiler to some nutcase named Amanda Marcotte who loves lots of cats but denounces lots of kids. I developed it a bit further.  Patrick Madrid who has a beautifully large family also responded. Lately in the media people are condemning more than two or three kids per […]

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Arrival in Amman Jordan, Filming Gear Lost, Mass with Local Arab Jordanians

June 18, 2017

Here’s a short video of our first two days in Amman Jordan as we arrive to film our next documentary. The crew arrived two days early to have time to set up all their equipment and get prepared but unhappily all the equipment and luggage stayed in London. It took two days to get it […]

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