The LentenMercyChallenge was developed by MyConsecration.org to help others grow closer to Christ during this Year of Mercy through Prayer and Fasting. Take a look below and see if you want to take up the challenge!

Fr. Mitch Pacwa gives a 1.5 minute explanation and challenge. For more info, visit http://www.lentenmercychallenge.org

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The Skull is Talking to Me; Lent is Upon Us!

by Steve Ray on February 10, 2016

THE SKULL TALKS TO ME EVERY MORNING!

SKULLIt says, “As you are now, I once was; as I am now, you soon shall be — remember your mortality!”

No better way to approach Ash Wednesday and 40 days of Lent.

Artists have painted St. Jerome with a skull on his desk. Popes were known to keep skulls in their libraries.  I now have a real human skull sitting next to me in my home office.

Durer-jeromeThe famous Capuchin Church in Rome has a labyrinth of rooms filled with bone which are not just stacked in piles, but are used to decorate. The lamps are made of human bones, designs on the walls, altars, everything is made of bones of the monks who have died there over the centuries. The sign above the entrance says the same thing the skull pictured above is saying to me.

Are Catholics morbid, obsessed with bones and relics, consumed with the thought of death. Yes and  no. We are concerned about these matters, but we are not morbid. We are realistic. We know that life is short and we need to keep things in perspective and our priorities straight.

5126259069_786db5ddb6We also know that life is full of vanities. Much of what vies for our time, energy and money is like a puff of smoke that detracts us from what is really important. Notice the skull to the right, look closely. It is entitled “All is Vanity.” If you look closely you can see a picture inside the skull. (You can click on the image for a larger picture.)

I wanted to buy my coffin in advance–one to my liking and made of carved oak–to use as a coffee table in our living room. I wanted it there to remind me that someday my body would spend a lot of time in there–under the ground. But my good wife nixed my plans. She said I could get one to stand upright as a bookshelf, but not to set on the floor looking like a funeral parlor.

My goal is to pour out my life for the Savior in this life and to remind myself every day that from dust I came and to dust I will go. The skull reminds me every moment that ”it is appointed for men once to die, and after that the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). I want to be ready.

What is the Chocolate Connection with Lent? Nice article here.

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The location of Jesus's baptism

This is an exciting development which helps establish the authentic baptismal site of Jesus. With the involvement of UNESCO the site will receive protection, funding and recognition. This is the place where the last three popes commemorated the Baptism of Our Lord.

Here are some articles about UNESCO’s decision and about the site: Here, here and here.

My audio of interview with Ave Maria Radio: https://avemariaradio.net/audio-archive/catholic-connection-february-9-2016-hour-2/

The Bible says in John 1:28, “This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.” The authentic site is just above the northern tip of the Dead Sea, east of Jericho. The actual site is not on the Israel side of the Jordan, but on the Jordan side of the river.

Actual site of Jesus' baptism

Here is a picture of me standing in the exact spot that archaeology, the Bible and early Christians and pilgrims located the spot. The early Christians knew and built churches there to commemorate the site.

If you would like to join us in Jordan with Teresa Tomeo and Ave Maria Radio, contact Suzanne at 800-727-1999, 121. we will be visiting Jordan on our way to Israel in June 2017. We will have a brochure soon but get your name on the list now since all of our trips have been selling out.

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Just did a big radio show and told them I’d give info on our pilgrimages, so here it is

February 8, 2016

For our many trips every year to the Holy Land and our other Biblical and Catholic pilgrimages. Here is the cover of the brochure for the Family Holy Land Pilgrimage — the one that my grandkids are going to and Terry Barber with his family as well. Visit www.FootprintsOfGod.com or call Suzanne at 800-727-1999, ext. [...]

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A True Story: The “Hail Mary” of a Protestant is Powerful

February 4, 2016

The “Hail Mary” of a Protestant is powerful!—( A True Story) A little six-year-old Protestant boy had often heard his Catholic companion reciting the prayer ‘Hail Mary.’ He liked it so much that he copied it, memorized it and would recite it every day. ‘Look, Mummy, what a beautiful prayer,’ he said to his mother [...]

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What Happened to the Apostles after the New Testament?

February 2, 2016
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Steve Ray on EWTN’s Journey Home this Week

February 2, 2016

              Join Steve Ray and Marcus Grodi this week as Steve returns for the 7th time to discuss his conversion to the Catholic Church. Video now on-line at http://www.ewtn.com/tv/live/journeyhome.asp 

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Augustine’s Comment on Travel; Popes and Saints on Pilgrimages

January 30, 2016

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” –St. Augustine Pope Paul VI referred to the Holy Land as the “5th Gospel” implying that a pilgrimage rounds out and compliments the Scripture for fuller understanding.  “A long procession of people…have gone in search of the ‘footprints’ of God [...]

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A Quick Reply to Question about Cremation and Scattering the Ashes

January 29, 2016

I was asked a question about Catholics, cremation and the scattering of ash. Here is my brief answer: The whole issue of cremation goes back to the Romans. They denied the bodily resurrection so they often burned the body and if they were rich they put the ashes in urns and put them in the [...]

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Plants and Trees of the Bible – What a Fun Show!

January 28, 2016

You may not realize how often plants and trees play a part in Scripture! To understand the land and culture of the Bible is to open your eyes to the whole story of salvation. Recently I did a fun show on Relevant Radio about the Trees & Plants in the Bible. Hope you enjoy it. [...]

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St. Thomas Aquinas on Mohammad and Islam

January 26, 2016

St. Thomas Aquinas’ Teaching Against the Infidel Mohammed, The Prince of Theologians, St. Thomas Aquinas “He (Mohammed) seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh urges us. His teaching also contained precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. In [...]

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Bravo Franklin Graham! “Islam and Christianity Clearly Do NOT Worship the Same God!”

January 26, 2016

I applaud Graham for being “politically incorrect” in stating what seems to be the obvious. The two conceptions of God are drastically at odds. The few similarities are far overshadowed by the drastic differences. The Judeo-Christian God is viewed as a “father” whereas the Muslim god is primarily “master”. The Christian God is “love, personal, [...]

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“Was St. Paul a Catholic?” – Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live

January 26, 2016

Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live of Friday, January 23, 2016. Click here to listen on-line; for podcast or more listening options click here. 1.  Opened with a discussion of St. Paul life before conversion, his life and radical ministry and the facts and issues surrounding his martyrdom. 2.  In 1 Corinthians St. Paul [...]

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Pilgrimages Selling Out! Check out of Spring Trips

January 26, 2016

-  Sold Out - our Holy Land pilgrimage March 30 – April 8. We will celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday in Jerusalem!  Next Holy Land pilgrimages in Sept, Oct and over Christmas. –  NOW less than 10 seats left on our Rome-Assisi Year of Mercy pilgrimage March 7-15. –  Can’t travel during the academic year? That’s OK. [...]

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Me Getting into Line! Funny!

January 25, 2016

You may have seen this already but it’s funny every time I watch it. My wife said this is definitely me!

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Wow! Sistine Chapel Explained; Now You See Why We Only Use Liz as our Guide in Rome!

January 25, 2016

We have four pilgrimages to Rome this year AND LIZ IS OUR GUIDE FOR ALL OF THEM! Take a look at this video to see Liz’s amazing knowledge, passion for the Catholic Faith and eloquence. Enjoy this amazing video. To join our upcoming Year of Mercy Rome-Assisi pilgrimages, visit FootprintsOfGod.com. Our first trip is in [...]

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