This is always an interesting topic that floods the phone lines.

I will be on Catholic Answers Live tonight discussing how we as Catholics can relate to it influence our family and friends. The title is Steve Ray’s Seven Rules for Dealing with Non-Catholic Family and Friends.

 Ready to go! Holidays often caused tension and strife among families. How can we take the high road and be a positive influence for Jesus and his Catholic Church?

Join us this afternoon at 6:00 PM Eastern time and feel free to call in with your questions or comments.

After the show I will post a link to the article I wrote for Catholic Answers Magazine and will post all the questions that I answered with a live link to the show.


Mary a Mediatrix? Isn’t there just One Mediator?

by Steve Ray on November 24, 2015

The Bible says, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5). Yet Catholics refer to Mary as a Mediatrix (feminine form of the word mediator).

So, isn’t that prima facie evidence that Catholics make up doctrines, worship Mary and disregard the Bible?

I was again challenged with this the other day. Interesting how the same old, same old keeps coming up no matter how many times you answer it. Interesting how these same misconceptions keep coming up as though some contentious power keeps inserting them into gullible minds. Interesting how people love to twist the rubber nose to make it obscene, grotesque, and distorted.

So here was my short response — again!


Cross in Woods smtIn 1 Timothy 2:5 Paul recognizes that there is a huge chasm between the holy God and sinful men. Paul states that there is only one mediator that can bridge that uncrossable gorge.  How do we sinners reach a holy God across such a chasm?

God has provided the solution. He has provided the-one-and-only Mediator (1 Tim 2:5), the bridge, the stairway between heaven and earth, (John 1:51 based on the ladder seen by Jacob). This one Mediator is the God-Man Jesus Christ and he is the only one that can bridge the gap–mediate–between heaven and earth to bring reconciliation between God and men.

Thus, there is one Mediator to reconcile God and man. Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant as the writer of Hebrews informs us three times, for example: “Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel” (Heb 8:6, 9:15, 12:24). No one else could have ever become such a mediator of the New Covenant.

However, after Jesus has accomplished such an act of redemption and mediatorship, he calls us to share in his ministry.

I remember my father saying to me before I joined the Catholic Church, “When you become Catholic you will pray to Mary and remember that Paul says there is only one Mediator between God and man.” I lovingly but sternly replied to my father, “Dad, never ask me to pray for you again!”

My father was shocked but understood my meaning. As soon as he asks me to pray for him — he asks me to be a mediator between him and God. I told him that to be consistent with his Protestant theology he should not ask me or anyone else to intercede for him, to be a mediator — one who stands in the middle — but he should pray directly to Jesus himself.

m74But Scripture constantly commands us to pray for one another, to intercede for our fellow humans. We are all “mini” mediators sharing in the mediatorship of Christ. And it goes the other way too. When God tells us to share the Gospel with lost sinners he is asking us to stand between himself and the sinner to share the Gospel, although he could have chosen to communicate with them directly.

Mary is not the infinite mediator, nor does she impose on the prerogatives of her Son. She, like us, intercedes for sinners and the people of God. Mediatrix is simply the feminine form of mediator. All of us share in the ministry of Christ, mediating and praying for our fellow man. In this sense, all of us are mediators and the females among us are mediatrixes.

I am frequently asked, “Where does the Bible say we should pray to dead saints?” to which I usually ask, “Where does the Bible say that saints are dead?”

Those of us, including most Protestants, believe that when a person dies in friendship with Christ they are still alive in Christ.

To prove that those who died in a state of grace were not dead, Jesus said to the Sadducees (who didn’t believe in the resurrection which is why they were “sad you see” — as my dad used to joke with us kids), “‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living” (Matt 22:32). Jesus said that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were still alive.

Those who say “Why do you Catholics pray to dead saints” need to understand that those who die in Christ are not dead. Catholics affirm that they are alive and in the presence of Christ and that they can intercede for us as much as my father or I can intercede for each other.

Mary and the saints do not answer our prayers, any more than I answer the prayers of my dad. Rather, Mary, the saints and you and I all are intercessors. We do not answer the prayers, we simply intercede with the Father through his Son Jesus.

When I take pilgrimage groups to Israel I always take them to the top of Mount Tabor where the Transfiguration took place. I always ask people how a “dead guy” like Moses could be talking to Jesus about things that are taking place on earth (Lk 9:31).

copelandWhen my father asks me to pray for him he asks me to stand in the middle — to be a mediator, an intercessor — and when God commands me to preach the gospel to the lost, he tells me to stand in the middle — to be an ambassador for Christ as Paul says,

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20).

(Opps, to the right is a Pentecostal preacher Kenneth Copeland acting as a mediator, interceding with God, standing in the middle as they pray for this man!)

I hope that helps explain why we call Mary a mediatrix and why all of us are mini-mediators sharing in the ministry of Christ — the one-and-only mediator of the New Covenant, but certainly not in any way claiming to be the one mediator of the New Covenant, nor in any way arrogating to ourselves or to Mary the unique prerogatives and ministry of Jesus.

One last thought on this matter. Sometimes there is a misunderstanding of the differences between prayer and worship. In the Catholic tradition they are very different things. In Protestantism prayer and worship are sometimes used as synonyms. Pray simply means to ask, whereas worship is to adore.

If a Catholic says he “prays to Mary” it’s perceived as worship by many Protestants, but the Catholic it simply making a request that Mary intercede for us — the same as when my dad asked me to intercede for him. In Catholicism there is a big difference between pray and worship.

DVD_Mary_01We honor, love and venerate Mary. We ask her to pray for us. But we worship God ALONE!

For more on this and other Marian topics, all filmed on location in the Holy Land, check out my documentary MARY, MOTHER OF GOD here.


Jesse Romero Comments along with many others

by Steve Ray on November 23, 2015

Great time together. Jesse Romero and his wife were a lot of fun and a pleasure to work with.

They are going to Guadalupe Mexico with us December 2016! Terry Barber is coming to Israel with us in 2016 too! 

Enjoy the video! Check out our upcoming pilgrimages for 2016.

Special trips are to Poland for the Year of Mercy, a tour through biblical Turkey (very safe and the 2nd Holy Land), Rome three times, Israel and more.

For Jesse’s comments, see the video below…


Should This Baby Be Aborted? You Decide

November 23, 2015

In the United States, there are many situations in which abortions are recommended, even encouraged by family, counselors, medical personnel and even religious advisors. Sometimes an abortion is recommended because of difficult circumstances and other times simply for convenience. Here are four cases for you to consider. Should these babies be aborted? You decide! Four [...]

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Camels, Floating in Dead Sea, Jericho and Wading in the Jordan

November 22, 2015

Today we just send it 4,250 feet down from Jerusalem to the Jordan River and the Dead Sea which are both 1,250 feet below sea level, the lowest place on the face of the earth. We rode camels, floated in the Dead Sea, ate in Jericho, wandered through Qumran and waded in the Jordan River, [...]

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Bible Riddle: What Am I?

November 22, 2015

Since we will be here today, I thought this riddle appropriate! But, before you click the link, see if you can figure out this riddle :-) Write to me if you need help; click here to see the answer. Three times I have been divided doing what God had decided. Twice a garment was the [...]

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Mount Zion, Upper Room, Mary’s Last Days, Bishop of Jerusalem…

November 21, 2015

Another great day, perfect weather, safe and serene, deeply spiritual and a lot of fun. We had the great opportunity, as we do with all of our groups, to meet with the Bishop of Jerusalem. Here is a picture of our group with him at the Patriarchate. Mass at Gethsemane was VERY moving for everyone. [...]

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Mary and the Other Body of Christ; How Many People were in the Upper Room and Why?

November 21, 2015

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. They were also anxious about the promise. [...]

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Jesus came out of the Tomb for us this morning…

November 20, 2015

The alarm went off this morning at 3:15 and we began the Via Dolorosa at 4:00 AM. Why, are we crazy! Yes, crazy like a fox. We beat the crowds and pray the Stations with empty streets. It is also about continuity. We had Mass IN THE TOMB scheduled with the sunrise at 5:30 AM [...]

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Butt-prints in the Sand

November 20, 2015

One night I had a wondrous dream one set of footprints there was seen. The footprints of my precious Lord, but mine were not upon the shore. And then some stranger prints appeared and I asked the Lord: “What have we here?” The prints are large and round and neat but Lord they are too [...]

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Bethlehem was Wonderful! Nativity, Christmas Carols, Dancing and more

November 19, 2015

It was perfect weather, excited group, spiritual adventure full of laughs and prayers. Visited a new saint, danced with Christian young people, ate the Passover Lamb and had a GREAT DAY! Enjoy. BETHLEHEM HIGHLIGHTS FR. DAN’S HOMILY AT SHEPHERD’S FIELD

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The Bible out of Context: “Saved by Faith Alone”?

November 19, 2015

When reading the Bible devoid of its historical and textual context, there is no context except the context which any person might supply for it. or put otherwise, A text without a context is a pretext. I always get frustrated when self-proclaimed Bible students or teachers start pontificating about the meaning of the Bible and [...]

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Boat Ride on Galilee; Eat My Flesh spoken here; Up to Jerusalem!

November 18, 2015

Another great day in Israel. Safe, beautiful, biblically enriching; exciting, and fun with great Catholic friends celebrating the Faith. Enjoy! HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DAY FROM RIDE TO MASS AT CAPERNAUM THEN UP TO JERUSALEM    FR. GOOD’S HOMILY AT CAPERNAUM  

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What Does God See When He Opens His Eyes?

November 18, 2015

Since we are in Capernaum today – where Jesus said, “Eat My Flesh and Drink My Blood.” I thought it would be appropriate to post again this popular blog post that explains the Sacrifice of the Mass. Recently we went to Mass with two Protestants.  As we walked in the door — there it was, [...]

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Is Peter the rock? Is he the shepherd? What’s it like looking into Syria? And more…

November 17, 2015

Enjoy today’s fun and informative video. Great day! HIGHLIGHTS OF TODAY FR. DAN’S HOMILY AT BEATITUDES

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What Does the Word Catholic Mean? A History of the Word “Catholic”

November 17, 2015

As a Protestant, I went to an Evangelical church that changed an important and historical word in the  Apostles Creed. Instead of the “holy, catholic Church,” we were the “holy, Christian church.” At the time, I thought nothing of it. There was certainly no evil intent, just a loathing of the Catholic Church and a [...]

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