“Life is all about the Journey, not the Destination!” (paraphrase of a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson.) I saw this sign at the airport today. Imagine! In an airport of all places!

What stupidity! Grab a passenger arriving at the airport to catch a flight and shout, “Hey, take any flight you want sir, it doesn’t matter; it’s not about your destination, it’s only about the journey – experience of the flight.”

He would tell you you’re nuts.

I don’t know about you, but if life is only about the journey and there is no destination (other than becoming worm food) then this life is ultimately a sadistic, cruel, cosmic joke and I want out!

St. Paul says if Christ is not raised from the dead then neither is there resurrection for us and we, of all men are the most to be pitied (1 Cor 15:19) and if there is no resurrection and life after death – the destination – then we should eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die (1 Cor 15:32).

But I know better. Life is a journey in preparation to arrive at the destination which is all important. The journey is a means to the chosen destination. My destination and goal is heaven and union with God for eternity. There is another destination as well, but I’m preparing for the better of the two.

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Prepare for the Skyline of the Future: Islam!

by Steve Ray on December 19, 2014

I wrote this about two years ago while in Adana Turkey and thought it worthy to post again, especially since I am seeing it again, everywhere I go in the world. I my country hometown in Michigan the Muslims have applied for a permit to build a mosque. But I shouldn’t get ahead of my story.

Europe is full of magnificent churches—Gothic, Baroque and even modern. Their steeples and crosses still dominate much of the skyline. They stand as impressive monuments to the Christian faith that built the free world and brought beauty and justice out of a pagan, barbarian wilderness.

Notre Dame.jpgToday the churches in Europe are becoming museum pieces recalling the lost faith and  collapsing backbone of Europe. (Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral to left)

Paganism is on the rise – and along with it something just as alarming. The skyline will soon change, not only for Europe but for the whole Western World, including the United States. You will soon see new structures piercing the sky!

But before I tell you how your view of today’s horizon will change, let me tell you about what happened to Turkey. Then you will see that it can happen—and if we don’t move quickly, it will happen again.

Janet and I are now in Turkey with our Skyline Productions video crew working on our next documentary Apostolic Fathers for the Footprints of God series. We are driving/flying with our crew from one Christian site to another. This country is often called the Second Holy Land—why? Because it contains more Christian sites than anywhere other than Israel.

For a few examples: Antioch is where we were first called Christians, Tarsus was the home town of St. Paul, and Lystra the home city of St. Timothy.

JohnsTomb.jpgBut, Turkey is also home to the Seven Church of Revelation. The Blessed Virgin Mary lived here with the Apostle St. John. Selçuk still boasts the tomb of St. John (see picture to right). Istanbul (Constantinople) was once a proud patriarchate of the Catholic Church and home to Ecumenical Councils.

Actually, the first Seven Ecumenical Councils were held here, including Constantinople, Chalcedon, and Nicea—from which we got Nicene Creed recited each Sunday. And don’t forget the Council of Ephesus which defined Mary as the Theotokos, the Mother of God.

And if you remember your New Testament, you will recognize cities that were in today’s Turkey: Galatians, Ephesians and Colossians. Turkey is also the land of martyrs, Fathers and Doctors of the Church like Sts. Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzus, John Chrysostom, and Basil the Great to name just a few.

So, when I look out over the horizon from my hotel room window, do I see the beautiful churches that once marked the skyline of Asia Minor (modern day Turkey)?

Nope. Sorry. I see something else.

skyline.jpgFrom my window just now, I counted no less than nineteen minarets! What are minarets? They are the tall slender towers above an Islamic mosque from which the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer (Notice two pictures from my hotel window–one wide shot with no less than five minarets; the second at the bottom of this blog showing a large mosque across the river. There is only one Catholic Church within a hundred miles of where I am now).

What happened to the churches? Let’s go to Istanbul together and I will show you! I have frequently visited the Hagia Sophia—the Church of Holy Wisdom. It was the glory of Christendom and for over a thousand years it had the largest dome — until St. Peter’s was built in Rome. Many people thought the dome stayed up by a direct miracle of God. How else could something so expansive stay up without crashing down?

Hagia1.jpgBut when the Muslims conquered Contantinople they defaced the church, painted over the golden icons of our Blessed Mother and turned the spectacular church into a mosque. The crosses came down and the minarets went up.

Today the Hagia Sophia is a museum! (picture of modern Hagia Sophia to left)

It has been predicted that within fifty years Europe’s skyline will change. It will become a Muslim empire. Steeples will come down and minarets will go up. No longer will you hear bells – you will hear muezzin wailing from the balconies of slender minarets.

And America? We are losing our faith too, and our backbone. Will we be far behind Europe? I don’t think so. Islam has 1 billion followers, many of who will stop at nothing short of world domination. They won’t call it that, of course. They will say the world is now as Allah willed it.

Skyline3.jpgAnd like the Hagia Sophia—your church, and the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC and St. Patrick’s in New York will still pierce the skyline, but no longer as steeples. They will sport the latest in minarets. And our grandchildren’s’ children will wonder why we caved in so easily—why we lost our faith and our backbone.

Oh, so you don’t believe it can happen to us? Neither did the Byzantine Empire, the powerhouse of Christianity in the East! But, the East fell to Islam and the West may fall as well. Maybe not by military might, but by religious indifference, population control, and secularism. Islam can overtake us by persistence, population growth, and religious fervor.

What was once part of a powerful Christian Empire is now 99% Muslim. Out of a population of about 75 million, there are only 60,000 Christians (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestants, etc.). The past screams to us but will we listen.

Prepare to see the new skyline; prepare to be awakened at 4 AM with the wail of the muezzin.

Far-fetched? Read this article about Holland.

St. Ignatius, pray for us. Sts. Polycarp, Irenaeus and John Chysostom, pray for us!

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Last night we took dinner over to my son Jesse’s house. Anna is our daughter-in-law who is a most remarkable mother. No TV in this home but lots of books and fun. I couldn’t help but make a short video of our evening together along with some excerpts of my grandson Joshua’s piano playing. The last few minutes is a piece he composed in one day. He is 11 years old.

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Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live on Monday

December 17, 2014

Here is a link to listen on-line to Steve’s Open Line for Non-Catholics: Click here  For other options like podcasts, click here Here are the questions Steve answered: 1) Some on Catholic radio said there must be a God because people who do not believe in God can’t prove the he doesn’t exist. How come [...]

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Steve Ray’s Six Rules for Dealing with Non-Catholic Family & Friends: Getting Ready for Christmas :-)

December 15, 2014

Joint us on a pilgrimage. Visit FootprintsOfGod.com. Today I was on Relevant Radio with John Harper discussing my Six Rules for dealing with family and friends who disagree with us, oppose us, want to argue and are against the Catholic Church and our morals. For my Catholic Answers show two months ago on this, click here. [...]

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Personal Letter from Jerusalem Patriarch Twal; What WE do on Pilgrimage

December 14, 2014

Since Christians are only 1.5% of the population in the Holy Land, don’t you think we should support them when we visit Israel? YES! If not, we fail to do our moral duty. Right: Personal Letter from Patriarch Twal Christians are leaving the land in droves due to lack of opportunity, persecution and tremendous pressure [...]

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I’ve Been Bitten by Camels, but Never Quite Like This Guy!

December 12, 2014

 I’ve been bitten by a camel more than once (first video)… …but never quite like the guy who got bitten in the second video.

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What is the Earliest a Mass can Start on the Preceding Day to Fulfill the Obligation for a Sunday or Holy Day Obligation?

December 10, 2014

A question on Mass-start times that warrants attention by Dr. Edward Peters Recalling, in the wake of a some recent discussions of Mass obligations, that I had promised some time ago to set out some materials for use in reasoning through another Mass attendance question, I offer some of that now. This question concerns, What is the [...]

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Pope Gives his Take on Divisive Family Meeting

December 10, 2014

Notice a good friends comments below :-) VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Francis says bishops spoke their minds, and may have even fought among themselves during a divisive church meeting on family issues. But he says no one questioned church teaching on marriage. Francis gave his first complete assessment of the October synod during his [...]

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Join Us in the Holy Land! Ah, but is it Safe?

December 10, 2014

December 26-January 4, 2015,   May 2015,   September 2015,   December 2015 We are leaving for the Holy Land on December 26th. We will be spending the rest of the Christmas Season there — with Mass and a day in Bethlehem where it all got started. We are expecting it to be a glorious [...]

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Mary and the Apostles are Dead! Only Jesus can Mediate for Us

December 8, 2014

 Confusion of Many Protestants  Too often well-meaning Protestants get confused and accuse of things that are outright nonsense if not lies. It is usually because they never take the time to really understand what the Catholic Church actually teaches and practices.  Below is a good example of a kind and well-meaning Protestant pastor who wrote [...]

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Eastern Orthodox Challenges the Immaculate Conception

December 8, 2014

An Eastern Orthodox Christian wrote to complain about, or to see how we Catholics explain the Immaculate Conception. He said he had asked many Catholics and none could answer. I find that hard to believe. After I answered his long and slightly edgy e-mail, I received his response – “Thanks.” Picture One: Statue of Mary [...]

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Great Christmas Present: Test Drive It! A Catholic Library on my Laptop, iPad and iPhone

December 6, 2014

I’ve waited 20 years for this. I have the fantastic Verbum Catholic and Bible Software. They are doing it right! It is thoroughly Catholic — to my great joy. It continues to grow in resources and power. It is on my computer 24 hours a day! But now the icing is on the cake! They [...]

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Legatus Magazine about our recent Holy Land Pilgrimage in October

December 4, 2014

Click on image below for larger view.    

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Today I Have Been Married to Janet for 38 Years

December 4, 2014

It was the best thing I ever did — marrying that girl! I couldn’t have found a better friend, partner, lover, or mother for our children. I thank God for her. I have always written her parents on our anniversary to thank them for letting me marry their incredible daughter. She reminds me of the [...]

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New YouTube Video Link: Steve’s Talk in Corinth about Biblical Accuracy – with proof before our eyes

December 1, 2014

When I take my groups to Corinth in Greece, I love taking them off the beaten track to see the Erastus Stone. One of our pilgrims made a video of my talk I gave here this year. Hope you enjoy it.  Robin DySard was the videographer. The video is only 8 minutes. To see the [...]

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