May 2014

Today is the Feast of the Visitation. At the Visitation Mary traveled about 100 mile to visit her relative Elizabeth – pregnant!

Very few Catholics (and almost no Protestants) understand the Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant with the Word of God inscribed in flesh in her womb. (see Chart below.)

Here is my article on Mary, Ark of the New Covenant.

Click here to see more

Click here to learn more about the DVD

Join us on a pilgrimage to see all this and more for yourself. Steve Ray will be your guide. FootprintsOfGod.com

Steve’s Talk: Mary, Real Girl & Woman of Mystery

Steve’d DVD filmed on location in Israel: Mary, Mother of God

 

Click on picture for larger image.

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Some might claim that Catholic teaching on relics and Sacramentals is unbiblical. Really?

Check out these biblical passages:

“So extraordinary were the mighty deeds God accomplished at the hands of Paul that when face CLOTHS or aprons that touched his skin were applied to the sick, their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them” (Acts 19:11-12).

“So they cast the dead man into the grave of Elisha, and everyone went off. But when the man came in contact with the BONES of Elisha, he came back to life and rose to his feet” (2 Kgs. 13:21).

“They even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his SHADOW might fall on any one of them. Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed” (Acts 5:15).

“When [Jesus] had said this, He spat on the ground, and made CLAY of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam ” (which is translated, Sent ). So he went away and washed and came back seeing” (John 9:6-7).

OIL – see James 5:14-15

WATER – see 2 Kings 5:14

SACRAMENTALISM (Quoted from Dave Armstrong’s “One Minute Apologist“)

Objection: Matter cannot convey grace. Sacramentalism and relics are unbiblical magic

The Bible teaches that grace and salvation come through the spirit (Jn. 6:63), not through “holy objects”

 Initial reply 

 The Incarnation of Jesus “raised” matter, and His death on the cross was intensely physical. Protestants often speak of “the blood” (Rev. 5:9; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; Heb. 9:12; 1 Pet. 1:2; 1 Jn. 1:7), which is but one of many examples of sacramentalism. 

 Extensive reply 

 The New Testament is filled with many concrete examples or teachings about the “incarnational principle” and sacramentalism. Baptism confers regeneration (Acts 2:38, 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21 – cf. Mk. 16:16; Rom 6:3-4 -, 1 Cor. 6:11; Titus 3:5). Jesus’ garment (Matt. 9:20-22), saliva mixed with dirt (Jn. 9:5 ff.; Mk. 8:22-25), and water from the pool of Siloam (Jn. 9:7) all were used in healings. Anointing with oil for healing is also prescribed (Jas. 5:14). The Bible often calls for a laying on of hands for the purpose of ordination and commissioning (Acts 6:6) and in order to heal (Mk. 6:5; Lk. 13:13).

Catholics believe in seven sacraments: all of which are established on the basis of extensive biblical evidences: 1) The Eucharist: Lk. 22:19-20; Jn 6:53-58; 1 Cor. 11:23-30; 2) Baptism: Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38, 22:16; 3) Penance and Reconciliation: Matt. 16:19; Jn 20:23; 1 Cor. 5:3-5 with 2 Cor. 2:6-11; 4) Confirmation: Acts 8:14-17, 19:1-6; Eph. 1:13; 5) Anointing of the Sick: Mk. 6:13; Acts 9:17-18; Jas. 5:14-15; 6) Ordination: Mt. 18:18; 1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6; 7) Matrimony: Matt. 5:31-32, 19:1-9; Eph. 5:21-33.

Even relics (remnants of the bodies of saints and holy people, and related physical items), have (perhaps surprisingly) strong biblical support. Perhaps the most striking proof text is a story about the prophet Elisha:

 2 Kings 13:20-21: So Eli’sha died, and they buried him. Now bands of Moabites used to invade the land in the spring of the year. And as a man was being buried, lo, a marauding band was seen and the man was cast into the grave of Eli’sha; and as soon as the man touched the bones of Eli’sha, he revived, and stood on his feet.

 Examples of second-class relics (objects that came into contact with holy people) are also clearly found in passages about the prophet Elijah’s mantle, which parted the Jordan River (2 Kings 2:11-14), and Peter’s shadow (Acts 5:15-16) and Paul’s handkerchief (Acts 19:11-12), used by God to heal sick people and to cast out demons. If all of this is “magic,” then it is a sort of “magic” directly sanctioned by God Himself.

 Objection 

 Protestants can agree with some of this. What cannot be found in the Bible, however, is the excessive veneration of relics. This goes too far, and is idolatry. We can remember the deeds of great heroes of the faith (Acts 7; Hebrews 11) and thank God for them, but we shouldn’t get into worshiping bones or pieces of hair and so forth, or go on pilgrimages to “holy places.” That’s too much like paganism or heathenism and adds nothing to our spiritual life. All places are equally “holy.”

 Reply to Objection 

 If matter can indeed convey grace and blessing, according to the Bible, then we can give glory to God for what He has done with lowly matter by venerating (not worshiping) even now-inanimate objects. Protestants themselves would not, for example, think that the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem or the hill where He died on the cross or His tomb, from which He rose from the dead, are merely rocks and dirt like any other rocks and dirt. In their own way they do indeed venerate and honor them. If the physical location were so irrelevant, why visit it at all; why not simply ponder Jerusalem and Israel in their heads, in “spirit.” 

Plenty of Protestants are also fascinated and intrigued by the Shroud of Turin, which is an extraordinary secondary relic related to our Lord Jesus. That is an object, too; a mere piece of cloth. But would any Christian treat it like any other cloth and tear it up for rags to dust with? Of course they would not, because it was connected with Jesus and has miraculous properties (like Elisha’s bones): a supernaturally produced image. Therefore it is highly regarded and revered. It all goes back to God and His great works, using matter. Sacramentalism and relics flow from the Incarnation: God Himself taking on flesh and matter and becoming man.

 St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) 

 The death of Christ is the universal cause of man’s salvation: but a universal cause has to be applied to particular effects. Thus it was found necessary for certain remedies to be administered to men by way of bringing Christ’s death into proximate connection with them. Such remedies are the Sacraments of the Church. And these remedies had to be administered with certain visible signs: — first, because God provides for man, as for other beings, according to his condition; and it is the condition of man’s nature to be led through sensible things to things spiritual and intelligible: secondly, because instruments must be proportioned to the prime cause; and the prime and universal cause of man’s salvation is the Word Incarnate: it was convenient therefore that the remedies, through which that universal cause reaches men, should resemble the cause in this, that divine power works invisibly through visible signs.

Hereby is excluded the error of certain heretics, who wish all visible sacramental signs swept away; and no wonder, for they take all visible things to be of their own nature evil, and the work of an evil author. These visible sacramental signs are the instruments of a God Incarnate and Crucified. (Summa Contra Gentiles, IV, 56: “Of the Need of Sacraments”)

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Yes, the Shroud of Turin is coming out again for a short time. Usually this takes place every 25-50 years but Pope Francis wants to do it now for evangelization! 

Don’t rush off to Italy this year, wait until next year for the ultimate Italy trip including the shroud of Turin!

We have a wonderful 2015 trip planned, replicating what we did a few years ago. Everyone raved about it last time.

We start in Milan and see the Duomo and bones of Doctor of the Church St. Ambrose. Then for several days to Torino (Turin) to see the Holy Shroud. 

Then two nights in San Giovanni Rotundo to see the incorrupt body of Padre Pio. While there we will see the Face Cloth of Christ at Manoppello, the Holy House of Loreto, the Cave of St. Michael and the Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano.

Assisi is next where we will spend two nights in the gorgeous medieval town. Then on to the glory of Rome!

Liz Lev, Steve's friend and guide to Italy

Joining us for the whole trip will Steve’s friend, art historian and Guide Extraordinaire Liz Lev. She is exciting, thoroughly Catholic and the best guide for Rome, Turin and all of Italy. 

More info soon. This is already filling fast with many registrations!! Contact Corporate Travel for more information and to get on the list. Suzanne (sparran@ctscentral.net) or Elizabeth (emarkey@ctscentral.net) or 800-727-1999, ext. 121 or 150.

Check out all our other Catholic pilgrimages at www.FootprintsOfGod.com.

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Here is a YouTube Video of my Show with Raymond Arroyo on EWTN

May 24, 2014

I sure hated the suit and tie – first time in a decade I put those things on, but other than that it was fun. It was a last minute thing. They said, “Quick, get a flight, we have a hotel, take a taxi to the NBC studios in Washington DC and be there by [...]

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Radio and TV Shows with Steve about the Pope in the Holy Land and the Situation Over There

May 23, 2014

It has been a busy week. Yesterday EWTN’s “The World Over” that will be repeated three more times this week. It was a good time with Raymond and the segment flew by. All his staff and producers were wonderful.You can find out more here www.ewtn.com/tv/live/worldover.asp. Today I will be on Drew Mariani’s Show on Relevant Radio [...]

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Twentieth Anniversary into the Catholic Church!

May 22, 2014

Happy Anniversary to us! Exactly 20 years ago today our family was received into the Catholic Church. There is nothing we’ve ever done that has made such an impact on our lives. It was Pentecost Sunday, May 22, 1994. To say it was a very special day for our family would be an understatement. Twenty [...]

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I Will Join Raymond Arroyo Thursday on World Over on EWTN – The Pope in the Middle East

May 20, 2014

The show will focus on the Pope’s visit to the Middle East. We will discuss the sites he will visit, what he will find, the mood of the local Christians, the controversy over his Mass in the Upper Room and more. The show airs at 8:00 PM Eastern time from Washington DC. I have to [...]

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On Catholic Answers Live Tonight

May 19, 2014

Topic: Q & A for Non-Catholics. You can listen online HERE. I will post the questions I answered tomorrow along with MP3 and download info.

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So, Why is Abraham the Father of our Faith?

May 19, 2014

To purchase Steve Ray’s Talk “Abraham: Father of Faith & Works” on CD or MP3 visit SteveRaysStore.com. Well for starters, let’s see how he DID or DIDN’T respond to God when called to leave his homeland and go to a place that God would show him. Let’s put ourselves in his sandals and see what WE [...]

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St. Paul did NOT Write for Us!

May 18, 2014

When arguments about salvation arise between Catholics and Protestants, the Bibles are usually opened to Galatians and Romans. Are we saved by faith alone or are works involved? Protestants quickly accuse Catholics of teaching a salvation based on works and Catholics quickly point out that Protestants have swung the pendulum too far in the other [...]

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Why Use Logos Catholic Bible Software? Why Indeed!

May 16, 2014

Check out this 2 minute video. If you love the Bible, want to know it better, want power to dig deep and understand, check out the video. And now it is also loaded with Catholic documents, commentaries, the Catechism, Trent, Vatican I, Vatican II, the Church Fathers, Papal Encyclicals, the Lectionary and much more. Wow! [...]

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Miniature Jerusalem, Where Jesus was Baptized, Jericho, Dead Sea Floating, Camels

May 15, 2014

Another perfect day. Enjoy the videos. The first one is the adventures of the pilgrims and the second is what they thought of the whole pilgrimage along with a surprise announcement to mom. Day 8, Part 1: Day 8, Part 2: Pregnancy Announcement and Comments, Farewells, and Thanks.

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A New Way to Study

May 14, 2014

Do you have an tablet or smartphone and wonder how you can use it to learn more about your Catholic faith and the Bible? Let me show you how!! In Ann Arbor Michigan, at 1:00 pm on May 31, I’m giving a free talk at St. Francis of Assisi parish called Foundations of our Faith. [...]

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Birthplace of Mary, Dormition of Mary, Tomb of Mary and much more

May 14, 2014

Perfect acoustics. That is why the Muslims did not destroy this church after they kicked the Crusaders out. We sang and prayed there. It is the birthplace of Mary and the place Jesus healed the cripple in John chapter 5.  Oh, I forgot to tell you which church. It is the church where we celebrate [...]

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Inept Attempt to Dismiss the Petrine Primacy in the See of Rome

May 13, 2014

Someone on the Catholic Discussion Forum asserted his opinion and tradition against the papacy in the Catholic Church. I gave short, imperfect, and brief comments in the ten minutes I had free today. This is a thread on whether or not the office of the papacy with qualifications for successors is mentioned in scripture. My [...]

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Mass at the Tomb of Christ, Touching the Top of Calvary, Praying the Real Stations of the Cross

May 13, 2014

Another great day. Perfect weather and excited pilgrims. We started early this morning walking the Stations of the Cross and then touching the top of Calvary. The perfect sequence was to celebrate Mass at the Tomb of Christ and to enter and touch the place where he lay. Everybody was in tears and overwhelmed with [...]

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