Holidays/Feast Days

A bit goofey but fun. Nice to see young people in Rome happy and excited about the canonization of two popes.

Reflecting the festive mood in Rome ahead of the imminent canonizations of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, the official website on the event, 2popesaints, has released this upbeat video with the soundtrack of the recent hit single ‘Happy’ by singer and producer Pharrell Williams.

The video is made by young Romans and was mostly filmed in the parish of San Giovanni Battista de Rossi in the Appio-Latino suburb of southeast Rome. It’s directed by Maila Paone, edited by Raffaele Pannozzo and is the idea of Chiara Romanzo, Alberto Acuri, Francesca Vertisano, Giorgia Giacomini.

It also features Don Stefano Cascio, a young priest of the parish who has done much to help bring young people back to church.  

Rome authorities have been hard at work preparing for what could be the largest crowds the city has ever seen. The interior ministry expects the April 27 double canonization, presided by Pope Francis in St Peter’s Square, to draw 800,000 pilgrims from all over the world, but others predict far higher numbers, possibly as many as 7 million.

An enormous contingent of pilgrims from John Paul II’s native Poland is expected, as well as significant numbers from the Lombardy region of northern Italy, the birthplace of John XXIII.

The Vatican says 19 heads of State will be attending as well as 24 prime ministers from 61 official delegations, representing 54 countries. Tickets are not required but seats will be difficult or near impossible to find and many are expected to camp out overnight to obtain the best places.

City authorities are visibly in full swing, already cordoning off major streets such as the Fori Imperiali that leads up to the Colosseum, repainting road markings and erecting 14 large screens in key areas all across the city. Security will also be tight: Italy’s interior minister has said 2,430 police units have been drafted in to carry out checks and patrol sensitive targets.

Meanwhile, Rome’s many hotels are preparing for one of their best business weekends in years. Most rooms are sold out, and at least one hotel near the Vatican is charging as much as $900 for one night during the canonization weekend.

But despite the logistical challenges, Rome is well practiced in hosting such enormous events and tends to manage them well. Thousands of volunteers will join the protezione civile – Italy’s main body dealing with the management of exceptional events.

Rome’s mayor, Ignazio Marino, said last week the city is “ready, very ready” for the impending arrival of thousands of pilgrims. 

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/romans-happy-for-two-pope-canonization/#ixzz2zca73Exa

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Praying REAL Stations of the Cross

A Day in the Life of our Pilgrimages so you can SEE an LIVE what happens Good Friday.

This is always the highlight of the pilgrimage. We start early – very early – and pray the Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa where Jesus carried his cross.

We arrive before the crowds at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and everyone gets to touch the top of Calvary where the Cross was standing. I remind people that if they touched that spot 2,000 years ago their fingers would come up sticky with his blood.

Tomb of Our Lord where our priests celebrated Mass

The next logical step is the Tomb. And that’s exactly what we do. We have a private Mass at the Tomb of Christ and in the end Jesus again comes out of the Tomb for us in the form of the Blessed Sacrament. It alway elicits tears and awe.

After we walked back through the Old City we had breakfast at Notre Dame and a bit of rest. Then we jumped on the bus for a trip to the Church of Paternoster where Jesus not only taught the apostles to pray the Our Father but from where he ascended into heaven after his resurrection.

Touching the steps on which Jesus was dragged to his trial

Next was Peter in Gallicantu where Peter denied Jesus and where Jesus was imprisoned over Holy Thursday night. I took everyone down into the prison and we read Psalm 88.

Join us on a pilgrimage at www.FootprintsOfGod.com

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Wow, what a fun show. Great questions and lively discussion. Listen on-line HERE and other audio options HERE. the audio links as soon as they are available on Thursday.

Also, for those who are interested in my audio talks on this topic, visit Steve Ray’s Store/audio. Look for “Stations of the Cross” and also “Pain of the Crucifixion.”

Questions I answered: Coming soon…

1) When Jesus was asked by Pilate if he was the Messiah he responded, “You have said so.” Why didn’t Jesus just say “Yes”?

2) Is it reasonable to assume that Jesus got splinters from falling with the cross? It is a suffering we don’t hear about but it probably happened, right?

3) One gospel says Judas was offered a morsel of bread by Jesus at the Last Supper. Was that morsel the Eucharist or did Judas leave before the consecration?

4) What was the approximate weight of the cross: Also, do we have any actual pieces of the original cross and how do we know?

5) Was Judas pre-ordained to betray Christ? Do he have free will or was he programmed to betray him and be damned?

6) How did they find the true cross and were miracles performed?

7) When Jesus told his disciples to “take up their cross and follow him” how would they have known what he meant since he had not yet been crucified?

8) Did Mary know that Jesus would be raised from the dead?

9) How did the Stations of the Cross begin?

As Promised, an Answer to the Question: Did Judas eat the Eucharist?

There is a LOT of discussion and comments on this question. In St. John we read:  John 13:25–27 (RSVCE)  ”So lying thus, close to the breast of Jesus, he said to him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is he to whom I shall give this morsel when I have dipped it.’ So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ‘What you are going to do, do quickly.’”

From an article on EWTN’s website: 

Combining texts from the Gospel of St. John and that of the Synoptic Gospels (Mt, Mk, Lk), it is possible to determine that Judas was NOT present at the time that our Lord blessed and broke the Bread which was His own Body, the Eucharist…

…It is clear from the Gospel of St. John that Judas left the company of our Lord and apostles IMMEDIATELY after having dipped bread in the sign of betrayal; the Gospel of St. Mark makes it clear that only after the dipping episode did our Lord then offer the blessed Bread and Cup which is the Eucharist. So Judas was not present for the sharing of the First Eucharist itself, and who can imagine a more unworthy vessel of reception for Holy Communion? And so we see a solid basis and case in point for the insistence of the Church–and St. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians–that a Christian be properly disposed and worthy by the presence of grace in order to receive the Most Holy Eucharist.

 Here is Aquinas’s Conclusion (can I do better than him?)

Article 2. Whether Christ gave His body to Judas?

Objection 1. It seems that Christ did not give His body to Judas. Because, as we read (Matthew 26:29), our Lord, after giving His body and blood to the disciples, said to them: “I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of My Father.” From this it appears that those to whom He had given His body and blood were to drink of it again with Him. But Judas did not drink of it afterwards with Him. Therefore he did not receive Christ’s body and blood with the other disciples.

Objection 2. Further, what the Lord commanded, He Himself fulfilled, as is said in Acts 1:1: “Jesus began to do and to teach.” But He gave the command (Matthew 7:6): “Give not that which is holy to dogs.” Therefore, knowing Judas to be a sinner, seemingly He did not give him His body and blood.

Objection 3. Further, it is distinctly related (John 13:26) that Christ gave dipped bread toJudas. Consequently, if He gave His body to him, it appears that He gave it him in the morsel, especially since we read (John 13:26) that “after the morsel, Satan entered into him.” And on this passage Augustine says (Tract. lxii in Joan.): “From this we learn how we should beware of receiving a good thing in an evil way . . . For if he be ‘chastised’ who does ‘not discern,’ i.e. distinguish, the body of the Lord from other meats, how must he be ‘condemned’ who, feigning himself a friend, comes to His table a foe?” But (Judas) did not receive our Lord’sbody with the dipped morsel; thus Augustine commenting on John 13:26, “When He had dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas, the son of Simon the Iscariot [Vulgate: ‘to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon,” says (Tract. lxii in Joan.): “Judas did not receive Christ’s body then, as some think who read carelessly.” Therefore it seems that Judas did not receive the body of Christ.

On the contrary, Chrysostom says (Hom. lxxxii in Matth.): “Judas was not converted while partaking of the sacred mysteries: hence on both sides his crime becomes the more heinous, both because imbued with such a purpose he approached the mysteries, and because he became none the better for approaching, neither from fear, nor from the benefit received, nor from the honor conferred on him.”

I answer that, Hilary, in commenting on Matthew 26:17, held that Christ did not give His body and blood to Judas. And this would have been quite proper, if the malice of Judas be considered. But since Christ was to serve us as a pattern of justice, it was not in keeping with His teaching authority to sever Judas, a hidden sinner, from Communion with the others without an accuser and evident proof. lest the Church’s prelates might have an example for doing the like, and lest Judas himself being exasperated might take occasion of sinning. Therefore, it remains to be said that Judas received our Lord’s body and blood with the otherdisciples, as Dionysius says (Eccl. Hier. iii), and Augustine (Tract. lxii in Joan.).

Reply to Objection 1. This is Hilary’s argument, to show that Judas did not receive Christ’sbody. But it is not cogent; because Christ is speaking to the disciples, from whose companyJudas separated himself: and it was not Christ that excluded him. Therefore Christ for His part drinks the wine even with Judas in the kingdom of God; but Judas himself repudiated this banquet.

Reply to Objection 2. The wickedness of Judas was known to Christ as God; but it was unknown to Him, after the manner in which men know it. Consequently, Christ did not repelJudas from Communion; so as to furnish an example that such secret sinners are not to be repelled by other priests.

Reply to Objection 3. Without any doubt Judas did not receive Christ’s body in the dippedbread; he received mere bread. Yet as Augustine observes (Tract. lxii in Joan.), “perchance the feigning of Judas is denoted by the dipping of the bread; just as some things are dipped to be dyed. If, however, the dipping signifies here anything good” (for instance, the sweetness of the Divine goodness, since bread is rendered more savory by being dipped), “then, not undeservedly, did condemnation follow his ingratitude for that same good.” And owing to that ingratitude, “what is good became evil to him, as happens to them who receive Christ’s body unworthily.”

And as Augustine says (Tract. lxii in Joan.), “it must be understood that our Lord had already distributed the sacrament of His body and blood to all His disciples, among whom was Judasalso, as Luke narrates: and after that, we came to this, where, according to the relation ofJohn, our Lord, by dipping and handing the morsel, does most openly declare His betrayer.”

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Steve Ray about Holy Land & Holy Week on WNGL Archangel Radio

April 16, 2014

This is about an hour show on Archangel Radio in Mobile Alabama. We discuss the Passion from Holy Thursday the Easter Sunday. Steve takes you on an audio tour. 

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Join the Lenten Journey Free on Your Smartphone or iPad

February 28, 2014

The Sisters of St Paul have agreed to team up with Verbum Catholic Software to help people study the Gospel readings this Lent. They are hosting a Verbum Lenten Journey, and folks who sign up get a free book and the daily readings and commentary from Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections delivered straight to their inbox all through Lent.  This [...]

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Did the Wise Men Meet the Shepherds?

December 25, 2013

With Christmas today and Epiphany upon us (January 6) I thought I would post my article this Christmas season with bits of interesting information and details about Christmas, the Gospels and Epiphany. Did the Wise Men Meet the Shepherds?  A king was born. He was born unlike most kings. There was no pomp and circumstance; [...]

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Welcoming New People at Mass this Christmas – They May Be an Answer to Someone’s Prayers

December 20, 2013

We get busy on during the Christmas Season. We don’t have a lot of respect for people who go to church only on Christmas and Easter. We may be irritated that seats are taken and the church is noisy.  But, you are praying for your family and friends to come back to church and MAYBE [...]

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“Why do you Catholics believe Mary ascended into heaven?”

August 15, 2013

Nice article from LifeTeen: About twelve years ago a teen named Billy asked me this question, “Why do you Catholics believe that Mary ascended into heaven, when it’s not even in the Bible?” He said “you Catholics” because he went to a local Bible Church but had been coming to a Life Teen Summer Bible [...]

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Joachim & Anna: The Birth of Our Lady, from a 2nd Century Document

July 26, 2013

Join us in September on a pilgrimage to Fatima in Portugal, Santiago de Compostela in Spain and Lourdes in France. Visit http://www.footprintsofgodpilgrimages.com/upcoming-pilgrimages ************************* This document was written in the early 2nd century and known and loved by the first Christians. It is the source for the names of Mary’s parents Joachim and Anna. It is [...]

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Corpus Christi Sunday – Prepare for the Heresy!

May 31, 2013

Article HERE.  In John 6:1-14 it says Jesus fed 5,000 men plus women and children. When Jesus fed the 10,000+ people, he didn’t really do a miracle, right? He just taught everyone to care and share, right? You’ve probably heard that homily, right? The people had all brought picnic baskets which they kept hidden up [...]

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Mary and the Other Body of Christ; Visiting the Upper Room (Pentecost May 19)

May 12, 2013

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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Two Radio Shows

April 25, 2013

Today at 5 PM Eastern I will join Al Kresta to discuss St. Mark the Evangelist who wrote the Gospel of Mark. He is not discussed much but is a fascinating character. Tomorrow morning at 9:15 AM I will join Teresa Tomeo to discuss St. Mark as well but from a different perspective. It is [...]

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Entering the Empty Tomb; A Contrast – Now and Back Then (our 1st group arriving in Israel today)

April 22, 2013

It looks different today, but the place is the same. It is darker now, covered with a dome that blocks the sun. There is no grass, no hillside, no trees waving their leaves nearby.   Instead there are the hushed voices of hundreds of people, the Muslim call to prayer echoing in the distance and the [...]

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Fewer Believe in the Resurrection

April 2, 2013

Percent of Americans Believing in the Resurrection Drops To 64% From 77% Last Easter April 1, 2013 By Dan Joseph A study released by the Rasmussen Reports polling firm on Good Friday found that 64% of Americans believe that Jesus Christrose from the dead. While Americans who believe in the resurrection remain in the majority, that number is [...]

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How Long was Jesus on the Cross?

March 29, 2013

Do the Gospels Conflict? How Long was Jesus on the Cross? The question intrigued me sufficiently enough that I spent the best part of a day working on it. There seems to be a contradiction in the Gospels, mentioning different times for the crucifixion. Maybe someone forgot to check their watch! Mark says Jesus was [...]

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How Long Was Jesus in the Tomb?

March 13, 2013

“For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:38-40) Skeptics claim to have discovered an error in the New Testament —claiming Jesus was not in the tomb [...]

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