Saints and Fathers

 Barry wrote in my combox today – in response to my post entitled “Where Does the Bible Say We Should Pray to Dead Saints?”  Resources about Communion of the Saints I thought I would respond briefly.

Barrry wrote: Would you please read the Lord’s prayer. Jesus prayed it. He was giving an example on how to pray. He didn’t pray to Peter, Paul, Mary, or John-who took care of Jesus’s mother and wrote Revelation. No He prayed to His Father. This is Jesus Himself praying, should we not follow Him, like He asked Peter and His disciples to follow Him. This reference in 350AD is close to 270 years or more after the disciples died. The disciples who wrote the gospel. Do their words of what Christ told them mean nothing?

STEVE RAY RESPONDS BRIEFLY:

FIRST, thanks for writing Barry and God bless you. You start out with a seeming tone of condescension. Of course, I have read the Lord’s Prayer, in fact, I have it memorized :-)  By the way, we Catholics refer to John 17 as the Lords’ Prayer. What you call the Lords’ Prayer we usually refer to as the Our Father.

Card-85-Holy-Spirit-backSECOND, is it ONLY to the Father that we should pray? Is Jesus’ example restricting us from “praying” to anyone else? This seems to be your implication. However, should we also pray to Jesus? Is that allowed? And what about the Holy Spirit? Should we pray to him or is that disallowed? According to your statements above we should not pray to Jesus and the Holy Spirit! If you say we are allowed (and should) pray to the Holy Spirit you may be interested to know that nowhere in Scripture are we told to do that nor do we have an example of someone who does. Yes, most Christians would agree we should pray to Jesus and the Holy Spirit as well as to the Father.

THIRD, The words pray and worship are two different words with different meanings. Pray Is to ask for something, it means a petition or a request. Worship means to do just that, worship and adore. Worship is something reserved for the Trinity alone. Protestants tend to see pray and worship as synonyms which is one reason they often react so negatively to the reality of the intercession of the saints.

When we pray to Saint it is not worshiping them. It is asking them to intercede WITH us as we pray to God himself. God is the only one who can answer prayers.

15445tca0714_ChristGlorifiedFOURTH, when Jesus was on the earth the Saints were not yet in glory–heaven had not been opened yet. When Jesus ascended to heaven he brought the dead with him into the presence of God. From that point on they’re in the presence of God himself and can intercede personally for people still on earth (or do you think they can’t or don’t care?) 

Like I asked my mother who doubts the saints are aware of things on the earth and can intercede for us. “Do you think Dad has forgotten you, doesn’t care about you anymore or isn’t ask the Lord to bless you? Dad is sitting in his favorite chair having coffee with Our Lord Jesus waiting for you to arrive to love you better than ever before. In the meantime, he is praying for you and very intent on your well being. (Read my article, “Marriage in Heaven? Will We Know and Love our Spouses in Heaven?”

Transfiguration-1024x670FIFTH, we are commanded to pray for each other and to ask others to pray for us. We believe the church is one organic body not split up and divided. Those in heaven are part of the body of Christ like we are. We ask them to intercede for us just like I could ask you to intercede for me.

Even though right now I can’t see you or talk to you personally I can use technology to do it to ask you to intercede for me. I don’t know how spiritual technology works but I certainly trust the Scriptures and the Church. The Saints are very much alive in the presence of God and they are concerned about what’s going on down on earth (consider Moses at the Transfiguration in Luke 9:30-31). The Saints in the presence of God in heaven can easily request of God benefits on our behalf.

SIXTH, Believers have been asking for the prayers of the Saints since the beginning. All one has to do is look at the graffiti left in the catacombs to see where they said from the first centuries “Peter and Paul pray for us”. In the catacombs of St. Sebastian there’s one segment of wall covering the former tombs of Sts.  Peter and Paul. There are 614 requests for intersession scratched into the wall from the very first Christians. They were (praying=asking) for the intercession of these two great martyrs and saints.

Screen Shot 2017-12-12 at 11.30.10 AMThis is just scratching the surface. There is so much more to say but if you’re interested you’ll find the sources. If you’re not then I feel sorry for you. I am so happy that back in my former years as a Protest-ant it was just “Me and Jesus” but now the heavens have opened and I realize I am part of something much bigger, the Mystical Body of Christ with the Communion of the Saints. Blessed be God forever.

I recommend Patrick Madrid’s book Any Friend of God’s is a Friend of Mine.

{ 3 comments }

Join us on a future pilgrimage to Rome, or the Footprints of St. Paul Cruise, or Israel, Ireland or others. Check out www.SteveGoes.com, or call Elizabeth at 800-727-1999.

The Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls launched a newly renovated Web site to collect prayers, offer a virtual tour, and further the Apostle’s worldwide evangelization effort.

Online visitors can read news related to the basilica and the tomb of St. Paul, virtually tour the church, make reservations for guided tours of the building, visit the gift store, and watch a video of Benedict XVI during celebrations in the basilica.

They can also write intentions that will be offered up in the prayers of the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of St. Paul Outside the Walls, as well as read the Pope’s catechetical texts on the Apostle.

Click here to visit this cool new site.

I recently made a short YouTube video showing the end of Paul’s life. It takes you into the Church of St. Paul Outside the Walls where the bones of St. Paul are located. Enjoy!

Inside the Basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul on our last pilgrimage a few days ago.

{ 1 comment }

On “the day the sun danced,” thousands of people bore witness to a miracle that not only proved the validity of the Fatima Marian apparitions, but also shattered the prevalent belief at the time that God was no longer relevant, according to one theologian.

The_crowd_looking_at__the_Miracle_of_the_Sun__occurred_during_the_Our_Lady_of_Fatima_apparitions_Public_Domain_CNAWhat crowds witnessed the day of the miracle was “the news that God, in the end, contrary to what was said in the philosophy books at that time, was alive and acting in the midst of men,” Dr. Marco Daniel Duarte told CNA.

If one were to open philosophy books during that period, they would likely read something akin to the concept conceived by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who boldly asserted in the late 1800s that “God is dead.”

Yet as this and other philosophies like it were gaining steam in the life and thought of society, the Virgin Mary appears and tells three small shepherds that “God is alive and still attentive to humanity, even though humanity is waging war with one another.”

Duarte, a theologian and director of the Fatima shrine museums, spoke about the cultural significance of the Miracle of the Sun given the atheistic thought prevalent in Portuguese society at the time.

For the full and most excellent article, click here.

{ 0 comments }

Happy Feast Day of St. Luke, Friend of Mary

October 18, 2017

St Luke: Greek Physician, Historian & Friend of Mary (Feast Day October 18) “Her face shone as she related the stories—the words were vibrant, and though older now, her memory was excellent. He sat enraptured as she brought the past into living color. He had traveled a long way to see her and he sat […]

Read the full article →

Why Do We Call St. Ignatius of Antioch and others APOSTOLIC FATHERS?

October 17, 2017

Today is the feast day of one of my all time favorite heroes. HE made me Catholic. I was on Relevant Radio today talking about him and why I love this guy so much. [For my 90-minute adventure documentary on Ignatius of Antioch along with four other Apostolic Fathers, get Apostolic Fathers, Handing on the Faith. For […]

Read the full article →

Kissing Statues

September 30, 2017

We are in Jerusalem today ready to pick up our group of 50 people at the airport in a few hours. When I woke up this morning to the Muslim “call to prayer”, church bells ringing and horns honking I read this email that came from the United Kingdom… It read, “Hi Steve! I know […]

Read the full article →

Understanding St. Matthew and his Gospel on his Feast Day Today

September 21, 2017

Since it is the Feast Day of St. Matthew, let’s learn a lot about him. Matthew: Understanding the Tax Collector and his Gospel By Steve Ray If looks could kill, he’d be dead. The Jews glared at Levi as he counted his coins. Tax collectors in Israel had great wealth and were considered renegades and […]

Read the full article →

Fun Show about Nicodemus with Al Kresta

August 31, 2017

Join Al Kresta and myself today at 4:20 PM Eastern time for a fun and energetic discussion of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. They were judges on the Supreme Court of Israel and yet they took huge risks to follow Jesus. We discuss them today on their Feast Day. Listen live at www.avemariaradio.net  or listen […]

Read the full article →

Meet St. Paul as he Writes to the Romans; A Brief Study to Make it Easy

June 23, 2017

I love St. Paul and love to write about him and his epistles. I also enjoyed traveling through six countries filming his life story and theology. St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans is often seen as impossible to understand except by theologians — and most skip right over this masterpiece. With hopes that you will […]

Read the full article →

Luke’s Gospel: Greek Physician, Historian & Friend of Mary

June 18, 2017

Her face shone as she related the stories—the words were vibrant, and though older now, her memory was excellent. He sat enraptured as she brought the past into living color. He had traveled a long way to see her and he sat motionless, with furled brow, taking careful notes on his parchment. He spent hours […]

Read the full article →

St. Mark: Very Important; Very Little Known

June 17, 2017

To listen to our show about St. Mark on relevant radio: We’re discussing feast of St. Mark at :30 sec mark w/SteveRay@JerusalemJones relevantradio.streamguys.us/MA%20Archive/M… or download hour 1 @relevantradio app St. Mark: Very Important Biblical Guy, Yet Relatively Unknown Let me introduce you to him… “His voice boomed over the crowds in Rome as it had all around […]

Read the full article →

Burgos Spain to Loyola (St.Ignatius) to Lourdes France

May 22, 2017

Wonderful day, great folks, conversion and vocation stories and the highlight – St. Ignatius and Loyola. Delightful and entertaining Homily by Fr. Andrew Apostoli at Loyola basilica.

Read the full article →

All Day in Fatima! Fr. Apostoli’s Talk and more

May 18, 2017

Join us today for a full day ALL Fatima seeing everything and having a deeply spiritual experience. We prayed the Rosary up to the place where the angel gave the children holy Communion. Fr. Andrew Apostoli gave a very profound to talk which you can watch Here are the highlights of our Fatima day!

Read the full article →

Arrival in Fatima!

May 17, 2017

Our group all arrived safely and had a great arrival in Fatima with Mass celebrated by Fr Mark Mary of EWTN and the homily by Fr. Andrew Apostoli. Everyone is excited and ready… …after a good night’s sleep we do EVERYTHING Fatima tomorrow!

Read the full article →

Fatima and the Modern World – St. JP II

May 13, 2017

Fatima and the Whole Modern World In 1982, Pope John Paul II visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima to commemorate the first anniversary of the attempt on his life and the sixty-fifth anniversary of Our Lady’s first apparition there. He delivered the following homily. St. John Paul II on Our Lady’s message at […]

Read the full article →

Visionaries from Fatima to be Canonized this Month – two days before our group arrives

May 8, 2017

What a blessing! The two small children Francisco and Jacinta Marto who witnessed the apparitions of Our Lady in Fatima will be canonized this month — two days before our sold out group arrives. We are very happy the Pope arrives before us since to be there simultaneously makes it very difficult due to crowds and […]

Read the full article →