September 2017

Yom Kippor in Israel which made an interesting day for us.

Started with Mass at Gethsemane (homily here) and visiting Mount of Olives and Mount Zion and free time in Jerusalem.

Al Kresta told his life story then ended the day in Bethlehem with two whole roasted lambs with flowing wine and Good dancing.

the 2nd movie belie is dinner and dancing in Bethlehem.

Dinner and dancing in Bethlehem.

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Kissing Statues

by Steve Ray on 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 you are a busy man. Please answer the above issue when the time permits you. I am a Catholic but I cannot accept the kissing of statues. It goes against my conscience.  I feel also it is against the bible teachings. Thanking you and awaiting your reply.”

I responded: Greetings from Jerusalem! I understand your sentiments and I don’t make a practice of going around kissing statues either though I have at times and certainly understand the reasoning and sentiment behind the action.

Notice the picture to the left. He is kneeling in front of a Bible. Is the man worshiping the Bible – he is kissing it after all. No, he loves the Word of God and is showing his love for God and his word. It is the same if a man kneels in front of a Bible while reading it.

Imagine your wife, if you’re married, is in a different country for a while and you miss her. Every once in a while you take an old picture of your wedding out of your pocket and look at it and think of her and it makes you miss her and love her. Once in a while you might close your eyes and kiss the picture as a means of demonstrating your love and devotion to her and your union together.

It’s no different with the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a saint or Jesus. It’s simply a way that people acknowledge and express their love and respect for the person behind the statue.

Just like you don’t fall in love with a picture and begin to worship the picture of your wife, so Catholics don’t love the statue or worship it; they are simply expressing their love and respect for the person behind the statue or that the statute represents.

There’s no need to read anything more nefarious into the action than that. It is simply an act of devotion and love for Mary, for Jesus, or for our brothers and sisters the saints who are alive in heaven.

Paragraph 1192 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Through sacred images of the holy Mother of God, of the angels and of the saints, we venerate the persons represented.” In other words, I as said above, we do not worship the image we love and honor the people they represent.

If you understand it this way you will be understanding it properly and you will do well.

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By Canon Lawyer, Dr. Ed Peters:

(Note: I am giving this one shot. If it sways some adherents of the ‘Francis-was-never-pope’ group, great; but if it only reassures observers who, regardless of what they think about how Francis is governing, are disquieted by the suggestion that his papacy itself is a chimera, that satisfies me as well.)

20130313nw543_0Two small but persistent arguments attack the very foundation of Francis’ papacy: first, Benedict XVI’s resignation was invalid (take your pick as to reasons why, but mostly because of pressure allegedly brought on Benedict, as supposedly evidenced by his resignation wording), so there was no vacant Holy See to fill, and so a conclave could not elect a pope; or, second, various irregularities were committed before or during the conclave itself, so the election of Francis was invalid.

Both sets of arguments are offered in inexcusable ignorance ofCanon 10 (which sets a high standard indeed for declaring any kind of ecclesiastical acts invalid, etc.), but the arguments alleging the invalidity of Benedict’s resignation are so vacuous that no time will be spent refuting them here. On the other hand, some (okay, basically one) of the claims that irregularities allegedly committed in the conclave itself resulted in an invalid election do have a modicum of plausibility and deserve at least a brief hearing. So here goes.

For the whole article, click HERE.

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All Day Bethlehem, “Our Father” Sung in Jesus’ Language, Mass in a Cave…

September 29, 2017

I have always wanted to show Al Kresta the Holy Land a what a joy to make that dream a reality. One hundred pilgrims moving like a well-oiled machine – GREAT GROUP! Today was all day in Bethlehem and what a great day it was. Falafel or shawarma for lunch. Our Mass was in the […]

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Eternal Security: Is Baptist Pastor Charles Stanley Right?

September 29, 2017

ETERNAL SECURITY (Once Saved-Always Saved): Analyzing a Sermon by Baptist Pastor, Charles Stanley By Steve Ray Hello Protestant Friend: Even though I have watched his show off and on over the months, I had no intention of watching Charles Stanley on television last night. It was just that I was tired after getting home and […]

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Galilee Boat Ride, Healing Mass at Capernaum, 4 Talks by Steve, Visitation and Jerusalem

September 28, 2017

Great day – enjoy! Homily and anointing of Nick Thomm for healing here.

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Mass at Beatitudes, Understanding “You Are Peter”, Syrian Border and more

September 27, 2017

Another great day! Started out with Mass at Mount of Beatitudes (excellent homily HERE) and then drove to the very northern tip of Israel along the Lebonese and Syrian borders. I gave by talk “Peter, the Rock and the Keys”. This is where Jesus appointed Peter to be the rock and the foundation of the […]

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Jesus Was A Jew and Why You Can’t Understand the Bible without Knowing That

September 27, 2017

Jesus was a Jew. This fact may escape the casual reader of the New Testament, but it is crucial to understanding Jesus and the book written about him—the Bible. Unhappily, in 21st century America we are far removed from the land of Israel and the ancient culture of Jesus and his Jewish ancestors. Let me […]

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Great Experiences and Learning at Transfiguration, Cana and Nazareth

September 26, 2017

A wonderful first full day starting with Mass  at the top of the Mount of Transfiguration  which is 1900 feet high. You can hear and see the excellent homily here. From there we renewed our wedding vows in Cana of Galilee. And authentic lunch in Nazareth with lamb and chicken and all the local salads […]

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Al Kresta and 100 Pilgrims Arrive in the Holy Land

September 25, 2017

<img class=”alignright size-medium wp-image-1595804″ src=”http://www.catholic-convert.com/wp-content/uploads/88C7760D-3913-4563-ACE8-57643B1AE8AA-300×252.jpeg” alt=”88C7760D-3913-4563-ACE8-57643B1AE8AA” width=”300″ height=”252″ /> We are very excited, Janet and I, to welcome the Ave Maria Radio Group and lots of their friends to the Holy Land. Ever since I first came to Israel it has been my dream to bring Al and Sally Kresta with me. Today is a […]

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Is Pope Francis Teaching Heresy? 66+ Scholars and Bishops Say “Yes”

September 25, 2017

I am not expressing any opinion here. I am just posting three of the many articles about a Papal Correction which is taking the Catholic world by storm. Because Pope Francis is refusing to explain his teachings there is a justified response and request for clarification or correction. Read and consider this historical situation and […]

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Verbum for FREE

September 25, 2017

LIf you’ve followed my blog for long you know I love the planet’s best and only Catholic and Bible Software called VERBUM. I have been using this since 1990 and it is loaded on my desktop, laptop and iPhone all the time. I live on this program. I’ve used it to write all my books, […]

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Arabic Mass in Jerusalem with Local Palestinians – only 2 minutes

September 24, 2017

Today Janet and I went to Mass Here in Jerusalem a day before our group arrives. Always moving to share the Liturgy with the local Christians in the in the Middle East.

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In 1521 “Reformers” Disagreed among themselves – was it really THAT bad?

September 24, 2017

A friend named Philip wrote and asked me this question: Christ is Risen. And we with him. I was talking to Evangelical friends who directed me to some historical websites about the Marburg meeting of the Protestant Reformers. You have just finished your Dr. Luther tour of Germany. It seems that the Protestants did agree […]

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A Limerick for a Questioning Grandson – Did Jesus Really Exist?

September 23, 2017

My grandson Josh asked, “Did Jesus really live? Maybe he didn’t and it was just a good story someone made up.” So I sat down and wrote him this limerick and gave him a stack of books from my library. The topic has not come up again since. Was there really a man named Jesus? […]

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Dear Fr. James Martin: LGBT Activists Aren’t ‘Marginalized.’ Moms Are.

September 23, 2017

Excellent article showing who is REALLY marginalized in American society. CARLY HOILMAN ON SEPTEMBER 22, 2017 Earlier this month, the New York Times published an article on Jesuit Father James Martin titled, “Jesuit Priest Stands Up for Gay Catholics, Then Faces Backlash.” In the piece, author David Gonzalez, a former board member of Martin’s America […]

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