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2 Timothy: Last Words of Paul Written from the Mamertine Prison
By Steve Ray

[NOTE: In my articles on the Pastoral Epistles, I use each one to relay a theme: 1 Timothy emphasizes Timothy; Titus emphasizes Paul’s ecclesiology; 2 Timothy emphasizes the end of Paul’s life.]

It was dark and damp. The scurrying feet of nasty rats was constant in the everlasting darkness. He could feel the scratchy feet as the rodents scrambled over his body and their yellow teeth nipped at his flesh. It was hard enough to sleep on the wet dungeon floor and the rats only made it worse.

The acrid stench was unbearable—the years of accumulated excrement and urine was revolting. Vile prisoners fought over scraps of food. Once a doomed man was lowered into this subterranean chamber through the hole in the roof, there was no escape and death was certain.

Julius Caesar had dispensed with his enemies here and it was now in use by Emperor Nero who was using it to dispense with the Apostle Paul.

Welcome to the Mamertine Prison, located in Rome near the Roman forum at the base of the Capitoline Hill. It can still be visited today and it was here that many believe, with good reason, that St. Paul spent his last days.

Earlier, about ad 61-63, Paul had spent two years under house arrest in Rome awaiting his appeal to Caesar—much better conditions than he suffered now. The Acts of the Apostles abruptly ends with the earlier imprisonment during which Paul wrote letters to Ephesus, Philippi, Colossae, and to a man named Philemon.

But Paul was eventually released and early writings indicate that he spent several more years (c. ad 63-67) preaching Christ and traveling as far as Spain (Rom 15:24, 28) (Endnote 1). But now Emperor Nero ascended the throne and the Christians took the brunt of his cruelty. Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom under his insanity.

While bound in shackles and awaiting execution (2 Tim 2:9; 3:6) Paul wrote his last existing letter to his most loyal friend and companion, Timothy. It is a very personal final letter. Prison could not dampen Paul’s spirit or confidence in his eternal destiny.

He spent those miserable days and nights praying for Church. His spirit soared far above the stench of the dungeon and while caged he exulted in his “Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Tim 1:10).

Click here for the rest of the story.

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An excellent and insightful article by Fr. Mark Pilon on The Catholic Thing website (worth subscribing to). This article accurately, I think, describes and explains the current rift between this Pope and the vast majority of clergy, including bishops and cardinals.

A recent article in L’Osservatore Romano by an Italian priest who teaches biblical theology is yet another example of the way the present papacy seems to look at priests and bishops who do not join in lockstep with the pope. I’ve never heard of this priest, Giulio Cirignano, but, evidently, he has some standing with the present regime.

The good father is clearly echoing an attitude that is prominent among the closest members of the papal entourage when he says: “The clergy is holding the people back, who instead should be accompanied in this extraordinary moment. . . .The main obstacle . . . is constituted . . . by the attitude of a good part of the clergy, at levels high and low . . . an attitude, at times, of closure if not hostility.”

This has become a frequent refrain in the pope’s own comments, i.e., that many clergy are rigid, closed, and hostile when it comes to his innovative teaching and practice. In my lifetime, I’ve never witnessed this kind of hostility coming from the papal office toward those who are meant to be co-workers in the vineyard of the Lord.

The Drunkenness of Noah by Giovanni Bellini, c. 1515 [Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’archéologie de Besançon, France]

I try to imagine how such badgering of the clergy would have been looked at if it were a so-called “conservative” pope doing this. Suppose Pope John Paul II had been using this kind of language toward priests who were resisting his teaching. That great pope was anything but naïve, and he understood well that many clergy, including some bishops and cardinals, were resistant to the constant teaching of the church on matters like contraception, women priests, and divorce and remarriage.

(Artwork: The Drunkenness of Noah by Giovanni Bellini, c. 1515 Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’archéologie de Besançon, France)

 Yet never – to my knowledge – did he demean clergy who disagreed with him.Or I try to imagine what would have been the response of the world’s press, secular and Catholic, if it had become known, say, that John Paul II had refused an audience to a group of cardinals who rejected his teaching on communion for the divorced and remarried in Familiaris Consortio. Imagine how outraged the secular and liberal Catholic world would have been had that pope treated his own privileged counselors in such a manner.

 

And yet Pope Francis seems to be the “Teflon” pope. No matter what he says or does in relation to his beloved clergy and cardinals, it doesn’t seem to affect his image as the compassionate, merciful, open pope……

For the whole article on The Catholic Thing website, click here.

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Too Many Children Harm the Earth – Correct?

by Steve Ray on July 17, 2017

I saw this on a response from Jennifer Fulwiler to some nutcase named Amanda Marcotte who loves lots of cats but denounces lots of kids. I developed it a bit further.  Patrick Madrid who has a beautifully large family also responded.

Lately in the media people are condemning more than two or three kids per family because it’s a danger to the environment and the earth. This little list, though very incomplete, shows what would happen if every family in the past heeded this mistaken concept.

My son has seven children and my daughter five. I expect great things from all of them.

Here are a list of some people who were later children of large families.

Thomas Edison (child #7) Bach (child #7) Mozart (child #7), Benjamin Franklin (#15) Celine Diaz (#14) and Stephen Cobert (#11), Mel Gibson (#6 of 11), Dolly Parton (1 of 11), John F. Kennedy (8 siblings), Martin Sheen (#8 of 11) and many more….

I wish the people promoting small families with cats instead of kids would just keep their mouthes shut.  Do what they want to do but don’t impose their uninformed politics and screwed up “morality” on everyone else.

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Arrival in Amman Jordan, Filming Gear Lost, Mass with Local Arab Jordanians

June 18, 2017

Here’s a short video of our first two days in Amman Jordan as we arrive to film our next documentary. The crew arrived two days early to have time to set up all their equipment and get prepared but unhappily all the equipment and luggage stayed in London. It took two days to get it […]

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Taking off to Jordan to begin filming

June 15, 2017

Fighting crowds at airport. Heading to Amman Jordan to begin filming our next Footprints of God documentary on Elijah & Elisha.

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Go with us to Oberammergau in 2020 – Germany, Switzerland & Italy

June 7, 2017

We are now planning two trips to the Passion Play in Oberammergau Germany in 2020. This play is only performed every ten years. Keep an eye on our developing “Oberammergau Page” where you can see the full itinerary, final dates, developments and soon be able to register. Contact Elizabeth for more info or to be put on our […]

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Fatima to Coimbra to Braga to Bon Jesus to Santiago

May 19, 2017

From Fatima Portugal to Mass at Coimbra where Sister Lucia spent the last 50+ years of her life in the Carmelite Monastery. See Fr. Andrew Apostoli’s homily here. Then to Braga for lunch and free time. Stories, prayers and discussions on the buses – fun times! Then to Bon Jesus, one of the most beautiful […]

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“Bible Answer Man” Joins Greek Orthodox Church

April 10, 2017

Karl Keating posted on Facebook: “BIBLE ANSWER MAN” BECOMES EASTERN ORTHODOX Hank Hanegraaf, long-time president of the Christian Research Institute and host of “The Bible Answer Man” radio show, has entered the Greek Orthodox Church, according to one-time associate Rob Bowman. CRI is an Evangelical apologetics group established in 1960 by Walter Martin, who died […]

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We Had a Nice Christmas Present Today :-)

December 25, 2016

Nice Christmas present today. Plane to Israel oversold so they bumped us to Business Class. Nice sleep ahead! Thank the Lord! It pays to stay Diamond!

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Bravo Pope Francis! Reaffirms Ban on Homosexuals in Priesthood

December 8, 2016

With Pope Francis’ approval, the Vatican has restated its ruling that men with “homosexual tendencies” cannot be admitted to Catholic seminaries. In a new document titled “The Gift of the Priestly Vocation,” the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy offers extensive guidelines for priestly formation including a section devoted to “Persons with Homosexual Tendencies.” The document, dated […]

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Gondola Rides, Folksy Marketplace, Indian Chapel, Exotic Birds at Lunch – our last day

December 6, 2016

Enjoy our last day of Mexico Adventures. Homily in tiny Indian chapel in middle of the marketplace click here.

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Mass at with Our Lady at Guadalupe!

December 5, 2016

Most of our group in front of the Shrine of Guadalupe after we had Mass in front of the Tilma Our Lady of Guadalupe.

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Few Video Clips from Canonization of Mother Teresa

September 4, 2016

More later…

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Last Day in Kraków and Salt Mines and Dinner Dancing…

August 21, 2016

…it was a late night tonight with the farewell dinner and everyone is getting up early in the morning to get to the airport for their flights. Stay tuned tomorrow for the video. I’ll get it done first thing. When you wake up in the morning in the United States the video should be ready […]

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We were on an Emirates flight but not the one that blew up

August 3, 2016

We left India for Dubai on Emirates Airline and landed in Dubai a bit before this Emirates plane from India to Dubai crashed and blew up. Glad we weren’t on that flight :-) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/03/watch-emirates-plane-explodes-after-crash-landing-in-dubai/

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Leaving Bangalore back to Kerala

July 24, 2016

India is really amazing country. Different areas are very different than other areas. The southern part is where most of the Christians live and it’s been wonderful in Bangalore which is a modern city where a lot of the high-tech industry centers. We are now on a Jet Airways flight heading back to Kerala for a week […]

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