Vine, Branches & Fire: Where Will You End up?

by Steve Ray on August 24, 2019

One has to take time to care for their land and awhile ago I was cutting wild vines out of the trees and thought of the words of Jesus in John 15:5–6, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.

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Poland 2: Niepokolanow & Warsaw

by Steve Ray on August 23, 2019

After a good night’s sleep, everyone is feeling pretty good today and well-rested. We start the day by driving to the “City of the Immaculata“ which was founded by Saint Maximilian Kolbe and the name of it in Polish is Niepokolanow.

It was a beautiful drive for about one hour and when we arrived we started with Mass (homily here) before taking a tour of the site and a lot of history about St. Maximilian.

We came back to Old Town Warsaw where everyone had two hours to eat lunch and shop and enjoy the city center.  Everybody had time to find nice cafés for lunch and see the sights of Warsaw. Then we toured the city and churches. Also, the Warsaw Ghetto where Jews were mercilessly contained under the Nazis and a lot of history related to World War II and the Soviets.

Then back to the hotel. From there we walked through the Royal Gardens and ate at the exquisite Belvedere Restaurant.

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Did the Bible Always have Chapters & Verses?

by Steve Ray on August 23, 2019

IMG_8656No! The chapter and verse divisions in the Bible are relatively recent additions to the Bible. Originally it was written in Hebrew and Greek and there were NO chapter and verse divisions–in fact, most of the time there was not even spaces between the words!

Interestingly, in the book of Hebrews the writer is quoting the Old Testament and because it did not have chapters and verses and he was working out of a cumbersome rolled scroll, the writer said “Somewhere it says . . .”  (Heb 2:6, 4:4).

Here is a paragraph from my book St. John’s Gospel:

“The different divisions of the material within the NT books are not ancient. The chapter divisions are usually attributed to Cardinal Hugo de San Caro, who in A.D. 1248 used them in preparing a Bible index, but he may have borrowed them from the earlier [Catholic] archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton.

The modern verses derive from Robert Estienne (Stephanus), who, according to his son Henry, made the divisions while on a journey on horseback from Paris to Lyons. They were first published in Stephanus’ Greek Testament of 1551 and first appeared in an English translation of the NT in William Whittingham’s version of 1557. The first complete Bible in English with our verses was the Geneva Bible of 1560” (Achtemeier, Harper’s Bible Dictionary, 699).

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Today in Niepokalanow, Poland: Saint Maximilian Kolbe’s “City of the Immaculata”

August 23, 2019

Niepokalanow, Poland: Saint Maximilian Kolbe’s “City of the Immaculata” Today we are in Niepokalanow where St. Maximilian Kolbe set up the “City of the Immaculata” and helped save Poland’s faith as it was about to descend into the tyranny of the Nazis and the Soviets. Today their Catholic Faith is exemplary. So, I thought I […]

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Arrival in Poland – Blessed Fr.Jerzy Popieluszko

August 22, 2019

Everybody arrived in Poland today in good order, except two pilgrims who missed their connection but will join us soon. We are at the beautiful Westin Hotel in downtown Warsaw and we had Mass at St. Stanislaw Kolska (excellent intro homily here) and a tour of the museum and venerated the tomb of Blessed Fr. […]

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Bias in Bible Translations

August 22, 2019

Translating Holy Scripture is a necessary process by which the sacred text is provided in various languages, usually rendered from the original languages. Not all translations are created equal. Some result from one scholar’s work, others the work of a committee of scholars. Some are literal while others tend toward paraphrase. Translation resembles a sliding […]

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The Cross & the Crucifix: Letter to a Fundamentalist

August 21, 2019

The Cross & the Crucifix (From a letter Steve wrote to a Evangelical Protestant who asked about the Catholic Crucifix) Dear Evangelical Friend: You display a bare cross in your home; we display the cross and the crucifix. What is the difference and why? The cross is an upright post with a crossbeam in the […]

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Big Difference Between Catholics & Protestants – A Joke

August 20, 2019

After leaving their different Sunday services one Sunday afternoon, a little Baptist boy and a Catholic girl met while walking down a dirt road. Since they were both going the same way, they decided that they’d walk together. The road had flooded and there was no way to get across without getting wet. “I tell you what I think I’ll […]

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Woodstock 50 Year Anniversary. I Wasn’t There but Al Kresta Was!

August 20, 2019

Very few events shaped America like Woodstock 50 years ago this week. Al Kresta was there and he shares his memories and thoughts on this watershed event. Click here to hear his comments.

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Leaving for Poland Today: Introducing our Poland Pilgrimage with 2 Podcasts with Al Kresta Live

August 19, 2019

Recently Al Kresta and I recorded two shows about Poland. You can listen to them here. Since we are leaving for Poland today, I thought it a good idea to re-share them and the commentary below. In the first, I  tell of our adventures smuggling Bibles, medicine and money into Poland in 1983 when it […]

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Reading the Bible

August 18, 2019

A Little Poem about Bible Context I supposed I knew my Bible, Reading piecemeal, hit or miss, Now a bit of John or Matthew, Now a snatch of Genesis, Certain chapters of Isaiah, Certain Psalms (the twenty-third), Twelfth of Romans, first of Proverbs — Yes, I thought I knew the Word! But I found that […]

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Solzhenhitsyn on “Group-think Control”

August 17, 2019

This episode is in Alexandr Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago, Vol. 1.  It shows the stupidity and mind control that totalitarian, socialist and intolerant governments and groups can impose upon people. It shows what can happen if we move toward socialism and Communism in our country with the liberals and the Far Left pushing their agenda and […]

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My EWTN Live Show on the Papacy now on YouTube

August 16, 2019

On August 14, I was in Birmingham Alabama to do the EWTN Live show with Fr. Mitch Pacwa. He’s a classy guy, by the way, and I really enjoyed my time with him again. He’s a hunter and outdoorsman and a pleasure to be with — lots of great stories. (Courtesy of EWTN Global Catholic […]

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Wednesday Evening on EWTN Live with Fr. Mitch Pacwa

August 13, 2019

EWTN Live wrote to me a while ago asking if I’d come on the live show with Fr. Mitch this Wednesday, August 14 at 8 PM Eastern. I said, “Yes.” The topic will be my new book “The Papacy: What the Pope Does and Why It Matters.” This is a very pertinent book for our […]

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Mary, Assumed into Heaven as the Queen

August 12, 2019

A while ago a man called in to say my argument for the Assumption of Mary including references from the Old Testament was wrong. I had quoted 1 Kings 2:19 where Solomon had raised his mother up to a throne on his right hand to reign as Queen of the Kingdom. The man arguing with me […]

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While in Ephesus I Gave My Short Talk on the End of Mary’s Life

August 9, 2019

Do you understand the end of Mary’s life or what happened? I hope you enjoy this short talk while I was Ephesus where Mary lived and where the 3rd Ecumenical Council took place proclaiming Mary as the theotokos, the Mother of God. A LOT of people have watched and liked this video, so I thought […]

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