Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Cruise Day 4: Ephesus & Island of Patmos

by Steve Ray on October 23, 2018

Today is one of my favorite days of the cruise along with Corinth which we visited two days ago. Today we visit Ephesus where Paul lived for two years and where the 4th Ecumenical Council took place.

We start our time in Ephesus by going to Mary’s House on the side of the mountain. She lived here for a period of time while St. John was the Bishop of Ephesus. We had Mass at Mary’s House. You can listen to Fr. Gregory’s excellent Marian homily here.

Then, after a free afternoon on the ship, we arrived in the evening to the Island of Patmos where St. John was exiled because of the gospel and his testimony of Jesus Christ. The Book of Revelation was written while he was on this island. We visit the cave where he lived during his stay here.

Video 1 is Ephesus and Video 2 is Island of Patmos. Enjoy!




St. Paul Walks Passed the Brothal

by Steve Ray on October 23, 2018

Every time I visit Ephesus I show my tour group my favorite things in this ancient city. We are here today with 80 pilgrims. We filmed here for our Paul and Mary DVDs and have brought groups here on numerous occasions.

One of my favorite things to show people in Ephesus is the Billboard for the Brothel that is carved into a large stone on the main road. Every man getting off the ships in the harbor, would see this advertisement. Of course it is well worn with age after 2000 years, but it is still clear enough to “read.”

Men looked for these kind of ads when they arrived in a new city. Where are the prostitutes? Sure enough this billboard carved in the stone gave them directions. If you want the love (heart shape) of a pretty girl (image of pretty girl) turn left (left foot) at the next crossroad (T-shape). Sure enough, archaeologists found a two-story brothal up the road to the left. It was even connected by an underground tunnel to the library.

(If you want to visit Ephesus with me next October 2018 on our Footprints of St. Paul Cruise, visit here for more info or call Corporate Travel at 800-727-1999..)

Men have always been tempted by sinful lusts and passions. St. Paul and his fellowworkers had to resist the same ubiquitous temptations confronting men today. But I suspect things are a bit more subtle and insidious today. Men don’t have to step out of the door or risk the embarrassment of being seen going into a brothal in the heart of the city. Today they can watch porn in the privacy of their own home. This insidious and addicting sin can destroy a man, a marriage, a family and bring the soul down to hell.

Paul challenged the men in Corinth to avoid the prostitutes and sexual sin (1 Corinthians 6:15-16). He said to flee immorality. We have joined ourselves to Christ; how can we then join ourselves to a prostitute. Strabo wrote that at night 1,000 prostitutes descended from the Temple of Aphrodite to entice the men in the city. It was wicked then; it is wicked today. Like Paul we have to pass by the brothal, the magazine rack, the internet porn. When men win this moral victory the angels in heaven rejoice. St. Paul, pray for us!