Apologetics

People always ask, “What do I say to my husband…?”  or “How do I get my kids back in the Church?  or  “I am getting no where trying to tell my friend about my Faith.”

Well Steve came up with Six Rules to help you deal with non-Catholics – especially family and friends.

To read my article on this topic, click here. I will discuss this on the Terry & Jesse Show at 2 PM Eastern, Tuesday. Listen live or later to the recorded show here.

They are only 2 minutes each! Enjoy!

Rule 1: Don’t Argue!

Rule 2: Love them more than ever before

Rule 3: Study and do your homework

Rule 4: Pray and make sacrifices (not being trite)

Rule 5: Show the Joy of the Lord

Rule 6: Most Important… Listen to find out what it is!

Here is my article Six Rules published in Catholic Answers Magazine

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I have a great time chatting with Jude and Theresa Verzosa, founders of Empower Philippines over Zoom. It was broadcast live over the Philippines and the US though Facebook.

It was a lively discussion discussing the early Christians and how we can imitate their courageous lives in the face of Greco-Roman paganism and persecution.

Watch on Facebook HERE or below on YouTube:

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C. S. Lewis and the “Apologetics of Longing”

by Steve Ray on December 20, 2020

I did not write the article down below, following my intro here – I wish I had. It was written by Daniel Morley about C. S. Lewis who has always been one of my favorite authors both in my Protestant years and now in my much fuller and richer Catholic experience.

Lewis was brilliant. He brought many to Christ and though not a Catholic himself he held many Catholic teachings that Evangelicals reject. He points Evangelicals to the fullness of the Christian faith in the Catholic Church.

To prepare you for the short article below remember the words of Pascal and Augustine,

St. Augustine, one of the most brilliant men that ever lived, a saint and philosopher wrote, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

Blaise Pascal, a mathematician, brilliant philosopher and thinker wrote, “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”

I remember the first time I sensed something of what Lewis is talking about below was when I was a small boy laying in the grass looking up at the sky with my father. I asked, “Is this all real or just a dream?”

My father answered, “It is real, the world that God made.” Already in my young years I was anticipating that there was something beyond the physical world that I was experiencing.

The second, and even more profound experience I had of this was when Janet I moved our young family to Switzerland between 1982 to 1983. I remember seeing mountains for the first time. They were the majestic Swiss Alps.

I remember thinking that they were beautiful but I just couldn’t grasp the beauty to its fullness. I took pictures, I climbed them, but I still could not grasp or appreciate fully the beauty and awesomeness in it’s fullness. It was frustrating to me.

If I had been alone I would have enjoyed it to some degree but not as much as I did with my wife at my side. Being with her I could grasp and enjoy it a bit more than I could have if I were alone.

I realized something at that moment about communion in the body of Christ. It also made me understand more deeply how two could be made one and the beauty of a husband and wife the way God created them in his image. I can enjoy beauty and goodness and love better with someone else then by myself alone.

I knew at that time that beauty and glory and goodness could be appreciated truly but not exhaustively. It was something that drew me towards heaven, towards our eternal destiny where we would be able to appreciate things in their fullness because that’s the state in which God has created us to live.

In our physical state we share something in common with the animals but as spiritual beings we are created for eternity. We will never be able to be fully actuated until we are there, with God in the eternity for which we were created. That is what we were created for ultimately. Beauty and longing here are only a foretaste.

C.S. Lewis’ Ingenious Apologetic of Longing

 | Fri, August 7, 2015 | Misc. 8

sensuchtFor C.S. Lewis, the acclaimed Christian apologist and author, a permanent sense of longing characterized his deepest held beliefs about Christianity.

He identified this feeling with the idea of sehnsucht, a German word meaning “longing” or “desire”. Sehnsucht appeared in many of Lewis’ favorite works of literature, including Norse mythology, the poems of Wordsworth, and the children’s stories of George Macdonald. It was “that unnameable something, desire for which pierces us like a rapier at the smell of a bonfire, the sound of wild ducks flying overhead, the title of The Well at the World’s End, the opening lines of Kubla Khan, the morning cobwebs in late summer, or the noise of falling waves.”

Another way of putting it? Sehnsucht is a feeling of nostalgia that faces towards the future. It appeared repeatedly in Lewis’ writing—in his fiction, scholarship, and apologetical works. In one of the most beloved passages in Mere Christianity, Lewis uses the concept as an argument for Christianity, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

The desires that spring up in us—those for love, safety, security, belonging—are never truly satisfied here in this life. Rather, they are pointers to another place, somewhere inaccessible to us now. Like the “forward-facing nostalgia” of sehnsucht, this feeling points us toward the heavenly home for which we were created.

In The Weight of Glory, Lewis argued that we’ve all experienced this longing—and are embarrassed by it. Sehnsucht is “the secret also which pierces with such sweetness that when, in very intimate conversation, the mention of it becomes imminent, we grow awkward and affect to laugh at ourselves; the secret we cannot hide and cannot tell, though we desire to do both.

We cannot tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience. We cannot hide it because our experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name.”

But what is the source of these longings? As a young man, Lewis believed that such feelings existed for their own sake. One must chase such longings wherever they led, hopefully ending up someday with “the Real Thing”.

However, Lewis later argued that these desires were planted by God to point us to his Son. “Glory, as Christianity teaches me to hope for it, turns out to satisfy my original desire and indeed to reveal an element in that desire which I had not noticed. By ceasing for a moment to consider my own wants I have begun to learn better what I really wanted.” Our desires ultimately point us to the Father who accepts us in Christ.

A scene from The Chronicles of Narnia perfectly captures Lewis’ idea of sehnsucht. Traveling west to meet Aslan, the protagonists eventually take notice of their surroundings.

It still seemed to be early and the morning freshness was in the air. They kept on stopping to look round and to look behind them, partly because it was so beautiful but partly also because there was something about it which they could not understand.
“Peter,” said Lucy, “where is this, do you suppose?”

“I don’t know,” said the High King. “It reminds me of somewhere but I can’t give it a name. Could it be somewhere we once stayed for a holiday when we were very, very small?”

“It would have to have been a jolly good holiday,” said Eustace. “I bet there isn’t a country like this anywhere in our world. Look at the colors. You couldn’t get a blue like the blue on those mountains in our world. . . .”

Lucy said, “They’re different. They have more colors on them and they look further away than I remembered and they’re more … more … oh, I don’t know.…”

“More like the real thing,” said the Lord Digory softly.

 

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“Steve, what do you think of the sedevacantists?”

December 7, 2020

For starters, sedevacantists are those who believe the chair of Peter is empty, from the Latin sede-chair and vacante-empty. It is the belief we have no legitimate pope since around the 1960’s with various dates proposed. Someone wrote to me today and asked, Hi Steve. I have seen you around the internet and have learned […]

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“The Sinner’s Prayer” – All You Need to Get to Heaven?

November 30, 2020

When I was a kid, the “Sinner’s Prayer” was a big deal. It was at the heart of everything we knew about Jesus and getting saved. It was almost used as an incantation. My mom coached me to pray the Sinner’s Prayer when I was 4 years old. We knelt together in front of the […]

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Do the Sacraments Need A “Digestive Juice”?

November 27, 2020

At a recent conference, I mentioned that when we eat we need digestive juices in order to make our food do for our bodies what it was intended to do. I said sacraments are the same. The digestive juice of the sacraments is faith. A listener honestly and respectfully questioned my comments. She asked her […]

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Great for Christmas: 13 Major Differences between Catholics & Protestants

November 26, 2020

Defending the Fullness of the Faith:  13 Major Differences between Catholics & Protestants By Steve Ray Set of 4 audio CDs     Click here In this exciting series, you will be given the perfect apologetic primer to better understand and defend the Catholic Faith. Stephen Ray, a former Evangelical Protestant and Bible teacher, highlights the thirteen major issues […]

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Questions for “Bible Christians”

November 24, 2020

For a PDF printable version, click here. This list was developed to show the weakness of the Protestant “Sola Scriptura” or “Bible Alone” position. ***************************************************** 1) Where did Jesus give instructions that the Christian faith should be based exclusively on a book? 2) Other than the specific command to John to pen the Revelation, where […]

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Dear Protestant: Where Did You Get Your Bible?

November 22, 2020

From Little Catholic Bubble website Leila@LittleCatholicBubble Dear Protestant: Where did you get your New Testament? At least a couple of times every week, Protestants use New Testament verses to show me where the Catholic Church is wrong about something. I always make them take the necessary step back by asking the following: “Where did you get your […]

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Mass with 2 Protestants and 1 Crucifix

November 21, 2020

A while ago we went to Mass with two Protestants.  As we walked in the door — there it was, as big as life — a CRUCIFIX with the Body of Our Lord hanging over the altar. I knew what the Protestants were thinking — I used to think the same — “CATHOLICS ARE WRONG, JESUS IS […]

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Are You Born Again?

November 20, 2020

I posted this for the listeners of Catholic Answers Live on Wednesday evening, March 21. I will post the audio link as soon as it is available and a list of all the questions we answered. It seems that God is kind of predictable in a way :-) since He always starts new things in the […]

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What Do We Mean by “Unanimous Consent of the Fathers”

November 19, 2020

Unanimous Consent of the Fathers By Steve Ray The Unanimous Consent of the Fathers (unanimem consensum Patrum) refers to the morally unanimous teaching of the Church Fathers on certain doctrines as revealed by God and interpretations of Scripture as received by the universal Church. The individual Fathers are not personally infallible, and a discrepancy by […]

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“Why do you Catholics Believe Mary was Assumed into Heaven?”

November 16, 2020

Nice article from LifeTeen: About twelve years ago a teen named Billy asked me this question, “Why do you Catholics believe that Mary ascended into heaven, when it’s not even in the Bible?” He said “you Catholics” because he went to a local Bible Church but had been coming to a Life Teen Summer Bible […]

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Paul Prayed for the Dead; we should too

November 2, 2020

Does the Bible record St. Paul praying for a dead man? Does the New Testament relate an incident of prayer for the dead? It seems quite certain that it does. Let’s begin with Onesiphorus—a faithful Christian who cared for St. Paul while he was in prison and who took great personal risk to serve the […]

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IT’S NOT TOO LATE! World’s Largest Catholic Apologetics this weekend – and it’s FREE

October 26, 2020

This ends Sunday, October 25 for free, but you can purchase a premium pass any time. The world’s largest Catholic Apologetics Conference with 50+ of the best speakers will be FREE and available on the internet this weekend. Be sure to click here for free registration. My topic will be “Why Sola Scriptura Can Never […]

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

October 16, 2020

Today is the feast day of one of my all-time favorite heroes. HE made me Catholic. [For my 90-minute adventure documentary on Ignatius of Antioch along with four other Apostolic Fathers, get Apostolic Fathers, Handing on the Faith. For more info see below.] There are Apostolic Fathers and Fathers of the Church. What is the difference? Fathers […]

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