Fun Stuff

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If this doesn’t make you laugh, check your pulse :-)

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Friday, June 19 is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Saturday, June 20 is the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. A non-Christian friend found two paintings at an art show and asked me, “What in the world are these? They seem to have pagan elements. What do they have to do with Jesus and Mary?”

Here is my explanation. If you readers have anything to add, please post it in the Comments below. Thanks.

Thanks my friend. Beautiful images. Full of biblical representation — NOT pagan influences. They are devotional images to remind Catholics of the sorrows of Jesus and Mary and the resultant purification, joy and new life that come from them.

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacred Heart of Jesus:
Hearts represent love and life as the center of our being. Jesus’ heart beats with the fire of love (at the top of the heart) which was demonstrated at the cross. The fire also represents the purifying fire of God by which he purifies men. It exudes the transformative power of divine love.

The crown of thorns brought suffering which was endured for the love of man to redeem him — to bear man’s pain in his own heart. The cut in the heart is that made by the lance that was thrust through his heart when he was on the cross.

The blood dripping represents the new life secured through his death (life came through dead). The Blood of Jesus also cleanses us, washes us from sin. The result is the heart of man (below surrounded by flowers) is given new life. The flowers represent a garden of delights, new life, freshness. The Garden of Eden which brought about death by sin is now replaced by the Garden of Heaven which brings new life because of holiness and the work of Christ.

Adam and Eve experienced death at the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden; The New Adam (Jesus) brings about life at the Tree of Death (the cross) in another garden (John 19:41). This cross is at the top of the heart. Heaven and the glory of God are represented by the clouds and the blazing sun or heavenly light from God behind the hearts.

Immaculate Heart of Mary

Immaculate Heart of Mary:
This one is similar to the Sacred Heart. The roses surrounding Mary’s heart represent her sinlessness and purity, sweetness and new life. The seven swords piercing the top of the heart represent the “Seven Sorrows of Mary,” (“Mater Dolorosa”).

The first of her sorrows was the Prophecy of Simeon that a sword would pierce her soul because of her son’s death (Luke 2:35), 2) their flight into Egypt, 3) the loss of Jesus in the Temple; 4) the fourth sorrow is Mary watching Jesus carry the cross, 5) the crucifixion imagining a mother watching her son die this way; 6) receiving his limp, cold body after the crucifixion, 7) the body of her son buried in the tomb.

When Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple as a baby the prophet Simeon said that the life and death of Jesus would be like a sword that would pierce her soul (Luke 2:35). The 2nd heart, the one of Mary surrounded by roses, shows a cut in it which is symbolic of her sorrows. But her sorrows have brought us new life and pure hearts represented by the garden of roses below.

The Mystic Rose:
The mystic rose, symbolizes Mary’s mystical participation in the Holy Trinity as Heaven’s Rose or Mystical Rose. In medieval times the mystic rose symbol was drawn with four petals on a stain glass background or on a multi-colored background like a popular quilt pattern which is still stitched today.

Conclusion:
It is a very popular and insightful devotion to Jesus and his mother — the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Every aspect is taken from the Bible and nicely illustrated in the pictures. This is a marvelous Catholic devotion.

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“Life is about the Journey, not the Destination!” Huh?!

June 10, 2020

“Life is all about the Journey, not the Destination!” (paraphrase of a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson.) I saw this sign at the airport recently. Imagine! In an airport of all places! What stupidity! Grab a passenger arriving at the airport to catch a flight and shout, “Hey, take any flight you want sir, it […]

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Friend sent this cartoon about me and angels :-)

June 9, 2020
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Telling our Emotional Story of Answered Prayer from St. JP II after a personal meeting with him

May 28, 2020

Janet and I had an incredible meeting with Pope John Paul II in 2000. My wife had a special prayer request for him. We told the story for the first time while on the air with Spirit Catholic Radio this morning. Here is a picture of Janet asking the Pope, now St. Pope John Paul […]

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Debunking 5 Biblical Myths Accepted by Many as True

May 17, 2020

There are three “truths” I have been asked about many times. Often people tell me these as though they’re explaining to me something I’ve never heard before. However, in each case, there is no historical, biblical or actual basis to any three of them. In each case they started being taught in recent times and […]

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The Virus that Stole Easter

April 11, 2020

If you have someone who reads well in the family, have them read this poem aloud. You will all love it and it fits right in with Easter and our current isolation. The Virus that Stole Easter By Kristi Bothur With a nod to Dr. Seuss Twas late in ‘19 when the virus began Bringing […]

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How you can tell if Steve and Janet Ray are at Mass

April 11, 2020

Since our group is riding camels today in Jericho, I thought I would post this funny picture. Check your church parking lot. See a camel? Steve and Janet may be there for Mass :-)

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(Link fixed) Our Conversion Story in Easy-to-Read Format with Lots of Pictures

April 2, 2020

I can still smell the green vinyl of the used couch in our living room as I knelt with my mom, with my face buried in my hands and my nose pressed into the vinyl. She had decided I was old enough — after all I was four years old. She didn’t want to wait […]

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In case you thought tourism is dead… clever video :-)

March 28, 2020
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Ray Family Limericks about the Wuhan Virus: Grandkids Wax Exceedingly Poetic

March 26, 2020

I was thinking out loud the other day. I wrote a limerick about the possibility we might be taking the wrong course of action by shutting down everything. My grandkids (son and brother too) jumped in and went on a roll. Proud of these smart and savvy homeschoolers — enjoy! I started out with this […]

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Ray Family Favorite Movies Update (while locked away at home)

March 21, 2020

Janet and I have always loved good movies that are of high quality with good acting. But it must also be entertaining, redemptive, inspiring and challenging us to the good, the beautiful, the human. As St. Paul says, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, […]

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Choirs of Angels in Three Hierarchies

March 20, 2020

We have a pack of dogs, a flock of birds, a forest of trees – the word used for groups of angels is “choir.” Here is a clever little diagram to describe and explain the choirs of angels in all their different categories. (Click on the image for a larger image). According to many theologians, like St. […]

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A Bit of Humor and Sanity about the Virus – Lady in a Grocery Store

March 17, 2020

A little sanity and good humor in the midst of a world gone mad. Janet and I laughed at this 2-minute common sense reaction to hysteria in the grocery store.  

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Excellent Riddle: Can You Discover What God Made?

March 17, 2020

This puzzle was written by a lady in California in 1890 in response to a gentlemen in Philadelphia, who said that he would pay $1,000 to anyone who could write a puzzle that he could not solve. He failed to do so, and paid the lady $1,000 (a great sum at that time). The answer […]

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