Prayer & Spiritual Life

The Father knocks on my door, seeking a home for his Son.

“Rent is cheap,” I say.

“I don’t want to rent, I want to buy,” says God.

Rent.jpg“I’m not sure I want to sell, but please come in to look around.”

“I think I will,” says God.

“I might let you have a room or two,” I say.

“I like it,” says God. “I’ll take the two rooms. You might decide to give me more someday. I can wait,” says God.

“I’d like to give you more, but it a bit difficult. I need some space for me,” I say.

“I know,” says God, “but I’ll wait; I like what I see.”

“Hmm, maybe I can let you have another room. I really don’t need that much.“

“Thanks,” says God. “I’ll take it. I like what I see.“

“I’d like to give you the whole house, but I’m not sure.“

“Think on it,” says God; “I would not put you out. Your house would be mine and my son would live in it. You’d have more space than you’ve ever had before.“

“But, I don’t understand at all,” I say.

“I know,” says God, “but I can’t tell you about that. You have to discover it for yourself. That can only happen if you let me have the whole house.“

“That’s a bit risky,” I say.

“Yes,” says God, “but try me.“

“I’m not sure. I’ll let you know.“

“I can wait,” says God. “I like what I see.”

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Reflecting on Turning 65 Today

by Steve Ray on December 29, 2019

I used to think someone 50 years old was really old — then I turned 50. If that was really old, what now the I turn 65 today? Inside I still feel mid-30’s but my body keeps reminding me it ain’t so.

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(Picture: Janet and I with baby Cindy in 1978)

Five years ago at 60 years old I laid in bed one night for a long time thinking that at best I had 20 good years left — if I’m lucky. That was a shocking reality and I took inventory of what I had done with my years and decided what I was going to do with my last remaining years.

Now 5 if those 20 have slipped away and in 15 years I’ll be 80! Sobering thought! Milestones years are good times to reflect and to ask God what He wants and To make resolutions.

For me, with my wife and best friend Janet at my side, we’ve resolved it’s to glorify God by his grace and our humble efforts, to pass on the Catholic Faith, to love our family and to let them know we love them, to be generous (because We can’t take it with us), and to work even more toward holiness.

0EB00131-F38E-482A-9EF4-E3CA8FA6E1B2So, my face is set like flint, to use a biblical phrase (Isa. 50:7). At 17 years old I looked up to heaven thru the trees and said, “Jesus, I’m only 17 years old but tonight I’m giving my life completely to you!” Since then He’s never let me down. I renew that promise and commitment again with renewed vigor.

You’re getting older too. I challenge you to do the same.

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 Barry wrote in my combox today – in response to my post entitled “Where Does the Bible Say We Should Pray to Dead Saints?” – Resources about Communion of the Saints I thought I would respond briefly.

Barrry wrote: Would you please read the Lord’s prayer. Jesus prayed it. He was giving an example of how to pray. He didn’t pray to Peter, Paul, Mary, or John-who took care of Jesus’s mother and wrote Revelation. No, He prayed to His Father. This is Jesus Himself praying, should we not follow Him, as He asked Peter and His disciples to follow Him. This reference in 350AD is close to 270 years or more after the disciples died. The disciples who wrote the gospel. Do their words of what Christ told them mean nothing?

STEVE RAY RESPONDS BRIEFLY:

FIRST, thanks for writing Barry and God bless you. You start out with a seeming tone of condescension. Of course, I have read the Lord’s Prayer, in fact, I have it memorized :-)  By the way, we Catholics refer to John 17 as the Lords’ Prayer. What you call the Lords’ Prayer we usually refer to as the Our Father.

Card-85-Holy-Spirit-backSECOND, is it ONLY to the Father that we should pray? Is Jesus’ example restricting us from “praying” to anyone else? This seems to be your implication. However, should we also pray to Jesus? Is that allowed? And what about the Holy Spirit? Should we pray to him or is that disallowed? According to your statements above we should not pray to Jesus and the Holy Spirit! If you say we are allowed (and should) pray to the Holy Spirit you may be interested to know that nowhere in Scripture are we told to do that nor do we have an example of someone who does. Yes, most Christians would agree we should pray to Jesus and the Holy Spirit as well as to the Father.

THIRD, The words pray and worship are two different words with different meanings. Pray Is to ask for something, it means a petition or a request. Worship means to do just that, worship and adore. Worship is something reserved for the Trinity alone. Protestants tend to see pray and worship as synonyms which is one reason they often react so negatively to the reality of the intercession of the saints.

When we pray to Saint it is not worshiping them. It is asking them to intercede WITH us as we pray to God himself. God is the only one who can answer prayers.

15445tca0714_ChristGlorifiedFOURTH, when Jesus was on the earth the Saints were not yet in glory–heaven had not been opened yet. When Jesus ascended to heaven he brought the dead with him into the presence of God. From that point on they’re in the presence of God himself and can intercede personally for people still on earth (or do you think they can’t or don’t care?) 

Like I asked my mother who doubts the saints are aware of things on the earth and can intercede for us. “Do you think Dad has forgotten you, doesn’t care about you anymore or isn’t ask the Lord to bless you? Dad is sitting in his favorite chair having coffee with Our Lord Jesus waiting for you to arrive to love you better than ever before. In the meantime, he is praying for you and very intent on your well being. (Read my article, “Marriage in Heaven? Will We Know and Love our Spouses in Heaven?”

Transfiguration-1024x670FIFTH, we are commanded to pray for each other and to ask others to pray for us. We believe the church is one organic body not split up and divided. Those in heaven are part of the body of Christ like we are. We ask them to intercede for us just like I could ask you to intercede for me.

Even though right now I can’t see you or talk to you personally I can use technology to do it to ask you to intercede for me. I don’t know how spiritual technology works but I certainly trust the Scriptures and the Church. The Saints are very much alive in the presence of God and they are concerned about what’s going on down on earth (consider Moses at the Transfiguration in Luke 9:30-31). The Saints in the presence of God in heaven can easily request of God benefits on our behalf.

SIXTH, Believers have been asking for the prayers of the Saints since the beginning. All one has to do is look at the graffiti left in the catacombs to see where they said from the first centuries “Peter and Paul pray for us”. In the catacombs of St. Sebastian there’s one segment of wall covering the former tombs of Sts.  Peter and Paul. There are 614 requests for intersession scratched into the wall from the very first Christians. They were (praying=asking) for the intercession of these two great martyrs and saints.

Screen Shot 2017-12-12 at 11.30.10 AMThis is just scratching the surface. There is so much more to say but if you’re interested you’ll find the sources. If you’re not then I feel sorry for you. I am so happy that back in my former years as a Protest-ant it was just “Me and Jesus” but now the heavens have opened and I realize I am part of something much bigger, the Mystical Body of Christ with the Communion of the Saints. Blessed be God forever.

I recommend Patrick Madrid’s book Any Friend of God’s is a Friend of Mine.

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Was He Ready to Die?

October 19, 2019

It was just a normal morning — alarm clock, shower, espresso, dress and a saunter down the sidewalk to work. For Paul, it was another day with a whole lifetime ahead of him. But today was different. Someone else got up this morning too. They had their coffee dressed and jumped in the car. They […]

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Etiquette at Mass: Reasonable Do’s and Don’ts for Polite and Proper Worship

October 18, 2019

20 Things TO DO And NOT DO at Mass. These are not rules that will get you banished from the Church, but things that are mostly common sense — polite conduct to enhance our worship and that of those around us. 1. Fast before Mass. It is required that one fasts for at least 1 […]

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Should we pray for ‘our Holy Father’s intentions’ even if a pope has bad intentions?

October 3, 2019

Should we pray for ‘our Holy Father’s intentions’ even if a pope has bad intentions? Peter Kwasniewski October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — I was in a car driving with a friend, and he said to me: “You know, it’s really hard in this pontificate to know what to do in front of the children. I […]

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Kissing Statues

October 1, 2019

A while ago in Jerusalem I awoke to the loud and intrusive Muslim “call to prayer”, church bells ringing and horns honking. I read this email that came from the United Kingdom… It read, “Hi Steve! I know you are a busy man. Please answer the above issue when the time permits you. I am a Catholic […]

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The Kiss of Mercy

August 28, 2019

My daughter-in-law Anna is very insightful about spiritual things, and in raising our grandkids. Couldn’t ask for a better daughter (in-law, though we consider her our daughter by now :-) She put this up on her FaceBook page a while ago and I was compelled to share it again. Janet and I read this with […]

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Maria Faustina and the Divine Mercy: A Short Biography & History

August 27, 2019

Since today we are praying the Divine Mercy at the bones of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska at the convent in Poland, I thought I would share this short biography and history. Click here for the whole story with pictures…. The Biography of St. Maria Faustina. (August 25, 1905 – October 5, 1938)
 An excerpt from Apostle of Divine Mercy, a […]

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Evangelism Antennas: A Fun Story of One Woman’s Day and the New Evangelism :-)

August 6, 2019

A while ago I gave a talk in Ann Arbor Michigan. It was about the New Evangelization. As part of my talk I explained how Janet and I have our “evangelism antennas” up first thing in the morning – alertly watching for open doors and ways to share our Catholic Faith throughout the day. And […]

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Are you Choosing the Narrow Gate?

July 15, 2019

Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13–14) What kind of choices are […]

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Meaning of Sacred and Immaculate Hearts – Feast Days are Upon Us!

June 27, 2019

Since Friday, June 28 is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I am reposting this. 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 […]

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Mary a Mediatrix? Isn’t there just One Mediator?

June 12, 2019

The Bible says, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5). Yet Catholics refer to Mary as a Mediatrix (feminine form of the word mediator). So, isn’t that prima facie evidence that Catholics make up doctrines, worship Mary and disregard the Bible? […]

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Does one have to experience strong emotion to be a real Christian?

June 5, 2019

I received a few e-mails from a gentleman and his wife, obviously both good and excited Catholics who had recently had a real encounter with Jesus that had revived their faith and filled them with joy and emotion. Brian and his wife were disturbed that I talked so much about the Catholic Church when the […]

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Marvelous Scriptural Rosary! In English and Spanish – free to print, share and use

June 3, 2019

One of our pilgrimages to Israel, Tom Rizzo, shared this remarkable Scriptural Rosary. I’ve not seen one quite like it. He has freely shared it with me to share with you. Feel free to print it, share it and use it. This will not only make the Rosary more meaningful, but it will also deepen […]

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The Literacy and Spirituality of a Day Gone By; A Tattered Yellowed Page; A Poem I Found from my Great-Grandmother

June 1, 2019

I never knew my Great Grandmother Frances Picard. She was originally an O’Grady. They had a deep spirituality and she converted to the Catholic Church later in her life. (By the way, this was all new to me since I never knew – in my childhood – that I had several lines of Catholic ancestors.) […]

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