I posted this at the time, but thought to share it again because it is even more appropriate now and even mentions Halloween.

We were in the airport in Lisbon Portugal heading to Israel to pick up our next group. Janet and I were standing in line and a man started up a conversation with us.

He and his wife were in their late 60s and I could tell they were good Americans. They’d be ideal neighbors, keeping their lawn mowed and their property maintained. But they fell for the lie and it has infected their whole life which became apparent in our short conversation.

I always wear my San Damiano crucifix from Assisi Italy.  It is great for evangelism because it often starts conversations (like it did today). It’s the one that spoke to St. Francis. The gentleman commented on my crucifix and said he had never seen one like it before and it was beautiful. I said, “Thank you! I wear it proudly as a Catholic and I want people to know what I believe.“

His face saddened as he replied, “I envy your faith.” His wife immediately chimed in with a disparaging tone, “Well I’m happy it works for you.”

I said, “We discovered the Catholic Faith when we were 39 years old and it’s the best kept secret in the world.” She made sure I knew she didn’t believe any of it.

Because we are Christian and Catholic we believe in families. We told them that we have four children who are married and we are now free to travel and take groups to Catholic lands.

We explained we had 15 grandchildren (two still in the womb). She was shocked, he looked sadly envious. He made it quite clear he wished he had the same but that they never would. They obviously had a different emphasis in their life and it wasn’t for families.  Their children learn something very different than ours did.

He seemed to have a tender heart and be sad about  his life but she was outspoken and belligerent.  She proudly stated, “We don’t have any grandchildren and we never will. We have grand-dogs!”

He asked if we got to see our grandchildren often and we said yes, that we are a very close family. He looked sad again as she stated, “Since we don’t have grandkids and never will, we love our grand-dogs. We even had them all dressed up for Halloween in doggie costumes.”

He told they do have two children who they rarely see but neither are married and will never have kids. The man said he cries every day missing his family.

Then she brought up the pope. She said they have friends that go to a big Catholic Church in Atlanta Georgia who don’t like the Pope’s encyclical on the environment. They asked If I thought about the Pope’s encyclical was helping Catholics respect the environment.

I told them that Catholics have always respected the environment. It has always been an essential part of our teaching that God created the heavens and the earth and created man in his image and made man stewart and caretaker of the environment.

I explained that we are given the earth to use but not abuse. Like a caretaker who works for a rich family has responsibility to tend the gardens so we do the same for God’s earth. I said this is always been part of our teaching.

I also told her I don’t buy all the environmental mumbo-jumbo that’s being presented by the liberals today. I said it’s just a scheme for the government to get more control over our lives – it was all hyped up. She said, “I sure feel sorry for you.” I said, “Ma’am I don’t buy any of it. I’ve read too much and know there’s a lot of fake news and fake science out there today.”  She parroted a few of Al Gore’s favorite lines.

He seemed very interested in my opinion and was ready to ask me questions when we had to go our separate ways. I shook hands with a man and thanked him for the nice conversation and said I hope they have a nice flight.

I feel sorry for people who fall for the lie that there is no God or that he is irrelevant. I feel sorry for people who think there are many truths and “my truth works for me And I’m happy you’re (unacceptable) truth works for you. In reality there’s only one truth 2+2 always equals 2.

I’ll be praying for these folks that they come to the same conclusion about God and the Catholic Church and  also discover the best kept secret in the world. I will pray especially for him because I think he had an open heart and was pretty much bullied by his wife.

I will continue to proudly wear this cross.

(Some of our grandkids dressed for Halloween! No dogs among them 🙂


This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Jan Schroeder

    Oh my. You did a fine job, Steve teaching the truth in such a short amount of time. I wonder if your wife Janet were there to join you in this would this woman have listened and replied with more respect . Clearly she had no respect for you. The older i become the more i see this occur with people my age. Friends and family laugh and treat us like a plague to be extinguished.

    STEVE RAY HERE: Agreed, but Janet was standing at my side, smiling and joining in the discussion.

  2. Maru Whitmore

    What an experience! The yearning for life is real! The story of this couple is truly Heartbreaking!

    STEVE RAY HERE: I agree with you. When my wife and I got married we had two goals. We were going to prove to the world that we could love each other for a lifetime and prove that two people could stay married in a monogamous relationship under Jesus Christ.

    Second, we wanted to prove that we could raise our kids and grandkids to love the Lord. Thanks be to God we have succeeded.

    Too many people have fallen for the lie and in the end they’re miserable, lonely, disillusioned and chasing lies. I pray for these people and have a great sorrow for them.

  3. Patricia

    Steve, what a beautiful family you have! I always enjoy hearing you on the various Catholic radio shows. You are so sincere! I will say a prayer for that dear man too. Sad to compare pets to grandchildren. Surely her heart knows better, May God continue to bless you and your family and your witness to Him.

  4. Tom Govern

    We need to take every chance to spread our faith and I know of no one that does that better than you and Janet!

  5. Cyndi

    Hello Steve, I too have heard you speak many times. I have met you & your wife @ a parish near me. The anti catholic police would arrest me when they pull into our driveway (divine mercy sign greets everyone) & then enter our house (catholic book store type). It is helpful to know that you don’t convert everyone you meet, but your 4 children are your most important successes. Mine too. Thank you for you & your wife’s work. God Bless you.

    STEVE RAY HERE: God bless you Cyndi and thanks for your kind note. Keep up the good work!

  6. David Weymouth

    I’m thinking that poor man has many regrets in his life…probably one was standing right next to him. Her pride (and internal sorrow) was on full display with her indignant comparison of the beautiful gift of grandkids and their “grand dogs” (delusional). You and Janet (along with your powerful crucifix!) do such a great job of evangelization. You both have touched more people by your witness…even walking through an airport! Keep it up, Brother….it’s working! God Bless!

  7. Mary Therese Egizio

    My husband and I were blessed to raise 4 children.. God will decide how they turned out. Along the way we taught the Billings Ovulation Method and met so many wonderful Catholic families. I came to see that sadness of those who had freely chosen to limit their children to 2 or none.. I really never met anyone who thought they had too many children but too many to count who regretted too few. With God Generousity is the best policy.

  8. Peter+K

    In reality 2 + 2 equals 4.

  9. Peter+K

    A very sad story, but you don’t spell out exactly what was the lie that they fell for.

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