Saturday, March 15, 2008

A special hello to all members of CSGSAR who may visit. I first-of-all created this Blog in order to have a supplemental source for communing with that admirable forum of women and men.

I've just spent a wonderful day learning crown points of our living Catholic Faith from engaging and engaged Baptist-turned-Catholic apologist Steve Ray (Stephen K. Ray). His web site: www.catholicconvert.com/

Other Catholic Blogs where you can learn about Steve Ray: www.catholicblogs.com/date/steve_ray

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His esteemed serene wife Janet also was taking part at the Conference.

You are asked to check back for further notes-derived-postings regarding "apologies" Mr. Ray made about Mary our Queen, our Eucharist and our Successor to Peter.

The Conference site was the National Shrine of The Infant Jesus of Prague, located in Prague, Oklahoma. Their web site is below:


I picked up a Commentary on the Gospel of John which was authored by Mr. Ray. Looks VERY readable, creative and thorough. Watch for future Blog entries to be devoted to it.

God bless ALL who read and post at this Blog.

Posted by Clulus at 3:48 PM

About Me

My photo
More will be added later. I am Catholic, male, single, 53 years of age, living in the U.S., and very jealous of God's six-pack.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Your comments can be posted below.

For now, my commentaries will be posted without using the automatic blog format; I simply will add additional text UNDERNEATH my already-existing entries, separating them and assigning a date to them myself.

But my insertion of this "official" Blog entry will enable visitors to click on the comments link below and "leave a message" to me if they want to. And truly I would like for them to.


Karen said...

Thanks for the invite dear Clulus to your lone horse blog, maybe you will see some new faces over here!

I just love your enthusiasm and your fire about your faith, and the Catholic Church...WAY TO GOOOOOO!!

Karen B.

Clulus said...

Karen, this is a late thank-you for your kindness in commenting.

May all fog lift at your request, to enable a shining living-out of your faith.

Karen said...

Hey clu, better late than never. You are that bright shining star in the dark sky

Monday, March 17, 2008 Conference Notes: "Mary Our Queen"

Steve Ray, in his talk, asked "Scoffing Questions about Mary" that an Evangelical Christian might pose to a Catholic---- [NOTE that my notes from Mr. Ray's talk contain much of my own free adaptations and additions.]

1. Why do Catholics focus so much on Mary?

Ans: Mary is God's masterpiece! His greatest human creation. There is nothing wrong with admiring her..... as long as you are conscious of the Composer.

It's the same thing when you admire a piece of great, say, classical music. Part of you is regarding the pattern of the music, but at the same time you do not forget the one who brought it into being.

2. Why spend your time praying / talking to Mary and other dead Saints?

Ans: Where, in the Bible, does it say Saints are dead? More accurate to say that they have found their way to the Grand Terrace, taking the Fresh Heavenly Air.

3. How can Catholics call Mary "Co-Mediatrix?"

Ans: Have to admit, this one looks scandalous on its face until you study it, and if you do not know what Catholics are brought up (if they received proper catechizing) to know.

"Co" means with, and not "Equal to."

Every time you pray for someone, you are a Co-Mediator.

---[Steve Ray "Marian Tour" continued]---

4. It is non-biblical to say that Mary is sinless. The Bible says "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."

Ans: Besides what could be said about babies who perish soon after birth, and also what could be argued concerning persons whom always have lived with profound mental disabilities, we can point out that there is a "no-commission-of-sin human" who has lived on earth, whom all Christians accept as such, and that person is..... Jesus. So, we must look again, since we discover facts which are exceptions if we take the above Bible passage literally.

Mary very well could have been intended by God as His planned exception to the fallen-soiled-mankind rule. If endowing her with outstanding qualities seems unfounded, we should remember that she taught her Son to pray before He ever taught prayer to us.

What kind of ensouled pillar would God have desired, and been searching for, when he selected the feminine Ark who would be portal and educator for His Only Son? It's within all women and men to be just as sinless as Mary, if we moved to become slaves-in-imitation of her constant clarity of mind and maturity of soul and love in heart.

5. Didn't Mary need a Savior like all of humankind?

Ans: Mr. Ray presents Original Sin by this illustration: Standard-issue mankind skips into this world and promptly falls, face down, in the mud-puddle of fallen sinful nature.

But here's a what-if?..... What if God intervened in the case of Mary's entrance into this world? What if He took the preventive measure of spreading His mantle over the slimy/sinny mud-puddle before she could take her step?

She is still the same exact creation as we others, but, Mary, unmarred, would not have required the stain-of-committed-sin in her to be wiped away by Baptism. She was slated by God to step over Original Sin. "We Shall Overcome," if we keep our eye on the prize, but Mary... overleaped.

[FYI, The Catholic term "Immaculate Conception" refers exactly to the above-- the sinless conception of Mary as a human being. It's a common error for people to think the term refers to Jesus and not to her. Come to think of it, since Jesus didn't have a human father, and his Mother had no Original Sin to "hand on" to offspring, God did not HAVE TO step in to exempt Jesus from Original Sin....."a man like us, in all ways but sin."]

Yes (straight answer to the question), Mary needed a Savior. She was a veering-toward-sin daughter of Adam and Eve. But God did His saving of her BEFORE her part in the sin.

----[At this point, the "Arguer's Questions" format stops.]----

Tuesday, March 18, 2008-- Steve Ray's "Marian Tour" continued

Mr Ray spoke of how the First Eve tied the knot of sin that became our unfortunate lot-- and how Mary the New Eve untied the knot.

Let us call the following a prophecy that was realized-- "The Daughter of Jerusalem will do what you, Israel, failed to do. For nothing in her is repugnant to God."

And WE are members of the New Jerusalem.

Mr. Ray remarked that the Angel Gabriel was being smart to lead with "Hail Mary..." when he thus addressed Mary as one would address a Queen. For he knew something that she did not know-- He knew to proceed with maximum reverence when talking to the slip of a Hebrew peasant girl whom, by "Fiat," would become his boss. He was after all an emissary of the Royal Court who knows what position the girl whom he has traveled far to see is destined to... before she herself knows any zip thing.

---[Halfway mark of my notes of Mr. Ray's Marian Tour]---

OK Infant Jesus Shrine History



St. Wenceslaus [pron. Wen'/ses/loss] Catholic Church

In 1899, Vincent Martinek donated four acres of land
for a Catholic cemetery and church in Prague. At the
time the church was built, about 15 Catholic families
lived in the area. As Czech Catholic settlers kept
arriving, the community erected a new church.
It was dedicated under the patronage of St. Wenceslaus
by Bishop Theophile Meerschaert in 1903.
However, the second church was destroyed by a cyclone
in 1918. Services took place in the auditorium of
the public school until another church was completed
the same year. In 1947, the Rev. George V. Johnson
was appointed pastor, and the parishioners aspired
to replace the small, deteriorating brick church.
But the parish lacked the resources.

Later that year, Father Johnson accepted for the parish
a statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague from the
Sisters of Mercy who staffed a hospital at Bakersfield,
Calif., where Johnson was visiting his ill mother.
Johnson placed the statue, a replica of the image
in Czechoslovakia, in the rear of St. Wenceslaus Church.
He added literature about the statue and prayers to
the Infant Jesus of Prague.

Johnson promised in his own prayers that he would set up
a shrine if the Infant Jesus of Prague would help make
the new church a reality. In less than two years,
the church was erected.
He asked Bishop Eugene J. McGuiness for permission
to have a small shrine placed in the church for
the Divine Infant.

"A small shrine?" the Bishop asked. "Why not a big shrine, a National Shrine?"

Bishop McGuiness petitioned Rome that a National Shrine
of The Infant Jesus of Prague be established at
St. Wenceslaus Church. Pius XII's approval
was given in February of 1949.

The world famous shrine in Prague, Czech Republic,
then lay behind the Iron Curtain and needed
to be established in the free world.
It was fitting that it be located in Prague, Okla.,
which was named after the city in Europe.
On Feb. 22, 1949, The National Shrine
of The Infant Jesus of Prague was dedicated
by Bishop McGuiness. It is one of only two in the
United States, the other being in Washington, D.C.

Pilgrimages to the shrine began in 1949 and continue
monthly to this day; other visitors come daily from
all over this country and others. In addition to those
pilgrims, there are more than 5,000 who participate by mail.

The church was totally redecorated in the 80s and a new
Pilgrim's Hall was built in 1990.

St. Wenceslaus parish serves about 100 Catholic families.

This History of the Shrine has web pages of the Shawnee News-Star as sources:


Thursday, April 2, '09-- Stephen Ray's "Mary Tour"-- More from Notes

Mr. Ray informed us that the translators-into-Greek who constructed the Septuagint used a certain Greek word for "overshadow" (I will come back here in a future edit to provide that hunted-down word) in the section of the Scriptures which tells us that "the glory and power of the Most High overshadowed the Ark." Luke used that exact same word for the Angel Gabriel's explanatory reply to Mary's questioning: "The glory of the Lord will overshadow you."

Thus it is no wonder that Mary was hailed by the early Church as the living Ark. She was in fact much more than a holder of sacred objects like the first Ark... the early Church honored her for being the enfolder and container of God Himself. How can we ever thank her enough? Marianly and Christianly speaking, let us thank her without ceasing. [Judging from the praises he spun out about her, that was St. Louis Marie de Montfort's perspective precisely.] And to fill in those times besides the times when we are thanking her without ceasing, let us unceasingly thank God for her.

Mr. Ray asks us... how could Luke have known the intimate thoughts and memories of Mary (information which would have been available from her only) so that he could include them in his Gospel? Mr. Ray reminds us that it is evident from Luke's Gospel that the inspired author was an assiduous seeker of information and compiler of sources. Very likely he would not have been satisfied with some second-hand filtered rehash of events-- not if he could get hold of the eyewitness herself.

Mr. Ray: "Imagine Mary, under an olive tree, telling Luke how it happened."

Mr. Ray reminds believers of the curiosity that we should bring to true Bible study... We tend just to be rolling on the surface, hearing events we've heard in Mass hundreds of times-- like leafing through a scrapbook of old newspaper clippings. Nothing could be new about doing that. BUT.... there is ANOTHER WORLD under there that's exciting to discover. Perhaps we can add to "Take and read" by urging this in additon-- Take and lift what you are reading, and look under.

The Early Christians' comparison of Mary to the Ark of the Covenant, says Mr. Ray, provides an important insight into the way Catholic Christians regard Mary.

Catholics do not worship Mary. And likewise, the Jews did not worship the Ark. We see from the Jewish Scriptures that Moses worshipped the Source of the shekina glory, Him the Giver to the Hebrews of all that was therein contained. Mary too is "gold within and gold without." Inside her, we children of the Hebrews behold NOT the stone tablets-- but the Personal Glory written in flesh.

Think how, to enable our comprehension (because we the intended recipients are such limited human
creatures), something must CARRY or hold the Word for us. Such shaking spilling serving-up is wholly necessary-- before we can detect It even, before we can take ANY of It in, before we can share It with others.

And then we humans have to have RECORDS or we will lose what little we've grasped. For a long while
we carried alphabet-mumblings by paper-- computerized vessels are no less clunky or brutish a means.

It's our human fleshly lot to have to employ some mundane means by which to take hold of the Word,
before It can enter into our earth-wired consciousness. For this purpose, in fact for US, God
provided his Manself.....