Friday, September 19, 2014

(71) Dr. Ray Guarendi - Highlights the 2014 Steubenville Diocesan Men's Day of Renewal

Highlights of the 2014 Steubenville Diocesan Men's Day of Renewal

            Dr. Ray Guarendi came off the screen to speak to 184 men at St. Mary’s Church in St. Clairsville.on March 22 to inform, inspire, and entertain.  His two talks went over very well as reflected by the reaction of the men and their written evaluations at the end of the day.  Some of the men shared the day with their sons.
As in prior years, there was a Penance Service and Mass, presided by Bishop Jeffrey Montforton.  This time, however, the Men’s Day of Renewal opened with Mass after the rosary during Registration and for the first time ended with a formal Holy Hour.  Furthermore, the Bishop opened himself up to some stimulating questions and spoke off the cuff on diocesan matters.  There was also a vocation presentation given by a seminarian.  It was day of renewal and enjoyable fellowship.

            In answer to a question, the Bishop was happy that St. Mary’s Marietta was designated with the special honor of basilica, only one of 64 in the United States.  It is one of the most beautiful churches that I have seen in my travels all over the world.  He did not agree that St. Mary’s should be a co-cathedral to shift the seat of the diocese closer to the geographic center.  Since the great majority of the Catholics of the diocese live in the north which includes the Steubenville area, the diocese can better serve the most people with the current location of the administrative offices.

            Dr. Ray Guarendi has a unique gift for blending deep insights, practical wisdom, and wit.  A few notes and main points here cannot demonstrate all of that well, especially the humor, but this summary can give you an idea of his two talks.

The Father as the Spiritual Leader of the Family

            He opened his morning talk with the facetious comment that wives sometimes tend to confess their husbands sins.

            DisciplineDr. Ray, utilized his experience as a father of ten kids and a clinical psychologist, specializing in parenting, marriage, and family.  He emphasized the need for discipline in the home:  “If we don’t discipline the kids, the world will.”  But he cautioned, “Discipline without love is child abuse”.  A father should not take any satisfaction from making a comment such as “He’s not on drugs or anything like that”.  The standard to be aspired for is “moral character”.  Psychological correctness is becoming part of the culture and is replacing moral correctness.  We overanalyze.  The common question has become: Is it normal?  “Sin is normal”, but that does not make it right.

            Dr. Guarendi discourages yelling and screaming, but still the father must assert his authority.  He can be firm without losing it.  Too often a kid learns to ignore his parents until he raises his voice.  Don’t only look at the kids; look at yourself.

            Sons and daughters must be treated differently because they are wired differently.  Little girls talk earlier and more often.  They gently caress their baby dolls; boys will tear it apart.  Boys are more aggressive and would turn a stick into an imaginary machine gun.
            Leadership of the Father.  He hears women say more and more that they are the authorities in the house…….tone, standards, not the men.  Dr. Ray lamented that too often “the guys are there for the ride”.  Dr. Ray recalled: “My father loved me desperately”, but did not verbalize it.  The father should not only say “I love you, but show it in many ways.”

            Parents will often abort their baby because prenatal tests indicate that the child will be abnormal.  However the tests are often wrong and parents kill a normal baby.

Why Be a Catholic?

            In his afternoon talk Dr. Ray tried to help the men, especially the cradle Catholics, to appreciate the faith.  He fell away from the Church as a youth, but rediscovered the faith of his fathers. 

Atheism.  He opened his remarks with the observation that the old atheist would assert that there is no God and I can do whatever I want.  The new atheist believes in God, but “believes that he thinks like me” as to what is right and wrong, etc.

Faulty Thinking of Protestants. While in a Bible Study, Dr. Guarendi was exposed to different beliefs.  “Who’s right among these diverse beliefs?”  Only the Catholic Church has a coherent and consistent body of beliefs.  Protestants believe in the Bible and interpret it according to what they believe are the proddings of the Holy Spirit.  But there are 35,000 different Christian faiths!  God established one Church to be an arbiter of this mess. 
Nevertheless, they say that they agree on the basics because they believe in the Bible.  Then why separate into so many different groups?  Our separated brethren believe that once saved, always saved.  Then some who lose their faith must not have been saved in the first place.  By that reasoning, that person was saved for three years until he lost his faith.

Where did the Bible come from?  The Early Church Fathers put together the Bible, which originally had 34 books in the Old Testament.  But Martin Luther took seven of them out because they did not agree with his theology.  So the Holy Spirit inspired the 34 books, and then corrected it after 1500 years?  Did the Holy Spirit change His mind on abortion?  Over the centuries they diluted down this body of teaching.  “You can’t agree to disagree on Physics because the bridge falls down”.

St. Irenaeus knew St. John personally.  The early Church fathers either knew the apostles or knew somebody who did.  This is the faith they handed down and we call it tradition.  Christ is either incredibly true or incredibly false.

It’s hard to believe that the fertilized egg in Mary’s womb was God of the Universe.  It’s hard to believe that a chair is mostly space within the atoms and molecules that are its building blocks.

“Spanking and having more than 2.13 kids are the only sins left” in our relativistic culture.

“If the Holy Spirit did not protect the Church for 20 centuries, it would be today a fractured mess.”

For more on Dr. Ray Guarendi, his ideas, and his work, go to his website, “Faith, Family, and Life” at  His many books can be ordered there.  His television program, “Living Right with Dr. Ray” is on EWTN television and internet at every Saturday at 10 pm with an encore on the following Friday at 5 am.  He also has a radio program, “The Doctor is In” can be heard 1 pm Monday thru Friday on EWTN Radio, Ave Maria Radio, Sirius Radio Channel 130,  and on the internet at  Archived broadcasts can be heard on his website.  One can find many excerpts and complete talks on You Tube by clicking on

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