Queen of Hearts: I review “Picturing Mary: Woman, Mother, Idea”

for Commonweal:The most beautiful portrayal of Marian devotion I’ve seen in literature came unexpectedly in New York Times columnist David Carr’s 2009 addiction memoir, The Night of the Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life—His Own. Carr, finally drug-free and sober, had been been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma; the treatments left him too weak to move, and he resorted to giving his three-year-old daughter Meagan cash for the pizza guy so they could eat. “Keep the cha … [Read more...]

Marian Skating for the Feast of the Assumption

Can I find figure skating for every occasion? I CAN TRY.Natalia Annenko and Genrikh Sretenski:Oksana Baiul:Peggy Fleming, especially appropriate for this feast:Rudy Galindo, likewise:Carolina Kostner:Anjelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsiannikov:Elena and Oleg Protopopov:Johnny Weir:Now go to church! … [Read more...]

All My Musical Rosary Posts in One Place

For your convenience. My favorites as freestanding posts were Presentation and Resurrection.#1--Annunciation#2--Visitation#3--Nativity#4--Presentation#5--Finding Jesus in the Temple#6--Agony in the Garden#7--Scourging at the Pillar#8--Crowning with Thorns#9--Carrying the Cross#10--Crucifixion#11--Resurrection#12--Ascension#13--Descent of the Holy Spirit#14--Assumption#15--Crowning of Mary, Queen of Heaven … [Read more...]

Musical Rosary #15–The Crowning of Mary, Queen of Heaven

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. This mystery takes me back to what I said about the Scourging at the Pillar. I am not the Queen of my own heart; I am not, if I'm doing it right, the captain of my soul. I'm not the fantasy character who was raised as a mere pigkeeper but learns that she has a secret destiny to save the world and then rule it. Our task in life is to discern whom to serve and … [Read more...]

Musical Rosary #14–Assumption

The two things I focus on with this mystery are the union of body and soul--Mary enters Heaven all at once, continuing her lifelong task of showing us what true human integrity looks like--and the rest and peace offered to those who "have fallen asleep in the Lord." I often pray this mystery for people whose lives were unpeaceful and for whom death may have appeared to be a relief or a release, in the hopes that death will bring them to purgatory and to a much deeper and sweeter rest than they … [Read more...]

Musical Rosary #13: Descent of the Holy Spirit

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Kind of a stretch today, but the Holy Spirit calls us together and guides us when we act as a Christian community. Pentecost is a story of diversity within unity: the wildly varied languages which express a common call from God, like the many weird vocations by which we serve that same … [Read more...]

Musical Rosary #12: Ascension

Then he led them [out] as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them. As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven. They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple praising God. This one will be short, after yesterday's screed. This mystery speaks to me about the loyalty we're expected to maintain to God even when He seems to have withdrawn into some other--maybe higher, but definitely distant--realm. This … [Read more...]


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