When I was in Oklahoma a few weeks ago some good folks from the parish drove me out to visit Clear Creek Monastery.
After lunch with the monks I happened to meet the oblate master, Fr Francis Bethel. Bethel was one of the original students of the teacher John Senior at University of Kansas. He went to become a Benedictine monk at Fontgombault the returned to the USA to help found Clear Creek.
Fr Bethel has written a book about Senior and his thought. John Senior and the Restoration of Realism is a terrific read, and very inspiring for all who want to learn about authentic Catholic education. I was not surprised to find that Senior was rooted in the Benedictine spirit. His thought is all about God being real in ordinary life.
However I was also intrigued by his emphasis on the need for consecration to God through Mary. Theologically, Mary is the “crusher of all heresies”. This is because she incarnates the incarnation. In other words, her physicality and giving her flesh to the Son of God means that she also affirms all that is real, all that is true, all that is full of grace.Pondering on this it suddenly dawned on me what (of course) so many others have known and affirmed before me, that if Mary is the “crusher of all heresies” all we need to do is look at the results in our culture–a Protestant culture–that has denied Mary. What is the result? A dull and barren religion that turns increasingly to the fripperies of the entertainment culture to keep their devotees attention–a feeble religion that has reduced the red wine and meat of true Catholicism to the pablum and water of self help and sentimentalism.
In the culture we have ended up with feminism, homosexualism, broken families, broken home, broken hearts. Because we do not venerate Mary we have lost the link between the spiritual and the physical and so we abuse nature-treating our bodies and our natural world as mere objects to be exploited for our wealth and pleasure.
When Mary is enthroned as Queen of Heaven and Queen of Earth and Queen of our Hearts, heresies are crushed. Things are returned to their natural order. Peace and harmony return because Mama is home.