What Did Mary Get From Visiting Elizabeth?

Gifts of the Visitation

I have been so busy working on my project that I have nearly forgotten to point you over toward the Patheos Book Club, where they are looking at Denise Bossert's lovely little book, Gifts of the Visitation: Nine Spiritual Encounters with Mary and ElizabethI had the pleasure of meeting Denise during my sadly truncated visit to Israel, and she is one of those people who possesses such a natural depth of beauty and understanding that even casual conversations end up lodged in your memory, … [Read more...]

What Nuns Do on the Annunciation Feast

The Annunciation, Henry Ossawa Tanner/PublicDomain via Wikimediacommons

Our friends, the Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ have a lovely tradition on the vigil of the Feast of the Annunciation: they process together to the Solemn Chapter for the Solemnity of the Annunciation, and then have the youngest sister-in-religion give a homily, addressing the community for the feast.This year, the honor went to a very-young-in-religion postulant:Mary is the great contemplative, the model for all contemplatives. What God asks of us is also beyond any ability we have, and … [Read more...]

Immaculate Conception: 3 Reasons I Love the Day

vladimir theotokos

Later today, I'll be talking with Sheila Liaugminas (around 6:00pm, Eastern) as we take "A Closer Look" at the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and Saint Bernadette Soubirous, the visionary of Lourdes.If you ask Catholics which Marian feastday is their favorite, many will tell you it's this one, and I would be among their number, for three reasons:I love the day because it arrives just as we are beginning to deepen our experience of Advent. We place ourselves in the desert and give … [Read more...]

Mother of Completeness: Nativity of Mary

"Your birth, O Virgin Mother of God, proclaims joy to the whole world, for from you arose the glorious Sun of Justice, Christ our God; he freed us from the age-old curse and filled us with holiness; he destroyed death and gave us eternal life." - Antiphon for the Canticle of Zechariah, Morning Prayer for Sept. 8I was struck this morning at mass by the Gospel reading, which was the genealogy and Annunciation from Matthew. The whole list of patriarchs and fathers, with the occasional mention … [Read more...]

Assumption of Mary and Microchimerism: Theology and Science Have Met

I've never understood why people who have no problem with Elijah and Enoch being assumed into paradise have a problem with Mary -- the greatest, and most blessed of all created creatures -- being assumed into heaven. "It's not in scripture" doesn't cut it, (as Msgr. Charles Pope demonstrates here) because what did the early Christians reference before the bible as we know it finally came into being in the fifth century? Teachings and traditions, as Saint Paul writes to the Thessalonians, … [Read more...]

“Why be singular when you can participate in heaven?”

tcabannercropped

My latest column at The Catholic Answer is called "Our Professors, Who Art in Heaven" and touches on the question that comes up again and again, particularly with those concerned about idolatry: why do Catholics show such reverence for saints?The Communion of Saints must seem strange to outsiders who wonder why Catholics and Orthodox Christians bother taking side roads in their orisons when a prayer to Jesus seems like a faster, more direct route. As a religious sister from my childhood put … [Read more...]

How I Loved My Kitschy Madonna!

My column in the latest Catholic Answer Magazine, is entitled "Mary, Mystery and Imagination", and I explore therein the value of Catholic kitsch to a developing soul:Because my mother was devoted to Our Lady, and also susceptible to Catholic kitsch, my childhood home was filled with small plastic statues of saints and devotional artwork that fascinated for the sheer incongruity of it.On my bedroom wall, she had hung an image that looked for all the world as if Mary had brought the Baby … [Read more...]

“Like with Like; Kind with Kind”: Mary & Enmity Between the Seeds

enmity

Reposted (with edits) from 2009A few years ago, I recorded an 8 minute podcast talking about this solemnity. It's one of the biggies in the church, and for a good reason. As St. Anselm teaches us from across the centuries in today's Office of Readings:God begot the Son, through whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to him as the Savior of the world. WIthout God's Son, nothing could exist; without Mary's Son, nothing could be redeemed.Or, as St. John Vianney … [Read more...]

Assumption of Mary, Where Science and Theology are Met

I've never understood why people who have no problem with Elijah and Enoch being assumed into paradise have a problem with Mary -- the greatest, and most blessed of all created creatures -- being assumed into heaven. "It's not in scripture" doesn't cut it, (as Msgr. Charles Pope demonstrates here) because what did the early Christians reference before the bible as we know it finally came into being in the fifth century? Teachings and traditions, as Saint Paul writes to the Thessalonians, … [Read more...]

Maximilian Kolbe: Catholic Subversive!

That night, I asked the Mother of God what was to become of me, a Child of Faith. Then she came to me holding two crowns, one white, the other red. She asked me if I was willing to accept either of these crowns. The white one meant that I should persevere in purity, and the red that I should become a martyr. I said that I would accept them both. -- Saint Maximilian Mary KolbeIt is fitting that we today anticipate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary by remembering a saint whose devotion to … [Read more...]


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