May is for Mary, Mothers, Rosaries and Gifts!

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The header is true! May is the month for all of that; it's also the month for First Communions and weddings and graduations. And Mother's Day. In May, everywhere you turn you are reminded that something is coming up for which you need a gift.That alone should keep you wanting to seek out prayer.Do you know who can help you out with all of those things? Our dear friends, the Dominican Nuns of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary -- the gals out in Summit, New Jersey!On the prayer … [Read more...]

Look at how daring we are in Holy Week!

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Earlier today I noted that we'd seen a remarkable lack of the usual media attempts to be provocative, and foment doubt, in Holy Week, and I'd credited that to the distraction Rome's own drama these past two months:These are usually the weeks reserved for questions about whether or not Jesus existed at all; if he had a wife and so forth. This year, thanks to Benedict’s surprising resignation, the conclave and Pope Francis’ rock-star ascendancy, the press has had its hands full; there has bee … [Read more...]

Come, Pray the Luminous Mysteries with Me!

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Aside from being aggravated by some minor, but continual, issues with my computer today, I'm feeling pretty peaceful about the election, in general. I have no idea who will win, although I suspect Romney is in a stronger position than poll purchasers wanted to see, but I could be wrong.Either way I am at peace. Perhaps it's because of my conversation with this man -- which in part inspired this column -- but I prayed the Office of Readings today and look forward to praying Vespers in about … [Read more...]

It’s October: Do you know where your Rosary beads are?

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About 20 hours from the time of this writing, The Year of Faith will be officially launched from Rome!Here at Patheos, we have something special planned -- and a Facebook page to keep you up-to-date on everything new, but more about that later.For now, a quick question: Do you know where your Rosary Beads are?Deacon Greg wants to know;I still have my first set. Do you?It was given to me as a first communion gift: simple black beads with a plain plastic cross. They're … [Read more...]

Mary’s Assumption Makes Sense in Light of Microchimerism

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Whenever my younger son is particularly happy he lets out with a dazzling grin and it always thrills me, because I recognize therein my grandmother's smile. She died when I was ten years old, but practically at the moment of his birth, I recognized her distinctive mouth and smile in him. I frequently marvel at the fact that I see in him something of a person he never knew, and that in my grandmother, I'd been seeing a feature that likely belonged to some wild Scot that she herself never … [Read more...]

Hawaiian Folk Music, Crusades and Columns

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Last night, my husband got home from an outing and watched The Descendents, starring George Clooney. Not really a Clooney fan, but he was very good, and the movie was engrossing. Hubby and I both wished that some religious perspective might have been introduced, but then that would have made it a completely different movie, so -- it is what it is. The reason I'm mentioning it at all, though is because we both commented, almost at precisely the same moment, that we were really enjoying the … [Read more...]

Stabat Mater Dolorosa

At the cross, her station keeping+ + + + + +Mary’s role in the life of the church, in the Christian experience did not end with the deliverance of her placenta and the taking of her ritual bath. Rather, Mary – The Mother – walked with and monitored every part of her son’s life (as mothers do) and his ministry. Far from being a toss-off, a mere minor player in the story of Christ and the Christian experience, Mary’s life is as entwined with Christ’s at his death as it was when he was … [Read more...]

Most Excellent Vid on Mariology

Sent along by reader Vicki, who is not Catholic, this video is one of the best brief expositions I've ever seen on the theological role Mary plays in this whole pageant of salvation in which we live, and for which we seek understanding.It may seem a little long at 11 minutes, but it moves quickly and covers quite a lot of ground. Stick with it and enjoy! … [Read more...]

And now…Bernadette! And Adele!

Father James Martin graciously permits Patheos to excerpt a chapter of his wonderful book My Life With the Saints so that we can get to know St. Bernadette Soubirous, the unschooled French visionary who made the acquaintance of the Immaculate Conception: "In the Grotto of Massabieille"On a Friday evening during my first year as a Jesuit novice I wandered into the TV room to see what video was being served up. Television watching was a popular pastime for novices still on a $35.00 monthly … [Read more...]

"Hail, Full of Grace!" – UPDATED

The Annunciation by WaterhouseA little collection of links and videos appropriate to the Holy Day:Start with Deacon Greg, whose affection for Our Lady seems to have blossomed into one of his loveliest homilies:. . . one of the women said, “We’re Jewish, from up in Orange County, and we just don’t have anything like these [stained glass windows]. They’re just magnificent.”Well, she’s right. They are magnificent. But she was wrong about something else. The Jewish people do have somethi … [Read more...]


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