Venerating Mary

This is a gorgeous bit of Orthodox chant (and lovely images) thanks to the invaluable Crescat, who is otherwise torturing us with obnoxious images of pop-culture messiah, or achingly beautiful scenes of Malta. Check her out!O Virgin Birthgiver, rejoice... ...Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, For thou hast borne the Saviour of our souls! … [Read more...]

Mary and Elizabeth

If you are snowed in, you have time to indulge me, but even if you are scurrying around, I urge to take a few minutes to read Deacon Greg's meaty homily on what we Catholics call "The Visitation," - the moment in the Gospel where Mary, confronted by Gabriel and overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, has gone to visit her elder kinswoman, Elizabeth, who was also with child. Writes Greg:[Elizabeth] knew that she was greeting her Messiah.Pope Benedict has written that the Visitation is more than … [Read more...]

Dec 18 – O Adonai

SourceOnce again, our friends the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist provide a lovely background to today's glorious antiphon:The title "Adonai," was originally used by the Israelites instead of pronouncing the name of God as revealed to Moses at the burning bush. Not only did God tell Moses His name, but He also gave him the Law, which paradoxically sets us free. Although our culture tells us that freedom is for doing whatever we like, our faith tells us that we have been … [Read more...]

Dec 17 – O Sapientia

Finally, we come to the last week of Advent and the gorgeous O Antiphons which precede the Magnificat at Vespers. I like the description here.O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.I love this U2 song, which re-states the Magnificat, and the video with it; the wind (on which rides the Holy Spirit) comes over what is hidden, revealing what appears to be the New Jerusalem, and then flows … [Read more...]

Sr. Mary Magdalene!

On this wonderful solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, our friends the Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ have clothed a new novice in the habit, and in religion her name will be:Sr. Mary Magdalene of the Immaculate ConceptionThe pictures are lovely (the new sister is glowing and the whole community seems joyfilled), and the comments section is informative.In her first monastic Advent and Christmas season, the former Sr. Carri takes the names of the two women who remained with Christ in his … [Read more...]

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Last year, I gave 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 taught:“The Father takes pleasure in looking upon the heart o … [Read more...]

Sorry I drank your present

So, two weeks ago I ordered various coffees, mugs and sundry from The Mystic Monks Coffee site.And it all smelled so good . . . and my personal supplies were running a tad low...So today I had to tell Buster that I had already enjoyed the brew he'd asked me to pick up for one of his professors.This is the risk one runs when one shops early.But I will order more for him.I had also bought a really cute pair of earrings for someone from Amazon. This weekend it was all I could do not to … [Read more...]

Prayer is ruining me for blogging…

SourcebookI love my oratory. It's so nice, so restful, so mine. Going there to pray every day ("going there;" it's on the other side of my desk) just...shapes the whole day.But it's really playing hell with my blogging and the direction of the blog.I mean, here's my morning: I shower, get dressed, wrap the towel around my wet head (hey, it's a handy headcoving!) and then go to my oratory. I light tea candles, one before each Icon, one before the Crucifix, one before my little pewter … [Read more...]

Dreaming her way to Christ

This is a rather remarkable story of one couple's journey. (Source)It was January 2006 and she was living in Singapore with her husband, Kumar, and her son, Karthi. In her dream she saw a “very humble lady” surrounded by candles.She and Kumar were devout Hindus and they knew the lady in Uma’s dreams was not a Hindu god. They knew little of Christianity, but they thought this lady might be the Blessed Mother. Still, because they came from a long tradition of Hinduism in India, they didn’t give … [Read more...]

The World’s Tiniest Hair Shirt…

Brown ScapularMy husband was noticed a brown cord peeking out from the neckline of my shirt and asked, "what's that?"Oops. Caught. "It's a brown scapular," I admitted."That's like, hardcore fanatical Catholic stuff, isn't it," he asked. "When did you start wearing that?"He wasn't being critical, exactly. My husband is a tolerant sort, and if a person wants to practice a lot of devotions that he doesn't feel particularly called to, that's alright by him. But he did seem a … [Read more...]