Blessed Virgin Mary

Ryszard Legutko’s Critique of Western Liberalism

For quite some time now, American intellectuals have taken a particular interest in Poland. During the Cold War, the Polish people's resistance to communism was held up as an example of fidelity, and Pope John Paul II's leadership of the Church was taken to be a quintessential example of the Polish spirit. The honeymoon is [...]

The Humility of the Mother of God

About a year before being received into the Catholic Church in 2004, the biggest obstacle to conversion for me, a Protestant, who had moved in evangelical and evangelical-charismatic circles, was not the Church’s Marian doctrines, but the political and economic positions of many of the bishops, who seemed to be, except for their stances on [...]

Motherhood and Civilization

Crowns fall fittingly upon the head of the Virgin during this month of May, but it is also fitting that they fall upon the head of every mother. Mothers possess hearts that act like God’s megaphone. It is of the very nature of mothers to be God’s proxy in a world weary of God. Even [...]

Five Things to Thank God for on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has become a secular holiday. It is a time for family get-togethers, sports events and shopping trips. There is some, but not enough giving of thanks on Thanksgiving. Moreover, when gratitude is felt, it frequently remains just a feeling that is not directed toward a good and personal God. Then too, when people thank [...]

Reflections on the Fatima Centenary

The devotion to Mary within the Christian DNA, could properly be said to derive in the first instance from the high esteem shown to Mary by the Archangel Gabriel, who brings to Mary the announcement of her vocation of mother of the Savior of the world. In his greeting he says that this simple handmaiden [...]

Our Lady of Victory

In 1952 Bishop Fulton Sheen wrote that Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, was the key to converting Muslims. Bishop Sheen believed that the devotion Muslims already had toward Mary would eventually lead them to her divine Son. Moreover, our Lady of Fatima would have a special appeal to Muslims because she appeared in a town [...]

How to Make Marian Teachings More Appealing

I blush to admit this, but there was a time when I could really get worked up about Marian dogma. In the years just before my conversion, I used to cite the Catholic affirmation of Mary’s Immaculate Conception and perpetual virginity as major obstacles to my intellectual submission. I just didn’t believe in that stuff. [...]

The Rosary for Converts

In the seventeen years since I was received into the church, I’ve had what might be called an “up and down” relationship with the Rosary. It began with my difficulty with Mary. I had decided to convert to Catholicism before I was completely comfortable with “the whole Mary thing.” (This is the polite term the [...]

Marian Femininity Before and After “I Do”

We have a crisis of womanhood in our culture. Everyone knows it. Few admit it. Generations ago, the secular-humanists designed a brave new woman who is shrill, selfish, arrogant, and bossy (oh no! the ‘b’ word!). With a clarifying view to Scripture, we can see in retrospect that we have all (myself included) become—at least [...]

When Lady Day Falls on Good Friday 

Sad and rejoiced she’s seen at once, and seen At almost fifty and at scarce fifteen; At once a Son is promised her, and gone; Gabriel gives Christ to her, He her to John… ∼ John Donne, Upon The Annunciation and Passion Falling Upon One Day (March 25, 1608) There is a charming and instructive tradition [...]

Marian Entrustment in the Gospel of John

"The man who writes a good love sonnet needs not only to be enamored of a woman but also to be enamored of the sonnet."  ∼ C.S. Lewis I was reading the Gospel of John and my eyes fell upon lines that would change forever the way I think about Mary’s role in the New Covenant. [...]

Mary’s Witness to the Gospel of Life

Saint John Paul II taught that Mary is a singular witness to the Gospel of Life. Having recently celebrated the feast day of John Paul the Great and recalling that, according to the liturgical calendar, Mary is some eight months pregnant (Christ's birth hastens!), it seems appropriate to consider Our Lady's witness to the joyous [...]

Lady Mary and Her Mission

In his lovely little book on the Mysteries of the Virgin Mary, a rare treasure trove of Catholic theology and prayer, Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P., distinguished Editor-in-Chief of Magnificat, reminds us that the first Corpus Christi procession took place when Our Lady journeyed into the hill country to visit her cousin Elizabeth. “The Blessed [...]

Oh, White Lady: Faith as a Struggle

Faith has always been a struggle for me. Indeed, throughout my forty-six years of life, very rarely have I ever felt comfortable for any stretch of time with my religion or my religious practices. I readily and rather gleefully abandoned almost any faith and religious observance during my teenage years. I’m not totally sure what [...]

When Satan Pulls Wool Over Our Eyes

Distilling some of the ideas in my book on Thomistic angelology, I published a previous column in Crisis on the massive intelligence and powers of angels. The flip-side of these spiritual faculties, as Aquinas points out, is the existence of a dark kingdom, using the same intelligence and power to prevent the spread of God’s [...]

The Silent Wonder of Mary and Joseph

We have beheld the shepherds coming in from their fields glorifying God and bringing all who heard them to glorify him too. Yet here is something still more marvelous and edifying: “Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.” And furthermore, “his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him.” [...]

Cuba has a new seminary

CNS reports that a new seminary opened last week in Cuba: The new headquarters of the archdiocesan seminary of St. Charles and St. Ambrose was inaugurated on Wednesday. It is a complex of salmon-colored buildings organized around a chapel with stained glass windows located about five miles south of Havana. The Holy See’s Secretary of [...]

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