Blessed Virgin Mary

Kids in Defense of the Culture

The shock troops against Conservatism, Inc. have arrived. Witness the rise of the groypers. These cowboys sent people ducking beneath barstools the moment they set a spurred boot in the Culture War saloon. It has been amusing, to say the least, but not everyone is laughing. Some have even warned that the pale rider of [...]

Taking on the Toxic Feminist Revolution

The battle against feminism is better fought by women because the public has been convinced that men are not qualified to speak about issues that affect the fairer sex. Women understand and know how to express feminine problems for a female audience even though these matters invariably affect everyone. Even so, there is no guarantee [...]

Confessions of an American Bead Counter, Part 2

In an earlier Crisis essay, I recalled the dismay at a social gathering when the host, a graduate of a Jesuit university, learned that his guest was a “bead counter.” Liberal Christians approve, and are even known to practice, the social gospel; however, they suspect a conflict between corporal works and spiritual devotions such as [...]

What Our Lady’s Suffering Can Teach Church Leaders

My wife grew up in a small town, and as Chesterton said, small-town people are the real cosmopolitans. They can’t insulate themselves in a comfy circle of the like-minded; they must deal with everybody. There were good people in her town, but the nasty ones were always walking down her street. Cosmopolitan in a fallen [...]

Time for the Laity to Become Mary’s Heel

We’re all troubled by the moral confusion and heterodox beliefs of self-identified American Catholics that have been chronicled in many polls: 65 percent believe that employers who have a religious objection to the use of birth control should be required to provide it in health insurance plans for employees; 32 percent disagree. 54 percent believe [...]

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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