Marian teachings / devotions

Bishop Paprocki Calls on Catholic Politicians to Take Sides

Thomas Paprocki, the bishop of Springfield (the state capital of Illinois), has issued a decree barring the Illinois State Senate President and House Speaker—both ostensibly Catholics—from receiving Communion in the diocese.  The June 2 decision took place in response to enactment of abortion legislation codifying in state law an unlimited abortion liberty through birth, in [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

The Annunciation: A Cure for Many Modern Ills

Perhaps the most under-appreciated feast of the General Calendar is the one celebrated on April 9, the Solemn Feast of the Annunciation. Truly worthy of the title “First Class Feast,” for centuries it marked the first day of the year, connecting the civil calendar with the idea that, at the Incarnation, the world was born [...]

Joy and the Rosary

In this season of the Church calendar the Rosary should loom large for every Catholic. Nativity imagery will abound at all churches depicting the birth of Christ in the manger. But the importance of Mary within the story of the incarnation of Christ is something that is deeply important which is, of course, captured through [...]

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 [...]

On a Pilgrimage of Desolation and Growth at Lourdes

Upon arriving in Lourdes on pilgrimage on a cold, rainy winter day, I was feeling very much the pilgrim. I was cold, tired, and wet. The long trip had been exhausting and the walk in the drizzling rain from the train station to the hotel had drained me of energy. As I headed to the [...]

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. [...]

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