the Annunciation

The Cross, the Crescent, or the Swastika?

If the past month has been chaotic in America, it has seen some bloody scenes here in Europe. On the morning of October 29, a 21-year old Tunisian national entered the Basilica of Notre Dame in Nice, France began knifing the three people he found there. He virtually severed the head of an elderly lady, [...]

One, Holy, Catholic, and Neuter

The Church today suffers from a deficiency in her identity, lacking awareness of both her Marian and Petrine dimensions. I borrow these concepts from Hans Urs von Balthasar to explore the feminine and masculine aspects of the Church. In some ways we have become a neuter Church, lacking both Mary's feminine receptivity toward Christ and [...]

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 [...]

Christmas: Reality Incarnate

On March 25, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Annunciation, commemorating the moment when Gabriel brought Mary the divine invitation to bear the Savior. Mary's fiat allowed the Holy Spirit to overshadow her, and bring about the conception of Jesus. Now, at Christmas, nine months later, the work begun in Mary comes to its [...]

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 [...]

The Annunciation

Human imagination cannot conceive the power and pressure that held all the essential elements of the universe together in a piece of matter about the size of a pinhead when the world began. Physicists tend now to date the explosion of that particle to about sixteen billion years ago. Their job is to consider how [...]

Catholic Women/Common Wisdom: Saying It Like It Is

On January 22nd, the thirteenth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions legalizing abortion will be memorialized by rallies, prayer vigils, and the annual "March for Life" in Washington, D.C. Exactly one lunar month earlier, on December 25th, the nation celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ. But Our Savior didn't enter human history when He [...]

Observations: At the Movies

There are a lot of first-run movies in my bottleneck of the woods these days—New York City—and three deal with questions regarding women and women's roles, about sex and sexuality, and, in large or small measure, with religion. One of them is being picketed, one is being applauded, and one is being ignored. The pickets [...]

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