Something About Mary Series, TOC, Annotated

In May of 2019 I challenged myself to post (almost) every day in May in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I got that brilliant idea after May had already begun, but that didn’t stop me. It’s an uneven bunch of posts wherein I throw everything and the kitchen sink into the mix so I can post something about the Blessed Virgin Mary (almost) every day in May. Hurray!

Part 1: Something About Mary Every Day in May (except for the days I already missed), Part 1, not Day 1 of the month because I didn’t get the idea until I’d already missed the first few days. I posted a video by Dr. Brant Pitre: Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary, and a link to a conversation between Matthew Leonard and Dr. Pitre about the same topic. May 6, 2019

Part 2: Did I ever tell you this about Mary? A double-duty post for this series and the Did I Ever Tell You…? series. The Blessed Virgin Mary helped me make it through one of the worst times in my entire life. May 7, 2019

Part 3: The teachings about Mary were there from the beginning. Dr. Pitre says in his book, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary, that we’ll be learning to see Mary “through ancient Jewish eyes” and that means seeing Jesus that way, too. May 8, 2019

Part 4: Two Eves This Evening. A few years ago I stumbled upon a painting of two women standing in the midst of what I take to be pomegranate trees in the Garden of Eden. The women are Eve, our first mother, and the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Mother Through Christ. It’s a brief post, but thanks to that lovely image, there is plenty in it to think about, to meditate on. May 9, 2019

Part 5: I promised me a Ros(ary) garden. I said in that post when I wrote it that 2019 was the year I was going to get my Mary/Rosary garden. Now it’s 2020 and I still don’t have it. Sigh. Maybe this year. Or the next. ;) May 10, 2019

Part 6: Praying to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints is Biblical. I was re-reading an article at Catholic Answers titled Mary, the Mother of God,* and a window popped up in the lower right-hand corner asking if I have devotion to Mary. Well, yes, I do, I replied. Then it said, Let’s celebrate, and offered me a free ebook about Mary. (I just checked and the pop-up link–from 2019–is no longer active. But you can still get the book at a low price from Catholic Answers using the links at the end of the post.) May 11, 2019

Part 7: Yes, she is the Mother of God, a post wherein I may rant. When I wrote this post it was Mother’s Day and it was also in May, the month of Mary, so I was studying the Church’s teachings about Mary because I am forever being accosted by people (even some Catholics) who do not understand what the Church teaches about the Blessed Mother. They don’t even know what the Church teaches, much less what it means. But to get Mary wrong is to get Jesus wrong. A flawed Mariology leads to a flawed Christology because the teachings about Mary are intimately bound up with the teachings about her Son. May 12, 2019

Part 8: Counting Prayers. One day as I walked along praying the Rosary, I was watching the birds or squirrels or something in the trees overhead. A man passed us going in the other direction and of course, he spied my Rosary beads. And he couldn’t resist saying something about them. May 13, 2019

Part 9: Cooperation, Eve in our downfall, Mary in our redemption. As Eve played an essential role in our downfall, Mary played an essential role in our redemption. And she still does. How, you ask? Consider these parallels. First, concerning Eve, then Mary as the New Eve, some points from the second chapter of Brant Pitre’s book, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary. May 14, 2019

Part 10: Divine Mercy and the Blessed Virgin Mary. ’ve written before about the connection between the Divine Mercy devotion and abortion. (See notes and links below.) Tonight I’ve been reading an article by Carrie Gress (also added three of her books to the booklist today) on the Hidden Connection Between Mary and Divine Mercy. She points out something I hadn’t really thought about. May 15, 2019

Part 11: The Age of Mary and the Anti-Mary. There is a war on womanhood, a spiritual war but also a war that we can see played out in the external world. We can see it in the media, in our schools (who would have thought that our schools would become places where an abortion giant would be welcome to teach children about sexuality?)… May 16, 2019

Part 12: Mary is the Antidote for This Crisis of Womanhood. The Marian Option is not like the many other options being written about now, based on saints and noble persons. Because Mary is not like any other saint or noble person. Mary is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, Full of Grace, Mother of Mercy, the Queen Mother of the King of the Universe. Those are some pretty important titles. And Mary is a pretty important Woman. (Ahem. That’s a deliberate echo of the Woman in Genesis, the Gospel of John, and the Apocalypse, also by John, the Beloved Disciple.) May 17, 2019

Part 13: A longish ramble about my longish rambling, the Church, the Rosary, and other things. When I was a young woman, fresh out of high school and no longer expected to accompany (I used to like that word) my family to church on Sundays, I began to search. I didn’t know what I was searching for, but I knew there had to be something, about reality, truth, the universe, more about how Christianity was supposed to work. I knew that someone somewhere had answers to my questions and I was determined to find that someone and get my answers, once and for all. May 18, 2019

Part 14: Purest of All Lilies. I got a new used book: Purest of All Lilies: The Virgin Mary in the Spirituality of St. Faustina, by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC. The back cover says that “the Virgin Mary is a spiritual mother of St. Faustina and us” and that the book is an “in-depth study of the very special relationship between the Virgin Mary and St. Faustina.” (My to-read stack is so long I may never get them all read.) May 19, 2019

Part 15: Beauty: Catholic Art vs Iconoclasm Past and Present. I shared an episode of Catholic Answers Live with Dr. Elizabeth Lev talking about her latest book, How Catholic Art Saved the Faith. Oh, my goodness, I’m enjoying this interview. When they were talking about Caravaggio I had tears in my eyes. Still do. Also learned some things I never knew about Michelangelo. Golly, I love listening to Dr. Lev talk about art (or anything, really). She doesn’t read from notes, her passion for her subject bubbles up from within and she draws me right in. Marvelous speaker. I wish I could take a tour with her through Rome. Now that would be a dream come true. May 20, 2019

Part 16: A new used art book and an unfortunate event. I found another used book online the other day and it arrived today. It’s beautiful! The Mother of God: Art Celebrates Mary, the inaugural exhibition at the John Paul II Cultural Center, organized by the Vatican Museums in collaboration with the Cultural Center. May 21, 2019

Part 17: Madonna and Child, some favorite paintings. Tonight when I opened [my new art book, The Mother of God: Art Celebrates Mary] it opened on the page that features that beautiful painting from the cover, the Madonna and Child by Giovanni Battista Salvi, known also as Sassoferrato (d. 1685). The painting gets nearly a full glossy page to itself and I’m so glad because Sassoferrato is one of my favorite artists and this is one of my favorite paintings by him. May 22, 2019

Part 18: For the thousandth time, we Catholics do NOT worship Mary. The Catholic Church does not consider the Blessed Virgin Mary to be someone to be worshiped. She is someone to honor, someone we have great, deep, abiding affection for, someone who knew and knows the Lord better than any other human person alive. May 23, 2019

Part 19: Warrior and Queen of the Angels. Mary is a Warrior Queen battling the Dragon, a video by Bishop Robert Barron, referring to The Woman in Revelation 12 and promised in Genesis 3:15. The video is less than 13 minutes long and well worth the time it takes to watch. May 24, 2019

Part 20: To end the culture of death, pray the Rosary and Chaplet. Recently I read an article by Carrie Gress, author of the Marian Option and the Anti-Mary Exposed. (Links at the end of this post.) She mentions a book by Shane Kapler, Marrying the Rosary to the Divine Mercy Chaplet. He says praying the Rosary and the Chaplet together invites Mary to pray them with you. Sounds good to me! May 25, 2019

Part 21: Queen Mother, Mary and Rachel. Contrary to what many non-Catholic Christians charge, we do not honor Mary at the expense of Jesus. We do not give her too much honor thereby taking away from the honor due her Son. Post includes two videos by Dr. Brant Pitre. The Queen Mother is part of a longer talk I’ve mentioned before and Mary and Rachel: Biblical Women in Travail, which is a sample of his Mass readings commentaries available via subscription. May 26, 2019

Part 22: Bishop Sheen, Fatima, and the Conscience of the West. This talk by Archbishop Sheen will go some way in revealing why I like him so much and why Fatima [the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima] means so much to me and not just to me but to countless others. And to the world, whether it knows it or not. Especially now. [“Now” when I wrote the post and now as I write this TOC in 2020.] May 28, 2019

Part 23: The Mother of Jesus. Men did not believe in the Gospels because they read about them in the Bible. They wrote down the Gospels because they believed them. Men did not believe in the Virgin Birth because they read about it in the Gospels; men set it down in the Gospels because they already believed it. It’s surprising how many people do not think about this, and equally surprising how many deny it when someone points it out to them. May 29, 2019

Part 24: The NT shows Mary as the Ark of the Covenant. Growing up as a young Methodist I heard very little about the Blessed Virgin Mary. After discovering the Catholic Church I began to hear about her a lot. But I didn’t know what to make of all the things I was hearing, and I made the not uncommon mistake of thinking that I didn’t need to pay much attention to all of that because all that mattered was the truly important stuff. This is an understandable mistake for a newcomer to Catholicism to make, but over the years I’ve heard plenty of Catholics mistake the Marian doctrines of the Church for lower level unnecessary (even optional) doctrines, too. May 31, 2019

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