Today is Mother’s Day and it’s also May, the month of Mary, so I’m 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.Continue reading
I was browsing the web, wondering what to write about tonight for the series. 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 ❤️ ebooks and the Blessed Virgin Mary so I said, YES. A few seconds later I was glancing through 20 Answers: Mary, by Tim Staples. Thank you, Blessed Mother and Catholic Answers!
I’ll just give you a couple of samples here. First, something most of us Catholics have heard at some point from non-Catholic family, friends, or even strangers: that the Bible expressly forbids praying to Mary and the Saints because it condemns all communication with the dead. Period.Continue reading
I want a Mary garden or a Rosary garden. I’ve been wanting it for years and this is THE year. I mean it. I’m tired of waiting. That ugly patch of weeds in front of the house just screams “Make this beautiful, please!” And so does the jungle in the back yard. So I will. I started gathering ideas for one a while back, well before that awful year of 2018. I’ll see if I can find any of those ideas. If not, I’ll start over. But it’s gonna get done! I hope.
Have you ever seen a Mary garden? Do you have one? Got any photos? Or tips for a newbie like me? Bear in mind, I need something low low LOW maintenance. And someone else will have to set it up for me. (This is so not the way I imagined owning a home would be, but what can ya do?)Continue reading
Did I ever tell you how the Blessed Virgin Mary helped me through one of the worst times in my entire life? After I had what doctors think may have been a heart attack, I was stuck in hospital with a breathing tube in my throat and a feeding tube in my nose for three weeks in an ICU. Normal people are unconscious while intubated. I don’t mean just during the process of having the tubes put in place. I mean, the whole time they have those things in there. Do you know why? Because a normal person cannot stand to have tubes in places where tubes ought not be!Continue reading
One of the books I’ve been reading recently is Medjugorje Revisited, by Donal Anthony Foley. I revere and love the Blessed Mother, and I accept the major apparitions that have been approved by Holy Mother Church. But I have never gotten a good feeling from the Medjugorje stuff. Never. When I was going through the conversion process, the strange talk about it turned me off totally. Still does. A lot is being said about the CDF and a possible ruling on Medjugorje being announced soon. (Not that I’m holding my breath. Rumors have gone around about this for many years. But it may happen soon. Who knows?) I’ll be on the lookout for that. In the meantime, I’ll continue reading Mr. Foley’s book.
See also the following at Te Deum. Not official, but for what it’s worth: Full translation of Gianluca Barile’s report on CDF and Medjugorje.
For more on apparitions, also see the excellent and unusual Marian Apparitions, the Bible, and the Modern World, also by Donal Anthony Foley. From the book description:
“This is an in depth investigation into the major Marian apparitions that have occured during the last five centuries. It relates them to secular happenings and important revolutionary events in Western history including the Reformation and the French and Russian Revolutions.
“It also argues that the major apparitions are not random or historically inconsequential events, but actually seem to follow a preordained plan, one intimately linked with the biblical Marian typology explored by the Church Fathers.
“In particular, this books looks at the importance of Fatima in the life of the Church, its links with the papacy, and its continuing relevance for the Third Millennium.”
Follow Donal Anthony Foley on Twitter: @Theotokos_Books.
Some interesting and useful links about Marian topics in general:
A collection of short Q & A videos about Mary and Marian topics at Catholic Answers.
A collection of articles about Mary in the faith library at EWTN.
An article by Fr. William Most – Marian Devotions and Apparitions.
A page at EWTN – Apparitions and Private Revelations.
A video by Fr. Robert Barron – Fr. Barron visits Lourdes: Mary, the Immaculate Conception.
A video by Dr. Scott Hahn – Mary: Christ’s Greatest Masterpiece.
A course, Holy Queen: The Mother Of God In The Word Of God, based on Scott Hahn’s book, Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God.
An article by Daniel Stewart at Fr. Barron’s Word on Fire – Gimli, Galadriel, And Guadalupe: An Image Of Our Lady In The Lady Of Lothlorien.
(Update, Mar 2 2012: Here’s the link to the bishop’s decree concerning Holy Love Ministries on the website of the Diocese of Cleveland. The diocesan site was down when I originally wrote this article and I had forgotten to go back later and link directly to their page. I wrote a new post about HLM tonight, too.
After discussing this with a new friend, I’d like to pass along her request that all of us pray for the alleged visionary, that she may be reconciled with the bishop, that she may be faithful, that she may be humble, that she may be patient and accept the will of God, even if that will is not what she would like. These would be signs of the validity and veracity of her alleged visions, or locutions, whichever type of revelations they are alleged to be. But those are not the signs that she has exhibited. In any case, I accept the bishop’s word and am not promoting Holy Love Ministries or anything associated with it unless and until the Church approves it. And that means when the bishop of the diocese where HLM is, in Cleveland, approves it.)
(Update, Dec 1 2011: The title of my post now seems misleading to me. I do not want to imply that determining the validity of “Holy Love Ministries” — or of the private revelations associated with it — is the responsibility of the Catholic laity. As you will see further on in the post, their bishop spoke out about this a long time ago and gave his ruling on it. Which was No, it is not authentic and the faithful are to have nothing to do with it. Period. The people at “Holy Love Ministries” refuse to obey. That certain other people insist on spreading the “messages” and the rosary is itself disobedient and I am disgusted to see advertisements for this group prominently displayed on the right hand side of each and every page of a well-known pro-life site. I have written to them about it and have mentioned it to them several times but have never received a reply or even an acknowledgement of my concerns.)
A friend gave me a rosary a few months ago. It’s an unusual rosary: the “Hail, Mary” beads are the shape of tears and inside each one is a tiny figure of an unborn baby. The booklet that accompanies the beads contains special pro-life meditations and prayers. I’ve enjoyed using the beads while praying the rosary, but I haven’t ever used the actual book. And I’ll tell you why. Because the text is based upon “messages” that were allegedly received by someone in Ohio who claims that the Virgin Mary has appeared to her for more than 25 years. Continue reading
(The following is something I posted on a forum a few days ago when someone asked why we Catholics make such a big deal about Mary. I get asked about this pretty often, so I thought I’d go ahead and re-post it here.) Continue reading