A few days ago I subscribed to the Mass Readings Explained by Dr. Brant Pitre (link at the end of this post). I’m posting a sample of the video about the Solemnity from that series below. Even this little sample will help you answer those who don’t understand that what the Church teaches about the Blessed Mother is important, and not only important but necessary. To understand (and also to protect) what the Church teaches about Jesus we must understand (and protect) what the Church teaches about the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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Dr. Brant Pitre kicks off my new series, Books I Want Right Now. Dr. Pitre has become one of my favorite Catholic author-speaker-teachers and his new book is due out in August 2019,* Paul, a New Covenant Jew: Rethinking Pauline Theology. (Links at the end of this post.)

Protestants have tended to think of Paul as a proto-Protestant, because he rebuked Peter once, though they tend to ignore the fact that he submitted to Peter before he set out to preach. He allowed himself to be sent, in other words, by the Church which, yes, was already in existence before he was sent to preach and before he began to write probably the earliest of the New Testament writings. And because they misinterpret things he wrote about faith, grace and works. Paul was (and, as he is a saint and alive in Christ, is) Catholic and as far from being a Protestant as it is possible to be.**

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Mosaïque d’une des chapelles de la Basilique Notre-Dame du Rosaire (niveau inférieur) : l’Ascension. I think this says, The Ascension Mosaic in the Rosary Chapel in the Basilica of Notre Dame. From Wikimedia, public domain.

We interrupt our reguarly scheduled programming to bring you this important announcement: There are no ascended masters. There is the Ascended Lord, the One Christ Jesus Who ascended into Heaven. He was begotten not made, True God and True Man, One in being with the Father, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, crucified under Pontius Pilate, suffered, died and was buried. For us men and for our salvation He came down from heaven, and no one—and I mean NO ONE—goes to the Father except through Him. 

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A post in the Something About Mary Every Day In May series

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, as if it were some zero sum game with only so much honor to go around. “Oh, no, I’ve given too much honor to Mary, now I don’t have enough left to give Jesus, oh, no!”

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I’ve challenged myself to post (almost) every day in May in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

May is the month of the Blessed Virgin Mary and in her honor I’ll be writing a brief blog post every day in May about some aspect of the Church’s teaching about her, or a book or video I’ve found interesting and helpful, or whatever else I can come up with. So it’s Something About Mary Every Day in May—except for the first few days of the month that I’ve already missed. (Cuz it wasn’t on my to-do list and if it’s not on there, it does not get done. Got my handy dandy liturgical calendar planner now so hopefully I can keep up, at least better than I have been. It’s already May, which is pretty late to buy a calendar, but I didn’t have one so I did. When I order next year’s, I’ll post a link to it.) Hey, I should’ve named this, Something About Mary (Almost) Every Day In May. Hmmm. Nah, too late to change the graphic. It takes me forever to do those things because I am sooo slllooowww. ;)

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The Angels and Their MissionPeace be to you! Hope you had a very merry Christmas! Advent, Christmas, New Year’s, all passed me by, and the Jubilee of Mercy began, and I watched it all fly past as if I were Douglas Adams watching deadlines go whoosh. I’ve put off writing this, my 500th post for Catholic Heart and Mind because I wanted to write something Big and Important, something Significant. I’ve also been struggling to get back to reading and writing about Laudato Si’, but, to be honest, I’m feeling some real resistance to it. I’ll get over it and get back to it, eventually, or force myself to do it, but I haven’t yet. (I’ve also been really low on energy. The sarcoidosis has taken a toll the last couple of years, and reading and listening and taking a few notes is about all I’ve been good for. My dogs are exceedingly frustrated with me, I’ve been such a bore.) The result is that, for the longest, I haven’t written anything. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Funny how that works. Tonight I decided to go ahead and write a post instead of The Post and get on with it.

Just in case you’ve been burning with curiosity about what I’ve been doing with all this time on my hands–since I certainly haven’t been blogging–I’ll tell you: I’ve been delving into my theology studies and it’s been fascinating and inspiring. Been listening to a college level course by Dr. Brant Pitre, The Apostle Paul: Unlocking the Mysteries of His Theology, on MP3. It’s available on CD, too, but I’m the impatient type so I usually download these things so I can start digging in right away. The course is seventeen sessions, each one runs about an hour or more. I’m only on session thirteen right now, but most of the previous talks I’ve listened to two or three times.

Apostle Paul: Unlocking the Mysteries of His TheologyIn addition to the MP3 course on the Apostle Paul: Unlocking the Mysteries of His Theology, by Dr. Brant Pitre, I managed to get hold of three books he recommended:

  • The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle, by Albert Schweitzer (used, paper),
  • The Theology of Saint Paul, 2 volumes, by Fernand Prat, S.J. (used, hardback), and
  • The Angels and Their Mission, by Jean Cardinal Daniélou, S.J. (digital, Google Play, only because the Kindle sample I downloaded wasn’t working, and I was too impatient to take the time to deal with it).

The Unseen RealmAnd after watching a couple of videos (more about that later) featuring Dr. Michael S. Heiser and his work, I’ve decided to also read two of his books (for now):

The more I study about the angels, the more fascinated I become. Heiser is writing from a non-Catholic point of view, and I don’t know yet whether or not he includes the Church Fathers in his sources, but I still find his work very interesting. Danielou’s book certainly covers the Fathers; I’m not sure what all Prat or Schweitzer cover, but I’m hoping that Prat gets into the Fathers, at least a little. I’ll share more as I learn more.

Well, that’s more than enough about what I’ve been doing. Thanks for reading. May God bless you and yours in this new year!