The NT shows Mary as the Ark of the Covenant

This is the last of the Something About Mary Every Day In May (2019) series.

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. I’ve heard people say, “as long as we agree on the essential things we’re all okay,” but that’s just it: we do not agree on the essentials. We don’t even agree on what the essentials are. (Links at the end of this post.)

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The Mother of Jesus

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

I just discovered a treasure trove of audio: Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen’s Life is Worth Living talks in MP3 format,  LINK and especially for our series on Mary, his talk on The Mother of Jesus. LINK I’m listening to it now. In these Life is Worth Livng talks, Archbishop Sheen is not speaking before a live audience but is, if memory serves, sitting at a desk and speaking into a microphone. The recordings would then be pressed onto discs. (Disks? I can never remember which spelling is which, and I think I’ve read conflicting things anyway.) The audio can be scratchy at times but I don’t care. I feel like he’s sitting down and talking with me.

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Bishop Sheen, Fatima, and the Conscience of the West

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

I never got to watch Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen when I was growing up. I think I’d only heard about him and I’d seen photos of him. Sometime around my conversion (give or take a few years) I saw his program, Life is Worth Living, on EWTN and realized what I’d been missing. (Video of Bishop Sheen below, links at the end of this post.)

Our Lady of Fatima, Portugal, 100 year anniversary. Free wallpaper from WallPaperCave.

At that time I still didn’t now what to make of Marian apparitions and it would be some years before I would dip my toe in the water. But now that I have, one apparition in particular means a lot to me. In Catholic-speak I would say I have devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. This talk by Archbishop Sheen will go some way in revealing why I like him so much and why Fatima means so much to me and not just me but countless others. And to the world, whether it knows it or not. Especially now.

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Queen Mother, Mary and Rachel

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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For the thousandth time, we Catholics do NOT worship Mary

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

Non-Catholic Christians on Twitter ask me this question a lot: “So why do you Catholics worship Mary?” 

And I answer: “We do not worship Mary.” 

Non-Catholic: “You sure do seem to.” 

Me: “But we don’t.” 

NC: “I think you do.”

Me: “And I know we don’t.”

This can go on for as long as we can both stand it. Which usually isn’t very long. So let me address it here: 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.

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Madonna and Child, some favorite paintings

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

In the previous post I shared a little something about one of my new used books, The Mother of God: Art Celebrates Mary, but I didn’t have time to do much more than mention it. Tonight I want to begin looking inside it and I’ll share that with you. I can’t reproduce the works from the book without violating copyright, but I’ll share what I can find in the public domain where possible. (Links at the end of this post.)

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Mary is the Antidote for This Crisis of Womanhood

Banner for the series
A post in the Something About Mary Every Day in May series.

Mary is the antidote for the crisis of womanhood we find ourselves facing. 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. More on that in posts about another book, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary.)

“God really sends the antidote to the problem of each era…What we’re really facing in the culture today is a crisis of womanhood, so in light of that it makes perfect sense that our Lady would be the antidote to that. Those who have devotion to her, who are striving to be like her, would be the ones that can renew the culture based on the kinds of destruction we’re seeing in western civilization.”

Carrie Gress on Women of Grace. (1) talking about her book, the Marian Option. (2)

Watch the video here on the blog for the rest of that interview. Other links follow the end of this post.

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The teachings about Mary were there from the beginning

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

I waited as long as I could. I had an unreasonable hope that Verbum would release an edition of Brant Pitre’s new book, Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary, quick, fast, and in a hurry. But they hand-tag their books and that takes time, and I don’t even know if they have any plans to do this one, so I’ll just have to get a Verbum edition later if one becomes available. Because I gave in and bought the ebook. (Downloadable books, ah, sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found thee! Well, not at last because I found thee years ago, and now I have that Etta James song stuck in my head.) ;)

Back to the book. Looking at the table of contents, we’ve got:

  • New Eve, 
  • Queen Mother, 
  • Perpetual Virgin, 
  • Birth of the Messiah (and I don’t mean that Fr. Raymond Brown* book), 
  • the New Rachel, and 
  • At the Foot of the Cross.
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