Tag Archives: Mary

The Encounter of Two “Yeses”

Typically, when I ponder the event of the Annunciation, I spend much time considering Mary’s act of faith in light of my own struggles with trust. I presume I am not alone in this way of thinking about the events recounted in Luke 1. However, today I would like to expand this reflection: 1. The “yes” that came first. Before Mary uttered her “fiat,” God was at work. This Fact is worth serious consideration and should surprise us. The struggle with sin following the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden, the constant turning to idolatry, …

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The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

December 8: Patronal Feast Day of the United States of America On December 8 each year we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  A solemnity is the highest ranking feast day on our liturgical calendar, and this particular feast day is also a holy day of obligation.  And yet the Immaculate Conception might be the most misunderstood of all our feast days.  If you were to poll Catholics as to what we are celebrating on this feast day, most would respond that we are celebrating Mary’s conception of Jesus.  But …

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“Is Jesus In It?”

A couple years ago, my wife and I decided my then 2 year old daughter was old enough to watch a 30 minute Christmas cartoon.  We only had a few to choose from on DVD, but as we thought of many of the popular ones, we were concerned they all had things in them too scary for a two-year old.  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had the Abominable Snow Monster, Santa Claus is Coming to Town had Winter Warlock… so eventually we settled on Frosty the Snowman. So we excitedly told Ellie that we had a …

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Where 2 or 3 Are Gathered: Home Edition

December 23: Fourth Sunday of Advent Gospel: Luke 1:39-45 Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment …

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How Can This Be??

As Advent approaches, we’ll hear the story of the angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary, and her incredible “yes” to her role in our Salvation.  But there’s another phrase Mary utters in that same exchange that has really struck me lately. When told she will conceive and bear a son, Mary asks “How can this be?”  That phrase has really stuck in my head.  When I step back and look at my wife and children I’m amazed at how blessed I am.  I know I’m not worthy of such blessings and I have to ask, “How …

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The Way You Do The Things You Do

I came across a reflection topic recently that totally surprised me.  It was first of all very simple.  Secondly, very obvious.  And thirdly, something that I had never managed to think of on my own before. The idea is basically this:  What would Mary do if she was living in my life?  How would she handle and respond to the very same people, responsibilities, and challenges that I deal with? For example:  What would she do right now, with this small afternoon that seems full of things I ought to get done, but is presenting …

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At Home with Mary and the Saints

People who are not Catholic sometimes wonder about Catholics’ devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the other saints. Catholic churches generally contain pictures and statues of Mary and the saints, often with vigil lights burning in front of them. Catholics will talk about their patron saints, or about praying to Saint Anthony when they have lost something. Sometimes they go on pilgrimage to Fatima or Lourdes or to the shrine of Saint Anne de Beaupre in Canada. Occasionally, it seems that Catholics are more at home with the saints than they are with the …

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An Accomplice in a Happy Death

Did you know that St. Joseph is the patron of a happy death? The explanation is really beautiful. St. Joseph is the patron of a happy death because he died with both Jesus and Mary by his side. Who could hope for anything more for that last, most difficult journey we all must take? My Grandfather just passed away. He was in his nineties, so I knew that his days were limited. For the past few years I have included in my daily prayers a prayer for the intercession of St. Joseph – that he …

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May It Be Done to Me…

  On May 31, the Church celebrated the Feast of the Visitation. Here’s a reflection on the day: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” Luke 1:46-47 As I work here at Our Lady of the Visitation today…Mary’s statement resounds within me. When I am in the flow of the will of God…my inner most being exults. No matter what struggles are in my life…there seems to be an inner calm…a certain “yes” that pervades my interior. There are really no words to describe it accurately. It …

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Why I Love Being Catholic

I really do love being Catholic, though that wasn’t always the case. Growing up in the southern United States, I was a minority among the Protestants, especially in the rural town of Statesboro, Georgia, where I went to college. I’m ashamed to admit that one day a professor asked my class if anyone was Catholic, and when no other hands were raised, I shrank in my seat. Today I would proudly claim Catholicism, but at that time I never had a full appreciation—nor understanding—of my Catholic faith. I do now. Here are 5 reasons I …

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