Don’t You Impose Your Morality on Me!

When teaching about virtues and the moral life, I often think of a discussion I had with a college friend. He was taking an ethics class with a professor who promoted moral relativism – the notion that there is no objective moral truth, no right or wrong. According to a relativist, all truth claims are subjective, merely reflecting one’s own […]

Knowing Mary Through the Bible: Mary’s Question — a Vow?

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

“How can this be since I do not know man?” (Lk. 1:34) Mary has only one question for the angel Gabriel. And it’s a question that provides a beautiful window into Our Lady’s unique spiritual life, but one we might overlook if we don’t read the Annunciation account carefully: Mary says to the angel, “How can this be since I […]

Knowing Mary Through the Bible: Mary’s Question — a Vow?

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

“How can this be since I do not know man?” (Lk. 1:34) Mary has only one question for the angel Gabriel. And it’s a question that provides a beautiful window into Our Lady’s unique spiritual life, but one we might overlook if we don’t read the Annunciation account carefully: Mary says to the angel, “How can this be since I […]

But Don’t You Impose Your Morality on Me!

When teaching about virtues and the moral life, I often think of a discussion I had with a college friend. He was taking an ethics class with a professor who promoted moral relativism – the notion that there is no objective moral truth, no right or wrong. According to a relativist, all truth claims are subjective, merely reflecting one’s own […]

New Wine, New Eve – Knowing Mary Through the Bible

"Madonna and Child" by Sassoferrato

Mary in the Second Luminous Mystery To run out of refreshments at a party or to not have enough hamburgers for a summer cookout might be an embarrassing moment for a modern-day host. However, to run short of wine at an ancient Jewish wedding feast would represent a social catastrophe that would severely damage a family’s reputation for years. According […]

Knowing Mary Through the Bible: Mary’s Holy Hour

"Madonna and Child" by Sassoferrato

Making Room for Our Lady One crucial theme in John’s Gospel can shed much light on Mary’s unique role in salvation history. This theme is so foundational that it will help us see how Mary becomes the “New Eve” and the spiritual mother of all Christians. Let’s look at this fundamental motif in the fourth Gospel: “the hour.” The mysterious […]

Knowing Mary Through the Bible: An Extraordinary Mother

"Madonna and Child" by Sassoferrato

“And he came to her and said, ‘Hail, full of grace. The Lord is with you!’” – Lk. 1:28 The angel Gabriel greeted Mary with a powerful opening line – but one that may escape the attention of many modern readers. For Catholics today, “The Lord is with you” may merely bring to mind the similar greeting we commonly hear […]

This Advent – Pray the Hail Mary Like Never Before

Catholics sometimes come across slightly defensive, almost embarrassed, about Mary. When asked by our protestant friends why Catholics worship Mary, we may quickly reply, “We don’t worship her; we honor her.” When asked why we pray to Mary, we might respond, “We don’t pray to her; we ask her to pray for us.” Such “Apologetics 101” moves may express certain […]

Mary’s Last Words

Wedding Feast at Cana by Julius Schnorr von Carosfeld

The Spousal Meaning of Mary’s Last Words Mary’s command to the servants at Cana – “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn. 2:5) – represents her last recorded words in the Bible. And they serve as much more than an exhortation to obedience. They echo the Old Testament spousal covenant of love between Yahweh, the divine Bridegroom, and Israel, His bride. […]