Mary & the Saints

"The Virgin in Prayer" (detail) by Sassoferrato

The Truth About Mary

Our Lord entrusts each of us into the care of the most blessed of all women—Mary, His mother. Sammy was a playful boy, like most of the five-year olds in my kindergarten classroom. Almost three feet tall with dark, dark eyes and dark, dark hair, Sammy possessed a smile that radiated from his soul. He came up with his own […]

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

God Chose Mary to be His Mother

The teaching that Mary is God’s mother was proclaimed to teach us that Jesus is true man AND true God. Each January 1 (the Octave of Christmas), the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.  I receive more comments and questions from non-Catholics, and even some Catholics, about the Church’s Marian practices and teachings than just about any other topic. […]

Our Merciful Mother — Our Lady of Guadalupe

In every approved Marian apparition, Our Lady has a specific mission. Each one reveals a determined and specific message—a unique and necessary goal. In the Anáhuac Valley of Mexico, on a barren hill called Tepeyac, Our Lady of Guadalupe came as a “merciful Mother,” a healer and restorer of all who are broken in body and in spirit. It is […]

Photography © by Mark Armstrong

Our Lady of Guadalupe — Come to Our Aid Again!

In December, 1531, a man we know today as St. Juan Diego began an encounter with Our Blessed Mother that reverberates to this day.  The fifty-six-year-old Juan Diego was a simple, humble, mat-weaver by trade when he came upon Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico.  His indigenous Aztec name, Cuauhtlatatzin, means “the eagle that talks.” Juan’s encounter with Mary would eventually lead […]

"The Maccabees" by Wojciech Stattler [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Capitulation, Complacency, and the Courage of the Maccabees

This week in the first readings at Mass, we have been hearing the story of the Maccabean revolt against Antiochus Epiphanes. If you haven’t had the chance to hear the readings at Mass, it is worth reading them for a good overview of this important event in the history of the Jewish people. The first and second books of Maccabees […]

Photography © by Mark Armstrong

Father Solanus Casey is Now Blessed

On the Road to the Beatification of Father Solanus Casey; a special series for the Integrated Catholic Life by Mark Armstrong The Heavens were weeping today, Saturday, November 18, 2017, over Detroit, Michigan.  Not for sadness, but for joy.  The pouring rain did not stop the nearly 70,000 people from streaming inside to Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, […]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

Holiness: Not one size fits all

Have you ever noticed that things marked “one size fits all” rarely do? “One size fits all” is simply not the way humanity works. We’re all quite different, whether it’s the length of our arms and the girth of our waists or the extravertedness of our temperament and the sensitivity of our emotions. We will all follow different paths, while […]

Father Solanus seated in his Capuchin habit with his family on his parents' 50th anniversary in 1913. (Courtesy of the Father Solanus Casey Guild)

Three Things about Father Solanus Casey You May Not Know

On the Road to the Beatification of Father Solanus Casey; a special series for the Integrated Catholic Life by Mark Armstrong Tomorrow (11-18-17) is the Beatification Mass in Detroit, Michigan for Father Solanus Casey—over 66,000 people will be there. Yesterday we left Bismarck, North Dakota, overnighted with our son and his young family near St. Paul, Minnesota, and got up […]

Father Solanus Casey, Servant to Those in Need (Courtesy of the Father Solanus Casey Guild)

On the Road to the Beatification of Father Solanus Casey in Detroit

On the Road to the Beatification of Father Solanus Casey; a special series for the Integrated Catholic Life by Mark Armstrong A couple of months ago when my lovely bride of nearly thirty-seven years told me she got an assignment to cover the Beatification Mass for Father Solanus Casey, I offered to drive her from our home in Bismarck, North […]

"Sermon on the Mount" St. Matthew's Church altarpiece by Henrik Olrik

The New Evangelization and the Nones

On Monday this week I had the joy to attend the Erasmus Lecture in New York sponsored annually by First Things magazine. It has a rich history, starting in 1988 when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger inaugurated the tradition. This year the Lecture was given by Bishop Robert Barron, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, creator of the Catholicism Series, founder of Word […]