Blessed Virgin Mary

Love’s Greatest Gift

"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Murillo

“I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) Merry Christmas! I love holidays. I love family. The two just seem to go together, don’t they?. Some holidays are joyful gatherings, some not so much. We are all too human, as the saying goes. But I say, give me holidays and family any day; warts and […]

Encountering the Word — Luke 2:4-6

Photography © by Andy Coan

“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered.” (Luke 2:4-6) Please share on […]

Mary, Ark of the New Covenant, Leads Us to Her Son

"The Visitation" (detail) by Albertinell

We have arrived at the final Sunday of Advent. Christmas is just two days away. Hopefully, we have all completed our shopping and decorating. Our children have all mailed their letters to Santa! Many of us are completing preparations for our families to gather together to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child. I just learned that yesterday—the Saturday before […]

Mary as a Model of Faith

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Gospel of Luke presents Mary, mother of Jesus,  as the model of faith, showing us what faith must include to be authentic and effective.  And imitating Mary’s virtue is key to an authentic Marian devotion and an adequate understanding of the deepest meaning of the Immaculate Conception — that it’s all about grace. Reflection on the Mass readings for […]

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 […]

Daily Quote — St. Alphonsus Maria de’ Liguori

“Hence, from the first moment of her existence, she began to love God with all her strength and gave herself wholly to him. But her most holy soul awaited with earnest desire the time when she could, in reality, consecrate herself entirely, and with a public solemnity, to God. Let us consider, then, with how great a fervor the loving […]

Seven Ways Devotion to Saints makes a Difference

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

One good way of understanding my belief is to ask: What differences does it make? Devotion to saints makes at least seven important differences to Catholics. In each case, fundamentalists find Catholicism too mystical for their tastes. First, saints make a difference to our prayer. We’re not alone when we pray. We’re surrounded by saints. If there was any one […]

Seven Aspects of Mary’s Sanctity

Now, except on the one issue of “praying to” saints, most of the differences between us [Catholics and Fundamentalists] are matters of emphasis or sensibility rather than doctrine. But when it comes to Mary, the greatest saint, doctrine sharply divides. Fundamentalists call Mariology “Mariolatry.” Passions run higher on this than on any other issue. Yet here too there’s a difference […]