Mary

Why I’m proud to be a woman of the Church

Photography by John Neff | Shutterstock

As a woman who is active in the Church on both the local and national level, I’ve had plenty of time to think about women’s role in the Church. I probably find myself talking about it more frequently than the average person, too.  The other day a friend brought it up, and he began parroting the notion that throughout history the Church […]

Mary as the Mother Who Cries With Us

"Pietà" (detail) by Michelangelo located in St. Peter's Basilica

I didn’t know what to say, and yet words of comfort seemed to come from my lips. We sat there, in the cozy Bob Evans down the street from the hospital, and I tried to keep myself from resorting to joking or bantering. As my mother-in-law ordered her salad and coffee, I realized I was not at a table in a […]

Reflecting on the Birth of Mama Mary

"The Birth of the Virgin" (detail) by Murillo

Most years, on Mary’s birthday, I’m recuperating from a Labor Day weekend involving a backhoe and at least one cookout and probably canning of one sort or another. Labor Day seems like the perfect backdrop for a reflection of the Blessed Mother, though. It’s a chance to stop and honor the work and toil we do in our everyday lives, […]

Trying to be Humble

"The Visitation" (detail) by Albertinell

  I’ve always found humility a tricky virtue.  Am I humble?  As soon as I think I am, it’s out the window, right?  “oh, and I’m really good at being humble, too…”  I’ve always struggled praying for it, because just like patience, the only way you’re going to get better is by practicing it!  So be careful when praying that […]

Did Mary Have Days Like This?

Blessed Virgin Mary with Roses (detail) Artwork © by Jef Murray

I didn’t have a good excuse. No sudden death, news of great tragedy, or personal fall-through. The clock just met 4:00, the kid of choice started with the customary late afternoon ranting, and it all unraveled from there. Somehow, the everyday things – the weight of my worries, the onslaught of my duties, the trial of just getting through the […]

A Woman Changed By Grace

Some place, some time there was a woman who woke alone on Christmas Day. The cachinnation in the club from the night before still rattled in her ears, the smell of cocktails rancid on her breath, makeup chalky, long hair awry. She’d hoped someone would love her. She’d waited in her car for the one who promised to rescue her […]

When My Martha Tendencies Highjack My Desire To Be Like Mary During Advent

"Christ in the House of Mary and Martha" (detail) by Johannes Vermeer

I woke up one morning recently and panicked about my failure to “plan” Advent.  After a few hours of agonizing about an approach, I concocted a plan of attack. “If we get an Advent wreath, make a calendar, prepare an empty manger with sacrifice straw and pull out all fifty of the Christmas books, I think we’ll be in good […]

Did Mary Have Days Like This?

Blessed Virgin Mary with Roses (detail) Artwork © by Jef Murray

I didn’t have a good excuse. No sudden death, news of great tragedy, or personal fall-through. The clock just met 4:00, the kid of choice started with the customary late afternoon ranting, and it all unraveled from there. Somehow, the everyday things – the weight of my worries, the onslaught of my duties, the trial of just getting through the […]

Be Counter-Cultural and Name Your Baby Mary

One of the signs that our society has changed is the spate of crazy baby names that began emerging in the Seventies. The decade that brought us sex, drugs, and rock and roll, also brought us Moon Unit 1, the name of Frank Zappa’s oldest daughter. She has three younger siblings, Dweezil, Ahmet, and Diva Muffin.  I don’t know their […]

Learning to Love our Blessed Mother

For years I have had a strong desire to write about my ever-growing appreciation and love for the Blessed Mother. Growing up as a Baptist, leaving that church as a teenager and living in a spiritual wasteland until I experienced a significant personal conversion in 2005, I never thought about Mary. Since joining the Catholic Church, I have gone through […]