Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Mary Question

Many people, Catholic and non Catholic alike, find it difficult to get past the "Mary question";

Why Mary?

To be fair, there is more than one Mary question.

Some don't get why we need to go to Jesus through Mary.

Some wonder why Catholics "worship" Mary. (We don't.)

Some don't get how we can "adore" Mary. (We don't.)

Some don't understand why we pray to Mary.

All big, valid questions.

For starters, we need Mary because Jesus needed Mary. In the manner that Jesus chose to come to earth, He needed Mary to carry Him and birth Him.  Because He came as an infant, He needed Mary to nourish Him and bathe and clothe Him.  Because He went through childhood, He needed Mary to take care of Him: cooking, cleaning, sewing, teaching---being a mom!

Picture this; A child walks into the house with a friend that s/he wants to introduce.  Dad and mom are standing there and the child says, "Dad I want my friend to meet you.  Chris, this is my dad."  "Nice to meet you Chris",  says Dad stretching out his hand.  Mom is standing there, smiling, waiting.

Chris says, "Is this your mom?"  To which the child replies, "Yeah, but she's not important.  Let's go in the family room and talk with my dad for a while."


Christ did not make Mary's role, and her being, so important just to have us set her aside and forget about her now that her job of bringing Christ into the world is done.  Her job of bringing us to Christ never ends.

We go to Jesus through Mary because she is the vessel through whom He chose to come to us.

Secondly, we don't worship or adore Mary. Worship and adoration are for God alone.  We offer Mary something called hyperdulia.   Click here http://centeredinchrist1.blogspot.com/2015/05/hyperdulia.html
to read my previous post on this subject.

Finally, why do we pray to Mary?  Remember that prayer is conversation.  When we go to Mary with our needs, we are asking her to take our needs to Christ. We are asking her to intercede for us.  We do this for each other all the time. "Pray for me, please, I have a test to take." "Pray that I can find a good job," "Pray for my sister, she's going on a trip."  We pray for each other all the time.

In the Old Testament, when Queen Mother, Bathsheba, went to see her son, King Solomon, he got up from his throne and bowed down to her (he honored her).  (1 Kings 2:19)

Why was Queen Mother Bathsheba there to see King Solomon?  She was there on behalf of someone who had asked her to talk to her son for him (to intercede for him).  (1 Kings 2:19)

At the wedding feast of Cana, who knew the need of the couple?  Mary did. What did she do for them?  She interceded for them.  "They have no more wine".  (John 2:3)  Jesus, ever willing to please His mother, performed His first miracle.  Why would we not go to Mary when she has complete access to her Son at all times.  She is more than willing to intercede for us at all times.

But there is more.  What words did Mary say to the servant?  "Do whatever He tells you." (John 2:5)
Mary leads us to Christ and His will.  She still tells us to listen to Jesus and do whatever He tells us.


Notice the Rosary on the arm of Mother Mary, likely the most well-known Marian devotion.  In this devotion Mary, again, leads us to Jesus as the mysteries of the Rosary take us through the life of her Son.  As we dwell on the life of Christ, this brings us closer to Him as our Savior.

O Mamma Mary, O Queen Mother,  O Mother of our Savior,  pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we make be made worthy of the promises of Christ.  Amen

Friday, July 3, 2015

What's Your Isaac?

In yet another excellent homily, our priest encouraged us to find our Isaac.

What’s your Isaac? 

In the book of Genesis, chapter 22, verses 1-19 we encounter Abraham being tested by God.  God sends Abraham to “a place I will show you.”  He instructs Abraham to sacrifice his son, “your only son, whom you love.”

So Abraham sets off, trusting that God will again work His wonders and that “God, Himself, will provide the lamb for the sacrifice.”

Abraham was willing to give up his Isaac, his promised one, for love of God. 

Father Tom encouraged us to find our Isaac.  What are we willing to sacrifice for love of God? Because our sacrifices mean something in our lives and the life of the church, we are all called to sacrifice.  

Right away, though, Father gave me an out.  He said, “I’m not talking about sweets or the little things we do during Lent.  I’m talking about an Isaac.  Something we love and would have a very difficult time giving up. 

I breathed a little sigh of relief and went home and had a brownie covered in chocolate ice cream.  And, I pondered what my Isaac is. 

All day long I thought and prayed about my Isaac.  I pondered while I ate part of a chocolate bar.  I pondered over a mug of hot chocolate and I pondered while the chocolate from my s’more dripped on my hands and down my chin (hey we’re up North and it’s a holiday weekend.) 

By the time I crawled into bed, I knew I had found my Isaac.  It is most definitely chocolate (really the only sweets I like).  On any given day, I eat at least one thing that contains chocolate.  I also like a mug or two of hot chocolate, even in the summertime.

I have given up chocolate in the past.  It is hard for a day but I feel so much better without it.  Something always draws me back to it. Perhaps a birthday, we have a lot of those in our house. 

 This time it was my nephew’s wedding.  They had a dessert bar extravaganza and the parfait was just too much to pass up.  Thus, my plunge back into the chocolate abyss began.  (Being on Prednisone didn’t help either.)

Now that I have admitted to at least one of my Isaacs, I have to come to terms with going back to living without chocolate.  It is not something I can commit to for an indefinite period of time.   I always give myself a time limit and then splurge for a bit before I dig back.  I’m human and weak after all.  But dig in I will and reap the benefits of doing without, especially if I offer this sacrifice to God for Him to use for His good purpose in my life and the life of the Church. 

While I do without chocolate, I will continue to think about other Isaacs that I have in my life. I’m sure there are more things I can do without that will draw me out of myself and closer to my Lord.  I am certain God has changes in store for me if I am honest in my search.   So I will keep praying about it.

Now I challenge you. What’s your Isaac?