Friday, May 30, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Since May 1, Behold Your Mother: Mary Stories and Reflections from a Catholic Convert has been on a virtual book tour ! To connect to the tour while it's in progress, click here.
Our tour began on May 1 ... the Feast of the Ascension. When an angel taps on your shoulder and commands you to march .... well, it's time to start marching, isn't it? Too much gazing heavenward makes you stumble over your feet a great deal. There is work to do right here!
On that note, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the many thoughtful, lovely people who took time to read and review Behold Your Mother. I hope the reading blesses you as much as the writing blessed me.
Thursday, May 1. Catholic Exchange and Divine Caroline.
Friday, May 2. "Abba's Little Girl" and A Catholic Mom Climbing the Pillars
Monday, May 5. Postscripts from the Catholic Spitfire Grill and Catholic Fire
Tuesday, May 6. Paperback Writer
Wednesday, May 7. Embracing Motherhood (thanks, Donna!) and Storycrafters
Thursday, May 8. Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering
Friday, May 9. Storycrafters
Saturday, May 10: Amateur de Livre
Sunday, May 11: Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering (thanks, Sarah!)
Monday, May 12: Catholic Fire
Tuesday, May 13: The Book Connection and Snow's Place
Wednesday, May 14. The Book Connection
Thursday, May 15: Catholic Mom Climbing the Pillars and Catholic Converts
Friday, May 16. Mary Our Mother
Monday, May 19. A Maiden's Wreath
Tuesday, May 20. Book Stacks and Story Behind the Book
Wednesday, May 21: Buzz the Book
Friday, May 23: Book Buzz
Saturday, May 24: Cause of Our Joy!
Monday, May 26: Just Another Day (interview) and Spiritual Woman
Tuesday, May 27: Et Tu? Conversion Blog
Thursday, May 29: Karina at Virtual Book Tour de Net
If you just clicked through here, and want to know more about this beautiful tribute to the Mother of Jesus, please be sure to join the tour or watch the video here.
If you'd like details on our special "Tea with Mary" offer ... click here. Or simply go to my website, and order the book via PayPal or credit card.
Blessings .... Heidi
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Our Lady of the Rosary, keep praying for us ... that many people will come to know and love you! (And special thanks to Teresa Tomeo at "Catholic Connection", who ran our interview again today on the national hour in honor of Our Lady of Fatima. Thanks, Teresa!
On this date in 1917 that the first apparition of the Blessed Mother appeared to the seers of Fatima. Thirty years later, an apostolate called the "Ambassadors of Mary" was established in Chicago. Two replicas of "The Pilgrim Virgin" were commissioned and sent into circulation, to benefit those who are unable to make a pilgrimage to the original shrine.
Monday, May 12, 2008
* The Immaculate Conception (Mary was conceived without original sin, and remained sinless her entire life by the grace of God and the merits of her Son, Jesus, because of her role as the "Ark of the New Covenant."
* The Perpetual Virginity of Mary (Mary remained a virgin throughout her life because she was the spouse of the Holy Spirit, by whom she conceived the Incarnate Christ, and gave birth to Him without losing her virginity. How God accomplished both these miracles, we won't know until we get to heaven -- the Catholic faith is full of mysteries -- but we are obligated to believe it nonetheless.)
* Mary is the Theotokos (the God-bearer). This dogma developed as a direct result of the Trinitiarian andChristological dogmas of the early Church Fathers.
* The Assumption of Mary, body and soul into heaven.
Patrice has a gift for explaining core tenets of the faith with simplicity and grace. Be sure to check out her post. Please also check out Ebeth's interview at "A Catholic Mom Climbing the Pillars"
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Seems like the perfect day to blog about my favorite mother, who was actually present at that first Pentecost.
When they entered the city they went to the upper room where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
Mary was already on intimate terms with the Spirit, of course, who had brought about the miracle of the Incarnation. ("The Holy Spirit shall overshadow you..." the angel had predicted). And now she waited alongside her spiritual children, praying with them for the fulfillment of her Son's promise, for the divine mystery to be revealed to them. In this way, we see the three parts of the Body of Christ -- the mystical inner core, represented by Mary; the teaching and leading "skeleton" of the apostles; and the arms of service, represented by the other women "and his brothers."
All through the Bible, the Holy Spirit reveals Himself in two ways: through His sanctifying work, which transforms a person who receives Him and infuses him or her with a new heart, and through His charismatic action. In the latter case, He empowers certain people not so He can dwell in them and sanctify them from within, but so that He can act through them in the community and for the good of the community. ... These charisms are free gifts, given to people not because they are holy and not even chiefly to make them holy but for the service of the people of God. That explains how someone can be charismatic without necessarily being holy (p.126).
Kirkegaard, a philosopher who loved Jesus very much, affirmed that God has created two categories of people: heroes and poets. The hero is the one who accomplishes great deeds and even does battle with death. The poet does not do impressive deeds, but he sings about the hero and is enthusiastic about the hero; he is as happy as if he were the hero himself, because his own genius can be expressed in sheer admiration and devotion. ... For us, Jesus is our hero, and we should be his poets. I do not mean in the sense that we should write poems about Him but in the sense that we are in
love with Jesus. The poets speak through their songs and succeed not only in convincing, but in taking others along with him (p.132).
Thursday, May 8, 2008
* How can we say that there is one mediator -- Christ -- if we can pray to the saints?
* How is prayer different from worship?
* How is it that Catholics can pray to Mary without insulting the Lord, or His supreme place in our hearts?
* How can I call Mary my "mother" without dishonoring my own mother?
* (This is my favorite) How can you be so open about your own journey? Aren't you afraid of what people will say to you who don't agree?
If you look up the word "pray" in the dictionary, you'll see that the original meaning of the word was not "worship," but "ask" or "entreat." To Catholics, as it was to Jews before us, the heart of worship is not prayer alone, but sacrifice. In our case, the sacrifice of the Mass. It is within this context that we worship, we adore ... we are transformed. When we pray, we are asking ... Like any family, who we ask depends on what we need. Sometimes we ask our Father or His Son. Sometimes we ask Mary our spiritual mother. Sometimes we ask our brothers and sisters in Christ, here or in heaven.
You ask how it is that I speak so openly with people. In order to reach this place in my life I've had to be stripped many times over. I know what it is to put on spiritual pretenses with people, how it wounds and alienates. This kind of insidious spiritual pride does great damage within the body of Christ. And it is pointless, because the one who knows and loves us best, sees it all and loves us anyway.
We love Mary because JESUS loves Mary. We love Mary because God CHOSE Mary to be the mother of His Son, and because Jesus gave her to us from the cross (see John 19). What son do you know gets insulted when you pay tribute to his mother? No good son does ... especially Jesus, who even in glory continues to "Honor your father and your mother."
None of us would make it to heaven without the atoning work of Christ. In that sense, he is the one and only mediator between God and man. The Catholic faith fully assents to this, without equivocation. At the same time, we must be careful what meaning we ascribe to "mediator."
* It doesn't mean that Jesus is the only one who can intercede for us. If that were true, we could not ask anyone else to pray for us, for any reason.
* It doesn't mean that ours is a passive salvation. "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." "Put on the whole armor of Christ ... that you may stand."
* It doesn't mean that those believers who have gone before us to heaven are unable to pray for us, or are cut off from us like those who die without the hope of Christ. "He who believes in me shall never die."
It DOES mean that we must be willing to make ourselves like children again, to step into the light we have been given and trust God for the rest. It DOES mean that we may be called to lay aside some of our most cherished assumptions about who God is and how He operates, as we are given additional light and discover that what we have always thought ... is not consistent with what the first Christians believed, or what the apostles taught.
The Church teachings on Mary originate from the earliest councils of the Church, developed alongside the great Christological and Trinitarian dogmas of the 3-5th centuries. The first Church Fathers ... Ignatius and Ambrose, Jerome and Augustine ... all believed the same things the Church teaches now about Mary being the ever-virgin, immaculate Mother of God.
"Enter through the narrow gate ... for narrow is the path that leads to life, and only the few who find it." It means laying down the compulsion to have everything make sense within our particular intellectual parameters, and trusting God to lead. For He is infinite Mystery ... and we are poor and blind.
And that, dear sister, is why we lean on Mary. Not because Jesus is insufficient. But because WE are simply incapable of seeing the light at times, even when it shines right in front of us. "To Jesus through Mary." She is every bit as human as we are. She knows the pitfalls, though by the grace of God (and her Son's merits) she was kept from falling into them.
Do not let fear or pride rule in your heart. Trust God... and trust your spiritual mother. The same spiritual mother who took your own dear mother by the hand and led her to the Father. As an adoptive mother, I can assure you that there is room in every child's heart for more than one kind of mother's love.
Praying for you, always listening.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
It's not too late to get in your order before Mother's Day. Then again ... feel free to order from Amazon. Maybe we can bump it up a few more notches if we work together.
The fact that this little book is catching on the way it is, is another example of how the Blessed Mother operates. The first edition of the book had a much flashier cover ... not to mention stronger "marketing muscle" behind it, coming from a traditional publisher.
By contrast, this edition is simpler, smaller ... it is spreading largely by word of mouth. It's another example of how the Blessed Mother works in people's hearts. She's not one for flash, for grabbing attention for herself. Instead she lingers near us, drawing us to her so that she can "mother" us, and lead us closer to her Son, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!