Monday, May 11, 2009

Mary Moments in May

This month, "Mary Moments" are back and will honor motherhood -- and all parenthood -- on Monday, May 25 at Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering. The carnival will include a Mr. Linky or you'll be welcome to share in the comments if you don't have a blog or a website.

Mary Moments are where we share our Mary-inspired thoughts, reflections, tips, and everything related to our Blessed Mother. We'll focus on parenthood this time around, which doesn't mean you have to be a parent to participate. :) We all have an experience with parenthood, with someone who inspired us and helped us forward.

Spread the word and dig through your archives, if you don't have time to write something new (or if you haven't already written something in May).

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Great Way to Spend Your May

If you haven't ever dropped by Praying for Grace, hosted by the lovely Barbara, you should do so. During May, she's writing a Mary post every day.

Every day.

I admit, I'm impressed. I'm in awe.

And I'm loving them.

Which made me think that maybe you would too. :)

So go on over and check them out.

(Geeky technical note: that second link goes to what I think is the specific category for her Mary posts. The first link goes to the main page of her blog, which contains other good stuff, but may not take you right to the Mary posts.)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Kathy Sullivan Vandenburg, "womanpriest"

Today at Secretum Meum Mihi Press, Kristen West McGuire runs an interview with a "womanpriest" Kathy Sullivan Vandenburg.

Interesting interview. Kristen (who by the way does not condone Vandenburg's actions, but wanted to understand them better) conducted a good interview, which got inside the head of her subject and allowed us to see the progression of events that led this woman from the Catholicism of her childhood (pre V2) to her current state as an "ordained" minister under an excommunicated woman "bishop."

As a convert to the faith, as I read it I was reminded of why the concept of authority – handed down from Jesus to the apostles to their successors – is such a central teaching in the Church. People blame the Holy Spirit for all kinds of foolishness; sadly, we are susceptible to all kinds of self-delusions and rationalizations when we refuse to submit to the spiritual authority God has put there for our benefit. Once the hen is out of the proverbial hen house, she seldom sees the need to return until it is too late, and the fox is lurking at the door!

I don’t doubt that there are many, many women who have particular gifts that – in a man – would be useful in ordained ministry. And many gifts that women CAN legitimately use in ministry opportunities available to them. (God makes men and women equally valuable, but not interchangeable. Our calling – and our nature – is built into the fiber of our very being. Women bring life into the world and nurture it, and are a living representation of Bride. Men sacrifice themselves for the good of their families in other, but no less important ways, and are a living representation of the Eternal Bridegroom.)

The question, then, is why “ordained” ministry is so crucial in the minds of some women -- why they resent it that the Church is not authorized to ordained women priests. In most cases, sadly, the resentment stems from a disordered understanding of human nature ("male and female he created them"), as well as spiritually deadening tendencies toward envy and pride.

Like Ms. Vandenburg, I attended seminary as a graduate student alongside seminarians – but never once did it ever occur to me to covet their calling. The Dean of Students asked me about this once, if I wanted a priest’s vocation. My answer was immediate and from the heart.

“Why on earth would I want ANOTHER vocation? Most days it’s all I can do to handle the one I have!”

He laughed. Then he met my kids . . . and I think he understood.

One need only look at the Blessed Mother to understand the Lord's intention in selecting Twelve. She was present for some of the most crucial moments in Christ's ministry, and stood with Him strong and unmoving when all the others had fled. She was first to see Him enter the world, first on His heart after the Resurrection. Because her life -- like that of most women -- was largely hidden, we do not know how often she traveled with her Son physically, but she was clearly never far from His thoughts, nor He from hers.

How often we as women cheat ourselves when we give in to the temptation to be "just like men." God wants us to aspire to something altogether higher, for it is was what we were created to be: not an "ordained minister," but a life of ministry -- most of it unseen, unlauded . . . and noticed only by those who matter most. What reward is in store for those who are faithful to such a calling!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"Contempla a Tu Madre": My First Spanish Review!

I'm very excited to post this link and offer my warmest thanks to Silvia Amador, who was kind enough to publish this glowing review at her Spanish-language blog, "Creciendo Unidos."

Thank you, Silvia!

Orders for the book in the United States may be placed through my website. Those outside the United States may be placed through

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Month of Mary

The month of Mary is the month of blessings and of grace, for, as St. Bernard, in company with all the Saints, assures us, all grace comes to us through Mary. The month of Mary is a continuous festival in honor of the Mother of God, which prepares us well for the beautiful month of the Blessed Sacrament which follows it.

Because our vocation calls us to give special honor to the Holy Eucharist, we must not for that reason give any the less devotion to the Blessed Virgin. Far from it, he would be guilty of blasphemy who would say, "The Most Blessed Sacrament suffices for me; I have no need of Mary." Where, then, shall we find Jesus on earth if not in Mary's arms? Was it not she who gave us the Eucharist? It was her consent to the Incarnation of the Word in her womb that inaugurated the great mystery of reparation to God and union with us which Jesus accomplished during His mortal life, and that He continues in the Eucharist

Without Mary, we shall never find Jesus, for she possesses Him in her heart. There He takes His delight, and those who wish to know His inmost virtues, to experience the privilege of His intimate love, must seek these in Mary. They who love that good Mother find Jesus in her pure heart. We must never separate Jesus from Mary; we can go to Him only through her.
-- St. Peter Julian Eymard, Found of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers