Reflecting on 21 Centuries of Faith

Tag Archives: Mary

Queen of Hearts

Monaco_coronationTwenty-three years ago on August 16, my father approached me and asked me to give him three good reasons why I should not propose to my now wife, Christine Lynn that very day. I came up with two reasonable and responsible reasons that he tossed by the way side with ease. The third, which I thought to be a clincher, was that I wanted to propose on a Marian feast day. Little did I know that the Queenship of Mary was in just six days. Through my dad’s encouragement and the intercession of our Lady, Christine said, “Yes!”

Today’s feast is close to our hearts and we have relied on her intercession under her title, Queen of Heaven and Earth throughout our entire marriage. She has intercession has carried our family through every triumph and trial we have faced.

Christine Lynn, thank you for saying “yes” and raising the beautiful children that the Lord has entrusted to us. You are a beautiful woman of God who reminds me of our Lady’s maternity and sovereignty through service.

Milady de Miriam, thank you for arranging this marriage and watching our children. Please ensure that we all return home safely to our heavenly Father. May we, and our future progeny, serve you with fidelity, fealty and familial love.

Here are some great quotes about the Queenship of Mary:

Mary has the authority over the angels and the blessed in heaven. As a reward for her great humility, God gave her the power and mission of assigning to saints the thrones made vacant by the apostate angels who fell away through pride. Such is the will of the almighty God who exalts the humble, that the powers of heaven, earth and hell, willingly or unwillingly, must obey the commands of the humble Virgin Mary. For God has made her queen of heaven and earth, leader of his armies, keeper of his treasure, dispenser of his graces, mediatrix on behalf of men, destroyer of his enemies, and faithful associate in his great works and triumphs. – St. Louis Marie de Montfort

To serve the Queen of Heaven is already to reign there, and to live under her commands is more than to govern. – St. John Vianney

She is more Mother than Queen. – St. Therese of Lisieux

Let the storm rage and the sky darken – not for that shall we be dismayed. If we trust as we should in Mary, we shall recognize in her, the Virgin Most Powerful “who with virginal foot did crush the head of the serpent”. – Pope Saint Pius X

Let us pray:

August Queen of Heaven, sovereign queen of Angels, you who at the beginning received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan, we beseech you humbly, send your holy legions so that, on your orders and by your power, they will track down demons, fight them everywhere, curb their audacity and plunge them into the abyss. Who can be compared to God? Oh good and tender Mother, you will always be our love and our hope. Oh divine Mother, send the Holy Angels and Archangels to defend me and to keep the cruel enemy far from me. Holy Angels and Archangels defend us, protect us. Amen. (Prayer to Our Lady, Queen of Angels)

 

 

What Good Could Come from Nazareth: O Radix Jesse

Root_of_Jesse.theotokosOver the past eight years, my son Nicholas has devastated three lawn mowers. The main culprit is the Cherry tree roots. He has run over the root a number of times and inevitably bent the blade and the drive shaft. Several times. Three to be exact. And yet, I should not complain because I did not have to mow the lawn.

What has amazed me is the constitution of the tree. Even more amazing is that from this macerated root a Rose of Sharon bush has sprung forth producing beautiful blooms. It seems that nature always finds away – even amidst damaged roots.

Today’s O Antiphon is a great reminder of this principal. When humanity was splintered and the favored people were cut to the root, the Lord found a way and from the stump of Jesse a Savior would come:

O Root of Jesse, that stands for an ensign of the people, before whom the kings keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication: come, to deliver us, and tarry not.

A promise of salvation (Genesis 3:15), a once and future king (Psalm 132:11), a hopeful question (John 1:46) and a savior coming forth from the city of the branch (ne·er, נֵ֫צֶר) who became the Savior (Mark 1:9).

Tonight, Isaiah stirs our heart and reminds us to allow the gospel to dig deep and establish a strong root in Christ Jesus.

Holy Spirit, plunge your blade (Hebrews 4:12) into the fallow ground (Jeremiah 4:3 and Hosea 10:12) of my heart that your word will take root (Matthew 13). O Radix Jesse, allow a new springtime (Zechariah 10:1, Song of Songs 2:11, Isaiah 35: 1-10) to ensue as the time of your Nativity draws near.

Encourage & Teach: Mary, Model of Perfect Love

Statue-Ann-Mary-JesusWhen discussing the generation of our Lord within the Blessed Trinity among the youth, I sometimes explain it in this manner:

The Son is the Father’s infinite and eternal act of self-reflection from everlasting to everlasting.

“When the Father mirrored Himself in the infinite, he produced one Image with all the perfections of the Infinite,” and we call Him Jesus, the Son of God.

Creation, on the other hand, is a type of mirroring of God, but not such that it is an emanation (Catechism of the Catholic Church 300), but an expression of His wisdom and love (CCC 295). We might think, too, that the Father would need to create a perfect mirroring of Himself in the finite creation, but He does not need to see Himself thus. (Read more…)

Encourage & Teach: Led to Victory by Mary and the Holy Rosary

OurLadyRosaryMy paternal grandmother converted from Buddhism to Catholicism at the young age of 13. As the story is told, she was passing by St. Theresa’s Church in Honolulu one day and heard the music from within the Church. She walked in, talked to the priest, and was received into the Church after a short period of catechesis. As I think back on my childhood, I have no memory of her ever going to bed without the Sacred Scripture in one hand and a Rosary in the other. She was fiercely loyal to Our Lady and devoured Scripture. Happily, she passed on the fervor of both to me. (Read more…)

Encourage & Teach: Child-like Faith, Legends, and Spiderwebs

Macro-Dew-CobwebLast night at 10:29 p.m., the Autumnal Equinox occurred. This means fall has begun (except for the meteorologists that set it on September 1). Mother Nature even assisted last night with some brisk air to remind us that fall has indeed arrived. Nature itself is preparing for its Advent retreat and so are many of Our Lord’s creatures.

Take, for instance, the spider. It is at this time that a number of spider younglings hatch from their eggs. After their exoskeleton hardens, the spiders find the highest point, release a strand of their silken web and let the wind carry it wherever the autumnal wind wills (You remember, like in Charlotte’s Web). This silken thread of web is known colloquially as gossamer.(Read more…)

Encourage & Teach: Honoring Our Lady through Customs

5177-assumption-of-the-virgin-francesco-granacci1This Friday, August 15, marks the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It marks when the Blessed Virgin was taken up by the Holy Trinity, body and soul into glory. The significance of this mystery should not be understated. As the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy (Directory) states it, “This is an ancient memorial of the Mother of God, which signifies and synthesizes many of the truths of the faith” (Directory, 180). (Read more…)

Encourage & Teach: The Fruitful Madonna

christ-child-madonna-of-pomegranate-sandro-botticelliImages are compact carriers of meaning. They have the ability to communicate volumes of information with a glance and, at times, provide hours of fruitful meditation with just a little informed reflection. Signs and symbols are a tool to bridge the learning gap which, during various parts of history, was important –the prince and pauper are suddenly both able to learn regardless of education.

Artists over the centuries have used many symbols and images to communicate and teach us about our faith. Many of these great masters have used natural symbols, illustrations from Sacred Scripture, and, at times, they have redeemed and Christianized ancient mythological symbols.(Read more…)

Slave of Jesus in Mary

Mistress of HeavenI received an email today with a common question for those who read St. Louis de Montfort. I thought I would share how I attempted to answer the question. Hopefully what follows will bring some ease to using the phrase, “slave of Mary.” It seems to be a term that incites a visceral reaction.

I think the issues are two-fold. The first issue is that we live in a time that only understands slavery in terms of its southern abolition or human trafficking. It is true that slavery has been a part of civilization since the beginning but there is a way to understand slavery and its close term servant.

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Encourage & Teach: Finding Mary In Your Garden

sunflowerThe best memories my grandmother formed with me all revolved around working with her in her gardens. In fact, the majority of her backyard was a garden. It is probably for this reason why I love working in gardens (even though I have little time to do so lately) and have developed a great appreciation for so many different flowers – all of which my wife appreciates every two weeks. I also do not find it a coincidence that I was given a lifelong penance during my sophomore year of college to meditate on John 15 (Vine and the branches) every time I work in my yard or garden. (Read more…)

Happy Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows!

our_lady_of_sorrows_by_wooferduff-d4hjfj9Happy Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows! Wait?!? You thought it was September 15? Silly Catholic, you are correct. However, prior to the reform of the liturgy at the Second Vatican Council, there were two Feasts of Our Lady of Sorrows…and one of them, was today.

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