Talking about Mary can feel dangerous, especially if you are a Protestant who adheres to Protestant orthodoxy. Sure, we sing about Mary at Christmas, feel her pain on Good Friday, and maybe even read a little about her in the gospels. But for most American Protestants, almost any other interaction with Mary is borderline Catholic. So we don’t talk about Mary, we don’t engage with Mary, and we don’t think about Mary. Life seems easier
When I heard of R.C. Sproul’s death, my first impulse was to pray for his family and–since I am no longer Protestant but Catholic–for him. My second was to turn to my mother and say, “R.C. Sproul died two days ago.” Death has a strange, self-assured touch. Everything stops in its tracks, but the fact of it won’t register. Not truly a shock, it is more a suspension, a cessation of movement in the vicinity
Advent Heavy lay the snow the last warm breath just lingering inside our gloves next to fatigue it slowed and chilled me and my brothers toying with a seam at winter’s hem until the cold was far too much we stumbled home and stood like living clouds of steam our thrown scarves garlands for the railing and the chairs Mother I even began to feel afraid when the last light topped its arc those slender
Images of the Shroud I stay up late at night searching for high-resolution images of the Shroud of Turin weighing the evidence and different theories. I can see the blood on his arms, ringing round the bicep and shoulders, running like tattoos, the wound on the hand, and those on the feet, ribcage, and brow. They trace a body on the cloth, the relic of a crux connecting earth to heaven, there to issue blood
The Holy Names I overheard a man who burnt his fingers, blew a tire, tripped a wire in the undergrowth and called upon the worst things he could think to say: Jesus, Mary, Joseph! The holy ones spoke to my heart too, their names leapt up gently as benediction. How good, I praised, that you are with us, Holy Family! How good that you become the curse of many! How good that they are shorting
Mary, Mother of God, Mother of the Church Given that yesterday the Church celebrated the memorial of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I thought that this week instead of my usual poem I would share a prayer, a traditional litany in honor of her beautiful Name. As I prepared this piece, I couldn’t help thinking that much of the prayer’s language will be unfamiliar to my Protestant brothers and sisters. It
Holy Week This week there is another, one more child lost within the darkness of my womb. How I have tried to care for them, and carry them, my life’s portion, delicate burdens, slowly forming crosses to bear–or prove unable to bear. As Mary watched her womb’s fruit, ripe in its own blood, fall on the road to Golgotha– once, twice, a third time, cords lashing around His crippled form, until it was impossible to
Question: Do all Marian and stigmata miracles produce Catholic dogma? A lot of these miracles are listed as “private revelations,” but it is hardly private when Marian Shrines are attracting millions. My concern is about the idea of Mary as a co-redeemer. Are all these miracles valid, and does this retract from Christ as Redeemer? The first part to your question is whether all Marian miracles, stigmata, and so on produce Catholic doctrine. The short
Exodus 3-4 is one of the most breathtaking passages in the Bible. God calls to Moses from a burning bush. Moses’ initial response assumes a submissive posture, “Here I am” (the Hebrew word is hineni). However, upon hearing God’s request that he go to Egypt to deliver the Israelites from slavery to Pharaoh, Moses doubts God’s choice. Even after seeing multiple miraculous signs from God confirming the call, Moses makes excuses for himself, “Pardon your
Theology is no good if done in isolation. God is a community of Persons; so are we. As followers of Christ, we are called to engage with the content of our Tradition(s), in order to better understand why we believe the timeless truths that have been handed down in Scripture. Conciliar Post is an apt forum for just this sort of activity. As an author on this website, I do not claim to hold a
If I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth (1 Tim 3:15).1 After an extended hiatus, we return for the third installment! This final chapter is a reflection about the past four years of my family’s religious life. I’ll attempt not to get bogged down in theological minutiae (featured prominently in Parts
A merry weekend to you, dear reader! Laura and her husband are moving to the West Coast this week, which means your weekly reads have been entrusted to my care and may have a slightly different flavour. I invite you to curl up with a mug of piping hot tea or coffee to enjoy some quiet reading this weekend. [The following articles do not necessarily reflect the views or mission of Conciliar Post. These articles have been
The figure of Mary in the Christian faith is quite controversial today. It seems, however, that the role she plays has been quite confused by both those who do and do not reverence her in their respective traditions. Further, these two parties often falsely accuse one another with regard to Mary due to great historical and linguistic misunderstandings and variances. The Christian faith has, however, given Mary a significant place of endearment in its structure
The title “Mother of God” is given to Mary in both the Eastern (Orthodox) and Western (Catholic) Churches. Used by early Christian writers such as Origen, Athanasius, and Augustine, the title seems to have been well established and widely accepted prior to its formal proclamation in the 5th century. This title is important. “Mother of God” carries with it the full weight of Jesus Christ’s deity.
Mary is a touchy subject for Protestants. I get it. Really, I get it. The majority of my life I sat in the pews of a very conservative Protestant Church with very Protestant views of Mary. If you would have told me then that in the future I would believe in Mary’s perpetual virginity, call her Mother of God, and be devoted to her in my prayer life, I would have laughed. At that time,
“Ferguson” is about systemic historical injustice that goes beyond a single case. It is about the mass incarceration of black and brown bodies, in which the majority of drug users and dealers are white, and yet three fourths of those imprisoned for drug offenses are black and brown. It is about stop-and-frisk policies by the police that target poor black communities, tearing families apart rather than rooting out crime. It is about young black males being 21 times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts.