“Mondays with Mary” Turns 1 Year Old

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been one year since I began “Mondays with Mary.” Initially, it was going to be a four-week series that spanned the month of May, but the Holy Spirit inspired me to write more each week, and now I am celebrating a year of giving my readers Mariology – the theology pertaining to the Blessed Virgin Mary. My first “Mondays with Mary” was about how the month of May came to be the month celebrating the Blessed Virgin Mary. I even said in the blog post that this was going to be a short series unless people asked me to write more. Well humans didn’t say much, but as I said previously, God had other plans for me with this series.

Happy 1st Anniversary

Over the past year, my love for the Blessed Mother has grown even more than when I began this series. One year ago, I said that I had taken a course on the Blessed Mother in graduate school at Franciscan University of Steubenville and from that point on my relationship changed with the Mary. She is a major figure in my prayer life, only second to Our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s Mary that assists me in knowing Our Lord better. She truly acts as my (our) Mediator and Advocate in bringing my requests to her Son. She is the Queen Mother!

The biggest prayer she has answered for me over the past year is my girlfriend, Tara. I prayed to the Blessed Mother for years that I could meet someone as beautiful, holy, and fun as Tara. She completes my earthly life, because Jesus and Mary complete it eternally. Tara understands this since it is the same for her. Our Lord, His Blessed Mother, along with a few others saints in Heaven, brought this wonderful woman into my life. As I told her when we were first dating and say it quite a bit to her – she “speaks my language.” The time we have ahead is only going to get better and the Blessed Mother will be our Advocate through it all.

Someone recently asked me, “What are your favorite posts from the past year in regards to “Mondays with Mary?”” I said, “all of them!” Honestly, I can’t really say I have favorites since I enjoyed writing them all. The link at the top of this post will take you to all my posts from this year.

I hope you can read some of them and pass them along to others. Over the next month and the year ahead, it is my mission to provide you greater Mariology posts. I realized there are some great topics I have yet to write on. They are coming…all in God’s time.

Two more things: first, please offer some prayers up for me. I am thinking about compiling some of these posts and trying to publish my first book. Second, I want to thank my friends at “My Mother Mary” on Facebook for posting some of my blog posts over the past 6 months on their page. They are a true blessing.

“May she, who knows the sufferings and troubles of life here below, the weariness of everyday work, the hardships and privations of poverty, the sufferings of Calvary, bring help to the needs of the Church and the world, head the appeals for peace rising to her from every part of the world, and enlighten those who rule the destinies of men.”  - Pope Paul VI, Mense Maio (April 30, 1965).

May – The Month of Mary

Last weekend when I was home for my niece’s Baptism into the Catholic Church, I decided to wait to get her presents at the King’s House, a Catholic religious store, in Scottsdale, Arizona. As I was walking around the store, I noticed a small cart with books marked for sale. By the way, this is a great method to build up your personal library too – see Brandon Vogt’s blog on building up a library. As I looked through the books, one text caught my attention immediately! The text is a collection of documents on the Blessed Virgin Mary called Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church published by Pauline Press. As I picked up the text and started to flip through the pages, I noticed there were many documents that I had read before, but there was one that really caught my attention – The Month of May (Mense Maio), which was promulgated on April 30, 1965 by Pope Pius VI.

This encyclical on the “Occasion of the First May” is written about the importance of the month of May and how Mary through her intercession and throne brings mercy to all of God’s people in a magnitude of great abundance (remember: the mercy comes from God as she intercedes for us). I would suggest reading 1 Kings 2:19-21 to see where the Tradition of Mary as Queen began. During the month of May, it is my hope to write on her Queenship and I will start with this scripture verse.

A good chunk of Mense Maio focuses on the importance of World Peace. It was written at a time in the mid 1960’s when so much turmoil was occurring around the world in many countries (see paragraphs 5-9). In light of the HHS Mandate and threats on religious liberty, I would encourage you to read this document (it’s super short!), take it to heart and contact your local and state politicians. In paragraph 6, His Holiness Paul VI states, “we beg all who hold responsibility in public life not to remain deaf to the unanimous desire of mankind which wants peace…continue at all times to foster and encourage conversations and negotiations at all levels…let efforts be made to single out for recognition every true and sincere yearning for justice and peace.” He is talking about justice as defined by St. Thomas Aquinas and Pope Pius XI (Social Justice), not that distorted idea of social justice that the world and Catholics who don’t understand the true meaning of this term promote. I will touch on this topic in the months ahead.

Beginning tomorrow and the three subsequent Monday’s of May, I will write a post on Mary – The Blessed Mother of God. This short series will be known as MONDAYS WITH MARY. For this series to continue after the Month of May will be contingent on the response I receive overall from my blog followers and Twitter followers. Is Mariology (the theology of Mary) important to you? Do you have a desire to have a more personal relationship with Jesus Christ and do you think knowing his Blessed Mother will help? Are there things about Mary that you don’t know? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then let me know about it in the comment section of each of the posts or you can email me at catholictom@gmail.com to express your desire to know more about the Blessed Virgin Mary.

I will tell from my personal experience, since I took an entire semester course on the Blessed Mother in college, that once you attain more knowledge (academic and intellectual) about Our Lord’s beautiful Mother, you heart will be hers forever. There is a reason Jesus gave her to all of us through John the Apostle while he was being crucified on the Cross.

With that being said, I will conclude the post with some of the writings from Pope Paul VI on the Blessed Mother in his encyclical, Mense Maio –

“This pious practice, by which the Blessed Virgin Mary is honored and the Christian people enriched with spiritual gifts, gladdens and consoles us. Mary remains ever the path that leads to Christ. Every encounter with her can only result in an encounter with Christ himself” (MM 2).

“…the Church has always prayed from her earliest days, and in a special way calling on the intercession and protection of the Virgin Mary, who is the Queen of Peace” (MM 9).

“…let our prayers ascend to Mary in this month of hers, to implore her graces and favors with increased fervor and confidence” (MM 10).

“…do not fail to lay careful stress on the saying of the rosary, the prayer so dear to Our Lady and so highly recommended by the Supreme Pontiffs” (MM 11).