“Mondays with Mary” – The Blessed Virgin Mary in the Old Testament

It is in the Sacred Scriptures that we see the Blessed Virgin Mary come alive for us in salvation history. It is through the Old Testament writings that we see the birth of Mary into the world. The Blessed Virgin Mary, although a creature like the rest of us, finds her origins in the Heavens (her Immaculate Conception), as did the Incarnation of the Word, for as the Old Testament scriptures speak of her, they also reveal to us the universal Savior and Redeemer. This is so because God willed it to be so.

When we read the Old Testament scriptures, as they were by the Early Church Fathers through a “biblical-theological exegesis” scope, in light of Jesus Christ and the Church, we find in the roots of these scriptures, a very strong sense of the Blessed Virgin Mary, theologically speaking, we find Mariology.

The document, The Jewish People and its Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible, produced by the Pontifical Biblical Commission firmly and distinctly says that the mystery of the Blessed Virgin Mary is found –

“…in the texts of the Old Testament explicitly and clearly. The genuine content of every revealed datum ‘finds is realization in Jesus’ (21, 6)…It has indeed been remarked that in the final analysis ‘we Christians, to understand fully the Scripture, not grasping merely the necessarily reductive meaning understood by the Hebrews, but their entire historical-theological content, must always read them not as if still Hebrews under the Old Covenant, blind in relation to the New, but as ‘Christians’ enlightened by Christ. This is to say, we must read them ‘in the light of Christ and of the Church’ so as to grasp the entire content, ‘hidden,’ but historic and real, of Divine Revelation contained in them and made manifest to us.”

Mary as New Ark of the Covenant - Icon

Examining the Old Testament scriptures as a whole in light of the Mariological biblical texts, we unearth many prophecies, Old Testament figures, as well as symbols, that all correspond to the Blessed Virgin Mary as “types” that are then fulfilled, or brought to completion, by her in the New Testament. We see the same “types” as well, even more so with Jesus Christ. Her presence in the Old Testament scriptures illuminates them in a way for us as Christians that that Hebrews failed to see.

These writings have been nurtured by the Early Church Fathers, through Sacred Tradition, by the Magisterium (teaching office of the Church) through the liturgy and through sacred art, from the earliest centuries to our present day.

To conclude today’s post, below are the “Mondays with Mary” where I written about these Old Testament scriptures in light of the Mariological revelations. Simply, it is where we begin to see the mystery of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Old Testament Scriptures –

“Mondays with Mary” – Mary in the Old Testament , Part 1

“Mondays with Mary” – Mary in the Old Testament, Part 2

“Mondays with Mary” – Mary in the Old Testament, Part 3

“Mondays with Mary” – Mary, the New Ark of the Covenant

“Mondays with Mary” – ‘Mother of Fairest Love’

“Mondays with Mary” – The Esheth Yahil (Woman of Valor)

“Mondays with Mary” – Symbols of the Blessed Virgin Mary

As I was writing today’s blog post, I realized there are some Marian prophecies, symbols and liturgical Old Testament Marian Symbols that I have failed to write on so far. In the upcoming weeks, I will focus on some of these for you.

Source:

Burke, Raymond L., Stefano M. Manelli, Luigi Gambero, Manfred Hauke, Peter M. Fehlner, Arthur Burton. Calkins, Paul Haffner, Alessandro M. Apollonio, Edward P. Sri, Charles M. Mangan, Enrique Llamas Martínez, Neil J. Roy, Etienne Richer, Vladimir Zelinskiĩ, and Mark I. Miravalle. Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons. Goleta, CA: Queenship Pub, 2008. Print.

Solidarity HealthShare: The Catholic Answer to the Healthcare Dilemma

Through a group of friends here in Phoenix, I recently discovered the Catholic answer to the healthcare dilemma that faces many people in our country today. With the rise of medical costs for so many from the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as ObamaCare), Solidarity HealthShare, which understands the commonality to care for each other as stated in the Sacred Scriptures, stands to be the answer for so many that would be subjected to astronomical costs from the ACA or otherwise go without medical care.

If you are one of the many Americans enduring this crisis of rising medical costs, I would encourage you to check out and join a community of health focused American Christians who seek to practice quality healthcare rooted in Catholic principles. If you are seeking to control your healthcare and the healthcare of your family as you see fit, then Solidarity HealthShare is the answer for you. Solidarity HealthShare brings together like-minded Christians to share together medical costs and as the Gospel of Matthew states, to be “reconciled to one another” (Mt. 5:21) in unity.

Solidarity HealthShare desires to rebuild and restore a true healthcare system that is Catholic in every way as well as promote the teachings and traditions of the Church through her social teachings, which are rooted in self-sacrificial love and the sanctity of all human life. As Christians families, you will “practice the sharing of material and spiritual goods (Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) #1948) and promote a network of members who will pray for each other and share in their Monthly Share Amount while growing together in a “human and Christian brotherhood” (CCC, 1939).

solidarity_opengraph

Solidarity HealthShare received approval from Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix on October 4, 2016. In his letter, Bishop Olmsted says the following,

“At a time when many Catholics and other people of faith face challenges in making the best healthcare decisions for themselves and their families, Solidarity HealthShare can provide critical assistance to navigate options that are available.”

The CEO of Solidarity HealthShare, Bradley Hahn, is very hopeful that this ministry will be the answer for so many families seeking another avenue to care for their loved ones healthcare –

“We have spent several years searching for a way to help other like-minded individuals, families and organizations pay for medical costs without violating their consciences or breaking their bank accounts…I’m happy and grateful to God that we have found and can now offer this ministry to the many people who have been waiting for it.”

For more information on Solidarity HealthShare, I would encourage you to visit their website and see the options available. If you are aware of a family member or friend that is need of healthcare, and they refuse to subscribe to the Affordable Care Act, please forward this onto them as well.

I would also encourage you to Like and Follow Solidarity HealthShare on Facebook and Twitter.

Don’t pass up this great opportunity to be member of a great Catholic community that will provide you with ethical and affordable options for your healthcare.

“Mondays with Mary” – The Prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes by Pope St. John Paul II

Since this Saturday was the optional memorial for the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, I thought I would share with you briefly the prayer of Pope St. John Paul II to the Blessed Virgin Mary under this title. This prayer was originally published on August 15, 2004.

Pope St. John Paul in Lourdes, 2004

Pope St. John Paul in Lourdes, 2004

Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman,
Blessed by the Most High!
Virgin of hope, dawn of a new era,
We join in your song of praise,
to celebrate the Lord’s mercy,
to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom
and the full liberation of humanity.

Hail Mary, lowly handmaid of the Lord,
Glorious Mother of Christ!
Faithful Virgin, holy dwelling-place of the Word,
Teach us to persevere in listening to the Word,
and to be docile to the voice of the Spirit,
attentive to his promptings in the depths of our conscience
and to his manifestations in the events of history.

Hail Mary, Woman of sorrows,
Mother of the living!
Virgin spouse beneath the Cross, the new Eve,
Be our guide along the paths of the world.
Teach us to experience and to spread the love of Christ,
to stand with you before the innumerable crosses
on which your Son is still crucified.

Hail Mary, woman of faith,
First of the disciples!
Virgin Mother of the Church, help us always
to account for the hope that is in us,
with trust in human goodness and the Father’s love.
Teach us to build up the world beginning from within:
in the depths of silence and prayer,
in the joy of fraternal love,
in the unique fruitfulness of the Cross.

Holy Mary, Mother of believers,
Our Lady of Lourdes,
pray for us.

Amen.

For more catechesis on this important Marian feast, I would suggest reading the following blog posts I have written in the past – Our Lady of Lourdes“Mondays with Mary” – Saint Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes and “Mondays with Mary” – Pope Benedict XVI on the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Our Lady of Lourdes…Pray for Us 

Saint Bernadette…Pray for Us

“Mondays with Mary” – Our Lady of the Rose

Today, we celebrate one of the feasts, which is not listed in the official calendar and feast days of the Church, but is still attributed to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today’s title is – Our Lady of the Rose, in Lucca, Italy. On January 30, in the arms of the statue of the Blessed Mother, three roses were found. From this point, this day has been celebrated as the Madonna of the Rose or Our Lady of the Rose.

Madonna of the Rose

Madonna of the Rose

So why is the Rose flower so important when it comes to the Blessed Virgin Mary?

If you think about it – in so many of the Marian apparitions, she is either carrying flowers, particularly the rose, or the rose has played a major part in revealing her message to the world.

When she came to us as Our Lady of La Salette, she was wearing a garland of roses as well as had tiny roses on her slippers. In the apparitions of Pontmain, Bannenexu, and most notably, Lourdes, and others, she brought beautiful roses with her.

The clearest time we see the rose flower is in Mexico on Tepeyac Hill when she appears to as Our Lady of Guadalupe. She tells St. Juan Diego to go to the hill and to collect the roses, placing them in his tilma. He was then was told to bring them to the Archbishop. When he arrived at the Archbishop’s residence to show him the roses, not only were the roses a sign, but also was the beautiful tilma St. Juan Diego was wearing. It was through the power of God and the roses that the world received the tilma. To learn more about Our Lady of Guadalupe, I would suggest reading – Why Nine Million People Suddenly Turned Catholic: Astounding Physical Evidence.

Blessed Cardinal John Newman said the following about Mary,

“Mary is the most beautiful flower ever seen in the spiritual world. It is by the power of God’s grace that from this barren and desolate earth there ever sprung up at all flowers of holiness and glory; and Mary is the Queen of them all. She is the Queen of spiritual flowers; and therefore, is called the Rose, for the rose is called of all flowers the most beautiful. But, moreover, she is the Mystical or Hidden Rose, for mystical means hidden.”

The rose is very beautiful, however, there is also suffering found in the thorns of the rose. For the Blessed Virgin Mary, the rose thorns are the reminder that like Jesus, who wore a crown of thorns, she too would also suffer along with her son. As the Mother of Jesus, she witnessed the terrible suffering and death first hand as she walked with him, stood with him, and watched him die on the Cross.

To learn more about Rose and the other Flowers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I would encourage you to read my blog post by clicking on the link above.

Our Lady of the Rose…Pray for Us. 

Source:

“Madonna of the Rose.” Roman Catholic Saints. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.

Madonna of the Rose Garden

Madonna of the Rose Garden

It’s Time to Tell the Mainstream Media #WhyWeMarch

In recent memory, one of the only main media outlets that mentions the #MarchforLife (this is a hash tag – see below) is Fox News. Along with them, you get the other websites, mostly Pro-Life, that also speak about the March, but from any of the other news outlets – it’s a total media blackout!!

It’s time for us to tell the mainstream media that we have been Marching for Life for now 44 years!

I never realized until recently how much the mainstream liberal media enjoyed covering protests, since they never covered the March for Life, which is a protest focused on our First Amendment rights. The mainstream media (#MSM) covered the protests after President Donald J. Trump won the Electoral College by a big number, they covered the “protests” from last week’s Inauguration of President Trump (although it was more chaos and anarchy than protesting), and they also covered last week’s Women’s March, which really wasn’t a march for all women, since many pro-life and pro-women groups were asked not to participate.

Realizing all of this has inspired me to write today’s blog post. It’s now our time to protest, and although many of us cannot make it to Washington, D.C. this year for the March for Life, we can still protest and bring attention to the March by making it trend on Twitter and Facebook. Many of you probably already have a Facebook account so sharing stories and news articles (such as the presence of the Trump Administration that are going to the March for Life tomorrow) are pretty familiar to you and it seems as if it’s already occurring.

Where we really need our presence to be is on Twitter. If you don’t have a Twitter account, I would highly encourage you to make a Twitter account today. So you might be asking yourself, what is Twitter and how does it work?

“Twitter is an online news and social networking service where users post and interact with messages, “tweets,” restricted to 140 characters. Registered users can post tweets, but those who are unregistered can only read them” (Twitter Wikipedia page).

To learn about setting up a Twitter account, “tweeting” and what a hash tag is, go to the article titled, The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter. There are other sites as well but this is pretty simple and he does a good job explaining things.

Once you have your Twitter account set up, get the word out there about the March for Life. If you feel bold in your tweets, tag the mainstream media left wing hacks such as @ABC, @CBS, @NBC, @MSNBC, @CNN, @NPR, and many others like the Washington Post, New York Times, LA Times, and really any news organization out there.

Encourage @FoxNews to cover it too, but I have a feeling they will since representatives from the Trump Administration will be present.

Encourage your local television stations and newspapers, which also probably have Twitter accounts, to cover the March for Life. To contact the main news outlets via email and feedback pages, please read the post titled, Media Blitz: We Look Forward to Your Coverage of the March for Life from the Diocese of Arlington (Virginia).

To help you get started, here are a few accounts you can start following – @March_for_Life, @LifeNewsHQ, @AbbyJohnson, @Students4LifeHQ, @SBAlist, @ProLifeBlogs – from here Twitter should suggest others and you will get the hang of things.

Hash tags – the two most important are #MarchforLife and #WhyWeMarch

Okay, my fellow Catholics – let’s get it done this year and show the mainstream media that we can protest too!

Pray for those still in the Abortion industry – that they may see their wrong doings and have the courage to leave that industry today.

Pray for all of those who have made it to our nation’s capital this year for the March for Life – pray for their safety and that voices will be heard.

“Mondays with Mary” – The Espousal of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Joseph

Although today’s feast day is no longer in the liturgical calendar of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, for many years, first beginning on October 22, 1517 and approved by Pope Leo X, the Espousal of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Saint Joseph was celebrated by many as the day that Our Lady and Saint Joseph were espoused together as a couple.

According to some of the light research I conducted last night, the Espousal of the Blessed Virgin Mary began when she was a young woman at the time prepared for her marriage. As tradition tells us, a few men came and to seek her hand in marriage, but all were rejected. She would be arranged to a simple and humble craftsman (worked with wood and stone) – we know this man today as Saint Joseph. He was known to be a just man of God, however, it seems he lacked the fortitude to ask for Mary’s hand. In the end, God’s Divine Providence and timing placed them together.

Mary was very happy to receive St. Joseph as her spouse. As we all know, she contained an incredible and blessed secret that was deep in her heart. As tradition also teaches us, as do the Early Church Fathers such as St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Gregory of Nyssa, Mary as a young girl made a vow of virginity in the temple (see my book, Understanding Catholic Teaching on the Blessed Virgin Mary, pages 42-45). We also believe that Mary prayed for a holy man who would respect her vow and protect her virginity.

The Catholic Church believes and teaches that the marriage of Mary and St. Joseph was real. Each of them accepted the other as spouse, which included all of the mutual rights. I say in my aforementioned book, “The essence of marriage is the lifetime vow of fidelity to Christ. According to canon law, consent (the vows) is what makes it a marriage. The gift of body is the expression of the vow. Mary and Joseph are truly married because they give themselves as total gift to one another, but not bodily” (page 48).

Marriage of the Virgin - Raphael

Marriage of the Virgin – Raphael

The marriage of Mary and St. Joseph has served as a model for Christian marriages since their own marriage endured trials. We read in the Sacred Scriptures about the Annunciation (Lk 1:26-31) and the worries that St. Joseph analyzes on how to send her away quietly (Mt 1:18-19). However, as we know, God intervened by sending an angel to St. Joseph in a dream to reassure him that Mary’s virginity was intact and that the child she was carrying was of heavenly origin (Mt. 1:20-21).

Being the just, noble, and obedient man that he was, St. Joseph witnessed for himself the plan of God in his life and in the life of his spouse. He realized how faithful Mary truly was to not only God, but to him as well.

To learn more about the history of the feast, I would encourage you to read the Catholic Encyclopedia page on New Advent. For those who are even more daring, you can read St. Thomas Aquinas’ questioning from the Summa Theologica.

As we remember this day…

Let us pray for the many holy and faithful Catholic marriages that are producing great fruit in the Church.

Let us pray for those who may be struggling in their marriages – may Our Lady and St. Joseph intercede on behalf of their trials.

Let us pray for those Catholics that are not married in the Church – those who are unaware that their marriages are not valid – pray that they, through the intercession of Mary and St. Joseph will come to be in full communion again and Convalidate their secular marriage.

Let us pray for those couples preparing to enter the Sacrament of Matrimony in the days and month ahead.

O Mary, Perpetual Virgin…Pray for Us

Saint Joseph…Pray for Us

“So my Fellow Catholics: Ask not what your God can do for you…”

In light of today’s Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States of America – Donald J. Trump, I found it fitting to share with you an excellent homily I personally heard last weekend at the parish of St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church. The homily is given by my Pastor and Boss, Fr. Will Schmid.

Focusing on the words of John F. Kennedy Jr from his inaugural speech, Fr. Will breaks open for us as Catholics the importance of what we can do for God, instead of asking what God can do for us. In his homily, Fr. Will also focuses on the Catholic Mass and the primary reason of why we attend Mass weekly. To learn the primary reason, I would encourage you to listen to the homily below.

He also focuses on the importance of discipleship and how the Catholic Mass allows us to be disciples to the world. Drawing from the readings of the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Fr. Will in a most excellent way, examines how important it is for us to give back to God instead of always expecting God to give us something.

He concludes with the words – “So my Fellow Catholics: Ask not what your God can do for you (because he’s already done it) — instead, ask today what you can do for your God.”

Fr. Will’s homily:

If you are interested, all Sunday homilies and Saturday Morning Speaker Series talks are available for download via iTunes and Google Play Music.

Fr. Will Schmid

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