For every Christian, for every human being, Mary is the one who first “believed,” and precisely with her faith as Spouse and Mother she wishes to act upon all those who entrust themselves to her as her children. And it is well known that the more her children persevere and progress in this attitude, the nearer Mary leads them to the “unsearchable riches of Christ”(Eph. 3:8). And to the same degree they recognize more and more clearly the dignity of man in all its fullness and the definitive meaning of his vocation, for “Christ…fully reveals man to man himself. [Gaudium et Spes, 22]”
This Marian dimension of Christian life takes on special importance in relation to women and their status. In fact, femininity has a unique relationship with the Mother of the Redeemer, a subject which can be studied in greater depth elsewhere.* Here I simply wish to note that the figure of Mary of Nazareth sheds light on womanhood as such by the very fact that God, in the sublime event of the Incarnation of his Son, entrusted himself to the ministry, the free and active ministry of a woman. It can thus be said that women, by looking to Mary, find in her the secret of living their femininity with dignity and of achieving their own true advancement. In the light of Mary, the Church sees in the face of women the reflection of a beauty which mirrors the loftiest sentiments of which the human heart is capable: the self-offering totality of love; the strength that is capable of bearing the greatest sorrows; limitless fidelity and tireless devotion to work; the ability to combine penetrating intuition with words of support and encouragement.
John Paul II
Redemptoris Mater, par. 46
I’ll be sharing tips I’m trying to master from St Francis de Sales as I try to be more mindful of God’s Providence in the details of every day. Plus this show will offer a look at the life of Jeanne Jugan who became Mary of the Cross, and providentially, her life and work led to the formation of the Little Sisters of the Poor, the same Little Sisters you’ve been reading about in the news.
Finally, in this podcast, we hear some behind-the-scenes stories of the life of Catholic filmmaker Diana von Glahn as she shares details about a new film series for television on Francis’ 2014 pilgrimage in the Holy Land. This series came to be despite the heartbreak of Diana’s husband and producer/director staying home — and missing the pilgrimage — as he recovered from a heart attack. Plus Diana shares how this series profiles Francis’ pilgrimage and works, providentially, on promoting unity between Western and Eastern Christians. You’ll want to also hear the many interesting historical and spiritual details that Diana details about sacred sites in the Holy Lands.
You might enjoy this short video preview of the this new series from The Faithful Traveler…
This episode of Among Women looks at an important book and subject. It’s something that will help us in this election year, or whenever we need to discuss the Catholic faith in a public setting, or at a cocktail party, or among friends and family — How to Defend the Faith Without Raising Your Voice.
Today our Among Women segment features co-author of the book, syndicated columnist, and NRO Editor-at-large, Kathryn Jean Lopez. I’ve been blessed by this book’s great principles, and I hope you will be too! Kathryn and I will also discuss Pope Francis’ “The Joy of Love”, and Kathryn’s trips to EWTN and religious order foundress Mother Angelica’s funeral Mass, and also her trek to frosty Massachusetts for Divine Mercy Sunday in the Year of Mercy.
Plus we’ll look at the life and social action of Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey — an innovative educator and missionary from the early 19th century and the founder of the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny. Listen now!
Details to order books listed below! Check out some of these great titles!
Call Ave Maria Press at 800-282-1865
Use Promo Code FAITH16.
Sale ends June 19th.
I’m packing my bags and flying to the hills of scenic Southern California May 13-15 for a three-day get-away to share the love of faith, fun, and the feminine genius with the women of greater San Diego.
Join us for Whispering Winds’ 2015 women’s retreat! I’m honored to be the guest speaker for this retreat, and looking forward to talking, walking, eating, laughing, and praying together!
Whispering Winds Catholic Camp & Conference Center is located on 161 acres in the scenic mountains of the Cleveland National Forest, five miles south of the historic gold-mining town of Julian, about an hour’s drive from San Diego.
Check out their video of the beautiful grounds and facilities, below! I’m sooooo looking forward to this!
Last night I uploaded Episode 9 of Among Women “Espresso Shot”
– it’s a short strong coffee break of faith sharing and teaching from yours truly.
Our Topic: Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, (On Love in the Family), or as its popularly known, “The Joy of Love”.
I’m calling this podcast a “double espresso shot” because its twice as long — 30 minutes. I hope you’ll indulge me. In this podcast I’ll be encouraging you to read, read, read Pope Francis’ latest document following the two previous Synods on marriage and family life: Amoris Laetitia. I’ll also review the table of contents, offer some excerpts, and add a few personal thoughts.
Read the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, “The Joy of Love” (PDF form).
There are so many good links over at the AW blog regarding the release of this document.
Prayer to the Holy Family
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in you we contemplate
the splendour of true love;
to you we turn with trust.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
grant that our families too
may be places of communion and prayer,
authentic schools of the Gospel
and small domestic churches.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
may families never again experience
violence, rejection and division;
may all who have been hurt or scandalized
find ready comfort and healing.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
make us once more mindful
of the sacredness and inviolability of the family,
and its beauty in God’s plan.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Graciously hear our prayer.
The English translation of Pope Francis’ latest apostolic exhortation on the family is out today. You can read a PDF of Amoris Laetitia here. It’s over 200 pages long and there is much to read.
Perhaps beginning with the prayer offered within the document (found on the last page of the document, that I’ve capture above) might be a good place to start.
Here’s a sample…
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.”
You’ve likely seen this famous bible quote from John 3:16, but to explore its depth, let’s personalize the message:
God so loved me that He gave His only Son that I may believe in Him and not perish but have eternal life.
The Good News is that God’s love comes to rescue us in the person of Jesus. In John 14:6, He taught, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me.”
Those are pretty credible reasons for wanting a relationship with Jesus. But what truly shapes our belief is to know deep down within ourselves, not only that we believe in God, but that God believes in us. God wants us to know His love.
God Makes the First Move
God initiates our relationship. Indeed, the God of Glory has a vested interest in us. Building a relationship with Jesus means we have to trust this truth. Our belief is a response to God’s revelation of Himself and His love.
The attraction of Christianity is not that we are in search of God, but that God is in search of us!
God desires to make us sons and daughters—a family! By faith we respond to Him, offering our intellect and will, our minds and hearts. This is known as “the obedience of faith.”
No matter who we are, from popes to prodigals, all are invited into a loving relationship with Jesus. But we must choose. As it states in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), “Faith is a personal act—the free response of the human person to the initiative of God who reveals Himself.”
Steve Nelson, from Stillwater, Oklahoma, recalls a time during his graduate school years when he started to drift away from the Church. He said, “I became terribly self-centered and started down the road toward a very un-Christian life. One day, in the church parking lot, I encountered a friend of mine who was in his second year of seminary. When he challenged me on my lifestyle and absence from the Church, I remember saying something like, ‘If God exists, He should prove Himself to me.’ My friend would have none of it and told me that I had to at least meet God halfway by putting myself in the pew on Sunday morning. That was the turning point.”
Nelson soon went on to make Christ the priority in his life: “My relationship with Jesus is important because I remember what it is like not having one. [That] chance encounter in a parking lot [was] not exactly a burning bush, but it was a definite message by God to look towards Him rather than away.”
We are not alone in the building of this relationship. God strengthens us through grace, which is like jet fuel to launch our faith. The prayer of Jesus’ apostles inspires us: “Increase our faith” (Luke 17:5).
Now through APRIL 22nd — go shop at Ave Maria Press!
(And yes, Ave Maria Press is my publisher but “BBB” is not part of this sale — boo! — but a whole bunch more are on sale, so don’t miss it!)
Turn up the volume on your favorite hymns and rejoice!
Here’s one that moves me!
Or that oldie accapella one I posted from last Sunday, “Be Ye Glad”…
Oh yes, I love the traditional ones, too…