Virgin Mary

Idol Speculation

2014-12-20T11:08:01-04:00December 20th, 2014|Categories: Patheos|Tags: , , , , |

Toppling the Pagan Idols Did the pagans really worship idols? If so, what was going on? To be precise, they did not worship idols as such, but they worshipped the gods who they believed the idols represented. But it was more than that. They also believed that the idols became the channels for the [...]

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10 Things to Remember About the Assumption of Mary

2014-08-14T20:44:14-04:00August 14th, 2014|Categories: Patheos, Theology|Tags: , , , |

During the twenty years it took me to convert from a Bob Jones University student to a Catholic I considered many of the Marian dogmas to be pious opinions. It was okay for Catholics to believe them, but why did they have to go and make them dogmas and therefore make it more difficult for me [...]

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History and Heresy

2014-08-02T08:29:45-04:00August 2nd, 2014|Categories: Theology|Tags: , , , , , |

The Cowper Madonna by Raphael "To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant" wrote Bl. John Henry Newman. As part of my research for a book on married priests I am reading Christian Cochini's tome Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy. It's a masterful piece of scholarship which examines the early church's views [...]

Joachim and Anna – Redemption’s Turning Point

2013-07-26T09:43:12-04:00July 26th, 2013|Categories: Patheos, Theology|Tags: , , |

In my own journey from Protestant fundamentalism to the Catholic Church the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was a stumbling block. I understood the doctrine--that the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived in the natural way, but by direct action of God was preserved from the stain of original sin. I also understood the reasoning for it [...]

Pentecost – Wind, Fire and Witness

2013-05-20T11:50:11-04:00May 20th, 2013|Categories: Theology|Tags: , , , , , , |

Remembering that the New Testament is hidden in the old and the old is made manifest in the New, yesterday's feast provides three powerful images from the past that converge at Pentecost: Wind, Fire and Witness. The mighty rushing wind connects back to the first day of creation where in the first verses of the Bible [...]

Holy Mary Mother of God and Mother of Me

2013-01-01T13:26:53-04:00January 1st, 2013|Categories: Theology|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Click to enlarge I had a Southern Baptist friend who thought it was amusing, when visiting Catholic churches, to wave to the image of Mary and say, "Hi Mary!" When I challenged him on what seemed a mark of disrespect he said cheerily, "Y'all say, 'Hail Mary' and 'Hail' just means 'Hi', so it's [...]

Materialism, Manicheanism and the Matrix

2012-12-04T10:16:24-04:00December 4th, 2012|Categories: Catholic Culture|Tags: , , , , , , |

Do you remember that stylish film The Matrix? The hero, Neo Anderson, exists in a dull, conformist, monotone and monochrome world. Then he wakes up and is "born again" and enters the world of adventure and risk which is the real world. What I find curious about modern American Catholicism is that it is similarly monotone and [...]

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