Etsy vs. Pinterest

This blog post is an assignment for my Theology and Social Media course:

Etsy is a marketplace where individuals can start their own little online story to sell what usually tends to be handmade goods. Customers can favorite items and start a collection of goods they would like to purchase perhaps at a later date. Pinterest is more of an image-based website, where you collect images for things like styles of clothing you prefer or home decorating or even your favorite funny memes and e-cards. Photos on Pinterest do have links from their source, often where you can purchase the item if you desire. Actually, a lot of photos on Pinterest come from Etsy. I don’t think their is a necessity to create a Catholic or Christian version of these sites. Rather, I think it is important to maintain a presence amidst the secular interests because, after all, we Christians do not compartmentalize our lives. Christianity is rather something that permeates all aspects of our lives. Also, one might post a thoughtful Christian meme on Pinterest the a non-Christian could appreciate. Non-Christians won’t be exposed to the light and beauty of Christianity if we insist on having our own sites, our own buildings, our own stores. We ought not be ashamed to wear our Christianity on our sleeves, and we shouldn’t be erecting walls between Christians and non-Christians. They may be putting up walls, but we should be breaking them down, not reinforcing them.

Annulment Merry-Go-Round

 

I have finally accomplished writing my first post to contribute to The Dead Philosopher’s Society, which is a blog for Holy Apostles College based in Cromwell, CT. Please visit the site to read the full post, and feel free to comment:

An annulment does not invalidate a marriage, but merely recognizes the reality that binding marriage vows were absent during the entire span the “spouses” were together. Toward the end of my marriage, I would recall the circumstances surrounding our vows, and I would think, “Wow, I am not actually married because I could get an annulment.” Currently undergoing a drawn out divorce, I haven’t even been able to file for an annulment. The thought that an annulment simply validates the reality that my marriage never took place has always circled my mind. It is what eventually led to my justification to venture into the dating scene without an annulment. I figured I deserved to move on with my life, and I had suffered enough. Besides, I told myself, God knows what’s up—I’m not really married.

Never forget the subtlety of the serpent; he has an ingenious way of appealing to our reason, clothing sin in some fraudulent good . . . [Read More Here]

Satan Chokes the Spiritual Throats of Man

 

I just wanted to share with everyone a blogpost I wrote as my midterm for my online class “The Church and WWII,” which I am taking at Holy Apostles College and is taught by Professor Voccola.

Check out my post here: Satan Chokes the Spiritual Throats of Men,  it is mainly based off a book called Priestblock by Fr. Jean Bernard, who endured much alongside numerous other priests at the Nazi concentration camp Dachau. I received an A for the midterm, so that is  a huge consolation (it’s 25% of my grade).

I’m extremely ignorant of history, and so I love learning about it, although I am awful at retaining information about it normally. This class uses multiple forms of media including movies, books, audio lectures, and online articles. It’s been a great way for me to learn, better than any other history course I’ve ever taken. I’m so blessed to have discovered this program, and I am so grateful to have this opportunity to finish my degree studying Theology and Humanities at a Catholic college. This is such a wonderful program, and it is so affordable. I would highly recommend it.

God Bless!!

Yes, I Am Getting Divorced. Yes, I Believe in Traditional Family Values. No, That Doesn’t Make Me a Hypocrite or Less Catholic! (Part 4 of 4)

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 (Dominic and Siena (see the heart?), Photo Credit: God)

Did you miss Part 1, Part 2, or Part 3?

Finally, contemplating the cross, I realized how little my pain was in contrast. As much as I had fooled myself into believing I deserved happiness, when I gazed upon Christ crucified, I couldn’t believe I deserved anything less than what I was going through. I also realized my supposed happiness was fleeting. I had happy moments, sure. But I lacked that lasting joy I had previously experienced in life, which sustained me through even the worst suffering. Could Ben really provide that for me? No, only one Person can give that, and it would be unfair to expect it from anyone or anything other than God.

“The light that filled me was overwhelming, blinding, and disorienting.”

It finally occurred to me to confess adultery, just in case I thought—to cover all my bases. So, when I made my confession, Father knew some serious change had taken place (My advice: find one confessor, get to know each other. Anonymity is not always best; Reconciliation is much more fruitful when your confessor has intimate knowledge of your struggles). He asked, “What are you going to do about this situation that has you in adultery.” Crap! I didn’t think this one out I guess. Do I just cut off all contact with Ben? Do we see each other but put some very strict rules on our interaction? Not knowing the answer, I retreated: “Well, Father, I know that God knows that I’m not really married.” To this he replied, “Sarah, are you Catholic or Protestant? And do you realize that you are not only endangering yourself, but you are endangering this man’s soul as well? You are trying to help him see the Truth in Catholicism when you yourself aren’t abiding in that Truth.” This may be putting words in his mouth because I don’t remember exactly what he said, but this is the message I received nonetheless. I obtained absolution, and everything had changed when I walked out of that confessional. The light that filled me was overwhelming, blinding, and disorienting.

Do You Love Me?

“I broke down crying as I wailed Yes! (not safe while driving, but pretty much the only time I’m ever alone)”

My mind raced quicker than my feet racing to my car. All this time, I had been trying to help Ben see the fullness of the Truth, but in reality I’d been hurting his soul and mine, which I had spent so much time praying for. I spent so many hours digging into Catholicism to offer him a Truth that I wasn’t even willing to live out myself. I told Ben plenty about what the Church teaches, but did I actually show him? Every time I started to see the way forward, it petrified me. No, that can’t be the only way. How could I possibly give up such a good man—the loving person who is the reason I’m even here asking myself this to begin with? Then it came, a gentle voice from the very depths of my heart: “Sarah, do you love me?” I replied yes as if that was a ridiculous question for Him to even ask me. Then again, “Sarah, do you love me?” Of course I love you, Lord! “Sarah, do you love me?” I broke down crying as I wailed yes! (not safe while driving, but pretty much the only time I’m ever alone). At first they were tears of grief, realizing what I would be giving up. Then, they were tears of gratitude, realizing the abundance of grace He must have been showering on me in that moment. Then came tears of joy when I saw what, no Who, I was giving it up for. And, at last peace washed over me, seeing that Jesus leads me to an immeasurable happiness, a place you may only arrive at by walking the way of the cross. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). The cross is not an option for the Christian life, anymore than it was an option for Jesus to redeem us. It is a requirement. The crosses are coming, there’s no doubt about it, whether we have Christ or not. But with Him, we can do all things. His yoke is easy, and His burden light (Mt 11:28-30). How swiftly I had forgotten how heavy the burden of sin is, and how heavy life weighs on your shoulders without His help. Christ bore the bulk of His cross so we need only be Simons of Cyrene.

Love Letters

“Love ceases to be such when it is elevated beyond our love for God, even if it is for a spouse or a child.”

Then came the difficult part. Knowing that the darkest is before the dawn, I set my eyes on the horizon as I tearfully drafted a letter to best explain myself to Ben. I read this letter to him in his car because I wanted to get everything out there before he could interject, so he wouldn’t misunderstand. I spoke of my need to adhere to Church teaching—not because I felt compelled by an authoritarian dictator, but that it was an act of love I owed to Christ. I explained my trust in His Church as His voice on earth. I looked up to see the pain in his eyes, and through tears I choked telling him that I loved him now more than I ever had before because I was seeking the welfare of his soul and mine. Love ceases to be such when it is elevated beyond our love for God, even if it is for a spouse or a child. As I had feared, he didn’t understand, perhaps because his heart was too wrenched with grief to really think much.

Epiphany

We kept our distance from one another for about a month until one day, I received a phone call. It was Ben, and he told me that he didn’t want to hear any “I told you so’s” from me but he was actually seriously considering Catholicism. He knew how much I loved him and that I wouldn’t give up all that we had for nothing. Without all the complications that our previous relationship had entangled us in, we were able to engage in much more fruitful conversations, sifting out the Truth of Catholicism. We spoke often on the phone and via texting; he was doing all the research and I was just there to answer his questions or clear up any perceived incongruities. It didn’t take long before Ben returned to the Sacraments. Once he did, I knew God would care for him, infusing him with the grace he needed to persevere. It wasn’t long before he enrolled in a Catholic Catechetical Certificate program to learn more about the Faith, which he was (and still is) enthused to share with the rest of the world. The experience of seeing someone I love come to the Truth invigorated me with a fervor to teach the Faith as a career, a dream I had dispelled long ago. I couldn’t find any online undergrad schools that were affordable, and I was just about to give up hope when Ben called me telling me about a program he discovered in his researching Masters programs. He introduced me to the Holy Apostles College online undergrad Theology program, where I am now completing my Bachelors double majoring in Humanities and Theology. Ben is now in the process of discerning the priesthood. He is preparing to join a local team of Catholic missionaries, and we remain good friends encouraging each other on our journeys in furthering the Kingdom of God. God reaches out to us, even when we are deep in the mire of sin, and He offers us an escape route to get back on the right track and start afresh. He is at the door knocking, waiting to dine with you in the Banquet Feast of the Eucharist (Just read John 6 for heaven’s sake!). No matter what you may be undergoing right now, God is there just waiting for you to turn to Him, and He doesn’t even care about anything you’ve done once you have repented. He forgives AND forgets. Best spouse ever!

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” (John 6:53–56).

JPII We Love You

St. John Paul the Great was a poet, philosopher, athlete, and Pope. He’s a great example of someone who doesn’t flee from the world in order to achieve personal holiness, but one who immerses himself in the world so as to change the world. I was incredibly blessed to attend World Youth Day in Toronto with JPII in 2001. It was truly awe-inspiring to see so many young people who were in love with their faith, basking in the paternal embrace of the Holy Father, Christ’s vicar on Earth, who communicated God’s love to the world in a very tangible way. Was he perfect? No, but light scatters the darkness, and his light burned long, hot, and bright. There’s no denying the world of good he accomplished in his lifetime from his days as Karol Wojtyla keeping alive the Polish culture amidst Nazi occupation to his days battling communism as JPII alongside Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. If you don’t know much about him, I suggest at the very least watching the movie, Karol: A Man Who Became Pope (See More Here). His encyclicals are amazing, whether his beautiful work about Mary Redemptoris Mater (Read it Here) or Mulieris Dignitatem (Read it Here) about the dignity of women. Then there’s the genius of Theology of the Body or Love and Responsobility, which is summed up nicely by Edward Sri in his book: Men, Women, and the Mystery of Love (See More Here). I’ve only skimmed the surface of much of his work, and I look forward to reading more by him and about him. There is no more extraordinary way to be moved to live out the Gospel than when you see it lived out in the lives of the Saints. St. John Paul the Great, please intercede for us on this first feast day of your Sainthood!! Amen!

A Catholic Goes to Court

 

Despite this being my 5th trip to court, it remains a disorienting place to be. You feel the tension and discontent stifling the atmosphere. Not one person wants to be here; even the security guard’s face grimaces in spite of my masking smile as I pass through the metal detector. My heart aches, longing to be home seeing Siena devour the birthday waffles I woke early to make so she wouldn’t be too disappointed when I had to leave. I also wanted to bring her to mass for those special birthday blessings I told her about. Instead I’m having to face the reality of those thoughts I have become an expert at batting away on a daily basis.

Court cases are called before mine, most getting a divorce on the spot after a simple swearing of irretrievable breakdown. Why can’t my divorce be this simple? Some of these people were only married a year, and most likely not in the Catholic Church. It seems so unfair. I have honorable reasons for what I am doing; it took me years to come to this decision! How many of these people simply came to the kitchen table one night and decided together there must be something better out there? Prior to being called before the judge, I pray my rosary and ask Mary to help me. At first, I pray for everything to turn out how I want it to. Then, I realize I ought to be praying rather that the judge reach a just decision. Of course I have specific desires that I believe are best for me and my children, but I also know that I have a very limited perspective. Above all, I want God’s will, even if it doesn’t coincide with mine. That isn’t easy to say either; it took me a long time to get to this point. Uttering those words, “Thy will be done,” are easy enough. They’re in the Our Father we pray so often. But to actually mean them when you say them; that can seem an insurmountable task. I held my fists up and tried fighting for my way for quite some time during this whole process. Each time I landed on my ass exhausted. I finally had to say, “Ok God, clearly you know something I don’t.” I had been locked up in a prison, throwing myself up against the iron bars, which only hurt myself. That hadn’t furthered my cause for release either. In fact, it only proved that I needed to be there. God had to show me who was in control, not in a sadistic way, but in a loving way: like a father who needs to ground his child. Only when he hears the throwing of items and the punching of walls cease will he come into the cell to help us understand the position we are in and how to get out. I had to stop resisting the only Person who could really help me.

I feel trapped right now; I don’t feel comfortable communicating with anyone on his side of the family. I closed all the doors to them out of fear once I saw the terrors of the court room. I felt the need to hide myself and protect myself and my children. I just want this all to be over so I can feel free to communicate with everyone without fear of my conversation somehow being used against me in a court of law. Being under scrutiny in regards to your parenting strikes fear into the very core of your being. No matter how much everyone tells you how good a mom you are, it’s hard to believe when you also know your many flaws. All that comes to mind is losing your temper,  slacking off in disciplining, or selfishly putting kids to bed early to catch the hockey game. We hear all these horror stories of CPS taking kids away from their parents for the most ridiculous reasons, so it’s hard to feel safe when an investigator visits your home. My thoughts swirled with fear: the fence to the backyard isn’t completed; Dominic’s bunk bed is awfully close to the ceiling; the kids play in an unfinished basement sometimes. When you face a system that seems to be devoid of common sense, it’s terrifying, to say the least. My only consolation is trust in God. I have to trust that no matter what happens, He will be there fighting for me, for my kids.

So, I pray that above having the judge side with me, the judge sides with God, which I hope also coincides with my desires. Ultimately, I want what is best for me and my children, and I think I know what that is, but I know I’m human and I could be wrong. I pray that my divorce goes through sooner than later. But, I know that God has their best interests at heart, and mine. So the only thing I can truly pray for is justice, that this judge and the lawyers be concerned with what they are in the business of promoting: JUSTICE.

Most of all, I pray to stay persistent in my Faith. I can see God’s guiding hand through all of the turmoil in my past when I look back. Things make sense now, and the suffering seems worthwhile. So I am hoping that whatever is coming my way, I can remember that God ONLY works for GOOD. Whatever in our short-sightedness we are enduring, there is something greater on the other side of it. Hope is an amazing thing, no, it is everything. Without it, we are doomed to fall into thinking suffering is meaningless, and that is fatal. Without suffering having meaning, life has no meaning. Life is suffering. It’s other things too: Joy, Peace, Love. But it is also undeniable suffering. A Suffering Servant for a Savior now makes a lot more sense, and I pray that those who are suffering without Christ discover him sooner than later. It’s never too late, as long as you’re alive that is.

(Photo Cred: http://cbswashington.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/84611044-1.jpg?w=620&h=349&crop=1)

In Stormy Waters? Watch For the Lighhouse to Guide You Home!

 

I would like to announce that I am teaming up with Lighthouse Catholic Media, a wonderful Nonprofit that is blazing a trail for the New Evangelization, making use of the new media. They partner with so many other wonderful Catholic organizations to bring the very best to parishes and individuals all over the country, from Ignatius Press to Word on Fire. If you haven’t heard of their CD of the Month Club yet, be sure to check it out.

How much time do you spend in the car listening to the latest music, sports radio, or talk radio? Imagine if you used that time to enrich your soul instead! In a world where everyone is rushing around with kids and business meetings, these CD’s help provide that spitirual nourishment we are all in need of. One hour a week on Sunday isn’t enough to feed your body; it surely isn’t enough to feed your soul. 

Military families get a **FREE** download every month, and you can sign up for a monthly download for as little as $3 a month. Or they will send you their newest CD for just $6 a month. They make amazing CD’s with the best Catholic speakers out there. I’ve witnessed so many conversions or spiritual renewal that result from these talks. Spread the word, and give a little gift to your own soul.

Click on the banner below to “start thriving instead of just surviving!” (Matthew Kelly)

Lighthouse Catholic Media store

^^^ BANNER ^^^

Photo credit: http://imgarcade.com/1/lighthouse-in-a-storm-art/

Yes, I Am Getting Divorced. Yes, I Believe in Traditional Family Values. No, That Doesn’t Make Me a Hypocrite or Less Catholic! (Part 3 of 4)

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Listen to this music while you read, bc it’s just beautiful.

In case you missed it, you can read Part 1 Here or Part 2 Here. Brevity is not my forte. So this is going to be a 4-part series after all, folks. Sorry it took me so long, I promise my next post won’t take quite so long. I just got slammed with schoolwork and midterms.

As my relationship with Ben progressed, the storm that had been raging within began to calm, and I was laughing again. It had been a long time since experiencing a close, loving relationship with someone I felt safe with. Before I got too comfortable, however, I found myself consulting my parish priest about the annulment process one sunny morning. After a brief conversation, Father fished through his desk drawers for the paperwork. My real reason for being there choked in the back of my throat as I searched for the most euphemistic words possible to describe my more-than-friendship with Ben. I finally blurted it out, rationalizing away all the intricacies of our relationship. He paused in his search, and his brows furrowed slightly as the smile faded from his eyes, replaced with a tender disappointment. He attempted to recover his pleasant demeanor as he silently discerned a prudent response. I was hoping to hear, “It’s great that you’re finally happy again because God wants you to be happy!” Instead, he let out a heavy sigh that thickened the atmosphere. He prefaced his message saying he was happy I had a friend whom I was trying to show the truth of Catholicism. I glanced at the door, knowing what was coming next. I had been avoiding the collision of the two opposing worlds that I knew deep down couldn’t possibly coincide peaceably for much longer. The time for choosing was drawing nigh, and Father made that painfully clear. His reproach was direct, but cushioned by paternal care; it both stung and warmed my heart. He explained the importance of considering myself married because an annulment is not guaranteed and demonstrated a true concern for my soul (All without using the *A* word—adultery).

After my conversation with Father, I couldn’t bring myself to receive communion at Mass any longer, just in case I thought. Although, I still wasn’t 100% convinced I would have to sever my relationship with Ben. I couldn’t break his heart and mine unless it was beyond a shadow of a doubt what had to be done. Having a strong background in Theology and Philosophy, I started delving deeper into Catholicism, desperately seeking solid ground to stand on without having to give up my love for Ben. Over the course of months, my heart once again became enflamed with love for God and the Catholic Faith. My passion for Theology that I had buried long ago began to resurface.

I never confessed the sin of adultery because I never thought that’s what I was doing. After all, adultery was despicable, a person cheating on his spouse. My marriage wasn’t even valid; I was just waiting on paperwork for the go-ahead. I would tell myself, “God knows what’s up.” My relationship was uplifting and joyful. He was even bringing me closer to Christ! In what world could that be wrong? Ben and I were kindred spirits, and I know that is utterly cliche but there’s just no other way to describe it. I was taken aback by the level of understanding we reached with one another. He helped me remember myself, believed in my unrealized potential. He helped me out of the box I had imprisoned myself in, stripped away all the labels I had accumulated over the years, and helped me to see who God created me to be. He taught me that flaws and failures aren’t walls that box you in, they’re hurdles to climb over to make you stronger. Ben was truly the most honorable man I had ever met, and He loved Christ more than I ever had. He truly strived to live righteously, and that was more than I could say at that time in my life.

While all this was going on, I had been striving for physical fitness. Having lost 40 lbs, I took a lot of pride in my health and felt very empowered and independent. One day, I visited my doctor after noticing some irregularities, and tests revealed cysts on my ovaries, and they diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. After spending a year becoming a better, stronger me, this was like being hit by a Mack truck. After all I had been through, feeling victimized by life, I finally felt I had taken back charge of my life. Suddenly, I had this terrible realization that my life was not in my control. I had always entertained the idea of more future children to fulfill my lifelong desire for a large family. With my diagnosis, I saw my dreams circling the drain. To add to my dismay, I was told by multiple doctors that birth control was the only solution. Birth control is something that I don’t believe in for both health and moral reasons. These beliefs had been cemented earlier in life. I was blessed to learn priceless lessons about life, love, and family from my Catholic doctor and his wife including the many dangers of birth control, both physical and spiritual (More Info Here and Here). Do I just take the pill? (It may not sound as big a deal to some of my readers, but this was something thoroughly engrained in me morally.) That morally strong Sarah of old who used to know and stand for what she believed in reemerged. I just couldn’t compromise, despite being met with much opposition and condescension from my doctors. I had compromised much of my morals in the past year, so this seemingly small decision did much to resurrect my moral will; my true identity was reasserting itself.

Spring had arrived on Cape Cod, and the misery of a long winter was melting away. The sun poured through the stained glass windows as I knelt in Church before confession one Saturday afternoon. I gazed upon the cross as the Son’s rays penetrated my mind, which had been clouded by the haze of lies I’d been telling myself: I have suffered plenty, and now I deserve to be happy; God knows I’m not really married, He wants Ben and I to be together; I don’t have to do everything the Church tells me to, they’re more like a general guideline; there are people way worse than I am. I realized I was angry with God because I had strived for years to be faithful, and this is what I got in return? I tried so hard, exerted every last effort to make my family pleasing in His sight, and instead it was torn to pieces. My two worlds were colliding, this was it—the dreaded time for choosing. There is only one Truth, and one of these opposing worlds was a lie.

Please visit next week to see what came to be from this Battle of Worlds, so to speak. Thanks for reading. God Bless!

“Do What He Tells You”

 

So many people think it odd that I pray to Mary, but my relationship with Mary is so precious to me that I feel compelled to give a short and simple defense. If someone dissed your mama wouldn’t you come to her defense? Well, I think there is a wrongful equating of prayer and worship, first off. Prayer is not itself worship, but a conversation. How many of us have friends or family who have died, who we believe we can speak with still as they “watch over us.” God is the God of the living, not the dead, after all (Mk 12:27). So we believe our beloved’s soul is now joined with God in eternity. We ask our friends and family to pray for us, so why wouldn’t we ask those who are at God’s side to pray for us as well? Who better to ask to bring our petitions before God than Mary? She is surely more perfect than I and more worthy to approach God’s throne in Heaven. Who is closer to God than she who bore Him in her womb and lived 30 years with Him during His private life? Surely, Jesus could have spent his 20s doing His public ministry? But he didn’t, He gave those years to Mary and Joseph.

I love praying the Rosary, which allows me to contemplate Jesus’ life through Mary’s eyes. When you meet a significant other, who is the best person to meet to get a more complete picture of who he is? Who is it that will sit you down and pull out the old photo album and share the best stories about your beloved that you’ve never heard before? Mom of course! In contemplating the mysteries of the Rosary, Mary takes my hand and guides me through each event in Christ’s life, helping me to see it in a new light and, being my mother as well, she helps me see how I can imitate Christ better in my own life. Let’s look at Jesus’ last words on the cross in John’s Gospel: “When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home” (John 19:26-27). All that is included in the Bible is significant for us; there is no action or words of Jesus that were meant solely for those standing before Him. The most weighty words a man can utter are those as He lie dying. He chose as His last act to give Mary as gift to us, to take into our homes. If we are all to “put on Christ” and if we are all indeed members of Christ’s body as Paul tells us, then how much more must Mary truly be our spiritual mother? She holds our hands and guides us into Christ. If you love your spouse’s mother, is he going to think you love her more? Absolutely not, he wants you to love his mother! You can’t love Mary more than Jesus did anymore than you can love your spouse’s mother more than he does.

One of the most telling mysteries of the Rosary about the relationship between Jesus and Mary, I think, is at the Wedding Feast at Cana. We read in John 2:3-5, “When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’” I absolutely love this intimate interaction between Mary and Jesus. Mary perceives a need of the wedding couple, which may seem somewhat trivial in the grand scheme of salvation, but to the couple would have been very great indeed. So often, there are many trials we experience, which when seen within the big picture are very small, but personally they exert the weight of the world on our shoulders. Mary sees the little things, and being a loving mother she longs to help by asking the one Person she knows can and will help. Jesus responds that the time for His public ministry hasn’t arrived yet. I wonder if perhaps Jesus, knowing the implications of starting His public ministry, desired to have a little more time in the intimacy of His family life with Mary. Mary knows that once Jesus performs a miracle, there is no going back to the life they knew. But Mary longs to take care of people in things both great and small. She not only wants to help the wedding couple, but she also longs to begin the work of salvation in the world. Even after Jesus’ seeming objection, Mary still tells the servants to listen to Jesus, having confidence that He will answer her intercession. Jesus does do what Mary asks, even though He seems to think it is not a matter of import. This is exactly how I see Mary interceding on our behalf up in Heaven. If you love your spouse, you will pursue a relationship with his entire family, especially his mother. So, why is it so scandalous that we as Catholics love and honor Mary and praise God for giving us such a splendid gift? I am in love with my Spouse, and I also have plenty of room in my heart for His mother, not in spite of, but because of my tremendous love for Him. Do we need to go through Mary to get to Jesus? Nope. But I need the support of a big spiritual family, and we could all use all the help we can get. So why not open your hearts to Mary, who is waiting for you to ask for her help? She is a loving gift from God to us, but of course it’s up to you whether to take advantage of all He has given to aid in your salvation.

Photo Credit: http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/cana2.jpg