Friday, May 27, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday, Volume 30

Click here to read the original post at

Catholic World Missions just started following me on Twitter, so I checked 'em out. It looks like a great project! See what they're raising money for in Central America here!

It's not this bad.
Spring cleaning has taken over. Not in the "now I'm up to my elbows in efficiency and a crazy craving to clean," but the "I know I need to clean like a madwoman, but I just can't muster up the umpf to do it right now, thanks though" way.

I really need to get to that...

I'm inviting everyone, because the "rules" said I could only tag three in the post, to do your own "My favorite scripture verses" post. I know I could use some more time with my nose in a Bible and this was a great, quick exercise for that.

In one week, one of my best friends marries her best friend! This has been a beautiful love to witness from the sidelines and I can't wait to see them enter the Sacrament!

(I don't own the rights)
Speaking of weddings... I saw Bridesmaids this week. Maybe I'm turning into a huge prude (what's so wrong with that?), but it was so unbelievable gross and crude that I'm going to go ahead and recommend that no one go see it.

Did I laugh a bunch? Heck yes. Did I laugh to keep from crying? Heck yes.

Do I wish I could get some of the images and dialog out of my head? Oh, yeah, you got it.

Wow, do I have to say anything about this photo? The title is "Squirrel hit with snowball."

These guys own the rights.

The next Bright Maidens topic will be "On Dating Nice Catholic Girls." This is different than our dating post from a while ago because we're starting by reacting to this article on Patheos, which boiled our blood.

Watch out, y'all. Bright Maidens on a rampage. Join us!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My three favorite scriptures

Mary at 3 Turkeys (plus one) tagged me in my first ever blogging meme. I only vaguely knew what a meme meant, so I winged it until I read the post that had tagged her.

It starts with the question, " What are your 3 favorite scriptures?" And it may never end... muhahahaha!

The rules:

1. Write a post on your three favorite verses from the Bible and why you like them.
2. Link back to this post.
3. In your post, tag three other bloggers to carry this theme forward, link to you and tag additional bloggers.

Tina at Discovering Discernment
Amy at Prosey Pirate
Ellen at Plot Line and Sinker

Matthew 7:7-11
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asks for a fish? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.

I'm certain that all of us have thought that we're unworthy of something, be it love, clarity, happiness, or peace of mind. This verse reminds us that Jesus came to give not only salvation but a covenant of a loving God. "Ask and it will be given to you." Whenever I can remember this, the wave of gratitude washes over me and I bow in prayer. Just ask! Next comes patience... but knowing that you're worthy enough to ask is a valuable spiritual lesson.
2 Thessalonians 2:15

Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.

Though I love this verse as a Catholic who believes in the importance of Sacred Scripture and the traditions passed on by the early apostles, I love it more for what it means to those of us who remain. This verse highlights our importance in the Church as people who pass on the traditions and teachings to others. Catholics should do more evangelizing. This verse is one in a million ways we know we're on the right path, so let's invite more people on the journey with us!
Mark 4:36-41

Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him.  A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Quiet! Be still!" The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, "Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?" They were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?"
(I don't own rights)

Many times in my life I have needed the reminder of this passage. The disciples had the Son of God on the boat with them and they still worried about drowning. They were angry that he could sleep while they were expecting for the boat to go down with them in it. I have to remember that Jesus is in the boat with me, too, and that the Father will not give me more than I can handle.


Ellen's post response.
Tina's post response.

Thanks ladies!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Looking for Beyaz answers

I wanted to write another Google poetry post, so I've been gathering all of the search terms that bring searching souls to my blog... things like "fat man in bathtub," "belly button boy child," "awesome eucharist," "how to find your soulmate book," and "theology of the body for teenagers created for love" bring Googlers everywhere to my posts.

However, I've seen a VERY high influx of people who arrive on my Beyaz post through Google. Here are most of the search terms related to the silly, silly commercial for a chemical that so many women introduce into their bodies. 

I would like to say these women stayed and read the whole post, but alas. Most of them clicked away within a few seconds. 

All we can do is speak about love (true love that is free, total, faithful, and fruitful) and pray it gets to some ears. Right? I have to keep telling myself that.

beyaz you may never know what you want tomorrow
is beyaz good for you
beyaz commercial sad
beyaz tylenol
beyaz abortion
what weeks of beyaz are you protected
bayer birth control commercial feminist beyaz
switching from yaz to beyaz
is that a live bird in the beyaz commercial
beyaz and stomach ache
achiness on beyaz
for beyaz do i start the second pack even though i haven't had my cycle yet
does anyone like beyaz?
is beyaz an abortifacient
beyaz it's good to have
bayer Contraceptives OR Contraception OR Birth-Control
beyaz call doctor if
beyaz yeast infection
beyaz hair loss
beyaz unsafe also?
beyaz wrong message
do you still ovulate if you take beyaz for a week
got pregnant on beyaz
can beyaz birth control cause hair growth on my face
beyaz abortifacient effects
how long do you have to be on beyaz before you can stop being safe
can you take tylenol with beyaz

Friday, May 20, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday, Volume 29

Click here to read the original post at
This was one of those weeks I was grateful to work from home. I spent most of Sunday on the beach and took my daily lunch breaks in the sand and sun.

At 3pm, the sun showed itself in a patch on the back porch just big enough for me and my wi-fi connected computer.

Oh yeah, and the sun set in our backyard. Life is good.


These kids that I'm "chaperoning" are so impressive. Most of them are a part of the Catholic student group at school.

A group went to daily Mass everyday and because of the thirty-minute drive time, this meant they had to leave at 8:30am during their beach week. We prayed meal time prayers and the rosary together at night. They were respectful with each other and I witnessed zero drama.


Impressive at eating peanut butter, as well.

This picture doesn't do the size justice.

Someone arrived on my blog this week searching: "parishioner grab Eucharist from non catholic and puts it into her own mouth."

How do YOU feel about that?

Homeboy McCoy is gone. All that is left of him is what you have in your hearts, minds, and Google Reader.

John 19:30 : "It is finished."
At around 2:00 PM today, the Admissions Committee met and discussed my entry into the Order.  At a little after 3:00 PM, I got the call with their decision.

I am going to become a postulant this August.

Thank you for accompanying me on this leg of my journey, and thank you for all your prayers.  But now, the rest of it must be completed between God and me.

Farewell.  I'll miss you guys.

As Sister Lisa said, "this is only the beginning."

I've made 12 cups of coffee everyday down here, I drank 6 of them, and they have yet to finish a pot.

Are these kids superhero aliens?


Thank you for your participation in the Bright Maidens' post topic, "Mary, Our Guide," this week!

Here is a collection of all of the posts we saw on our page. Keep an eye out for the next post topic announcement for May 31st!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Church shopping

Baptist, Baptist, Baptist, Baptist, Church of Christ, Baptist, Baptist, Baptist. Oh! A Methodist Church! Baptist, Baptist.

(I don't own the rights)
On the drive to Mass down here on the southern North Carolina coast, there are many church buildings. The only Catholic Church in a 40 mile radius has to hire policemen to skirt traffic into the gigantic parking lot on Sundays.

The "built it and they will come" theory shows its fruits every Sunday here amongst the abundance of Protestant churches.

Don't mistake me, I'm glad to be surrounded by so many church buildings. It is wonderful to pass physical reminders of Christian faith constantly.

A few weeks ago, I met someone who mentioned that he doesn't go to church in Richmond because the pastor at the Methodist church he visited couldn't compare to his church back home. When he returns home, his mother "makes him" go to church, but the Richmond pastor just "doesn't do it" for him.

As he told me this, I felt immediately grateful for being Catholic. I don't have to shop.

I can go to Mass everyday of the week. The source and summit of the Church founded by Christ is the Eucharist, which He gave to us at the Last Supper. Saint Paul and early apostles write about the Eucharist for which they gathered to share.

As long as there is a priest on the altar, I can share in the true Communion feast with other Christians. The priest, ordained in the same line of priests that has existed since Christ started His Church and chose His priests, is a vessel for the Holy Spirit to transubstantiate the bread and wine in that moment.

When I go through the line and the Eucharistic minister tells me, "This the Blood of Christ," I know it is True.

Before I go to receive the Eucharist, with my brothers and sisters, I pray, "I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the Word and I shall be healed." I mean it with all of my heart.

And I thank God that I don't need to church shop to be healed.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mary's vapor rub

Mary, Our Guide
"Mary's vapor rub" by Elizabeth at Startling the Day

The "Bright Maidens" were originally three from the oft-mentioned, widely-speculated upon demographic of young, twenty-something Catholic women. Now, we all take up the cross to dispel the myths and misconceptions. Welcome!

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

I picture Mary in heaven cleaning up toys, dislodging tiny G.I. Joes from the toughening pad of her foot, slowly acquiring a nursing/psych/spiritual guide degree, with stretch marks to match her under eye circles, like mothers around the world. If I could pick anyone to give me vapor rub for my soul, it would be her.

The world is the toy room, bruises, scrapes, and boo-boos show up on her children's souls, and her children around the world cry to her at night, stirring her awake.

Her soul magnifies the Lord for centuries so that He can reach more people who notice her motherly influence on their lives.  She is our mother, our comforter, and God's message deliverer.

The house in which I grew up loved her everyday. I knew the Hail Mary prayer as well as the Our Father, we had several pictures, rosaries, and one statue of her in the "fancy room." My parents needed her guidance in their lives, so they were happy to invite her into their homes.

When I was young, we went on a trip to Emmitsburg, MD, a small town where people said they saw Mary. I remember aiming the film camera at every corner of the house and grounds where she had allegedly appeared, praying that she might appear in the photo after development.
(I don't own the rights)

I don't know if that sighting has been made "official" by the Vatican, but the faith of my childhood was overwhelmed by the beauty of the possibility that I might see this woman I had called Mother throughout my life.

Shortly after that trip, when I was in fourth grade, I woke up one morning with a white pain in my right hip. I rolled off the bed, onto the floor and quickly learned I couldn't stand up because of the pain.

It was as if I had not awoken and I was in a dream wherein I could try with all of my dream-like strength, but the body to which I was tethered could not move.

Fear overwhelmed me and heaving tears came down my face as I crawled into the bustle of the hallway where I knew my parents would notice their first born daughter, scared and in pain.

With their help, thanks be to the Lord, I could stand and walk with the pain still searing in my hip. Doctors did tests, people prayed, I repeated my own name during the prayers for intercessions at Mass, and I watched my parents whisper with worry.

They thought it was Rheumatoid Arthritis and that I would be in a wheelchair by the age of sixteen.

The morning that we were to get the test results from the doctor, my mom rushed in my room with damp cheeks and an encouraged voice and clasped around my neck her mother's Mary metal on a silver chain. She said Mary came to her in a dream and told her it would be good news from the doctor and not to be afraid.

For the first time in days, her head was actively floating above water. Mary, whether it was her or just the comfort that my mom knew she could find in her image, provided my mother with peace of mind. She rubbed the vapor jelly on her soul, reminding her that she was not alone.
(I don't own the rights)

The renewing dream was correct and the doctors concluded that I had contracted streptococcus in my hip joint. I needed some antibiotics and a few weeks for the pain to subside.

I doubt I knew how serious that episode could have been; I was excited to miss school for that appointment.

Mary provided my mother with the magnifying reminder that anxiety is the opposite of grace. The episode awoke the faith in my parents and my sisters and I grew and learned from it.

The comfort and wisdom that Mary used to assure Jesus that it was time for his first miracle guides us today. Because we know she lived life as a mother, she lost like a mother, and Jesus declared her our mother while on the cross, she leads us to a path to Him when we need it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Theology of the Body, Week 8

    "It'll happen when you least expect it."
    "Build a friendship, first."
    "Never frown because you never know who is falling in love with your smile."
    "He's out there somewhere."
    "The right man/woman will love you just the way you are."

    Man, those are annoying.

    Even more so when you learn they're true.

    This week we gathered the teens for an informal talk about the most applicable and relevant Theology of the Body chapter for a teen:

    Dating with Purity

    Like a champ, my beau joined me to be the example for the teens. We told them about our background, our two-year-old friendship, and the natural progression to dating.

    One of my co-teachers is my beau's best friend and one of my best friends. He testified that watching our relationship develop so naturally from friendship, to a brother/sisterhood relationship in Christ, to a romantic relationship was beautiful to watch "from the sidelines."

    ...He said "from the sidelines," but my seminarian friend played a few minutes of the game when I shared with him my feelings for my now-beau. Always the good teammate, he promptly reported to my beau, who was already laying the groundwork to court me -- now with the confidence of its potential success tucked safely in his breast pocket.

    I will never undersell the importance of building a solid friendship before dating someone. I know that is not the path for everyone, but consider these advantages:

    1. Confidence. You build confidence in one another without worrying about stepping on your romantic chances. 
    2.  Comfort. You build a latter to a sturdy comfort level in a friendship. When I went directly into romantic relationships with men in my past, the giddy feelings felt great. However, it was hard to distinguish the giddiness from newness and the giddiness about the man. 
    3. Opening up. You share more with your close friends than you do with someone you've dated for a few weeks. You protect your heart when you enter into a friendship first, rather than trying to share a lot with a new romantic other. 
    4. Time. Becoming friends with someone first gives you time to learn about them without falling victim to the "standard" timeline in a "typical" relationship. 
    5. Respect. You grow to respect each other for who you are instead of solely the generic reason: because you should.
    We also suggested to the teens to wait to date until they find someone they can see themselves marrying.

    (I don't own the rights)
    This doesn't mean you should only date when you know you have found The One, or that you can only date one person in your entire life. But you should see the core values and "-isms" in the people you date that you'd wish to see in your future.

    Before entering the classroom for TOB class, my beau and I joked about telling the kids to never kiss anyone until their married. "Just avoid the temptation all together," we said, because it is really tough to live a chaste life with someone for whom you feel strongly.

    However, as the adage goes, who said life was easy? And as James goes:
    "Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation, for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life that he promised to those who love him" (James 1:12).
     Finally, we stressed the value of every stage of a couple's physical relationship.

    The first "intimate" moments my beau and I shared were the countless Our Fathers we said at Mass while holding hands.

    "Holding her hand was a big deal because I had liked her for so long," my beau said to a chorus of teenage Awwwwwwwwwwws.

    At the end of our first Our Father as "a couple" (as if we had that tattooed to our foreheads), we did the cute, movie-style linger and squeeze of the fingertips. Awwwwwwww.
    Remember this?

    We both said that we could consider each other one of our best friends for several months before we started dating. Neither of us wanted to spoil that by entering into a casual relationship, so we remain alert and conscious rather than apathetic and robotic.

    My beau and I have fun together, whether at a sporting event, cooking dinner, or going to Mass. We are also individuals walking toward God on separate legs of the triangle.

    Next time you hear one of the cliches I listed at the top of this post and you feel the pang of frustration, recite a prayer asking God for patience and clarity. Pick up a copy of How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul, while you're at it.

    If it's His will, you'll get there. And if you work on your relationship with Him, you'll notice.

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    7 Quick Takes Friday, Volume 28

    Blogger is down, so I hope this posts from my email.... I might have to make the switch to Wordpress, soon, with the help of Dorian Speed.


    Apparently I'm the last to know about the Harvard Sailing Team sketch comedy troupe, but I'm okay with that because I know about them now. Please enjoy this video (I wish I could embed it, but again, Blogger is stubbornly not working).

    The Bright Maidens theme for this Tuesday is "Mary, Our Guide." My goal is to have it published at MIDNIGHT instead of in the middle of the day. I loved reading your posts, but I didn't love that I was so late posting!

    I leave for the beach tomorrow! I will be working from inside a beach house next week because I'm a "chaperone" for my sister's "beach week." Please pray for me.


    This week I learned that the man in my life knows how to fix things around the house, how to change the oil in a car (I realize this is toddler level, but I don't know how to do this. He also built an entire car when he was in high school, but I knew that), and how to install light fixtures in my bathroom. Thank you!

    This has been a busy week, so I'm not going to make another pie-crust promise about how I'm going to get back on the blogging train.... but pretend I did promise that because I'll have more Elizabeth Time when I'm at the beach.

    My next art challenge will be painting this in mural form (since I'm emailing this to post, any random picture of the Cliffs of Moher that show up in this post is the picture I am referring to):

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Theology of the Body, Week 7

    We had an extensive break between TOB sessions this go'round and then landed on one of the most important topics rarely addressed in the teenage years:


    The first time I heard this word and understood what it meant was ... let me check my watch ... about 12 months ago. It's a common complaint on this blog (and many) to gripe about the secular view, but the secular world cast a shadow on my perception of "vocation," throughout my life.

    I thought that it "just felt right" when you thought you would be married, be a nun/monk, or be a priest, so that's what you decided to do. The idea of "discerning" was entirely foreign and, in fact, sounded like I thought God would send down an angel to answer my "honey do list" of questions.

    "To answer your questions, yes, yes, heck no, and not today, but give it a few months. Also, wear the green shirt today, it matches that skirt better than the purple one, mkay?" -Gabriel

    For one, I didn't think I deserved clear answers. I deserved to suffer in the gray for a little while, I thought. That's how I know I'm doing the right thing. Secondly, I thought I wouldn't know if an answer came from God or from me even if God was standing right in front of me.

    Our resident seminarian (Yay!!) led this class and asked the two married teachers and me to speak on our vocations. Mine is in a pseudo transition as an unmarried woman who could still become a nun, be married, or live the single vocation.


    The two married teachers spoke about the relationships that lead to their married vocation and how they determined what was important to them for their futures. While they were dating their spouses, they discussed their expectations, their flexibility, and their nonnegotiable values.
    (I don't own the rights)

    My married, female co-teacher started dating her husband when she was twenty, so the first conversations of this nature were prefaced with the phrase, "I know I want my future spouse and I to ..." rather than, "When we get married..."

    They protected each others hearts while discussing the most important parts of the vocation to which they felt called.

    My married, male co-teacher explained the distinction between the fluttery feelings that you have for someone and acknowledging that you can build a life with someone. He said that there are times when he gets frustrated with his wife, but that they both know they committed to one another under God.

    He said that on the night his first-born entered this world, he felt the immense pull to pray in thanksgiving, for the relief of anxiety, and for the health and life of his new family. Even though he was not in a time of life where he attended weekly Mass, he felt the call to be in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.

    A short drive later, he arrived in front of the true presence of Jesus Christ and began the first leg of his reversion. The deep commitment and relationship with his wife and their new family motivated him back to a commitment with God.

    Chicken and egg? This is where we can plainly see the importance of a thoroughly examined vocation. Pray! For these moments are easily missed if you're not careful.

    Religious life or priesthood

    Our seminarian (officially, though not in school yet) explained how he felt the tug toward the priesthood for years, even when he wasn't living his life for God. When he did return to living for God and spreading Jesus' message, the tug was stronger than ever.
    (I don't own rights)

    He brushed it off for as long as he could, expecting that it was a result of his newly found love for Christ's message. He expected to start dating again and to get married, you know, like normal people.

    In the fall, he took a risk and attended a retreat for young men to discern the priesthood and the Holy Spirit V8-smacked him. He heard God's call to apply for the priesthood, so he did and just learned that he got in!

    That's all it is for the moment: an invitation to apply. There is no need to freak out beyond that, just listening to God's call, one step at a time, is what He asks.


    That's me.

    I'm in a relationship with a wonderful man (more on that in my next TOB post :) ), but I'm unmarried and living as a single person. I'm constantly asking God to make things clear to me, in His time.

    I ask Him to give me the strength to do it willingly and with passion because I know doing His will brings the best results. It will make me a fuller person and it will make the world a more Godly place.
    (I don't own the rights)

    A few short tips I gave the students:
    • Learn from other people's mistakes. In college, I didn't see the value in a kiss. Therefore, I kissed a few people I didn't know well or at all. Recently, I came across a situation where I actually had to push away a guy's face with my hands to prevent him from taking a kiss that I finally began to value.
    • Don't watch wedding shows unless you're engaged. Those wedding dress, wedding planning, and wedding competition shows glorify the wedding day. This is dangerous because of how exciting a wedding day can be. The shows strip away the idea that it's the beginning of a marriage rather than the most exciting part of the marriage. It also hinders those who might be called to religious life because they feel like they'd be missing out on something. Keep your heart and mind protected, just avoid those shows, if you can.
    • Ask God! Ask Him! He's the one who knows you best. He's given you a million clues throughout your life to show you how you can best serve Him, so ask Him to show you His plan! And be patient.
    “Are you capable of giving yourselves, your time, your energy and your talent to the well-being of others? Are you capable of love? If you are, Church and society can expect great things of each one of you.”
    (Pope John Paul II, Manilla, Phillipines, 1995) 
    What tips or guidance would you give to teens about discerning vocation?

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    7 Quick Takes Friday, Volume 27

    Click here to read the original post at

    My sister graduates from college tomorrow!
    The one on the right.
    Congratulations, Christiney!! I love you, I'm very proud of you, and I can't wait to see the changes you will make in the world!


    This has been quite a week, so I'm going to cop out on this 7QT. Please forgive me.

    My cousin and good friend told me on Thursday that she's frustrated that I haven't been writing as much lately because she has nothing to read at work... I'm frustrated, too. The plan is: cop out on these quick takes and then get back on track.

    A Catholic friend of mine just started up his new blog. He is also a creative writing professor and an MFA-holding writer, so if you abandon me for his blog, I understand.

    Fighting Words

    Congrats to my brother in Christ!! Praise be to God for the clarity in his life for this next step toward his vocation!


    The smell of gas fumes, the burn of rubber, the muffled sound of 160mph that still sounds like one clamoring note of dropped pots and pans for hours at a time.... yes folks, I did it. I went to my first NASCAR race.

    I was going to write a post about it... but as my cousin pointed out, I have been slacking. Oy vey.

    You-know-who's shirt.

    I linked to this on Twitter this week, but I want the non-Tweeple to see it too.

    Watch ONLY IF you are ready to let your jaw fall out of socket and to start drooling all over your keyboard.


    This was the most fun Bright Maidens post week yet because we got to read all of YOUR posts addressing "Why Mary?"

    Visit the Facebook page and read the note with all of the posts from those who participated.

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Take Her Into Your Home

    Why Mary?
    "Take Her Into Your Home" by Elizabeth at Startling the Day

    The "Bright Maidens" were originally three from the oft-mentioned, widely-speculated upon demographic of young, twenty-something Catholic women. Now, we all take up the cross to dispel the myths and misconceptions. Welcome!

    Those weird Catholics and their pagan ways, worshiping Jesus' mom.

    We've been accused of worshiping Mary on more than one occasion. You know what? Accuse me, brothers and sisters, if that's the easiest argument you can make against the Church.

    But I am sorry you have not seen the beauty in regarding Mary as your mother. She'll love you from her place in the Communion of Saints.

    John the gospel-writer was my least favorite of the four when I was growing up because of what I interpreted to be arrogance. "The Beloved" bugged me by seemingly hoisting himself above the rest. It didn't help his case when I realized I was standing for ten minute long gospel readings during the John calendar years.

    However, this year I realized what beautiful contributions John's gospel made to our faith, including a strong explanation of love for Mother Mary.

    On the Cross

    (I don't own the rights)
    Jesus was suffocating.

    Hanging on a cross, with a body that has been brutally beaten and drained of blood after scourging, makes one's muscles collapse. He had to push up on his feet, just to reach for breath with his arms stretched wide and pinned to the wood with nails.

    Imagine having to adjust yourself against the nails driven into your feet and hands, just to breathe.

    Any words He spoke were spoken with purpose and many of them were to fulfill the Scriptures, as the gospel-writers address. One of the lengthiest speeches He gave from His place on the cross, He made to John and his mother, Mary, at His feet.

    "When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, 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 into his home." -John 19:26-27
    John referred to himself as "the disciple," instead of "the beloved," in this instance. He humbled himself in this moment of Jesus' pained speech.

    Those who stand at Jesus' feet, looking up at the suffering Lord and looking to His resurrection are disciples. We are at His mercy and He has bestowed the grace of this sacrifice on us. Jesus was talking to all of us.

    Mary gave birth to our Savior, she deserves deep respect and reverence. Jesus said so. 

    Is it because she's a woman?

    The confusion about why we revere Mary as we do is understandable. Jesus said He is the way and we emphatically agree.

    God didn't exclude women from His plan. In fact, they were female hearts that Jesus trusted with the first revelations of his divinity and his resurrection.

    Martha and Mary are iconic characters that teach us how to be followers of Christ. The woman at the well was the first to hear Jesus explicitly call Himself the Messiah. The woman who touched Jesus' cloak had an overwhelming faith that actually drained Jesus of energy. Mary Magdalene's conversion led to her discovery at the tomb. The angel revealed to Mary Magdalene that He has risen!

    We need the examples of the disciples to build the Church. We need to learn from those whom Jesus taught directly and why He chose who He chose. We need to listen to His words and the traditions He passed onto his disciples instead of redefining them as we see fit.

    And in accordance with His words, we need to revere Our Mother.
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