Holy Mary

Photo from pxhere

There’s no question that our Blessed Mother is holy.

Actually, I was a bit puzzled about this when I converted to Catholicism. I guess I’d assumed that the word “holy” was the same as “divine.” Godly. Not of this world, but of heaven.

What I’ve learned is that holiness is something that each of us – every person – is called to be. And can achieve.

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Lead us to heaven

Photo by Patrick Schneider on Unsplash

This is Good Shepherd Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Easter. We don’t tend to think very deeply about the term Shepherd, treating it as just one of the many names we use for Christ.

But we are the sheep in this metaphor. And sheep aren’t, well, very honored. We view them as rather dumb.

Which is actually appropriate. When it comes to spiritual wisdom, we tend to rate rather poorly. Well, maybe it’s just me.

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Mercy

Photo by Sean Stratton on Unsplash

We rely on God’s love and mercy every moment of every day. And boy, do we need it!

But mercy isn’t exclusive to God, as we find in a couple of our prayers.

We name Mary as mother of mercy, which can mean two things. First, she’s the mother of Jesus, and Jesus embodies mercy in action. And second, we honor Mary’s role in heaven as a pathway to receiving mercy from God and the Son.

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He descended into hell

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There are lots of ideas about why Jesus descended to Hell between His death and resurrection. I’m no theologian, so I read some of the discussions but I confess that I don’t really know what was going on there.

And I’m OK with that. My understanding will continue to develop. And maybe this is one of the things I won’t understand until I’m on the other side of death myself.

For me, though, I’m pondering the idea that … Jesus went to Hell, yes, but then He came back.

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Our bread

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Today we begin our Holy Triduum, the time when God and humanity intersect in the Glory of Jesus, our Christ.

I’m thinking about how we ask God to give us this day our daily bread. Why bread? I can go days without having bread, if I have other food to replace it with. And I can survive much longer without food than I can water.

Where have I heard about bread before? Hmm… maybe I’ll head off to Mass and think about it.
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Crowning with thorns

Photo by Andrey Grinkevich on Unsplash

Holy week begins today. The most holy time of our entire year.

When I think about Jesus’ passion, the crown of thorns seems to be unbelievably cruel. The whole event is unfathomable, of course, but this hits my heart in a special way.

I think it came from portrayals I’ve seen in movies and plays. Can you imagine the pain involved with penetrating the skin on your head? I’ve whacked my head many times during my lifetime, and I see stars.

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Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Photo by Bryan Goff on Unsplash

When we talk about the Trinity, we have a customary order. Father first. Son second. Holy Spirit third.

I’m wondering if there’s a deeper reason for this.

I’ve heard that it might have something to do with the Son proceeding from the Father, while the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. Maybe just me, but that doesn’t seem like a compelling reason. I might use that logic to reverse the order, as I did in the first sentence of this paragraph.

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