“Mary, O Mary,” by Grace Marie

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Image courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington

Mary, O Mary

 

“Mary, O Mary,

Why are you weeping?

What cause, O Magdalene,

These tears?

Do you forget

The signs and wonders

He did for you

Throughout the years?

 

“See, O See:

The red dawn rises;

The sign of triumph-

Of victory won.

Do not let

The ache of yesterday

Shut out this,

The rising sun.

 

“Mary, O dear one,

Turn from this place.

Why confront the tomb

This way?

He is not there,

Nor can you take Him.

Empty, seeker,

The place where He lay.”

 

“Mary, O daughter

Why hesitate still?

Why?

Do you not yet believe?

I wish to share

With you my kingdom,

Will you accept

What mind cannot conceive?”

 

“Rabboni, my Teacher,

How can you ask!?

You who know

My everything!

Yet, there is no place

In heaven’s halls

For the pain and shame

I would bring.”

 

“Mary, O Mary,”

The Gardener calls,

“Lift up your face;

Gaze on me.

Do you not know?

I am not of this world,

But long to hold you –

Heart in heart- eternally.”

 

-Grace Marie

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Short Reflection for the 2017 Easter Vigil Mass Readings, by Cameron Daly

This reflection is inspired by the 2017 Easter Vigil Mass readings;

http://usccb.org/bible/readings/041517.cfm

HAPPY EASTER!

Last night, I enjoyed about half of a fun pickleball social at Lyme Shores Tennis and attended the awesome (as always!) Easter Vigil Mass at St. Joseph’s. There’s a common theme to be picked up on throughout that Mass: God’s eternally enduring love for each one of us. It may have been Scott Hahn who referred to salvation history as a love story between God and His people. Remember that it was out of pure love that He created, died for, and rose for YOU. How often we fail to appreciate that.

Praise the one true God, Who has risen and has defeated death! ALLELUIA!

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The Unchangeable God and His Changeable Creation, by Cameron Daly

One point of St. Augustine’s I’d like to highlight is the changeability of all creatures—that is, of all things created by God—spiritual and corporeal alike. 1 It’s interesting and relevant for me in particular as it ties in with something I was discussing with my mom recently: the seeming eternal unchangeability of heaven and of people after they’ve died.

First of all, heaven was created by God; 2 therefore, in Augustine’s view, heaven should technically be changeable. Now one of my mom’s questions was how a person could not be in heaven, and then be in heaven, if heaven were eternal; but remember that heaven was created—so while it may be “eternal” in that it has no end, 3 it is obviously changeable because God has changed it to something from nothing. Therefore, it is changeable at least in regards to who resides in it at a given point—meaning that, yes, St. Augustine for instance could be in heaven while I’m still on Earth, and be aware of the change when I (hopefully) end up there in heaven; that is, it wouldn’t be a situation where I always was in heaven anyway. For even though in heaven we have “eternal life,” 4 we have to keep in mind that heaven itself is created—and thus is, if we go by Augustine’s reasoning, changeable (even if it would never be changed fundamentally, considering that it’s “God’s own ‘place’” 5 ). The same goes for our eventually being reunited with our bodies in heaven; for our souls, too, are still created things—and thus could be changed as in being reunited with our bodies.

Yet did not “the Son of God [become] man so that man might become God”? 6 Surely, then, as “God” ourselves, shouldn’t we be unchangeable? But as the Church teaches, “At the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness. After the universal judgment, the righteous will reign for ever with Christ, glorified in body and soul”; 7 and it is upon “the Lord’s return” that “he will come ‘to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all who have believed.’” 8 Thus, my theory is that we will not be glorified—that is, deified—until the second coming, until which point we are not made God and are still limited enough to undergo some measure of change. 9

And of course, to remain orthodox to Catholic teaching, I should add the reminder that heaven “is beyond all understanding and description”; 10 so even if my theory does make sense, it’s important to keep in mind that heaven is ultimately beyond our limited comprehension.

1 Augustine, One the Nature of Good, 1, at New Advent, www.newadvent.org.
2 see Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2 nd ed., at St Charles Borromeo Catholic Church (2 February 2017), at www.scborromeo.org, 325-326.
3 see CCC, 1023, 1709.
4 CCC, 1709.
5 CCC, 326, possibly qtg. Ps 115:16.
6 CCC, 460, qtg. St. Athanasius, De inc. 54, 3: PG 25, 192B.
7 CCC, 1042.
8 CCC, 1041, qtg. 2 Thess 1:10.
9 see Frank Sheed, Theology and Sanity (Illustrated), Kindle edition, 36.
10 CCC, 1027.

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Welcoming a New Contributor–by Cameron Daly

I would like to welcome Grace Marie, a classmate of mine at Holy Apostles College & Seminary, as a new contributor to Roman Catholic Reflections! I will be very happy to have her help, as I’ve been thinking of doing more with this blog to further its evangelization outreach for a while now. She’s a hardcore, Catholic philosophy major at HACS and seems quite eager to help–so she should do well here. She too will be blogging, along with helping manage the blog and other forms of social media to be incorporated into it. Enjoy her forthcoming work! More info about her (and updated info about me) will soon be posted under a new “Contributor Bios” page.

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My Blog Posts on Prof. Heather Voccola’s “Historical Happenings: A Compilation of Coursework”–by Cameron Daly

I was recently able to contribute two posts to Prof. Heather Voccola’s blog Historical Happenings: A Compilation of Coursework for my Church History midterm! In one, I gave a review of Origen’s On Prayer, and in the other, I gave an overview of the philosophical views of some of the Church Fathers. (I can’t figure out how to reblog directly from Blogger to WordPress; if anyone has any tips on that, please feel free to let me know.) Take a look, and enjoy! (And take a look at some of my classmates’ work while you’re there!)

https://voccola.blogspot.com/2017/03/review-of-origens-on-prayer.html

https://voccola.blogspot.com/2017/03/old-school-philosophy-patristic-style.html

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College Discussion Post Turned Lenten Reflection, by Cameron Daly

I wrote the following last week in in response to the Week 7 discussion prompt in the Church History class I’m taking. Looks like it even formatted properly here!

One passage from Scripture can sum up my three points from this week: “do not be afraid of those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Mt 10:28, NABRE). The points I would like to highlight from this period will hopefully drive home the importance of this teaching and how seriously it was taken in the Middle Ages; they should provide an example for us in our own age. So, the first: “Boniface was only one example of hundreds of Benedictine monks who worked and died to establish the Catholic faith in Europe.” 1 The Church was very blessed with so many dedicated, faithful people! How many does it have today? Could we claim to follow in these monks’ footsteps? We, too, should be willing to work and die as necessary to establish the Catholic faith—whether it be in our loved ones, in our communities or societies, or even in ourselves. In doing so, we must remember the Beatitude, “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me [Christ]” (Mt 5:11). Which “absolute value,” as they say in math, is greater—that of temporal suffering or that of eternal joy? This leads to my second point, which is that the Church employed torture to the end of bringing heretics back to the true faith and thus saving their souls. 2 What I want to highlight in bringing this up is the how much more important eternal happiness than it is than temporal happiness. This isn’t to say I think we should physically torture others to get them to believe in the Catholic faith, but that we should be willing to suffer discomfort—again, as necessary—to help bring others and ourselves to heaven. St. Francis (upon whom my third point centers) is a perfect example of this. He was willing to expend whatever effort it took to physically rebuild Christ’s churches; but when the task turned out to be harder, and involve a life of poverty so as to rebuild Christ’s Church herself, he willingly took up that as well. 3 Now maybe we aren’t all called to “[hold] up the pillars of the Church” in the way St. Francis was; 4 but we are called to help uphold ourselves—we who are members of God’s Church. This Lent, let’s try to follow St. Francis’s example in ourselves, and rebuild what is lacking of God’s Church (and of God’s plan in general) in ourselves and others when we’re given the chance, and strive to grow closer to Him through the sacraments and Church teaching and prayer, not fearing but joyfully embracing any difficulties it might entail.

1 Alan Schreck, Ph.D., The Compact History of the Catholic Church, revised ed. (Cincinnati, OH: Servant Books, an imprint of Franciscan Media, 2009), 39.
2 see Schreck, Compact History, 58.
3 see Schreck, Compact History, 59.
4 Schreck, Compact History, 59.

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Catholic Answers Teaches us How to Pronounce “Augustine” and Gives us a Good Laugh–by Cameron Daly

So I was recently debating with my mom over how to pronounce “Augustine”; I thought it would be pronounced “Uh-GUS-tin,” while she thought it would be “AW-gu-STEEN.” In my quest to prove my point, I came upon a Catholic Answers video that helped us out … take a look at it to see whose pronunciation was right (according to them)–AND to have a good laugh: https://youtu.be/Fu1Eu02nUGY

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