Hearing of Paul and Silas singing God’s praises in jail makes me want to talk about a song I know. A song we all know. It goes: “Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you.” It is a prayer, of course, but in fact it is a song. There have been thousands of musical settings created to sing it. But none compares to the incomparable sounds that Mary heard though the voice of Gabriel speaking the Words of God Himself!
Immediately preceding the first of May, the Church celebrates the feast of a 16th-century pope whose memorial is particularly well-situated in such close proximity to a month dedicated to Mary.
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Two friends went to Niagara Falls. They viewed the expansiveness of the falls from above. Then they went below, where they heard the water roar, as it tumbled over the edge and hit the rocks. As they stood there in awe and wonder, one said, “This has got to be the most unused source of power in the world.”
In 1917, the world was at war and Europe was the battlefield. On the periphery, far from the centers of power, Our Lady chose to reveal her message of peace to three young shepherds in the Portuguese countryside. On another part of that periphery, in rural western Ireland, lived another boy about the same age. He too was being schooled in that message in his poor but happy home as they prayed the Holy Rosary every night.
Saint Louis de Montfort highlights ten imitation-worthy virtues of Our Blessed Mother in his writing, True Devotion to Mary. Some virtues we may recognize in ourselves, others offer an opportunity to grow in not only awareness but also holiness.
As we breathed out 2020 and breathed in 2021, we were hoping that this year would be better. But, with the second wave of the pandemic, many of us are feeling a sense of loss and distress. Some of us may be sick or have someone close to us suffering from Covid-19; some of us may have even lost a family member or a dear friend recently; some of us may be worried about commencement ceremonies or other celebrations...