Tag: mary

Mary’s call to vocation: The Annunciation

August 2014 Reflection Kieran Fenn fms It is easy to imagine Mary as a young woman, soon to be married to Joseph, dreaming of a loving marriage, a family, a home in the village among the people she knew. She would lead a quiet life far from the gaze of the Roman occupation. She would

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Mary: The joy of the gospel

May 2014 Scripture Kieran Fenn fms Pope Francis ends his 2013 apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, with a prayer to Mary as mother of evangelisation. In her presence with the disciples in the upper room (Acts 1:14), praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit, the pope sees the beginning of the great mission to bring

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Mary mirrored in the Old Testament

Scripture April 2014 Kieran Fenn fms Much of content in the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary originates in the Old Testament. In this prayer, which Pope Sixtus V approved in 1587, Mary can be perceived in the shadow of the people and institutions of the OT. Abraham’s faith constitutes the beginning of the Old

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Mary and prayer in the third millennium

Scripture March 2014 Kieran Fenn fms There are three major types of prayer to Mary: invocation, praise, a remembrance. Prayers of invocation call on her as a prominent member of the communion of saints for help. Those prayers that recall Mary’s memory or praise her plunge us into the mystery of the church and bring

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Mary for the Third Millenium: Mary the Woman

Scripture February 2014 Kieran Fenn fms Pope Paul VI said in 1975 that devotion to Mary for many in the church was a problem. Our approach to Mary reflected outdated ideas of the medieval and Counter-Reformation church, which lack appeal for contemporary people. He cited some theology that presents Mary as timidly submissive which, he

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Mary: An ecumenical aspiration

Scripture December 2013 Kieran Fenn fms Pope Paul VI’s great Marialis Cultus, published 10 years after the Second Vatican Council, called for a devotion to Mary that was ecumenically sensitive, especially to the centrality of Christ. We need to recognise our own contribution to the Protestant reaction against Mary. The roots lie in the 16th

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A modern approach to Mary

Scripture November 2013 Kieran Fenn fms Pope Paul VI’s 1974 encyclical on devotion to Mary (Marialis Cultus) made significant changes in the way the church honours Mary. Some Marian feast days, particularly those with doubtful historical basis, have been trimmed; others such as Mary Mother of God on 1 January, have taken on greater significance.

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Mary, model for the Church

Scripture October 2013 Kieran Fenn fms In an insightful comment, theologian Karl Rahner reminded us that it was the image of the woman Mary that enabled the church in past centuries to prevent society, with which it was too uncritically identified, from setting up a purely patriarchal domination. He adds that the Church had to

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Mary in the Year of Faith: Mary for the third millennium

Scripture Kieran Fenn fms September 2013 Veneration of the Blessed Mother has been a central characteristic of the Catholic tradition. Consider some of the following aspects of past and present devotion to Mary: Gang members tattooing images of the Virgin of Guadalupe on their backs as a shield against their rivals’ bullets; Pilgrimage sites that

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Mary in the Year of Faith 9: more about apparitions

Scripture Kieran Fenn fms august 2013 Continuing last month’s theme, we look at the question of Marian apparitions or, more precisely, the attitude we take to them. Some have been recognised by the church and have become important places of pilgrimage. Others have become sites for the celebration of significant events attributed to Mary. Popular

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