Wednesday February 25, 2015

In the News: Posted February 27, 2015

By Michael Duricy

ML/IMRI Features

Marian Events

Mary in the Catholic Press

Mary in the Secular Press

Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute Features

Reader Comments

We have received a number of emails from readers commending our institute and its website, The Mary Page.  Thank you all for your encouragement and support.  The following is a typical example.

Excellent information! You answered all my questions!! Thanks so much,

Mark

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Updates

An online finding aid called Guide to the Marian bulletins and newsletters for materials in the archival collection at The Marian Library is now available on eCommons, the Institutional Repository for the University of Dayton.

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Mary in Books, Films, and Music

Recently published Book on Mary now available

Behold Your Mother - A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines by Tim Staples became available in hardcover from Amazon on October 27, 2014. Click here to see more information or to order copies.

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From the Marian Treasure Chest
We are Called to be Angels by Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.--published in Loreto, Sept. / Dec. 2014, the English edition of the periodical of the Shrine of the Holy House, Italy
 
 
Recent years have directed a great deal of attention to angels. Have angels become a fad, a trend, or are they real? Angels seem to appear in so many aspects of our lives today – magazine covers and articles, news reports, jewelry, postage stamps, stories, television shows, literature, historical anecdotes, art, religious practice, biblical studies. Attention to angels seems ubiquitous. So absorbed in angels is the general population that the current interest borders on angel mania.
Like the commercialization of Christmas and Easter, angel mania can serve to draw our attention to the reality and importance of angels in God’s creation.  Angels are no myth. They are a very evident and significant part of history and spirituality.
Examining our Christian prayer life indicates that we encounter the angels of God not only in popular and vocal prayers in general, but we find them prominent especially in the Church’s official, liturgical prayer – the Liturgy of the Hours and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Angels are an obvious reality of religious history and biblical study. This popular outburst of interest in angels leads us to learn the role of angels in the Bible and their meaning for us today.

Mention of angles abounds in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Christians need not look to popular news sources to learn more about the  angels.

The word angel comes from the ancient Greek angelos, which means messenger. The word is applied to both human and divine messengers. In the Old Testament the Hebrew word mal’ak is rendered angelos, and refers to human and divine messengers alike. In several instances in the New Testament angel refers to humans, but the word usually means heavenly beings. Though our focus is on angels as heavenly beings, the Bible itself employs a wider use of the term.

The angels serve as messengers of the Lord and servants of the Lord. They help to bridge the gap between humans and God.

Note that the names often given to angels point away from the angel and back to God. Michael means “Who is like God?” Gabriel means “God is string.”  Raphael means “God heals.” These angels are representatives of God’s active presence in our world.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#331) teaches: “Christ is the center of the angelic world. They are his angels.” There is a clear impression that some early Christians gave too much attention to angels, and that some New Testament writers addressed this point. Is this a message for us today?

A few years ago pollster George Gallup, a devout Episcopalian, reporting the results of his national survey, highlighted concerns among the clergy that angel mania “may be detracting people from proven paths to spiritual development” and that “pop culture visions of angels impede a deeper development of spiritual values to nourish the soul” (Emerging Trends).

What does this mean for us today? Here are some conclusions we can glean from the Bible’s teaching on angels.

First, we should focus more on God than on angels. The Lord sends the messenger who delivers the message or performs the action. Angels come from God and should direct us back to God. 

Second, we need to place great trust in God’s active presence in our lives. God’s angels remind us that we are not alone. God is always with us. God wants to protect us from harm.

 Finally, we can see Jesus as God’s messenger and servant. Though not called an angel, Jesus is the one sent by God into our world. He is the presence of God in our daily life, and expresses God’s concern for the lowly and the needy. In Jesus, God “has visited and redeemed his people” (Lk 1:68).             

We can celebrate angels and the important truth they communicate to us. God wants to be intimately involved in our everyday lives. Our guardian angels are the clearest indication of this.

Throughout the Old Testament God’s messengers/angels guard and protect individuals as well as the people of God. This providence of God is exemplified by instances found in Genesis 21:17-18; Genesis 22:11-18; Exodus 14:19-10, 23; Daniel 12:1.

In the New Testament Jesus advises his disciples not to ignore or despise any of the “little ones” because “their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven” (Mt 18:10).

And the Catechism of the Catholic Church (#336, 352) affirms that “From infancy to death human life is surrounded by the watchful care and intercession” of the angels.

While being open to the good news conveyed by the angels, we too are invited to become messengers/angels to the world. We are called to participate in the new evangelization. While the Bible does focus more on heavenly figures, it also recognizes that we can be angels too.

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Marian Events

Picturing Mary: Woman, Mother, Idea Graduate Conference, co-hosted by the Catholic University of America (CUA) and the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA). The conference is March 20-21, and features a keynote address by Dr. Miri Rubin (Queen Mary University of London), “The Virgin Mary: Emotion and legacy in medieval Europe and Beyond.” The conference begins Friday March 20, 2015 at 3 PM at the NMWA, with Dr. Rubin’s lecture commencing at 5 PM. The conference will move to CUA for the second day on Saturday March 21 in the Pryzbyla Center. Receptions will follow on both days. Click here for more information or here to register.

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Mary in the Catholic Press

Pope Francis: 'Every Threat to the Family Is a Threat to Society Itself' from Zenit (Rome) January 16, 2015

Pope Francis arrived on his 'popemobile' to the “Mall of Asia” Arena this afternoon in Manila for a Meeting of Families, greeting thousands of cheering Filipinos along the way.

As he entered, excited Catholics screamed, “We love you, Papa Francis” and ran up to catch a glimpse of the Argentinian Pontiff. Despite days of travel and events, on his first full day in the Philippines, the Holy Father was in good spirits, stopping every so often to bless the faithful, kiss children and even crowning a statue of the Blessed Mother for someone....

“What a gift this would be to society, if every Christian family lived fully its noble vocation!” he exclaimed. “So rise with Jesus and Mary, and set out on the path the Lord traces for each of you.”

Concluding his address to the families, Pope Francis urged the families present to be missionary disciples of Jesus and to help the poor and the suffering know that they have not been forgotten by God.

“Do not hide your faith, do not hide Jesus, but carry him into the world and offer the witness of your family life!” he exclaimed.

Click here to see the complete article.

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Mary in the Secular Press

The director and editors of The Mary Page under the auspices of the International Marian Research Institute do not necessarily endorse or agree with the events and ideas expressed in this feature. Our sole purpose is to report on items about Mary gleaned from a myriad of papers representing the secular press.

Chimayó man says melting snow revealed image of Our Lady on his truck from The Santa Fe New Mexican (New Mexico) February 13, 2015

José Martinez noticed the image after a recent snowstorm.

In the back of his truck, between the cab and the truck bed, he saw what appeared to be a picture of the Virgin Mary in the guise of Our Lady of Guadalupe. "I got scared and surprised," he said. "I started running away."

Martinez's wife, Marie, said when her husband first noticed the likeness, he called out, "Look, look, hon'." She saw it, too, and ran inside the house to get her cellphone because, she said, "I was kind of like thinking it would disappear."

José Martinez said, "It's like a miracle, I think."

A couple of days later, the couple, who live in Chimayó not far from the community's famed santuario, called a television station, which sent out a crew and did a short report on what they found.

Nothing like this has ever happened to the family before, but they are devout Catholics, Marie Martinez said, and "firm believers in the Virgin Mary, Guadalupana, Jesus and everything."

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