Death of Beauraing Visionary Renews Message of Apparition Feb17

Death of Beauraing V...

The last living visionary from Beauraing, Belgium died on February 10, 2015. I was not surprised Gilberte Degeimbre’s death elicited no coverage in the United States by Catholic writers or Marian enthusiasts. The thirty-three apparitions of Our Lady to five children in Beauraing are...

Help Mary in Her Mis...

Fr. Emil Neubert, SM, one of my favorite Mariologists, wrote many books on Mary including Mary and the Priestly Ministry and My Ideal, Jesus, Son of Mary. Recently, the Franciscans of the Immaculate, through their publishing house, Academy of the Immaculata, have renewed interest in Father...

7 Spiritual New Year...

I think most Catholics in the world would love to grow in their relationship with Jesus. People have a genuine desire to grow in holiness, even if they are not able to articulate their desires for it. On New Year ’s Day many people re-evaluate their lives. They examine how their lives were...

From the Realms of G...

I imagine angels to be like responsible teenagers asked to babysit their toddler siblings. I’m sure that my own guardian angel is often exasperated with me, as tends to happen when babysitting mischievous toddlers. Sometimes the kids are adorable, and sometimes you have to lure the guinea...

A Marian Heart

The other day my spiritual director challenged me to better emulate the heart of Mary in word and deed. As a person who claims to be devoted to the Blessed Virgin, I must admit, there are times my actions do not reflect my belief. From his simple, yet challenging comment, I realized my...

Watch and Pray- Prep...

The Taize Community of France, known for their rhythmic hymns, which encourage contemplation on lines from scripture, has a beautiful chant paraphrasing from Jesus’ prayer in the Garden before his arrest.  They hymn repeats: “Stay with me, remain here with me, watch and pray,...

The Ten Virtues of Mary Series Oct23

The Ten Virtues of M...

This content was originally published at To the Heights and has been reformatted for the Ignitum Today readers! If you’re a faithful Catholic woman, chances are you’ve heard advice along the lines of, “Just be like Our Lady” more times than you can count. And if...

Characters of Cana

With the month of October underway, the Catholic world has commenced the Month of the Rosary. During this month, Catholics are encouraged to pray the rosary more often and meditate on the mysteries of Christ’s life.  In 2002, Pope John Paul II gave the faithful a fourth set of...

Mary and Litanies an...

My niece sent me a text the other day that said, ‘Thanks auntie.’ Auntie. It’s a title that I carry with such pride. One of the greatest joys in my life is being able to help mold the character of my nieces and nephews. Each of us hold different titles. From mother to father, sister,...

Reconsider the Chape...

Over the summer my dear friend and roommate put together a gorgeous video about why many Catholic women are returning to the old custom of wearing a chapel veil to Mass.  I personally started wearing a veil in high school, and often thank the Lord that He lead me to do so.  I highly...

The Expectant Couple...

As my wife and I await the arrival of our second child, our first daughter, we have been filled with many similar emotions and feelings that stirred within us during our first pregnancy. In May 2012, we found out we were expecting our son, Noah, who was born in January of 2013. As I reflect on...

Hail Mary: The Catholic Gateway Drug Aug04

Hail Mary: The Catho...

Once upon a time I was a teenage Catholic who wanted to go to heaven when I died, someday. I figured I would get the going to heaven thing taken care of and then get down to the business of living life, knowing that I had the afterlife under control. I suppose there was a sort of wisdom in...

Embracing Edith ...

Anne Costa’s book, Embracing Edith Stein, was my traveling companion on my recent trip to Missouri. I wish I had spent more than a few hours with the book. I fully intend to revisit her someday when I have several days to digest her teachings. Anyone who has followed my blog for any length...

We Don’t Call ...

Whenever we talk about Mary, we address her with many different titles: Mother of Jesus, Mother of God, Holy Mary,  Blessed Mother. However, out of all these, the one most often heard across Catholic (and Protestant) aisles is The Virgin Mary. Virtually every person that claims the Christian...

Know Mary, Know Jesu...

During my days as a Southern Baptist, my opinion of Mary, the Blessed Virgin, was the same as every other Protestant. I saw her as just another character in the Bible, one who was given a particular task, and when God was finished with her, she faded into the background with the rest of the...

Rediscovering Devotion to Our Lady of Good Help May25

Rediscovering Devoti...

Yesterday, May 24, the Church quietly observed a feast of Mary, namely, Mary, Help of Christians.  Certainly the feast was observed by some in the Church.  I’d imagine the Carmelites at the National Basilica of Mary, Help of Christians, affectionately called Holy Hill, in Wisconsin, and by...

Experiences of the Rosary Apr27

Experiences of the R...

The rosary primarily is a personal prayer which comprises the devotional life of the Church and is not a liturgical prayer. The people of God oftentimes pray the rosary collectively in many different forums, be it before Mass, after Mass, at the funeral home, in a meeting room, or perhaps in...

The Virgin Mary as H...

This topic is one that has been the subject of much reflection for me over the past several months after having read Chiara Lubich’s “Mary, the Transparency of God.” Unfortunately I do not have her text in front of me as I write this reflection because at present I am in the...

Looking to the Star ...

Stars are significant in the Christian tradition.  For example, God promised Abraham descendants more numerous than the stars of the sky (Genesis 22:17).  And today a star plays a prominent role in our celebration of the Epiphany when a star guided the Magi to the stable (Matthew 2:9-11). ...

Parables In Parentin...

Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. These lines always seemed particularly beautiful to me, even as a child. They are so intimate, so feminine. When I became a mother myself they became even more powerful because they reveal the heart of a mother, pondering the mystery of...

Mary: Pro-Life Mothe...

We must avoid the great temptation to see ourselves as Mary, present to the crucified Christ of aborted children. While “whatever you did to the least of these you did to me” is a main message of the pro-life movement, equating the killing of children with the persecution of Christ, pro-lifers must be careful not to see themselves solely as those who don’t “do [wrong] to the least of these.” We must learn to be Mary in the pro-life movement….

My Little One, Am I ...

Today the Church celebrates the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a great appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Juan Diego, which forever changed the course of history in the Americas. Her appearance on Tepeyac Hill, Mexico in 1531 helped convert millions and millions of people in the...

Three Common Misconc...

Today, December 8th, the Church would observe the feast of the Immaculate Conception. This year the feast is transferred to Monday the 9th, giving precedence to the Second Sunday of Advent. In my experience, the Immaculate Conception is one of the most misunderstood teachings of the Church....

Sorrowful Mysteries ...

It was a Friday evening as I sat in line for confession. I thought to myself, “This certainly isn’t how the average twenty-something gal spends a Friday night.” I sat in a quiet church with the Blessed Sacrament exposed, waiting for my turn to get my soul scrubbed clean. As...

Three Reasons to Pra...

Farmers pause in their fields at midday and bow their heads in prayer. Businessmen and women overhear the ringing bells of nearby churches during their lunch break in the downtown business district. Neighbors to Catholic Churches hear the church bells toll thrice daily at six, noon, and six,...

God Loves You: Nobod...

Disclaimer: This article is going to sound cynical. It might even sound anti-Christian. Please stick with it. There is a point. I am sarcastic and sometimes offensive. Again, there is an overall point. This New Evangelization thing in the Church is pretty cool, you gotta admit. I mean, JPII...

Mary: Model of the T...

In my youth, I prayed the rosary with my grandmother or other ladies from the parish after daily Mass.  Before the first three Hail Marys, the leader always announced a special intention: “We pray for an increase in the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity.”  As one could...

Behold Thy Mother

It’s fascinating to see throughout history, the influence of the serpent in both culture and religion. How many prominent civilizations, some devilishly dominant and so technologically advanced for their times, held the worship of this so called “god.” We probably tend to ask...

What is Hail Mary?

Well, Hail Mary is a historical and biblical phrase used by an angel of God to a virgin called Mary. This historic event is so important that the most ancient Christian Church has made it into a prayer to remind her members who are the Body of Christ about what the Yes of a Virgin in ancient...

What’s the Pope’s Consecration of the World Got to Do With Me? Oct15

What’s the Pope’s Co...

With all the post-interview spotlight beaming/glaring on Pope Francis, I hope all Catholics and secular media alike pay careful attention to what did on October 13th, 2013: consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Specifically, I wish he makes everyone wonder: what this...

The Queen of October...

October 9th came and went. An important anniversary for the Church in the United States passed and very few people realized the significance of the date. My own life was consumed with the busyness that surrounded me, leaving me unable to write for the momentous anniversary. 154 years ago in...

Our Lady of the Smile: A Reflection Oct08

Our Lady of the Smil...

Special thanks to my sister-in-Christ, Liesl Grace Dowd, for helping me with this reflection! Her words are towards the end. Our Lady has many titles, of which only some are official. That doesn’t mean the unofficial titles are invalid—and I found this particular title brought warmth...

Mary Speaks To Us Al...

I’ve had an off and on again relationship to Our Mother for as long as I’ve been Catholic. She was very instrumental in my conversion in 2004. I had a substantial devotion to her. I had been a “Goddess’ girl” as a Wiccan, so I guess on some level I kind of traded...

Adele Brise and the ...

In light of yesterday’s feast, the Exaltation of the Cross (September 14), it seems appropriate to reflect on the cross. Specifically, I’d like to focus on the only approved Marian apparition in the United States of America. On October 9, 1859, the Queen of Heaven appeared to Adele Brise...

Five Commonalities B...

Among all kinds of cultural, political, and interfaith dialogues, the one between Christianity and Islam is arguably the most interesting. Many of my friends from the Western world regard Islam as some kind of a mysterious, exotic, almost “unknowable” religion. However, some scholars,...

10 Quotes about the Rosary Aug29

10 Quotes about the ...

I really love everything about the Rosary. It is quite refreshing to read what other giants of the Holy Catholic Faith have to say about this priceless devotion. Quote #1 “The Rosary is the most beautiful and the most rich in graces of all prayers; it is the prayer that touches most the...

What Do You Smell li...

You probably did not miss Pope Francis’ recommendation that bishops should smell like their sheep. What may have been missed is the universal call to holiness. If a bishop is supposed to smell like their followers, what does your bishop smell like?     If we want our bishops...

Happy Feast of the Assumption! Aug15

Happy Feast of the A...

 Hail and blessed be this day! Today is the day in which Our Lady was taken body and soul into heaven, a day to be remembered and commemorated. The purest of God’s creatures looks down upon us, waiting for us to remember her, pray to her, and thank her for all that she does for us. Let...

The Feast of the Ass...

The Feast of the Assumption is tomorrow; and some of us might be wondering: “What is the importance of this feast? Is it still relevant to a world that focuses solely on the body to the denial of immortality, thinks love is only about sex, and is afraid of death because this life is all...

Our Lady’s Sev...

One of my favourite devotions concerning Our Lady is “The Devotion of the Seven Sorrows.” Why is this? Firstly, because it is easier to bear suffering when one can relate to someone, it is a safe way to sanctification, and Our Lord and Our Lady want us to have this devotion. Our...