Tag Archives: Catherine Huss

Catholic Devotion to Mary

12 Jul

Growing up, my mom made us partake in a lot of Marian devotions. We were interrupted to pray the Angelus while watching cartoons, sing Marian hymns at home and special occasions at church, and our house was decked with a plethora of images of Our Lady. The worst imposition was when my mom would pray a rosary with us late at night if we couldn’t sleep. No doubt sleep would come over us within five minutes. For most of my life, I didn’t understand why she and the Catholic Church put so much value on the Blessed Mother.

Virgin Mary Annuticiate Fra Angelico

Virgin Mary Annuticiate Fra Angelico

I questioned: Why do you stand when you pray the Hail Holy Queen? Why does she get an entire five decades of prayers dedicated to her? Why does she get multiple feast days for her honor? Why do some Catholics seem to worship her and treat her like the fourth person of the Trinity? All of this questioning turned me off to hearing and learning about various Marian devotions. I struggled a lot with the idea of asking for help from the Virgin Mary instead of going straight to God.

One realization I have come to is that God made us human with physical needs. He sent His only Son to come to earth as a man to experience what we experience and be able to relate to us. God became man and was born of a woman so that we would be able to understand and relate. A divine being made up of three in one persons? That doesn’t make any sense…but a baby boy born to a young girl and a carpenter? Now, that is something I can wrap my head around! We all have a mother and a father, even Jesus. The month of May is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. We honor her and remember the great sacrifice and love she experienced bringing Christ into the world.

How many times do we honor our own mother throughout the year? On her birthday and Mother’s Day, we spend time and money on her, write cards and give flowers. On these days and many other days throughout the year, we take time to thank our moms for giving us life, and for all they have sacrificed and given to and for us. And rightly so, these beautiful women have done so much for us, and we are literally here because of their love and sacrifice. How much more, then, should we love, honor, appreciate and thank the Mother of God. Christ would have never come as a man, suffered death and rose again if Mary hadn’t said “yes.”

During the month of May, and specifically around Mother’s Day when we honor our own mothers, I challenge you to take some time to honor and thank Our Lord’s mother. After all, she is our mom too: “Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home” (John 19:27).

 

– Catherine Huss

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The Freedom to Follow Christ

4 Apr The Freedom to Follow Christ - Catherine Huss

   I have been to more talks and read more books than I can remember about how non-Catholics (and non-practicing Catholics for that matter) find religion to be restrictive and oppressive, and that not following any religious teaching is freeing. Catholic authors and speakers counter this assertion with a different one: that in reality, following Christ brings you “true freedom.”

The Freedom to Follow Christ - Catherine Huss

The Calling of the Twelve John Mosiman

For most of my life I never understood that assertion. How could having to follow rules, strict rules, that forbid you to engage in fun, enjoyable activities be freeing? How is it “true freedom” when every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation the place I will be and the activity I will partake in is planned out for me? How is it “true freedom” when I am told how my sexual relationships and weekly tithing should look?

Lately, the Lord has revealed to me through small experiences (as He usually does) the ways in which I am truly free by following Him.

Drama: I have found that when I try my best to be kind to others, smile at people, don’t pick fights, give people the benefit of the doubt, and don’t talk about people in a derogatory manner, my life has become drama-free.

Peace and Patience: Stub a toe? Get cut off on the freeway? Get lost in an unfamiliar place? Order a plane ticket for the wrong day? By realizing and accepting God is in control, and that He allows everything to happen, I have peace and patience with a situation and am free from freaking out.

God’s Will: I can’t even tell you how many hours and days, weeks and months I have spent worrying, stressing and being anxious about events in my life. Whether it is getting a job, being accepted into a certain school/program, having food to eat and a roof over my head, it is incredibly freeing to know that ultimately it is all in God’s hands, and His Will will be done. It’s not entirely up to me. I do the best I can with what I am given, and He does the rest.

Just because I have decided to follow Christ and His teachings (which we all have the freedom to choose to do), doesn’t mean these freedoms will magically come. I still gossip, swear in frustrating situations and stress about jobs. But by following Christ, I am given the tools to work toward a drama-free, peaceful life according to God’s Will.

– Catherine Huss