Mary and the month of May

Mary and the month of May

Thirty-five comments and counting in response to my last post. Read it and weep Joel Peart!

(I was always conscious that his guest-posts attracted more comments than my posts. Which he didn’t care about at all. Says more about a possible inferiority complex on my part, really.)

In all seriousness, I don’t really consider the 35 comments as a badge of honour. But it does salve my conscience. I may have been neglecting this blog in recent days, but others have ensured its activity.

The comment thread on priestly celibacy has raised some interesting points and made some surprising turns, which I will engage. But not tonight. Tonight, I want to consider a much more amiable subject: Mary and the month of May.

The first day of our Lady’s month also happens to be the feast of St Joseph the Worker. I’m sure this is very appropriate from Mary’s point of view. I imagine she would much prefer to see her dear husband, who was the love of her life, honoured in place of her.

But it’s also very appropriate from our point of view. If we want to do something special for our Lady in May, then there’s surely no better example to follow than Joseph’s.

There may be a temptation — it’s one of mine, anyway — to make grand promises in honour of our Lady. “This May, I’m going to pray all four parts of the rosary, every day. Twenty decades, every day!”

Uh huh. I bet the enemy rubbed his hands in glee when I made that sort of resolution. The ensuing discouragement was a fait accompli. And maybe even Mary herself rolled her eyes at me (while appreciating the thought I’d like to think).

But Mary is our mother, and we can approach her like small children. There’s no need to “think big.” The modest gestures of affection from small children invariably delight grown ups. Especially mothers.

My plan this May is to place a fresh flower in front of an image of our Lady every morning. (No surprises, though, if I falter even in this small duty.) And in the evening, I’ll try to ponder one of the mysteries of the rosary. Just for 60 seconds. Barely long enough to imagine the sights and sounds of the scene.

And for inspiration, I’ll look to St Joseph. He, more than any other saint I think, exemplifies holiness by way of the ordinary duties of every day. He did nothing very remarkable. He was a faithful husband and father, a “mere carpenter” who lived a quiet life but lived it well. Entirely in the service of the Lord.

We don’t have to sanctify ourselves on our knees, in a church, away from the world. We can sanctify ourselves in the midst of our daily life — on the street, in our work, between phone calls.

Not that I’m picking the flowers to sanctify myself. I just want to do something for my Blessed Mother. Without forgetting Mum this Mothers’ Day, of course!

  • Joel

    It was an aggressive post on clerical celibacy. Shooting fish in a barrel.

    No really, I’m happy for you. The starting of the blog to feed your ego has finally started paying dividends. Keep it up.

    • Fair cop. I earned that opprobrium.

    • Anne

      Joel what a nasty piece of material you are. “starting the blog to feed your ego?” what utter rot.
      I think its was a marvellous idea of Father to keep friendships and new ones and to keep at bay loneliness.
      You are awful Mr “joel”
      as for the clerical celibacy string, it’s fabulous, energetic. Poeple interacting and agreeing and disagreeing. That’s the sign of a good blog. What did you want. Yes Father No father.
      What is your problem Mr Joel.
      And Father John dont listen to such an awful minded person. It was great to debate such a magnificent topic and why it is magnificen t.

    • It’s all good Anne. Joel meant it in good fun. It’s not always obvious through the written medium. I’m not even sure if you’re not hamming it up to stoke his guilt! In which case, don’t let me stop you! Ha ha.

      • MuMu of St Kilda

        Fr John, if you want to maintain combox fecundity, just keep lobbing your topics below the belt, as it were!!! As the hilarious Max Lindenman would call them, “pelvic issues”!!!

      • Anne

        Mu Mu behave yourself! this is holy site leave the region south alone.

        Stoking guilt father stoking guilt and you’re stopping me? not fair!

      • MuMu

        Anne, quite right. It did come across as a bit unseemly. I apologise.

  • Stephen K

    That’s an intriguing association of yours, MuMu: blog fecundity and topics related to sex(!)

    However I am neither convinced the two are so correlated nor sure I want to encourage the correlation if they are.

    For me, sex is a private and personal thing and somehow often inappropriately autopsied by the process of public discourse (outside of certain contexts).

    I’m much more exercised, for blog purposes, by and about philosophical / value considerations and the phenomenon of what I call blogmatism to which in various ways we are all prone and at times all guilty of.

    (For the record, I note that my post is a reply to another post which deals with a topic whose correlation with the frequency of posts in reply I am suggesting is unfounded or not to be encouraged by posts in reply.)

    • MuMu of St Kilda

      Dear Stephen
      I almost regretted my post as I didn’t wish to appear to encourage smut, but what I really meant was that the topics encompassed by Paul V1’s Humanae Vitae are by far the most debated and contentious within and without Catholic discourse and they will always provoke fierce debate. As they involve the very essence of human life and affect the health of the foundational unit of society, the family, they are terribly important. In debating the issue of sexuality one doesn’t have to go anywhere near the details, but rather opine on and discuss what happens when it is not kept within its proper confines; privacy, as you say, being one of them.

      • Stephen K

        Fair comment, MuMu! No argument there.

    • Anne

      Now Stephen really !!!!! would you not call this waffle! my goodness “blogmatism”. Lighten up! Alright already! Oy Vey!

      “I’m much more exercised, for blog purposes, by and about philosophical / value considerations and the phenomenon of what I call blogmatism to which in various ways we are all prone and at times all guilty of. “

      • Stephen K

        Hey, I thought it was a neat little coin! How often do you get to use a word you think you made up yourself? But you’re right now that I look at it – it WAS all a bit stodgy.

      • Anne

        OK Stephen invent another one. Dazzle me with something heroically pertinant. Enchant this elderly crotchity woman with luminosity. What else? I forget. Better go and take my fish oils to remember!

  • MuMu of St Kilda

    I’m not using the respond button any more because it forces one’s post into a very tall, skinny er… pole. Very annoying. But Stephen, please gives us a full and frank description of blogmatism, of which I am sure I am guilty… (have added blogmatism to my dictionary!)

    • Anne

      Mu Mu …er your mind wandered south for a moment again. Stop it. And I think Stephen is going to give us something spectacular by way of euphamisms, words, nouns, verbs, newspeak etc.
      so just keep your mind clean and all will be well. If your mind wanders just try the wonders of red krill oil it does marvels for old bones and wandering minds.

    • Stephen K

      “blogmatism” n. 1. positive assertion of opinions on a blog or discussion board; 2. commonly, insistence or assumption that one’s opinion has force of universal law or is self-evident to others; 3. tendency or desire to score points over antagonist or have last word. Contr. opinionise acknowledging possibility of error; hypothesise; Related terms:. “blogma” n. 1. opinion or belief, esp. on religious matters, expressed on a blog; 2. arrogant declaration of opinion on blog; [ see also “blogmatic” adj., “blogmatise” v.i. “blogmatically” adv. in manner of declaring a blogma ]

      • Anne

        Oy Vey! definitely waffle!! and its my own fault I asked for it! I ddeserve everything I get from Stephen! His blogamation, his blogathorn, his blogatoon, his blogmaston. hs blogmasion.
        all of it deserve it!
        I am contrite. deep sorrow for asking for it (sigh…I dont know how to do emoticons)

  • Simon Hogan

    I try and make special dention to Mary not only in May but in August too. We should remember all the great things she has done for us. Mary is the month of May becausethe Norther Hemisphere is in spring that means rebirth and new growth.
    Here is is poem from Gerard Manley Hopkins
    ” May is month of Mary’s month, and I
    ” Muse at that and wonder why”.

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