Mary Page News
January 6, 2001
Mary Page News items give insight into our interest areas, our outreach, and the myriad ways people honor Our Lady. We welcome your input and your comments.
The Dombes Document
The Dombes Document
Rev. Giancarlo M. Bruni writes in the newsletter, Marianum Notizie-News, 2/2000:
On Thursday, May 18, 2000, in the Aula Magna of the Marianum there was an afternoon of discussion on the Dombes Group's Marian document: Mary in the Plan of God and in the Communion of Saints (Editions Qiqajon). Ignazio M. Calabuig, President of the Faculty, gave the opening address and Enrico Maria Sironi acted as moderator for the two conferences which followed.
Giancarlo M. Bruni gave the first talk: Chiavi di lettura del documento mariano del Gruppo di Dombes (Interpretations of the Dombes Group Marian Document). Bruni indicated keys to understanding the text: the Dombes group; the unusual literary genre; the reasons behind the document and the peculiar methodology employed. Alfonso Langella gave the second talk: La recezione critica del documento Dombes. Valori e limiti (Critical Reception of the Dombes' Document; Values and Limitations). Langella pointed out the positive values to be found in the document and then in the light of exegesis, history and theology he subjected the document to a critical examination.
This is a document which makes one think, as the ample discussion following the reports demonstrated.
A New "Storia della Mariologia"
Rev. Aristide M. Serra writes in the newsletter, Marianum Notizie-News, 2/2000, that there will be a new, reworked edition of the 1985 Edizioni Paoline Nuovo Dizionario di Mariologia. The original concept for this work originated with the professors of the Marianum in Rome. The professors under the editorial leadership of Frs. Stefano De Fiores and Salvatore Meo, along with 63 other collaborators, took part in this project. Serra writes:
Once the Dizionario had been published the need for a companion work became apparent: a Storia di Mariologia (History of Mariology). Over the past fifteen years this has been the subject of frequent discussion and reflection. ... Several of the most presitigious Catholic publishing houses in Italy have expressed an interest in this project. ...Scholars will provide an inter-disciplinary approach to the articles.
[During several meetings, the committee decided]:
1. A new "Storia della Mariologia" would not only be useful, it is a necessity. Few existing [sic] at present and they are for the most part antiquated. 2. The new work would be addressed to researchers, students, cultural and ecclesiastical institutions. 3. The subject must be treated in the context of civil history, the history of the Church and the history of theology. It would be above-all important to take stock of schools of thought and cultural phenomena at various periods in both the East and the West, and among all Christian churches throughout the world. 4. The work would consist of three volumes. ...
the first - from the Biblical Model to the Literary Model, I - XVI Centuries;
the second - from the Lutheran Model to the Model found in Manuals: XVI - XIX Centuries;
the third - from the neo-orthodox to the Latin American, Asian and African Models, XIX - XX Centuries.
World Youth Day in Canada 2002
We received the following notification and gladly share it with you:
Catholic Canada Directory (http://catholicanada.com) is pleased to inform you that the Official Web Site of the WORLD YOUTH DAY 2002 in Toronto Ontario Canada is up and running at: http://www.wyd2002.org or http://www.jmj2002.org
Please consider creating a link to it on your own web site to help spread the good news. This will be its permanent URL even though it is the preliminary site.
The information is currently in English, French and Spanish but they are already working on other languages and other sections (e.g., registration).
They also hope to have a logo soon which will allow them to change from a text-oriented site to one with a definite design.
You may have seen the material on the site already, but come back often for the Official updates.
With the author's permission, we gladly share Fr. Walter Brennan's reflections on Mary's beauty:
1. BEAUTY. We are not talking about the beauty which is only "skin deep." We are talking about that beauty which makes people say that so and so is a beautiful person. Beauty is what pleases when seen. There is a harmony between interior and exterior which is attractive. There is goodness apparent in the actions of the beautiful person. If, after Christ, Mary is the most perfect person, as the Church teaches, that includes her human beauty, her goodness. Her interiority was such that her character shone through her body. She was the kind of person we would like to be around: sensitive, polite, social, kind, considerate. Ethnic standards of physical beauty are changeable. But for every ethnic group and for every person the beauty she had was not changeable. It was the kind of beauty that every person would appreciate. Mary's beauty was recognizable, human, and pleasing to any human person.
2. GOODNESS. Mary's goodness was part and parcel of her beauty. From her conception she grew in goodness, the favor of God. She was filled with the Spirit of God. She carried the Son of God. She was ready to help everyone in the new creation, the new covenant. Christ came to help all. This is what she said YES to. It would take even death for Him to accomplish this, for he was the Suffering Servant. Mary was God's Servant whose own soul a sword of faith would pierce, as the Gospel of Luke tells us. When she said YES, she said it for every human being, to bring about the new creation which is available to everyone who hears Christ and does what He says. This was her message to the Servants at Cana, representing all who would follow Christ, knowing where the wine comes from. She was made mother of all at the cross. As good to the ultimate human degree, she wished goodness to all who were born human and called by God. This makes her a "good" person, a "tender" mother, a "servant" of God.
3. OUR CHALLENGE. Our challenge is to follow Christ and to do what she did. Then we will be images of Christ, the true image of the God who is beauty and goodness. This is the call of the new creation which she models. [Source: Marian Update # 63 Winter, 2000, author, Walter Brennan, O.S.M.]
Liturgy of the Hours
The following information was sent to us:
I'd like to introduce you to an exciting new web site designed to provide quick and easy access to the Liturgy of the Hours. This web site makes it possible to download and make as many copies as needed of the Morning and Evening Prayer forms for each day of the year. It is designed so that either clergy or lay people can lead the prayer groups.
Use of this site is ... a service provided to anyone interested by the Liturgy of the Hours Apostolate. The purpose of the apostolate is to encourage the praying of the Divine Office, especially as a community. ...
Deacon Sal Cirabisi
Liturgy of the Hours Apostolate
From The Marian Library Newsletter Book & Articles
American Catholics may be familiar with the popular journal U.S.Catholic, published by the Claretians, a congregation of priests and Brothers, founded by St. Anthony Mary Claret. The congregation's official title is the "Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary." The text in the "Office of Readings" for October 24, the feast of St. Anthony Mary Claret, indicates the intensity of the Marian charism the founder bequeathed to the congregation: "The man who burns with the fire of divine love is a son of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and wherever he goes, he enkindles that flame; he desires and works with all his strength to inflame all men with the fire of God's love. Nothing deters him . . . ."
After Vatican II, Claretians, along with many Marian congregations, wished both to revive their original Marian charism and to interpret it in accord with the biblical and theological orientations suggested by the council. At the 1985 Claretian General Chapter, a project was undertaken of "updating, both in theory and in our lives, the Marian dimension of our charism." A first step in this renewal was a questionnaire to all the members of the congregation, consisting of two questions: "How do you live your spirituality of the Heart of Mary," and "What suggestions would you offer for renewing and promoting the spirituality among Claretians and among all Christians" About one-fourth of the members responded. The author of this study, Fr. José Hernández Martínez, was asked to analyze the responses and develop the study. The responses to the first question, usually stated in personal terms related to life experiences, were presented in the form of an "itinerary" of Marian living: the determinative influences of family and early years of religious formation (which for many of the respondents corresponded to the preconciliar period). The responses were also divided into beliefs (mother, model, disciple); attitudes (filial, protective, formative); and practices (short prayers, rosary, liturgy). Two chapters describe how the Heart of Mary was central to the religious experience of St. Anthony Mary Claret, and the way the charism was interpreted in the history of the congregation. Another two chapters situate the Marian charism within the context of contemporary biblical and theological currents.
The last two chapters provide "guidelines for the renewal of our missionary life." The Heart of Mary, understood as the core of Mary's personhood and her fundamental attitude of love, is the symbol influencing prayer, community living, and the apostolate. The Marian charism, nourished through prayer, study, liturgy and also through community experiences and environment, is integral to the total vocational response. For the Claretian, the Heart of Mary provides a spirituality which motivates, inspires, sustains, and is the key to translating the Gospel in daily living.
In 1970, Fr. Heinrich Köster wrote that the question of the cooperation of Mary, under various aspects, has occupied twentieth-century Mariology, whether it be under the term of mediation, coredemption, or spiritual maternity. Vatican II spoke of Mary as cooperating in the human redemption and therefore being our mother in the order of grace (LG 54, 56, 61). Marialis Cultus spoke of Mary as "present at the culminating moment of redemption when, through her free consent, she entered the plan of salvation (MC6). John Paul II referred to Mary's maternal mediation (RM 38). In the postconciliar Mariological treatises, Mary's cooperation is spoken of in different ways; a singular cooperation with Christ (Calero), corredemption (Bastero de Eleizalde, Gherardini, Macquarrie); participation (Fernández), presence (Pizzarello). The question of Mary's cooperation has appeared in several ecumenical contexts: the writings of Pastor Henry Chavannes, the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue (#8), and especially in the recent document of the Groupe des Dombes (where Mary's cooperation is described as receptive in an extraordinary way.) Three theological themes should be further investigated: the nature of the redemption achieved by Christ; the role of creatures in the reception of God's gifts; the ability/capacity of creatures to assist each other in the work of salvation.
The value of the Virgin Mary as a theme for Muslim-Catholic understanding has often been overstressed. Islam has no doctrine of original sin, neither does it value virginity as a privileged state. In the Qu'ran there are, along with Mary, many images of Muslim female piety. However, in medieval Muslim ascetism and mysticism, there were sophianic feminine images, sometimes represented as "the beloved" or the female face of God, typically in a nocturnal setting. Even the Prophet Mohammed is identified with the moon, through whom the light of the Sun shines upon the world. Medieval Muslim mysticism developed ways of speaking of the Prophet very similar to the ways in which Catholics spoke about Mary, as symbol of purity, intercessor, mediator. If scholars would recognize that both Islam and Catholicism have satisfying ways of accommodating primordial religious symbols, the dialogue would learn how to compare the truly comparable and yield a richer harvest than previously seemed possible.
From the moment of his conversion to Christianity on Christmas Day, 1886, during Vespers at Notre Dame in Paris, the Virgin Mary pervades the writings of Paul Claudel, poet, dramatist, and author. The passage from Proverbs (8, 23-31), formerly used in the Mass of the Immaculate Conception, led him through a typological interpretation to equate symbolically the Virgin Mary with Wisdom, with the Feminine, with Women, with the Soul, with the Church, with Grace. For Claudel, there was a feminine character to all revelation (sub specie mulieris). The women in his poetry and theatrical works bear some resemblance to Mary. Two works are specifically Marian: L'Epee et le miroir (1939) and La Rose et le Rosaire (1946), the first, a prolonged and symbolic interpretation of the Seven Sorrows of Mary, and the second a series of biblical meditations comprising a lyrical and exuberant Mariology. The great mysteries of the faith: the Trinity, Incarnation, Redemption are viewed through a Marian trajectory. Redemption occurs sub specie mulieris--Mariae et Ecclesiae, and every woman is called to a mediatorial role.
On Friday, October 13, 2000, Pope John Paul II spoke at the Eighth International Mariological Colloquium in Rome, with the theme, "St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort and Trinitarian Spirituality." The pope said, "For me, St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort is a significant person of reference who has enlighted me at important moments of my life. When I was working as a clandestine seminarian at the Solvay factory in Krakow, my spiritual director advised me to meditate on the True Devotion for the Blessed Virgin. Many times and with great spiritual profit I read and reread this precious little ascetical book with the blue, soda-stained cover" ORE 43 (25 October 2000) 5.
After listing varied ways that the Virgin Mary enters the fabric of daily and family life at the shrine of Madonna del Divino Amore, site of the congress, she observes, "This is the ordinariness of Catholic religious life, giving rich expression to the humanity of the Incarnation which focuses on Mary's motherhood . . . It is not about morality or following the teachings of the Church or attending Mass every Sunday. It is about Mary's capacity to gather people around her Son in all their vulnerability and diversity, and that is perhaps why the cult of the Virgin is one of such detailed particularity. There is not a universal Mary, for every Catholic community has its own Mary who reflects the images and interest of her devotees. This is a Mary through whom the Incarnation sanctifies the earth and all its inhabitants by the diffusion of her cult through a million cultural lenses."
A new exhibit, From Russian with Love, features icons in the Russian written by Tatiana Romanova-Grant. Originally from Russian, she now resides in Santa Cruz, California. The exhibit, at the artist's request, shall be a tribute to her mother in gratitude for her faith.
Although Mary Page currently in in the process of mounting the exhibit online, for the time being, the artist's work can be viewed at:
Commentary on Mary in various news articles from December 21 through January 2, 2001.
The director and editors of 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.
The senior pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church in Arlington, who planned to role play part of the New Testament story of the birth of Jesus, portraying the angel Gabriel appearing to Zechariah and to Mary;
The pastor of the Arlington Chinese Church, who planned to include a puppet show in his service;
The choir at Wedgwood Baptist Church singing "Mary Did you Know" as part of the pastor's homily on Mary's great faith and humility;
The senior minister at Richland Hills Church of Christ incorporating his Christmas message into his series of sermons on he cross.
And I was six Christmases of age.
My father played the melodion,
My mother milked the cows,
And I had a prayer like a white rose pinned
On the Virgin Mary's blouse
The Canberra Times on December 24 printed a poem by 8-year-old home schooled Robert
Southwell titled "Jesus is born," that began:
Jesus is born in the manger,
Where there is no danger.
The saviour of the world comes to Earth,
And the Virgin Mary gives him birth.
The Mariological Society of American issues a "Call-for-Papers." The conferences will be delivered at the Society's annual meeting, May, 2001, and printed in Marian Studies, 2001 (vol. 52). The Society is undertaking a three-year program on Marian Spirituality the witness and experience of the Marian influence in the life of the Church, of religious movements, and of individuals.
The first year's program (2001) will deal with Marian Spirituality, especially the concept of mediation, during the patristic and early medieval periods. Papers are requested on the Scriptural and doctrinal foundations of Marian spirituality, and on witness of early Eastern and Western writers (e.g., Augustine, Ildephonse of Toledo, Severus of Antioch, John Damascene, Germanus of Constantinople, the monastic writers) and the hymns and prayers of the period.
A precis should be submitted by mid-January 2001. For more information, contact Fr. Thomas A. Thompson, S.M., The Marian Library/IMRI, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH 45469-1390. (FAX 937- 229-4258; Tel: 937-229-4214.
The Mary Page theme for this news brief about the Blessed Mother is culled from magisterial documents since Vatican II. The quote below is taken from Redemptoris Mater:
A just and God-fearing man, called Simeon, appears at this beginning of Mary's "journey" of faith. His words, suggested by the Holy Spirit (cf. Lk. 2:25-27), confirm the truth of the Annunciation. Simeon's words cast new light on the announcement which Mary had heard from the angel: Jesus is the Savior, he is "a light for revelation" to mankind. ... Simeon's words seem like a second Annunciation to Mary, for they tell her of the actual historical situation in which the Son is to accomplish his mission, namely, in misunderstanding and sorrow. ... confirms her faith in the accomplishment of the divine promises of salvation,... also reveals to her that she will have to live her obedience of faith in suffering, at the side of the suffering Savior, and that her motherhood will be mysterious and sorrowful. (#16 )
You are invited to help us pray for our prayer corner intentions.
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