For the last three weeks, I have been posting a series on the best thing I ever did for Lent. If you haven’t read the rest, I recommend beginning with the first post.
Last week, I left off when I misplaced my copies of Redemptoris Mater and Secret of the Rosary. And I never had gotten “unstuck” from that passage right before Easter. I had spent a few weeks spinning my wheels over that section before they went missing… Yes, at the same time.
I know that at least one of those can be obtained for free on the internet (Here or Here), but I never did go out there to get them. I’m not sure if I didn’t do it because something was telling me not to, or just because I was lazy, or maybe it was because I was closing in on seven months pregnant and I had more pressing things on my mind. (Come to think of it, that’s probably why I lost them, too!)
In any event, they stayed lost until the Summer/Fall of 2014, when I attended a bible study at St. Thomas More parish entitled A Biblical Walk with Mary, by Dr. Edward Sri.
We were asked, on the first night if there were Marian doctrines that people had questions about, and the Coronation of Mary was on my list.
Dr. Sri uses the woman in Revelation to discuss the idea that Mary is Queen of Heaven, which wasn’t helpful to me, but I did stumble onto the “better explanation” I was looking for, just by accident.
The new covenant in Jesus Christ is prefigured in great detail in the Old Testament. The Old Testament is peppered with Messianic prophecies, many of them were in the very structure of daily life in Israel.
Take kings under the Old Covenant. Kings of the Old Testament could have many wives. Do you know how the decided which woman would sit next to King Solomon on the throne? He had about a hundred thousand wives, so how did they decide which one would sit next to him?
It was a question that had never really bothered me before - never really occurred to me to ask before. I suppose I always just figured that it would either be “his first wife” or “his favorite wife” or “the wife who wasn’t getting a pedicure that day.”
The short answer is that they didn’t pick one. A king could have many wives… but only one MOTHER. That’s right, Bathsheba - Solomon's Mother - sat as queen next to him on the throne, not one of his wives.
And there was another detail about the role of the queen that was of interest to me. It’s the reason that so many bring their requests to Mary, for her to bring them to Jesus. The queen in the Davidic kingdom often brought requests to the king from the people, and the king, having great reverence for his mother, would not refuse these favors to her.
I wish I could say that I had this huge emotional moment (with crying, and fireworks, and doves), but… I didn’t. Instead, I was really, really excited. Like, jumping up and down and running around the house like a crazy woman excited.
The one that I thought was completely without biblical foundation turns out to be totally biblical, and most of the evidence comes from things that (if you wanted to) you could totally quote chapter and verse for.
So, I’m pleased to report that my very most deeply held objection to Marian doctrine turns out to be very well-founded in Scripture. I don’t know who was praying for me all those years while I was dissenting in the pews, but I’m glad they were.
Shortly after that, I rediscovered my two lost books and suddenly the place I got stuck at… totally made sense, and I kept going in my reading, on and off. And I’m still working on them, off and on.
Are there any Church teachings that you aren’t sure you agree with? You owe it to yourself to learn everything you can about them.
I never thought about it until long, long after I was Confirmed, but when we’re Confirmed, I think we really are making a commitment - to nurture and protect our Catholic faith.
I want to be able to tell my kids (you know, when there are more than one of them) what you’re supposed to do when you don’t understand a Church teaching. I wanted to set an example for them - even before I actually had kids to set an example for.
I couldn’t leave because I didn’t understand something. I hope that if you ever have concerns about a Catholic teaching, you won’t leave. Catholic Tradition is deep and wide - you could never hope to read it all, so I hope that you’ll search, and search, and search, until you find something that satisfies your need to know.
I hope that you’ll trust in Christ’s church enough not to abandon it for something that pales in comparison.