Category: The Redeemer, Mary, & You

A column by PHILLIP DABNEY, CSsR focuses solely on our Mother Mary and the role she plays in our life of faithful devotion. An accompanying sidebar by DAN KORN, CSsR, is an examination of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and offers insight into how to read the icon.

A Prayer for Anxiety

In the tradition of the Church, we have many forms of liturgical prayers that honor Mary. Litanies, among the oldest forms of prayer, incorporate petitions and titles for God or a saint. In the Roman Catholic tradition, the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the most well-known of this...

Our Prayers Matter

Though we’ve experienced much uncertainty recently—particularly in relation to the spread of the Coronavirus—when it comes to our faith, there is always one certainty. We can always come together in prayer. Prayer is possible so often…as we walk, as we shop, as we wash our hands, and even as we...

A Day of Thanksgiving

June 27 is a special day during which we can especially celebrate a great source of consolation for so many. The annual feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help enables us to reflect on our veneration of our beloved icon. On this feast day, let us express our gratitude to...

Promises Made, Promises Kept

The resurrection of Jesus Christ gives us the path to a  better life on earth for the sake of our eternal life in heaven. His resurrection fulfills God’s promises and confirms Christ’s teachings and works. Do we believe in those promises or do we allow doubts to steer us from...

Oneness in Divine Love

One can be a lonely number. According to the US Health Resources and Services Administration, loneliness and social isolation can be as damaging to one’s health as smoking fifteen cigarettes a day. Contrary to what some might think, research shows suicide rates are highest in the spring and summer. Clearly...

Mary, Our Queen

We live in an environment fraught with tension, which has the potential to take a toll on our faith life. Our Blessed Mother has always walked with the people of God and shed light upon the signs of the times. Is there an image of Mary for our modern times...

Our Perpetual Companion

Louis de Montfort, the great Marian saint, wrote volumes about the importance of Mary in the mystery of salvation. His teachings and inspirational prayers positioned devotion to Mary as a way to increase our faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. He was often quoted as saying what later became...

The Gift of Joy

At this time of year, we get caught up in the scramble of buying gifts, baking cookies, attending parties, and lighting up our homes with festive decorations. It’s all part of the joy of preparing for Christmas. It’s also part of the stress that comes on top of our increasingly...

The Redeemer, Mary, and You

A Sign that Enlightens Us “A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” —Revelation 12:1 This Scripture quote that speaks of “sign” and “stars” has been used to proclaim the place...

The Importance of Mary’s Rosary

How often have you prayed the rosary, only to feel that you get nothing out of it? The repetition of the prayers can become mechanical and monotonous. Perhaps you have even been tempted to stop praying the rosary. In October, the month dedicated to the rosary (the feast day of...

Holy Pondering

“Mary’s Memories” is a spiritual concept that encompasses more than our Blessed Mother remembering the past. Saint John Paul II used the concept in his apostolic letter On the Most Holy Rosary (Rosarium Virginis Mariae). In the section titled “Mary, Model of Contemplation,” he writes: “The contemplation of Christ has...

Conformity as Our Way of Life

Upon the completion of her earthly life, Mary, the Mother of God, was taken to heaven, body and soul. Mary’s assumption into heaven in her entirety is inspirational and relates God’s desire for us—to be united with our Lord, in body and soul, for eternity.  To join God in heaven’s...

The Bridge Between Heaven and Earth

June 27, the feast day of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, is an opportunity for us to spend time reflecting on Mary’s place in our Catholic tradition, especially her role in the life of the Church. The icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, in its highly developed symbolism, reveals...

Our Passion

What is passion? Dictionary definitions include “ardent affection, devotion to an activity or concept, overmastering feeling or conviction,” and yes, “the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death.” Truly, Christ’s was—and is—the greatest passion because it is driven by love of God and humanity....

The Maternal Tenderness of God

The image of Our Mother of Perpetual Help is a manifestation of the tenderness of God—demonstrated in how the icon is painted (written). I’ve often discussed Mary’s gaze in this column and received many letters relating the effect Mary’s look has had on people as they pray before the icon. ...

A Sacred Space for the Holy Spirit

The power of intercession we experience from Mary’s prayers for us is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that lives in Mary because of the Incarnation. In Luke 1:26-36, we read Mary’s dialogue with the angel Gabriel in which Gabriel tells Mary that the Holy Spirit would come upon her...

Let Us Promise

At prayer, take care that the words don’t become rote and lose their meaning. Consider the text in the Angelus: “Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.” That is something to ponder. Christ promises us peace, refuge, mercy,...

The Icon Speaks with Colors

When I took piano lessons as a boy, the teacher reminded me that music was a language that’s read and spoken by the performers. She said that through the notes they play and how they play them, musicians reveal the underlying meaning of the written text. The same idea exists...

A Source of Healing

Faith engages the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help and can lead us to feel healing from God. To assist our gazing prayers, I encourage using the Bible as an aid. Several passages show the importance of keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ. Remember, when we look upon...

The Possibility of the Miraculous

The icon is an efficacious sign of a real presence because it is a sacramental. Icons become a great means of holiness because of the ritual of blessing and the veneration of the image. This allows for the experience of the miraculous interventions and favors bestowed upon those who pray...