UP Catholic 05 05 2017 E Edition Page 6

6 May 5, 2017 THE U.P. CATHOLIC COMMENTARY www.upcatholic.org I t is May. That means Catholic schools and parishes are having May Crownings. About two years after my conversion, the whole Mary-and-the-month-of-May thing hit my radar. So whats with Mary and the month of May? I asked my cradle Catholic friend. She explained that the Church has set aside the month of May to honor the Blessed Mother hence, May Crown- ing. Its time to pray the rosary and present the Bless- ed Mother with flowers and a crown, she said. Try explaining that to your Protestant family and friends. You do what? We pray the rosary [Youve already lost them, and you havent even gotten to the part about the crown.] Have you ever read the childrens book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff? It's kind of like that. If you mention May and the Blessed Moth- er, you have to mention May Crowning. If you mention May Crowning, you have to explain how Mary is the Queen of Heaven & Earth. If you mention that Mary is the Queen of Heaven and Earth, you have to talk about the Assumption, the Immaculate Conception, the Ark of the Covenant, the New Eve and why that's all scriptural. You'll have to crack open the Bible and look at the Book of Revelation and the women clothed with the sun and explain how Mary was prefigured by Hannah, Ruth, Queen Esther, and Judith. And if you make it to Judith, you are going to have to explain why Judith is not in their Prot- estant Bibles but they dont know what they are missing because Judith is the most amazing widow in Salvation History. And if you find yourself back to the Bible, you are going to have to talk about the rosary again and how those prayers come right out of the Bible, because Jesus prayed the Our Father, and the Hail Mary is a combination of the words of Archangel Gabriel and Saint Elizabeth. And if you manage to explain why Catholics pray memorized prayers, you will have to ex- plain that we pray in many different ways and it all comes together in the Mass, and the Mass fits into the Liturgical Calendar and the Liturgical Calendar takes us from Advent to Christmas to Ordinary Time, to Lent to Easter to Pentecost, and then to... May. To the Blessed Mother. And if you mention the month of May and the Blessed Mother, youd better put on another pot of coffee because you are about to cover the same ground all over again. Our Faith is organic. It all fits together. It cannot be reduced to one sound bite. It lives and breathes and has a complexity and beauty that is as myste- rious and glorious as the Body of Christ. And the month of May is connected to that living, breathing intricacy. Lets face it. The best way to experience Marys month is to become a little child. Dont try to igure it all out at once like someone cramming for a final exam. Just go cut some flowers and lay them at her feet. Pick up your rosary and pray the Glorious Mysteries. Or simply plan to learn the Hail Mary if you have never tried to do that. For you see, it all comes down to this: Sometimes, the best way to find Christ is to let yourself find Mary. Embrace the simple ele- gance of it and the organic complexity will fall into place. Denise Bossert is a convert and the author of Gifts of the Visitation: Nine Spiritual Encoun- ters with Mary and Elizabeth, published by Ave Maria Press. She will also be this years presenter at the annual Hospitality Lecture on May 30. Her column, Catholic by Grace has appeared in more than 60 Catholic publi- cations. This column was first published in the May 23, 2014 issue of The U.P. Catholic. Learn more at www.denisebossert.com. Become like a child with Mary CATHOLIC BY GRACE Denise Bossert F riendship can come in many flavors. For instance, I have friends I see almost every day, and some I havent seen in years. And then I have at least one friend I have never met, Denise Bossert. We got in touch seven or eight years ago when she offered her columns for pub- lication in The U.P. Catholic. Shes a Catholic wordsmith with the perspective of a convert who grew up as the daughter of a Presbyterian minister. Hows that for a conversion story? Well, good enough to be featured on EWTN's Journey Home. Over the years we ran her columns on a regular basis until life moved her in new directions, including extensive travel in the Holy Land. We had the occasional email conversation, interacted through social media, and Vickie and I have read her book, Gifts of the Visitation. And now, almost a decade later, Vickie and I are going to get to meet this friend in person on May 30. That's when she presents The New Evangelization via Mary and Elizabeth at the Hospitality Lecture. Whodathunk? While Im looking forward to meeting a friend, Im also looking forward to her presentation. Some Catholic writers are gifted with precise academic language. Denise is gifted with the ability to speak eloquently in language everyone can understand. If you can make it to Marquette on May 30, I hope to see you there as well. See the ad on this page for more information. Meeting a friend for the first time HERE AM I John Fee Got News? Send it to: news@dioceseofmarquette.org

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