Today after several days of fumbling around with formats, fonts, images, titles, and other innumerable details, I was finally able to push the button with the “publish” word on it and out it went the first electronic version of Ark of Grace Our Blessed Mother in Holy Scripture electrons whizzing about in cyberspace to reach the English reading markets of the world.
It was about 13 years ago when I paid a visit to Fr. James Gaudreau at the rectory of St. Joseph’s Parish in Lynn, Massachusetts. Father had ordered a pair of gigantic Philly steak sandwiches, chips and soda. The feast awaited spread over his busy desk along with a pile of very good books that he would later give me so I could get well acquainted with the Catholic Faith. Among the titles there were Catholicism and Fundamentalism by Karl Keating, Rome Sweet Rome by Scott and Kimberly Hahn, and Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic by David Currie. I left Father’s office a few hours later with a considerable load of books and having ingested the complete Philly steak sub that was quite deliciously made.
During that conversation Father asked me to tell him the greatest hurdle I could possibly foresee in becoming Catholic. I thought immediately of my past life and I responded that perhaps I would have to struggle with the high demands of Catholic moral life. Father brushed that aside and assured me that, myself and about 1.3 billion Catholics had to struggle with that. Then he asked again the same question but adding the word “doctrine.” And I answered unhesitatingly: “Mary.” Father then responded: “Oh, Our Blessed Mother” and in doing so he taught me the first lesson about Mary whose life and identity are forever tied to the words “blessed” and “mother.”
He then gave me a quick primer on Marian doctrine. It was quick but it was also a convincing and well-organized series of references to various parts of the Holy Scriptures I knew very well. “Why couldn’t I think of that myself?” I thought later on my way back home. About a dozen years have passed and I continue finding more and more “Mary in Scripture.” Someone once wrote the phrase “de Maria nunquam satis,” meaning that one can never say enough or have enough praise for Mary of Nazareth. Of all the human lives lived by billions upon billions of men and women, her life is by far the most blessed life that it will ever be. Indeed “all generations” shall call her blessed. We owe her so much!
In time I became a regular Catholic, going to Mass every Sunday, doing the things that all Catholics do. I even started writing about my conversion, appeared on Catholic media and started a few websites trying to evangelize others who were in the same path of conversion. I had the privilege to be an instrument of God in the conversion of many souls. I like to think that God will remember that in my final hour and “cover a multitude of sins” just as it is promised in the Bible to those who turn a sinner from his sinful ways. That is my strongest hope for a short stay in Purgatory. I really hope it works!
But the most joyous things I have experienced as a Catholic is to get to know Mary of Nazareth and to understand more and more about her mission of redemptive love. This little manual was written to help Catholics defend their Mother against the attacks of well intentioned but woefully misguided “Bible only” Christians. The book is now available through Amazon.com to those who have a Kindle device so it will be easy for Kindle users to scroll through the pages of this little manual and show those visitors at their door why Mary of Nazareth is so evidently present in Scripture and why we should we honor her as “the Mother of all those living by faith.”
Published 23 February 2014.