St. Francis de Sales has some encouraging words perfect for those of us (like me:) who are depressed by the fact that Lent has only just begun. So buck up little campers…even the angels know we’ve got it goin’ on!

028: Part 2 – The (Very) Ancient Origins of Marian Devotion

Exploring the Early Church with Mike Aquilina

catholic_FINAL_150I told you it was good.

Part one of my interview with Mike Aquilina about his book Keeping Mary Close: Devotion to Our Lady Through the Ages was awesome.

The conclusion is even better.

You’ve got to hear Mike because he really gets fired up showing how even heretics and atheists understood early Christian devotion to the Mother of God, and mocked them for it. He also discusses how love of Mary is channeled to God using a very sweet example from his own life. Our discussion also gets into how the motif of the family life of God is a key to understanding Mary. At one point, he even invokes the Odd Couple! (You’re not going to hear that on any other podcast!)

Some of the other questions we discuss:A detail of an old cracked painting of the Virgin Mary in the moment of the Annunciation

  • They may not have had rosaries, but did early Christians have physical ornaments that expressed their devotion to Our Lady?
  • Given it’s intensity, was there ever a danger of Mary eclipsing Christ in devotion in the early days? (Ever heard of the Collyridians? Me, neither!)
  • Do Muslims really venerate Mary?
  • Who were some of the hardcore “Marian” Church Fathers? (Cue Cyril of Alexandria and the heresy of Nestorianism.)

All that and more in this episode of The Art of Catholic. God bless and enjoy!

Matt

P.S. Make Lent count this year! Grab a FREE chapter called “Beer, Chocolate & Value-Added Beer (1)Suffering” from my book “Louder Than Words: The Art of Living as a Catholic”. It will totally explain redemptive suffering and transform how you live every moment of every day!

027: Part 1 – The (Very) Ancient Origins of Marian Devotion

Exploring the Early Church with Mike Aquilina

catholic_FINAL_150I sure wish I’d known this 18 years ago. I’d probably have become Catholic a lot faster.

In this episode of The Art of Catholic, I’ve got one of my favorite people, Mike Aquilina, ready to lay down some serious Early Church knowledge. But we’re not just interested in history. We’re going to dig into what the Early Church believed and practiced with regard to the Virgin Mary.

Adding to the already legendary stack of books he’s written is “Keeping Mary Close: Devotion To Our Lady Through The Ages“…and it’s awesome.

I read a lot of Marian literature when working on The Bible and the Virgin Mary series for the St. Paul Center. What sets this book apart from others is that its focus is upon the Early Church.Madonna_catacomb

Speaking as a convert who had serious issues with Mary, this book would have helped me immensely when I was dealing with who she is and what the Church has taught about her through the ages. In fact, I’m a little hacked off that he waited so long to write this. But since this is the Year of Mercy, I’m going to set that aside and turn him loose so that all of you can experience the incredible knowledge bomb he’s about to drop.

Some of the questions I ask are:

  • When did devotion to Our Lady begin? (The answer is going to surprise you.)
  • What did ancient extra-biblical sources say about Mary? (Ever heard of The Ascension of Isaiah or the Infancy Gospel of James? How about the Gospel of Thomas?)
  • How does ancient devotion to Mary differ from what we do today? (They weren’t praying rosaries, after all!)

All that and much, much more! Enjoy!

Matt8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life Cover Image

P.S. You can’t have a relationship with Jesus or His Mother without prayer. Prayer is the relationship, for crying out loud! So grab my FREE cheat sheet on how to develop a life of deep prayer called 8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life. It can change everything!