Friday, March 6, 2015
Hello! Here I Am...
Texas, USA, March 6, 2015
Hello and God's blessings and peace to all. This is a new venture for me. The title of this blog, Son of Blessed Mary, has two levels of meaning. The first, which should be obvious, is to honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of the Most High God and of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Eternal Word, the Prince of Peace, the Redeemer of mankind. The second refers to me, because our Lord gave His Mother to all of us as our spiritual Mother as he hung in agony on the Cross. Therefore I, along with everyone else in the world for whom Christ died, can claim the privilege of being Mary's son. She is, in addition to being our spiritual Mother, a perfect example for every follower of Jesus Christ. She was the first Christian, after all; she accepted Him on the day of the Annunciation by the angel Gabriel, lovingly nurtured and raised Him to adulthood, suffered with Him to the end of His earthly ministry, and reigns with Him as the Queen of Heaven, Queen of Angels and Mother of the Church. Her one and only purpose is to lead all people to her Son, if we will only let her do so.
You should have figured out by now that I am Catholic. Ten years ago this month, in March, 2005, by the grace of God and through the power and working of the Holy Spirit, I was received into full communion with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. A little less than a year before that, again by the grace of God and not by any merit of my own, I experienced a profound conversion of heart which led me back to active faith in Jesus Christ, and to the Church He founded nearly 2,000 years ago. I was baptized as an infant in the Presbyterian tradition, raised by loving and faithful parents and taught the basics of Christian faith. I am thankful for them and for all the wonderful Protestant Christians who have done so much for me and for our great United States of America, but now I am where I belong, thanks be to God. Perhaps at a later time I will share more details of my conversion story. For now, suffice it to say that I am thankful beyond any human expressive capacity for the gift of faith in Christ which was freely handed to me at that time, and for the grace to have accepted that gift. I also hasten to say that one gives up absolutely nothing when one "crosses the Tiber" from any non-Catholic faith tradition. Rather, one gains immeasurable treasure in the fullness of the Christian faith, handed on to us over the millennia in direct succession from Christ and His Apostles. I love the Catholic Church and will stand in defense of her and her Magisterium, with charity and devotion, just as I stand for Christ Himself. I pray that God will give me the grace to remain faithful and obedient through whatever trials He has in store for me and my loved ones and friends in this deeply troubled world.
What else might a reader want to know about me? I am a retired attorney, an adopted son of the Great State of Texas, born and raised in the Heartland of America, the Midwest. I have been happily married for almost 35 years to a lovely Catholic woman who probably deserved better than what she got. My father was a classically trained vocal musician, a graduate of the Juilliard School, a professor of drama and literature and a church choir director. He used to draw applause from neighboring fans at St. Louis Cardinals baseball games for his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Meanwhile, I was trying to hide. This, obviously, was in my tender and callow youth, before I finally learned to appreciate his talent! My mother was, in addition to her primary vocation as a Christian wife and mother, a dedicated small-town public servant as a city council member and then three-time Mayor of the Illinois town where my closest relatives still reside, the first woman ever elected to that position. They raised my brother and me in the classic Judeo-Christian American tradition of hard work, patriotism, love of family, respect for others and the "rugged individualism" of our Scots-Irish and German Presbyterian heritage. I am politically more conservative than any other label, although my Catholic faith leads me to some views (such as the truth of Catholic social teaching a la Rerum Novarum, including attempted adherence to Christ's admonitions to care for the poor, see, e.g. Matthew 25:31 and following, and opposition to the death penalty in most if not all cases), that many would not expect from a "conservative." But this is not a political commentary blog, even though at times my reflections will by necessity overlap to some extent with matters deemed "political" by our "perpetual news cycle" culture, which sees every issue as "political." This will especially be true with respect to matters of religious freedom (I'm for it!) and abortion (I'm against it!), and probably others. As one of my favorite news media talking heads, Linda Ellerbee, used to say, "And so it goes." (Wonder whatever happened to her, anyway?)
As this blog develops, I plan to add the usual things one sees in the Blogosphere, such as recommended links, moderated comments, and more or less regular postings of my own reflections and thoughts about the Christian faith, the Catholic Church, and the world in which we live in exile, awaiting with joyful hope the Kingdom of Heaven and eternal life with our Lord and all his angels and saints. I am my own developer, which is probably as big a mistake as trying to be one's own lawyer, but this little exercise isn't worth spending any of my retirement money. My perspective is that of a sinner who tries to be a true disciple of Christ, obedient to His commandments and to the teaching authority of the Church, which He Himself established on the rock of Saint Peter. My patron saint, whose name I adopted at the time of my receipt of the Sacrament of Confirmation, is Thomas Aquinas, and in addition to the arduous task of living a true Christian life, my worldly calling is, I believe, to teach and defend the Catholic Christian faith. I claim no special expertise other than such knowledge as God has granted me through personal prayer, study of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium, reading the Church Fathers, reflection, regular attendance at Mass, and reading and hearing the reflections and teachings of other faithful Christians of yesterday and today through many books and online via the miracle of modern information technology.
I really doubt that very many people will read this any time soon, as there are so many millions of people calling themselves "bloggers" all around the world, and I discover new and worthy blogs almost every day, so many that I can't hope to read even a significant proportion of them. Why bother with my own, then? Probably some degree of sinful pride is at work, which I hope to squelch in favor of a more worthy mission of evangelization, with a philosophical and, if I'm given the grace, even a contemplative angle. At worst, it will keep me busy thinking instead of playing games on my PC and iPad. This will make my wife happy, always a good thing.
In any event, an infant blog like this one stands little chance of being noticed. But if somehow you have found your way here, I ask for your prayers and that you might come back to visit once in a while, as I attempt to make it worth your time as well as mine. Thank you. Laudator Jesus Christus!