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Archived Online Discussion
Topic: Mysteries of the Virgin Mary: Living Our Lady's Graces
Date: 12-1 pm (ET)
on Thursday, March 31, 2011
Featuring:
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Fr. Peter Cameron
          
Moderator:
Today, the Knights of Columbus is proud to be joined by Father Peter John Cameron, author of Mysteries of the Virgin Mary: Living Our Lady Graces. Please submit your questions for Father Cameron on his book and the Church's devotion to Mary.

Robert Camilleri
Honolulu, Hawaii USA
Why have there been so many appearances by the Blessed Virgin Mary around the world? What is Our Lady trying to tell us? Given all of the unrest in the Middle East and the earthquake in Japan why is Our Lady's message more relevant then ever?
Fr. Peter Cameron:
In my judgment, the scriptural basis for the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the world can be traced back to the mystery of the Visitation. After the miracle of the Annunciation, Our Lady's first initiative is to set out and proceed in haste to the town of Judah to her cousin Elizabeth. Mary's visit to her kinswoman is the Mother of God's way of presenting us with the living Presence of her Son. That loving, maternal initiative--to put us in the Presence of Jesus Christ--is the whole impetus of Mary's Immaculate Heart. That is why Mary unfailingly intercedes for us, mediates the graces of heaven for us, and sometimes even miraculously appears to us. Whenever Our Lady comes to the world in an apparition, it is not to proclaim her own message, but the Word and the Presence of her divine Son. And as all the apparitions show--like Lourdes, and Guadalupe, and Fatima--Our Lady comes to us in moments of extreme and urgent need. She anticipates what we need--as she does at the wedding feast of Cana--and supplies the Answer, who is her Son Jesus Christ. Every appearance of Our Lady is the Mother of God's begging for our heart...begging us to surrender our heart to the will of the Father as she herself did in her Fiat. We can do so precisely because Mary moves us to desire it and she storms heaven to acquire it for us.

Sam P.
Salem, Washington
Thank you for this book. I always enjoy having new perspectives from which to consider Mary's role in our salvation. Over the years I have noticed a distinctive difference in priests that have a solid devotion to Mary. They always stand out in their capacity to make a significant difference in the lives of the parishoners. Does today's training for the priesthood have a greater emphasis on Mary and the affect of her guidance on pastoral ministry?
Fr. Peter Cameron:

Ever since soon-to-be Blessed John Paul II became the Vicar of Christ and took for his motto Totus Tuus, the Church has begun to experience a wondrous return to a deeper and truer devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. That motto is an expression of the Holy Father's entrustment of his pontificate to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and that trust has had a profound impact on seminarians and priests throughout the world. I was a Dominican novice in that May of 1981 when Pope John Paul II was shot. As shocking as that event was, what was even more moving was the day that the Holy Father went to Fatima and placed the bullet that almost killed him in the crown of the statue of the Blessed Mother there. I would say that as a result of this lived witness of John Paul II as well as Pope Benedict XVI's own profound devotion to the Blessed Mother, there is a greater desire on the part of many priests to grow closer to Our Lady and to rely on her actively and concretely in their ministry. It is difficult to conceive of the priesthood without an ardent closeness to Our Lady because priests do sacramentally what Mary does maternally: they make Christ present to others in the flesh.

One of the greatest books on the Blessed Mother written in modern times is Pope John Paul II's Theotokos: Woman, Mother, Disciple--A Catechesis on Mary, Mother of God.


Mark Cappolo
Parkersburg, WV
Why is Mary the "safe" way for us to reach Christ?
Fr. Peter Cameron:
The Blessed Virgin Mary is the "safe" way for us to reach Christ because she is the only way to reach Christ. Historically, the only way that Jesus Christ comes to us in the flesh is through the Blessed Virgin Mary. That is not just a historical fact that happened in the past and is now over-and-done with. It is the revelation of God's ordained method for his people to reach his Incarnate Son. Without the Mother of God in our life, what are we left with? Our ideas, our notions, our preconceptions about who God is and how we should act toward him. Because we are fallen, our understanding is impaired; to try to rely on our thoughts to make us holy is to ask for trouble. That is exactly what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden. That is why God gave us a new method. Adam and Eve didn't have a mother to guide them; we do. Whenever we are tripped up by our own fears, our resistance, our doubts, our preconceptions, we hear Jesus begging us: "Behold your Mother." God gives us Mary the Immaculate Conception to overcome all the other conceptions that keep us from growing spiritually. The more we are devoted to Mary, the more we reach Jesus Christ, because whenever we love Mary she gives us her Son. The more we love Mary, the more we love Jesus Christ the way he deserves to be loved. The only human being who knows how to do that and who does it perfectly is the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Hector Reyes
Bakersfield, CA
Why does Mary have such power over Demons, such as you mention in the exorcism ritual, and create such fear in them?
Fr. Peter Cameron:
Mary is pure obedience to the divine will; Satan is total rebellion and repudiation of it. Our Lady's power over the Evil One is the Father's way of showing the efficacy, the force of simple, loving obedience in the Christian's life. The enemy's intention is to incite in us rebellion, dissent, self-satisfaction, indifference, cynicism, etc. He has no sway whatsoever over Our Lady. As a result, demons are terrified of her. They see in her what they themselves rejected. And the sight of such betrayal IS their hell.

Glenn Repko
Wisconsin
Father Cameron:
Thank you for this book.
How significant of a role did John Paul II play in the Church's current celebration and devotion to Mary? Did he revolutionize the way we think about her?
Fr. Peter Cameron:
Pope John Paul II in a sense made us think more "seriously" about the Blessed Virgin Mary because of her indispensable role in his own life, and because of his profound teaching on Our Lady. One concrete example in term's of celebrating the Blessed Virgin Mary liturgically: it was Pope John Paul II who elevated the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary from an optional memorial to an obligatory memorial. This change signals to all the world that there is something crucial about the Immaculate Heart of Mary--and our veneration of her heart--that is necessary for our own life of faith and spiritual maturity.

Moderator:
On behalf of the Knights of Columbus, we would like to cordially thank Father Cameron for joining us today for a great discussion. Please join us next month for a discussion of Pope Benedict XVI's Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week, at KofC.org/bookclub.

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