Tuesday, October 10, 2006

October is also dedicated to Our Lady...right?

"I invoke the maternal protection of the Virgin and of Joseph her spouse on all families, especially those going through difficulties. Mary, Queen of the Family, pray for us!"
-- Pope Benedict XVI, October 8, 2006

I'm gratified by the comments and email messages I received regarding the preaching heard on last Sunday's readings on marriage.

As noted earlier, I wasn't quite as blessed.

Twice last weekend -- at a vigil Mass and at a Sunday Mass -- I heard nothing about Our Lady, her holy spouse Joseph, or anything about the Holy Family at all. Rather, I learned that the readings lent themselves wonderfully to "October: National Domestic Violence Awareness Month."

Here's how the reasoning went:

Mark, Chapter 10:

The Pharisees approached and asked, "Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?" They were testing him.
He said to them in reply, "What did Moses command you?"

They replied, "Moses permitted him to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her."
Okay. So what we have here, according to what I heard, was a horrible thing Jewish men used to do to their wives on a whim. Except it doesn't make sense. Because if you read further:

He [Jesus] said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery." [emphasis mine]

So the wife-abusing thing doesn't work, not in Mark's Gospel, anyway.

Please don't think I'm against domestic violence awareness, okay?

Because I'm not. What I am a bit chagrined at is the silly, in my opinion, usurpation of October as Our Lady's month in Catholic Churches.

Last Sunday would have been, should have been (and in many cases throughout the country and the world, was) a terrific opportunity to invoke Our Lady's protection of marriage and the family.

Hello? Bishops?

Check out this site and try to find one reference to Mary, Joseph, The Holy Family, or the Rosary. You won't.

It's really time, I think, to put the stones back into the Catholic Church in the United States.