Yes, it's been quiet around these parts. I'm finding that the time it takes to blog is time that I'd rather spend doing something else these days, like ... well, like just about anything else.
This is a strange hobby because it's so darn demanding and guilt-inducing if you neglect it for a few days.
Anyway, I thought I had nothing to blog about, until I read today's Chicago Tribune. The Perspective section had two articles written by American Muslims.
The first author, Hesham A. Hassaballa (identified as a Chicago doctor and freelance writer) is more Catholic than he realizes. He writes about the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and how much he loves Mary, even though he doesn't believe her Son was the Son of God. Quote:
Moreover, the Koran sets Mary as the ultimate example of an ideal believer. Thus, whenever I think of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, my heart stirs with happiness, for I love and revere the Virgin Mary very much.That love of Mary, the love of a child for a Mother, is very Catholic, of course.
She is akin to a loving mother, comforting the crying child of humanity with a soothing song and delicate, warm embrace.
True, he's a little confused about a few things; he says that since he's a Muslim,
"I do not attach any sort of divinity to the Holy Virgin. She was nothing more than a mortal human being."But again, he's being very Catholic here: the Church teaches that Mary was no more divine than you or I. She was a mortal human being, with the only distinction of being kept sinless by the grace of God, in order to be a spotless New Ark of the Covenant for Jesus, the Savior.
At the end of the article, he says that he hopes he will be able to meet the Blessed Virgin in heaven, so that he can
"kiss her hand and tell her in person how much I truly loved and adored her throughout my time on Earth."Now that's the part that's not really Catholic! Unless he's using "adore" in a poetic sense, he's doing something that we Catholics are sometimes accused of, but don't actually do. We don't adore Mary; we adore God alone in the Blessed Trinity. We venerate Mary, honor her, love her as our Mother and the Mother of God, beg her for her intercession with her Son. But adore? No.
Still, I thought this was such a beautiful, almost sweet, essay. And very Catholic. I have to believe that someone who loves Mary as much as Dr. Hassaballa does will surely be led to her Divine Son, someday, somehow.