The MOST Theological Collection: Mary in Our Life
"Questions for Discussion"
For private, class, or study-club use
1. Apply the principles given in the Introduction to explain the sixth beatitude: "Blessed are the dean of heart, for they shall see God."
2. Explain the growth of a hardened conscience.
3. What is the relation of external action to love? What is the "heresy of action"?
4. What is the relation of love to emotion?
5. How can one use his knowledge as a means to increase in the love of God?
1. How could Pope Pius IX define the Immaculate Conception when some great medieval theologians had denied it?
2. On how many different points can you compare and contrast Mary and Eve?
3. Compare the thoughts of the three witnesses quoted in this chapter.
4. If Mary was in the position of the New Eve even on Calvary, how would her position differ from that of St. John, who was also there?
5. What is your tentative opinion on whether or not Mary really was in the role of the New Eve on Calvary? Why?
6. How can we ever arrive at certitude on the correct interpretation of the patristic texts?
1. Did Mary merit to be the Mother of God?
2. Find out what the apocryphal Gospels are and of what value they are.
3. Why did not Mary after the Annunciation run to the Jewish priests and tell all about the visit of the angel, and that she was to become the Mother of Christ?
4. What virtues especially appear in Mary's conduct here?
5. Compare the Annunciation to the fall.
6. Who was Nestorius?
7. What does "full of grace" mean? If Mary was full of grace at the Annunciation, did she grow? How could she?
8. Were the relatives of Christ saints?
9. If Mary had infused knowledge, why did she have to question the angel?
1. Compare and contrast the roles of Mary and John on Calvary. What is meant by her official position?
2. Compare Christ and Mary on Calvary to Adam and Eve. Was Mary necessary?
3. Show from the words of Saint Pius X that Mary was the New Eve on Calvary.
4. Does Pope Benedict XV refer to Mary's work in the objective or the subjective redemption?
5. Compare the words of Cardinal Pacelli (in Appendix III B) to those of Pope Pius XII.
6. What is the difference between Mary's merit on Calvary and the sort of merit that any ordinary person can enjoy?
1. What courses were open to God after the fall?
2. By what means was the Redemption made applicable to all mankind?
3. In how many ways did Mary co-operate in the sacrifice of Calvary? Compare her role to that of a layman at Mass.
4. Read and explain Psalm 49.
5. Look up in the Missal the official prayers of preparation for Mass which the priest is urged to say, and find the prayer to Mary. Comment on it in the light of this chapter.
1. Show how the doctrine of Mary's universal mediation is contained in the New Eve concept.
2. Explain the various theories on Mary's influence in the distribution of grace. Which do you prefer? Why?
3. If the sacraments cause grace, where is there room for Mary?
4. Those in the time before Christ could be saved only by faith in Christ to come. Therefore did they receive grace through the merits of Christ? Did they receive grace through Mary?
5. How can Mary know the needs of all of us?
6. What did Mary do on Pentecost?
1. Can anyone die of love? How?
2. Did Mary die? Can we prove it?
3. If Mary's initial love was greater than the final love of others who died of love, why did she not die sooner?
4. What is the difference between Mary's death and that of others who died of love?
5. What is to be said of the details of her death?
6. What is the principle of consortium? Review briefly the steps in Mary's life to which it applies.
7. Draw an argument for the Assumption from the New Eve concept.
8. Why was it especially fitting that the definition of the Assumption be made in our own times?
1. What is the difference between the metaphorical and the literal use of the word "Queen"?
2. What are the titles by virtue of which Mary is Queen in a metaphorical sense?
3. What is the spiritual meaning of Israel?
4. Is Mary Queen of Israel?
5. What are the real tides by which we can call Mary a Queen?
6. Comment on each of the invocations to Mary as Queen in her litany. (For additional help, see R. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., The Mother of the Saviour, pp. 237-45).
1. What hint of God's plans for Mary can you find in the scene of the Visitation?
2. Since the merits of Christ alone are superabundant what need have we of Mary? of the saints?
3. What are the advantages of approaching Jesus through Mary? Does this mean that we would never speak directly to Him at all?
4. What are the differences between the intercession of Mary and the other saints?
5. What is hyperdulia?
6. Why does real devotion to Mary assure a happy death for us?
7. Is devotion to Mary optional?
8. Can a Protestant or a Mohammedan be saved without Mary's help?
1. Review the false ideas of perfection listed in this chapter; add more examples.
2. Does devotion to Mary compete with our love of the sacraments?
3. In what does perfection consist?
4. What are the two kinds of love? How are they related? What is pure, unselfish love?
5. What is imperfection? Is it a venial sin?
6. Apply what has been said of love of God to love of neighbor. If a boy and a girl lead one another into sin, do they have real love?
7. What things are excluded by perfect love of God?
8. Since I ought to make constant progress, how many Rosaries a day should I be saying at the age of eighty, if I reach that age?
1. What is meant by consolations? by aridity? Distinguish distractions from aridity.
2. What are the three sources of consolations and aridity?
3. What ate the dangers of consolations? How can we avoid the dangers?
4. What are the advantages of consolations?
5. What are the ways in which Mary is present to a devout soul? to any soul?
6. How should we behave when in aridity?
1. What is the greatest virtue? What is the relation of humility to it?
2. Imagine a few concrete situations in which pride could counterfeit various virtues. Can extreme pride make one act humbly to Bet credit for humility?
3. Find instances in the Gospels in which Jesus or Mary showed humility.
4. Show how every sin implicitly contains pride (if you need help, see Summa Theologica, II-II, q. 162).
5. For what things do we need the help of God even in the natural order?
6. In what sense did some of the saints insist that they were less than nothing?
7. How can one honestly consider all others better than himself?
1. What is the importance of meditation?
2. What are the chief qualities a method of meditation should possess?
3. What are the two essential parts of meditation? Which is the more important of the two?
4 What is the direction toward which the simplification of meditation should gradually tend?
5. What elements are usually contained in the introduction to a meditation?
6. Describe how to make the two principal pasts of a meditation. What is the use of a book? What are take-off points?
7. What are the optional acts in the conclusion of the meditation? What should never be omitted at the conclusion?
8. What are the general characteristics of our lives which will facilitate meditation?
9. What are the three forms of meditation fount in the purgative way?
10. What is Mary's role in meditation? Show her place in the various steps in all three types of meditation.
1. What are the three ways?
2. What is infused contemplation? How is it related to "acquired contemplation"?
3. What are the two nights? In what respect do they have a passive element?
4. What are the signs of the first passive night? Does St. John of the Cross always give the same three signs?
5. Compare and contrast the prayer of simplicity with initial arid infused contemplation and with prayer of quiet.
6. What is ligature? How should one behave toward it?
7. How should a soul conduct itself when it first receives infused contemplation? Is it totally passive?
8. Did all the saints have infused contemplation? All in sweet forms?
9. Did Mary have infused contemplation in the arid or the sweet form?
10. What service can Mary do a soul in regard to infused contemplation?
1. What is the relation of mortification to love? to humility?
2. What are the four reasons for mortification? How can we reduce them all to love?
3. Do indulgences make mortification unnecessary?
4. What are the two passive purifications? Are they common?
5. We all have much to do to make up for our own sins. Does this mean that we may not at the same time offer reparation to the Sacred Heart for the sins of others?
6. What factors measure the value of any given act of mortification?
7. What is Mary's role in reparation? Is reparation due to Mary herself?
8. How does Mary make our mortifications more valuable?
1. What is providential mortification?
2. What other kinds of mortification are there? Compare their relative values.
3. What factors govern the extent of our mortification?
4. What are attachments ?
5. Which desires are to be mortified? Why?
6. What is the purpose of the vow of poverty?
7. What are the rules for care of health relative to mortification?
8. What are the rules for the right use of pleasures and recreation?
9. Is the practice of detachment a danger to mental health?
1. What does Mary have to do with each Mass? How can we prove this?
2. How can Mary co-operate in the Mass when she is not physically present?
3. What indications does the liturgy give of Mary's association with the Mass?
4. Is it wrong to say the Rosary during Mass? Why?
5. Show the relation of Mary and the Mass to the Assumption.
1. What is a remiss meritorious action?
2. Does a remiss act merit an increase of grace? Does the increase come at once?
3. What factors largely control the increase in grace we may earn or receive from good actions?
4. Is the case of the sacraments parallel to that of ordinary good actions?
5. What is to be said of a man who receives Holy Communion tally for years, but does not seem to make much progress spiritually?
6. How can Mary help us to grow more from our Holy Communions?
1. What is the precise meaning of the word consecration? What do people commonly have in mind when they recite an act of consecration?
2. What are the two phases of this consecration?
3. What are the spiritual gifts one has to give?
4. What is the effect of this consecration on our temporal property? on our bodies?
5. What does it mean to live in a spirit of dependence on Mary?
6. What does it mean to pray through Mary?
7. How can we know what Mary wants us to do in general? in a particular case?
8. What are the chief marks of a genuine inspiration?
9. Sister X has already promised to give all her merits and satisfactions every Wednesday for a certain missionary priest. How does that accord with this consecration?
10. Sum up and explain in one sentence both phases of this consecration.
1. What are the three levels on which we may act?
2. In what sense are the activities of a man in the static of grace supernaturalized?
3. In what would such a man be lacking without the Gifts?
4. What is meant by the superhuman manner of acting? What does it do for the will? How does it affect the intellect? Is the intellect decommissioned?
5. In what way are the Gifts beyond reason?
6. Look up the special activities that belong to each Gift, and compare them to the following virtues: faith, hope, love, prudence, justice, religion, temperance, fortitude.
7. How do the inspirations of the Gifts harmonize with obedience to superiors?
8. How do the Gifts affect the dearness of motivation?
9. Do all souls have the Gifts?
10. What is the latent form of operation of the Gifts?
11. What is the relation of Mary to the Gifts?
1. What answer would you give to a friend who said, "This is all very good, but I don't want my life to be Mary-centered—I want to be Christ-centered"?
2. Find out what attention is paid to the Blessed Sacrament at Lourdes.
3. Did devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary originate with Fatima?
4. What are the two chief elements in devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary? How can they be reduced to one?
5. Where do the nine First Fridays and the five First Saturdays fit in?
6. Sketch the life of St. Margaret Mary. Find in her Autobiography all the references to her devotion to Mary.
7. It is often said that Sister Josefa Menéndez' Way of Divine Love is a kind of continuation in our own day of the revelations to St. Margaret Mary. Find out the place of Mary in it (see especially the introduction and pages 194, 360, 367, 410, and 418).
8. Is the term "slave" opposed to the "liberty of the sons of God"?
9. What is the theological reason that we cannot outgrow our need of Mary?
10. What is the relation of confidence to these devotions? What is sentimentality?
1. What is the difference between public and private revelation?
2. If you hear of a man who works miracles, are you justified in concluding that he is a saint?
3. Is it permissible to desire to be the recipient of private revelations? Give reasons.
4. Is a saint who receives a revelation infallible in interpreting it?
5. Mrs. X. says: "I just know this apparition is genuine. You ought to have more faith." Comment please.
6. What force does the approbation of the Church have in private revelations? Compare the binding force of statements in encyclicals (on public revelation see clap. III) with the force of ecclesiastical approbation of a private revelation.
7. Which are the most valuable kinds of private revelations?
8. Show the relation of the message of Lourdes and Fatima to solid Marian devotion.
1. Is St. Dominic really the author of the Rosary? Did Our Lady appear to him?
2. Show why the Rosary is so powerful a prayer.
3. How is it possible to do two things at the same time—meditate and recite vocal prayers?
4. Describe the various methods of meditating on the mysteries. Can you add some additional methods to those given above?
5. Have you personally known of any remarkable favors granted through the Rosary?
6. Can we prove that Mary really appeared to St. Simon Stock? Does the value of the Scapular depend entirely on this vision?
7. What is the correct interpretation of the great Scapular Promise?
8. Show the relation of the Scapular to St. Louis de Montfort.
9. What conditions are required for the Sabbatine Privilege?
10. Is the medal sufficient even for the great Promise?
11. Describe the proper method of making a cloth Scapular. How may one unite two different Scapulars correctly?
1. What is the advantage of a private rule?
2. How can one avoid bookkeeping in gaining most of the plenary indulgences that are available to him?
3. What is to be thought of meditation in the evening instead of the morning?
4. How can one offer Mass in union with Mary?
5. What is to be said of using the Rosary at Mass?
6. Find out something of the history of Jansenism.
7. What are the particular values of various kinds of spiritual reading? What is the most profitable way to read? Discuss the best way to read some of your favorite spiritual books.
8. What is the particular examen?
9. Mary was the Mother of Sorrows. Was she always sad?