Why Mary?

To begin exploring some of the points raised in the combox of my recent post, Two Paths, I would like to start with the question of, “Why Mary?”  What does it really mean for us that Mary is Mediatrix?  Why is it necessary?

Father Steven Scheier, in conversation with Mother Angelica, can tell us why.  Forty-two very sobering minutes of conversation, in which Father Scheier describes how he lived for many years as a priest in a less-than-edifying manner, until he had an accident, a near-death experience, and an intervention by Our Blessed Mother.

I know forty-two minutes is a long time, but Father Scheier was facing eternity.  We know, as did he, that Divine Mercy is very real, but he found out that Divine Justice is also.  I hope you will be able to find time to Watch the Video.  If it doesn’t open here for any reason, you can find it on the website of Father Tommy Lane, S.S.L., S.T.D., Assistant Professor of Sacred Scripture at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

32 thoughts on “Why Mary?

  1. I may be away from the computer for a couple of days, but I hope some of you will be able to watch the video and hear Father Scheier’s very moving account of how the Blessed Virgin intervened for him.

  2. Thanks for the video link. I’ll probably refrain from the comments box beyond this but I did want to say thank you.

    O | onionboy.ca (art & faith) | luminousmiseries.ca {faith & art}

  3. “Jesus said from the Cross…’I give you the whole world, Mother’ and she takes it seriously … Neither the Father, nor the Son, nor the Holy Spirit can say ‘no’ to her. They can’t. It’s impossible. Now, isn’t she someone you want on your side?”

    I’d forgotten these words of the interview. Totally. Today, I see her, defer to her, and will run to her as Mother. If I fall by the wayside again, pick me up, and carry me to her, ‘k?

  4. Thanks, all. I was pleased to have found it, because it’s not the kind of testimony you hear every day, that’s for certain.

    Those words really struck me as well, Carol. Also, Mary’s request to Jesus: “But if we give him special graces, Son…”
    If we turn to Mary, she will give us the graces required to love her and imitate her, so the “natural” struggle we may have felt is removed. She will do the carrying herself, like every Mom who carries wounded or tired children.

  5. It’s all about humility, isn’t it? I’ve wondered about that, have feared that pride is my Mary hang-up. I am an American woman sent through the stultifying 50s then thru the equally unsatisfying 60s & 70s, which, confusedly, made me strong.

    So, I have to choose who will break me, and why. Or not. But only a fool of a disciple would cling to invulnerability.

    Hard to admit that one is as spiritually helpless as a child — even harder for the private to let anyone see that.

    But that’s the admission that Jesus, through Mary, needs to hear, that He and I know I’m no longer tying His hands.

  6. I’ve no wish to spoil things for others but I’d just like to say the bit when Mother Angelica describes a Minister’s idea of one minute of eternity has been food for thought for me both yesterday and today. The whole clip has left me more convinced of the power of intercession and the powerful intercessor.

  7. When Fr. Steve says that there is no one to point to and blame — that one stands absolutely alone before Him at judgment time — I have some idea of how true that is, tho’ I found out in a much more pleasant way. It would be absolutely ludicrous to say to Him that my action was due to so-and-so’s having done, or not having done, this or that. He already knows exactly what happened on the inside of me –as do I; He knows what I knew, what I could’ve done, what I didn’t do, what I could’ve asked help with, etc.

    Indeed, Ann, that analogy in the first few minutes by Mother Angelica is HUGE food for thought. Still, I couldn’t help thinking just then of the Poor Souls. Oh, God help them, as well as us all.

  8. I watched Father Steve’s witness last night. I also found it very moving but also provocative. Why provocative?

    I recognize the seriousness of Father’s self-centerdness and his shortcomings as a priest according to his own witness. But I fail to see the evidence of his having committed a sin which would be considered “mortal” and deserving an eternity in hell.

    This is a real sore point with me. I just have a very, very difficult time reconciling a scenario that has the monsters responsible for the deaths of millions, those who openly despise God and a priest that wasn’t quite living up to the full standards of his chosen ministry and vocation all occupying the same horrific state of the eternal absence of God and unspeakable suffering.

    I read of scenarios where Jesus has stayed the hand of the Father and prevented the “wrath of God” from being loosed on the world. I have read the same about the Blessed Mother interceding so that Jesus does not unleash his holy fury on a perverted world. “wrath,” “fury” and “vengeance” are such emotional designations and seem to me wholly inconsistent with the merciful and loving God that I have come to know and long for.

    Perhaps these descriptions of the inclinations of the Deity are meant to place the offenses of man in terms with which we humans can identify. But sometimes these descriptions of the Father and the Son conjure images of hot heads like Bobby Knight and Sonny Corleone, characters that have a boiling point and can’t control themselves and have to be restrained from doing something rash.

    I love Mother Angelica, appreciate Father Steve, honor Mary and adore our Lord and Savior. But I know that the Divine Mercy of Jesus is infinite and the BVM intercedes constantly on our behalf. I truly trust that the mercy and justice of God infinitely surpasses that of mere men and that he “considers not what we truly deserve.”

  9. Terry, I do understand what you’re talking about, because I have certainly read plenty along those lines myself. And we do know, from the Divine Mercy message of St. Faustina and many, many saints before her, that the mercy of God is greater than any possible sin that could ever be conceived of or committed. No sin could outweigh the Lord’s mercy, and He wants all sinners to understand that.

    But re Fr. Scheier, I think he didn’t go into complete detail about what his own sins entailed, but rather just made us aware of some of the ways he wasn’t living the spiritual life as he should have been. And there is no mention of fury or wrath in his case; he simply heard Jesus speaking Truth, and there was no arguing when faced with Truth. We know from Scripture that “to whom much is given, much will be demanded”; Father Scheier was given much, but never responded. We also know from Scripture that Jesus wants us either hot or cold, and what does He say He will do with the lukewarm? Vomit them out. We can’t possibly comprehend the full extent of His Divine Mercy, but many of us reflect on it a great deal. I have a feeling not so many of us reflect on Divine Justice though, in terms of ourselves, in terms of what we’ve been given and what fruit has been born of it. It’s very easy to compare ourselves to mass-murderers and feel better about ourselves, but I think it may be just this kind of thinking that could lead us into a false sense of relaxation and into an acceptance of a lukewarm spiritual life.

  10. I hear you Gabrielle. Really don’t have all of the details about Father Steve’s sins so making judgments is difficult. And the fact that he agreed with Jesus’ indictments says a lot.

    As usual, I’m doing my stream-of-consciousness thing which means that one statement leads to another concept which leads to another question which leads to another opinion which results in “wrath” and “fury” entering the discussion uninvited. I get hung up on the criteria for damnation which Father Scheier brought into the picture with his witness.

    I understand and agree with everything that you remind us of above. Lukewarmness is something that I’m all too familiar with. Perhaps that’s why I am counting on the Lord to skew more towards mercy than justice.

  11. Terry, statements leading to concepts leading to questions leading to opinions leading to statements leading to concepts leadings to questions leading to opinions…nature of the beast for a mystic. Did you watch the video on my mystics page by Rabbi David Solomon? 🙂

    I’m away until Monday evening now – but just to say, I’m counting on the same thing as you…

  12. Whatever happened to Fr Steven Scheier, the priest with the near death experience? Didn’t he belong to the Intercessors of the Lamb? Is he still a priest in Kansas?

  13. Pat, when he was interviewed by Mother Angelica, under his name on the video I notice that they do mention he was an Intercessor of the Lamb. When his accident took place (1985, I think) he was serving at a parish in a small community in Kansas. I did some googling after I saw your comment, and I found that he was later at Holy Name of Jesus in Bushton, Kansas and also Holy Trinity in Little River, Kansas. But I’m not sure where he is now; I looked at the Archdiocese of Wichita, but I didn’t see his name.

  14. I found this recently (since 2005 anyway)
    http://www.cdowk.org/parishes/parish_page.jsp?id=12

    He wasn’t listed with the Intercessor of the Lamb on their websites…they had names/pictures of the hermits and he wasn’t there. I bookmarked his visit on EWTN and tried to followup on his whereabouts years ago.I know these things can’t be given approval by the church, but I found it inspiring at the time. Something though bothered me and I wondered why he wasn’t seen anywhere else or given more press. I don’t think they ever had the show on reruns either or heard Mother mention him again later on. I had to call to ask about a link to the old show and got Tommy Lanes.
    Any news from anyone else?
    This church is very small, only one 9am Sunday mass. Must be a small town or not many Catholics.

  15. *sigh.. when I see these little mysteries, it drives me bonkers– I MUST find the answer! From what is gleanable online, I gather that he took himself out of the limelight, and perhaps out of the Intercessors as well. It seems he has ended up as a pastor of a certain midwest parish. I’d guess he’s pretty darned well.🙂

  16. I suppose you could write him a letter if you wanted too…tell him that you were moved by his talk, etc.
    I worried that he fell ill, or left or was having other problems. That is what happens when all the news you read is bad (especially for the church)

  17. Deb, there are 22 new entrants for the Priesthood at Maynooth (Ireland) and there might even be that many at our local seminary (northeast US). The news we’d like to read and need to read is usually well-hidden. We should subscribe to Catholic News Agency and Zenit dot org if we’d like to see the rest of the story. Very heartening! As for Fr. Scheier’s well-being, we know that he went from his old parish to the Intercessors of the Lamb. I could only gather that from there, he went back to parish work and very quietly so. I think he just wanted to pass along to us all that Mary is indeed Mediatrix. Online, I viewed so many arguments about that –was Jesus swayed by Her, is it true God listens to Mary, etc. Father just wanted to say we have a Mother in our heavenly Queen. It is not at all likely that he would ever return to unseemly behaviour, but a prayer for him for whatever he needs could never go amiss. One day he’ll know each and every soul who prayed for him, right?

  18. I sure hope so! I was thinking when Fr. Groechel on EWTN said, he was a little miffed at a pries friends stubborness in having the doctor’s do CPR on him after he was hit by a car. It had gone 20 minutes, way longer than it should have, most people are brain dead. He recovered and preaches to many on TV and the streets. I told him that he might have been tired, (helps over 78 I think)been anxious to see heaven, but wait until he see the number of souls he saved or help sway when he does finally get there by staying around a bit longer. : )
    Who knows the truth in what happened to Fr. Shreier, but I think he needed whatever he received. I don’t think it’s a heirarchy in heaven, “Im boss, you’re nothing” when it comes to Jesus and his family….I think whatever is to happen to us, happens, but what we need to have that happen differs each person. (on a personal note, I hope she’ll put in a word for me too!!)
    I agree too about the news, I try to find uplifiting things and send them to friends…we need a little balance.

  19. Well, if Fr. Scheier is leading a quiet, parish life as C says then I’m all for respecting his privacy and yes, C, remembering him in prayer. When you think of the fact that his accident was over twenty years ago and here we are still talking about it on the Internet, I can’t help but think that he has fulfilled some wonderful part of Jesus’ plan – to make Mary’s desire to intercede for all of her children more widely known.

    Deb, that was lovely, what you told Fr. Groechel, and so true. I had a parish priest once who I often thought the same thing about; I can just imagine the joy and surprise when he sees everyone he had a hand in saving.

  20. I learned today that Fr. Scheier most definitey did return to the Diocese of Wichita as a diocesan priest. It is probably what he discerned that God wanted from him.

    I was privileged to be at EWTN with a pilgirmage group the night that Father told his story to Mother Angelica. Everyone in that studio just sat in stunned silence when the program ended.

    I will never forget his testimony. Everyone should hear it.

    God bless

  21. Thanks for the info, Barbara! I’m continually amazed at the way life works. You were in the audience! And then you find a little post about it two decades later from someone way up in Canada! Thanks so much for stopping in and sharing this with us.

  22. Why Mary? Because she is the Mother of God, she is our eternal Mother and, as in Father Scheier’s case, she may be what separates any of us from an eternity in torment or in ecstasy. If we’re Christians, we are all still sinners. We are on the right path, but we are all weak and vulnerable to falling. If we show unfailing devotion to our Blessed Mother Mary in Heaven, through the the rosary and prayer, she will be there at our judgment, as an ever-loving Mother, more so than we can imagine. If we die in sin and are on the line between Heaven and hell, blessed is the soul who truly knows their Mother, and has her interceding to our Lord for salvation. For the Lord can not say “no” to His Mother.

  23. Mostly yes, but I must confess that I am baffled by this “only Mary can save you from Big Bad God” thing that I’ve seen now and then. The saints (in their humanity) did not speak this way of the Lord. At least, not the October saints.

  24. Hello, Joseph; thanks for visiting here. Truly, as you say, one of the many great comforts for us is knowing that our loving Mother Mary will be there for us at the hour of our death and after we have passed over, advocating and interceding for us as she does all through our lifetime.

    Carol, the way I interpret Joseph’s comment, particularly the last line where he says that the Lord cannot say “no” to His Mother, is in the sense of Mary being the Queen Mother; last year I heard some homilies and read some material about Mary being the Geberah (not sure I spelled that correctly), which relates back to the Old Testament (eg, Bathsheba being the Queen Mother of King Soloman), and how everyone who wanted something from the King went through his mother, asking her first, and asking her intercession with her son, the King.

    But, like you, I’ve come across many people in real life and online who do have this idea of the “big bad God”. Many times I find it is because they can’t seem to comprehend the fact that the darkness, the violence, the pain in today’s society has been brought on us by humanity, not God. Also, I don’t think they understand Divine Justice – that it is not vengeful, that it is simply, as we stand before God, the Truth of ourselves, and that we will see all that we have done that is good or bad, and all that we failed to do, and we will see for ourselves the Justice that applies to our lives.

  25. Fr. Scheier recalls that he indeed deserved to go to Hell, in a more recent interview: “I could not stand peer pressure. In other words, I wanted to be one of the guys. Now the priests at this time seemed to find a need to be just one of the guys, too, a lay person. And that was shown more from the pulpit than any place else in my dealings with priests and laity – because priests would get up and talk about peace, love and joy, not morality, dogma, and what the Church is all about – because this made one unpopular and God help us if a priest was unpopular – because that would mean that the money didn’t come in. So to keep the money coming in you had to tell the people what they wanted to hear.” As a committed member of the Pentecostal/Assemblies of God for 25 years, before my Catholic baptism at Easter 2009, I know full well that the same “one of the boys” attitude afflicts ministers of all denominations today. Yes, God hears all our prayers, but when a Protestant church’s so-called theology denigrates Our Blessed Lady, there is incredible darkness, shown by rotten fruit in the lives who are told they are “Born Again” and that their “ticket to Heaven” is guaranteed (Baptists/Pentecostals). The truth is not being told, in many, many places. Padre Pio said: “Jesus chooses that we come to Him through her…” Fr. Scheier is now in his early 60’s. He can be reached at St. Martin of Tours Parish, 428 North Main, Caldwell, KS 67022. Tel: (620) 845-6763. He celebrates the Mass daily. I am also up in Canada, so it is unlikely I will meet him, although I would surely love to; as would my husband, who has not yet converted to Catholicism. Please pray for him. His name is also Steve.

  26. Well, it has never actually been about the money in Catholic parishes –that does not affect what is said at the podium. Those who’ve worked in RCIA for years know what is said to draw in new Catholics, and that, too, is not “about the money” –I find such talk insulting to the whole Church, especially when it comes from within. As for RCIA folks, the reason they make the full journey into the Church is certainly not because of hellfire and damnation talk, and that is the first thing that makes anyone leave the Church. They hear reality as the Church understands it –a good blend of peace, love and joy and morality and dogma and precepts and sacraments and the Rosary, etc.

  27. Cheryl-Helena, first of all, congratulations on having celebrated your second Easter as a Catholic, and thank you for the info re Fr. Scheier.

    I guess I have a few comments on both your and Carol’s take on things, from my own perspective and experience, which certainly may not be the same as either of your own. I would have to say that I do not find Father’s experience of things hard to believe, firstly, because it was his experience in a particular time and place(s), but also because I’ve seen it myself and heard it said by pastors that I’ve known. Over the decades I, and I suppose most Catholics, have experienced a wide range of pastors with such a variety of emphases re homiletics – I’ve had fire & brimstone, those who spoke only of love and never dogma or doctrine, those who did the exact opposite of that, those who spoke primarily of their own spiritual path, those who concentrated on church history and explaining the Old Testament, and on and on and on. I have found that with an open heart, one can learn from each and every one of them, even if their style or emphasis is not exactly to one’s liking, but I have also discovered from various pastors that when small groups within the parish don’t like something, they are off to the bishop with complaints – this one’s too liberal, that one’s too orthodox, this one’s too young, that one’s too old. I’ve seen groups of parishioners leave because they didn’t care for the pastor, and groups of parishioners follow a pastor whom they love to another parish when he is transferred. So yes, all of this does affect a parish economically, there’s no doubt about it, because when the congregation leaves, so does the parish’s income. I’ve heard a couple of pastors talk freely about this, and how they will not let it affect how they preach – that this problem of some pastors trying to maintain the viability of their parish by “tickling the ears” of the congregation (i.e., keeping them happy) is nothing new, but was experienced even, for example, by St. Paul and St. Augustine in their day.

    That being said, I don’t believe the problem exists within our Catholic parishes to anywhere near the extent that it does in these huge Protestant mega-churches, or in small new Protestant churches that are “planted” (I believe this is how they phrase it) – where the emphasis seems to be almost entirely on the personal charisma of the leader or team, because there is little more that is substantial going on. We have good preachers and not so good preachers; we have well-written and not-so-well-written (and delivered) homilies, but this is not the heart of the Catholic Mass or the Catholic faith; charisma and money come and go, but the heart of the Mass is where our hearts are…

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