Purest of All Lilies

Fr. Donald H. Calloway, MIC, explores St. Faustina... Read more

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By Dan Valenti (Nov 14, 2009)
What force of God can tame beasts, soften steely hearts, and through tenderness and compassion serve as object lessons in the practicality of day-to-day mercy?

Why, femininity, of course.

A gifted, young Marian priest injected a serious dose of the feminine into the North American Congress on Mercy in a stem-winding talk on Saturday, Nov. 14, centered on "Mary, Mother and Masterpiece of Mercy."

Perfect in Virtue, Thrice-Created by God
Father Donald Calloway, MIC, borrowed his motif from Archbishop Fulton Sheen's book on the Blessed Mother, The World's First Love. Father Donald noted what happened with the Holy Trinity and Mary: "God the Father made His own daughter. God the Son made His own mother. God the Holy Spirit made His own spouse."

How could such a creature not be perfect, something the Church recognizes in its teaching on the Immaculate Conception? Mary, Fr. Donald said, personifies "the superlative of all virtues."


Our Lady is tenderness at its best, maternity at its most loving, and purity at the apogee of spotlessness. Even with that, though, Mary doesn't remain at a spiritual distance. Far from being a woman so perfect we can't relate to her, Mary cemented her bond with us by assenting to become the Mother of God. For this reason, she is venerated, not worshipped. For this reason, she is our mother as well.

'The Depository of All Graces'
"She is the pattern of what it means to be a Christian, a disciple," said Fr. Donald, the Marians' vocation director.

Like Jesus, "we have to be born through her, for she is the depository of all graces. What you can say of Mary, you can say of the Church. She is the blueprint, the model."

As we all are, Mary "is dependent on mercy, and mercy [Jesus as The Divine Mercy] is dependent on her. It's a paradox," Fr. Donald said. "So it is with us. We can't live without [God's] mercy, and we can't be born again without Mary. We will never know Jesus Christ's fullness without His mother."

Father Donald then went in an unexpected though fruitful direction, turning to science, specifically, the phenomenon of fetal microchimerism. This recent biological finding strongly suggests that when a woman has a child, cells of that child will continue to live in the mother the rest of her life.

Amazingly, these microchimeric cells come to defend her life when she is sick. In fact, they are among the most aggressive defenders of the mother's health. Likewise, we retain cells in our own bodies that come from our mothers. As the mother of Jesus, Mary retained her Son's cells throughout her life ("The Church has never dogmatically declared that Mary ever died. She never died because she had the cells of the God-Man").

Say 'Yes' to God
We, too, as children of Mary, retain her spiritual cells in us and ours remain in her. We can use that for strength, Fr. Donald said, because, "in some mystical way, you were born from her at Calvary, from her pierced heart." God "planned it that way."

Father Donald told NACOM pilgrims, "The greatest thing that we can say [to God's call] is 'let it be done to me according to Your word.'" Say "yes" to God; give Him your "fiat," as Mary did. "That is the stamp of mercy."

Visit Father Donald's website, fathercalloway.com.


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maryS - Nov 17, 2009

Fr.what a beautiful talked the spirit of grace in your heart is flowing YES to HIM.I hope and pray the we will a priest like so dedicated to our mother Mary.God bless.

huyen - Nov 18, 2009

I don't normally post comments on here...but I come from Holland .Father Don, I just only want to say that you are truely 'the knight of our Lady' gathering young souls like us to her and Jesus. Lots of my friends have been talking about you and we all think that you are a star..bling bling bling!!
we have seen your video clip via utube and we think your conversion story is really amazing. hope to get an order of your dvd and book soon Father. we hope to see you one day in Europe Father.
God bless you and everyone over there.

Mike - Nov 18, 2009

Huyen from Holland...
definitly get a copy of NO Turning Back, its awesome. Holland is starving for mercy!!!
You can sense it all over Europe but especially right now in Northern Europe for some reason...

immerse yourself right now in Gods mercy and immerse your entire country!

Thats the incredibly cool thing.. you can do it now! :-) God has handed you the power through the divine mercy image. Face it out the window. I cannot tell u how strong it is..
then trust and wait for amazing things to happen!

God bless you.

David - Nov 19, 2009

Thank you. I have been a Protestant my whole life but am now entering the Catholic Church at the age of 49 because for some time now our mother Mary has been in my heart whenever I prayed to her Son. Now I can comprehend it in a way I could not before. Microchimerism will be an image that stays with me the rest of my life. God bless you Fr.Donald.

Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC - Nov 20, 2009

Wow! Great news, David! Being Catholic is the best thing on earth. Blessings to you!

Erica T - Nov 22, 2009

I'd never heard of fetal microchimerism until Fr. Calloway brought it up. Amazing!! Thank you so much for all that you do, Father. I wish I could have gone to the congress. Maybe you can have one on the West Coast.

Sophie - Nov 22, 2009

Thank you, Fr. Donald for always preaching the truth about how important Mary is in our relationship with Christ. She truly is the pattern of Christian discipleship and you Father are a great model for us as well. God bless you.

Humble servant of God's Love and Mercy - Dec 1, 2009

O Most Sweet Jesus, we trust that You will hasten the joyful day when the Limitless Love and Inexhaustible Mercy that is in the Triune God is in all hearts. O Lord, our contrite hearts rejoice in You or are tormented for You, but use us for Divine Mercy's end. So be it.