Catholic Webinar: History of Our Lady of Guadalupe Miracles

Dr Marshall provides historical theological analysis on Mary as "Guadalupe"

Tonight we are re-running a highly popular Catholic Webinar on Our Lady of Guadalupe: History and Marian Theology (8,000+ views so far).

If you’d like to watch the re-play, there is still time to catch it: Please sign up here.

What you will discover about Our Lady of Guadalupe:

  • How the devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe began with Saint Luke.
  • How the original image was acquired by St Gregory the Great.
  • Christopher Columbus’ devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
  • The Apparition of Our Lady to St Juan Diego.
  • How Our Lady of Guadalupe can help you in our secular society.
  • How she can help you bring family and friends back to the Catholic Church.

I hope you will join us for this exciting Catholic Mariology Webinar. Lots of energy and tons of information about Our Lady going back to the time of Saint Luke the Evangelist:

to Jesus through Mary,
Dr Taylor Marshall

Reviews of the New Saint Thomas Institute from Members

Looking for real reviews of actual members and students of the New Saint Thomas Institute? Please browse through the comments made by our happy students:

  • “I am totally enjoying being a member of the New Saint Thomas Institute! I am like a sponge soaking up all the goodness and richness of it all. So grateful for it!” – Jacqueline S
  • “You have selected a great apostolate with NSTI. Dr Taylor Marshall has a unique way of presenting material that is informative and on target. There are many resources available to aid you in your learning and further self-study on subject matter. There are groups, forums and Certificate courses to provide many hours of information to grow more in our Catholic faith. God Bless.” – Daniel D
  • “I can’t recommend NSTI’s postings more highly! I’m a 76 year old widow of a Permanent Deacon in our Catholic church, with great appreciation for always learning more about the foundation of Christianity! Dr. Marshall’s presentations expand my appreciation for how every little thing, if there IS any LITTLE thing, reveals the glory of GOD!!!” – Mary Goettsche
  • “I’m regretful that I did not join [New Saint Thomas] Institute earlier – when my children were still at home….. I feel like I missed an opportunity.” – Pamela B
  • “These resources are awesome! I can learn so much, and I don’t even have to take out a student loan!” Betsy L
  • “I am so happy with this Institute! It is amazingly simple to read and listen to. Once I get started for the day, I find it difficult to stop learning!” – Shirley Russell
  • “I am taking your Catholic Theology course and I thank you for the opportunity to have a deeper understanding of my faith. There is no much that I do not know and I hunger for more. The mass becomes more alive to me because of your teachings on St. Thomas’ Summa. Again, thank you and may God continue to bless you and the New St. Thomas Institute. Regards, Marissa”
  • “Thank you. Every module aids me in remembering my teachings & studies at the University of Saint Thomas (Houston, TX). This Institute is absolutely wonderful and is such a blessing. NSTI came into my life at the perfect time. I will forever be a student (&/or Teacher) of Theology, Philosophy, & History. St. Thomas Aquinas has proven to be whom God wants me to learn & relearn my Catholic Faith…and thank goodness too! God Bless!” – Michael M
  • “Thank you so much for this amazing institute and how it offers so much so willingly to women like me. I live in Dubai, UAE and am married to George and we have three children Pio, Vincent and Claire and i have a feeling we might be having our fourth. Please do keep us in prayer.” – Carolyn Riccio Thanel Absolutely love being a member of NSTI!
  • “The New Saint Thomas Institute has been absolutely wonderful. I have been a member for 18 months and completed all three courses. I met my goal. I have achieved what I set out to do when I joined. I have a pretty good understanding of who St. Thomas was and will continue to study him. I guess I feel like I graduated. I plan to take the monthly tuition and add it to my children’s college fund each month. We are hoping to give them the opportunity to go to a Catholic Institution (one that is true to the Church – not a Catholic in name only school). You guys have been wonderful. I plan to continue to listen to Dr. Marshall’s podcast, especially on Revelation. Peace.” – Joe Scaffidi
  • “I am so glad I stumbled across the NSTI, I tell everyone about it.” – John Germaine
  • “Thanks Dr Marshall for this opportunity to learn. I really liked the video and am excited to continue.” – Patricia A
  • “I thank God to give me this opportunity to be part of NSTI. God bless.
    I will pray for you. Your teaching is so simple and clear, thanks.” – Christiane N
  • “I am really enjoying the current certificates and learning a lot (which was my original purpose in joining NSTI.)” – Frank M
  • “I am new to the class and love it. Thank you for making this resource available to us.
    These videos are exactly what I have been looking for! I love the clarity with which the materials are presented! Thank you!” – Janet V
  • “I went to 12 years of Catholic school and 2 years of Catholic College, I used to wonder why I didn’t know more about my faith with all this schooling. It seems the more I study and learn the more I realize how much I didn’t know, NSTI is a big help. It’s one of my many resources. St. Augustine says true happiness comes from knowledge of God. Joy and surprise!! The closer I get to God the more I want to share the gospel. I want to go heaven. Praise God, I want everyone to go to heaven.” – Katherine L
  • “This is such an AWESOME resource for me to know my faith, defend my faith, and bring others back to my Catholic faith, that I can’t wait to get started! We can’t really financially afford it with a one person income and 5 children, but it is so worth the sacrifice. We won’t go out to eat much but instead feed our souls with the fullness of the truth. Thanks be to God for the NSTI and what you are doing for the Kingdom of God!” – Sandra
  • “This is my first Certification course with NSTI! This lesson, like the others, has a ton of amazing additional resources, namely all of the Summa references. I treated myself to the beautiful blue hard copy version that Taylor recommends of the Summa. Even though it’s the same words, there’s something about holding the hard copy in my hands and reading Aquinas’ words that makes this study that much more enjoyable!” – Ann F
  • “I am so glad I found this Institute on my Facebook page. I have not been a member well on the 1 dollar trial that is but I have learned so much from the short time I have signed up and I will be upgrading to premium because, this Institute is just what I needed for my journey. Thank you and God bless.” – Joey N
  • “Thanks to your explanations, Dr. Marshall, I can engage my wife, a lapsed (very lapsed) Episcopalian in conversations about God, Catholicism and even her own faith. Like most Episcopalians I know talk of such things seems inappropriate outside of the appropriate setting, i.e. church service. Your gentle and clear explanations help me engage her now on such things outside the “appropriate” setting. Thank you.” – Stephen V
  • “I am really happy that I joined. I learn a lot about my religion. I don’t need a certificate.i only need to feed my knowledge about my religion so that I can pass it onto friends, relatives and neighbors.” Julie T
  • “I have teenage daughters and I have prayed about how – as a mom – I could speak to them to let them know how special and divinely created they are. This [program] is so helpful. I am also a new student at our local university again! I’m 49 and I’m very proud that I have taken the leap to get back to school and get a degree in Early Childhood Education. Anyway, you totally rock and I am LOVING New Saint Thomas [Institute]!” – Mary B
  • If you would like to join the New Saint Thomas Institute or read more reviews by customers and students, please visit our home page for more information: newsaintthomas.com.

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Eric Clapton’s Song to Virgin Mary was Stolen for Princess Bride film

Do you remember that epic closing music to The Princess Bride? It’s a ripoff of a song written by Eric Clapton, a ballad written to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 11.58.25 AM

During the lows of Eric Clapton’s alcoholism, he wrote a ballad to the Blessed Virgin Mary called “Holy Mother.” The lyrics are moving and conclude with a “now and at the hour of our death” moment followed by a solo that only Clapton could construct:

When my hands no longer play,
My voice is still, I fade away.
Holy mother, then I’ll be
Lying in, safe within your arms. [guitar solo]

During this time in his life, Clapton had a conversion to Christ which explains like this:

I had found a place to turn to… From that day until this, I have never failed to pray in the morning, on my knees, asking for help, and at night, to express gratitude for my life and, most of all, for my sobriety. I choose to kneel because I feel I need to humble myself when I pray, and with my ego, this is the most I can do.

Anyway, he wrote a beautiful ballad called “Holy Mother” and from the first time that I listened to it, I thought to myself, “This sounds like a movie?” And then I realized that it sounded like The Princess Bride theme.

Compare the opening and the melody of Eric Clapton’s “Holy Mother” (1986) to The Princess Bride Theme (1987). I’ve included both from Youtube:

Here is Eric Clapton’s “Holy Mother” from his album August (1986):

And here’s The Princess Bride Theme Song, “Storybook Love” (1987):

It’s a bit odd that these songs came out a year apart. Mark Knoplfer, composer of The Princes Bride theme, was the singer for Dire Straits (“Money for nothing and your chicks for free…”). He was also a friend of Clapton’s and the two have played together over the years. But I’ve got say, it sure does sound like Knopfler cribbed Clapton’s “Holy Mother” for The Princess Bride. Just saying…

I really enjoy Clapton’s “Holy Mother” (brings me to tears) and I especially his version of “Holy Mother” with Pavarotti. Give it to 1:43:

You’ll see that Clapton is wailing on a blue Stratocaster – fitting for a Marian hymn.

  • If you want another beautiful Clapton song, check out his “Presence of the Lord” with Blind Faith (Clapton and Steve Winwood singing). This song is so epic.
  • Two other great spiritual ballads by Clapton are “Tears in Heaven” and “Running on Faith.”

Question: Do you like Clapton’s “Holy Mother”? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Godspeed,
Taylor

Take Me to Church Lyrics and Meaning – A Christian Analysis and Critique

If you have a radio in your car, you have probably heard the popular song “Take Me to Church” by Irish recording artist Hozier. For those who don’t listen to the radio or care about pop music, all you need to know is that this song was nominated for Song of the Year at the Grammy’s.

Hozier Take Me To Church

Recording Artist Hozier

The song is hauntingly beautiful with subtle verses and a soulful chorus. Admittedly, when I first heard it, I thought, “Wow, this is a powerful song. It’s almost hymn-like.” It’s Elton John mixed with an old Southern Spiritual from the American Civil War.

But then I started listening to the lyrics…

“Take Me to Church” by Hozier could only have been written by an Irishmen with Catholic roots. When he sings of “Church,” it is a “sacrifice” at a “shrine” with a “ritual” and includes “I’ll tell you my sins.”

However, Hozier’s religion is not Protestant or Evangelical Christianity. This is Irish Catholicism with a blasphemous twist…

Take Me to Church Lyrics Analyzed

Regrettably, the lyrics to “Take Me to Church” are pretty blasphemous. Here’s my theological analysis with my commentary in the red:

[Verse 1]
My lover’s got humour
She’s the giggle at a funeral
Knows everybody’s disapproval
I should’ve worshipped her sooner (So this is the cue. The God throughout the song is a girlfriend.)
If the Heavens ever did speak (“If the Heavens ever” = revealed religion is cast into doubt)
She’s the last true mouthpiece
Every Sunday’s getting more bleak
A fresh poison each week
“We were born sick”, you heard them say it (“they” [Catholics] teach original sin)
My church offers no absolutes (So unlike Catholicism, there are no moral absolutes – only relativism)
She tells me “worship in the bedroom” (the liturgy is sex. It’s the place of union between him and the “god”/girlfriend)
The only heaven I’ll be sent to
Is when I’m alone with you
I was born sick, but I love it (acknowledges original sin – but he loves it)
Command me to be well (a reference to Christ commanding people to be well in the Gospels)

[Pre-Chorus]
Amen, Amen, Amen

[Chorus] (x2)
Take me to church (remember, “Church” here is sexual reference in this song)
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife (confession reference)
Offer me my deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life (he hands over his life to her the “god”)

[Verse 2]
If I’m a pagan of the good times
My lover’s the sunlight
To keep the Goddess on my side (the god/girlfriend is also a goddess)
She demands a sacrifice (here’s where the song gets “Eucharistic” with reference to sacrificial meal and hunger…)
Drain the whole sea
Get something shiny
Something meaty for the main course
That’s a fine looking high horse
What you got in the stable? (reference to the Christ Child “in the stable”)
We’ve a lot of starving faithful
That looks tasty
That looks plenty
This is hungry work

[Chorus] (x2)

[Bridge]
No masters or kings when the ritual begins (egalitarian ritual – sex)
There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin (hey, at least he knows it’s sin – he’s Irish!)
In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene (a reference perhaps to leaving earth into the “heavenly bliss” of sexual embrace)
Only then I am human
Only then I am clean (he ends with a reference the sexual completion as a kind of baptism or absolution)

Amen, Amen, Amen

Download Your Take Me To Church Study Guide 

Take Me to Church Meaning

What’s amazing about his song is that it’s about as offensive as anything produced by Marilyn Manson, Judas Priest, or Slayer – yet hardly anyone recognizes it! It takes rich Catholic sacramental language but re-signifies the imagery as a sexual encounter. And that’s the so-called “genius” of this song.

The music industry is now much smarter than it was in the days of Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, and Slayer. Your daughter is not likely to love Marilyn Manson and erect an idol to Satan in her bedroom. Your son will not likely consecrate his baby to Lucifer and baptize him in goat’s blood.

Overt Satanism is out of style. However, young people are likely to exchange their Christian faith for sexual license. The stats show that young people will likely exchange the sacramental life and liturgy for the liturgy of sexual experimentation.

And that’s exactly why this song has become an American anthem. The devil doesn’t needs a league of heavy metal Satanists. He’d almost prefer to have people mocking the Christian sacraments and images.

If God isn’t real – “If the Heavens ever did speak” – then the only goods to be enjoyed in this life are the pleasures of food and sex. That’s all there is left for humans to experience transcendence. Hozier gets it and he sings for us a catchy hymn.

In an interview with New York Magazine in March 2014, the artist Hozier stated:

‘Take Me to Church’ is essentially about sex, but it’s a tongue-in-cheek attack at organizations that would… undermine humanity by successfully teaching shame about sexual orientation — that it is sinful, or that it offends God… But it’s not an attack on faith… it’s an assertion of self, reclaiming humanity back for something that is the most natural and worthwhile.

So there you have it from Hozier himself.

Conclusion

I know it’s a catchy song. There’s a part of me that likes it. But seriously, this is probably one of the most sacramental songs every popularized – and it sacramentalizes the wrong values. That’s my two cents. Godspeed, Taylor

Download a pdf Study Guide by Taylor of the Lyrics for “Take Me to Church”:

Download Your Take Me To Church Study Guide

Question: Okay, now I want to hear from you. Do you agree? Did I miss something about this song? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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