Friday, October 15, 2021

Reflecting on the Rosary

I am pleased to say that the Rosary is my favorite prayer.  The root of my love for this prayer comes from my parents as both of them prayed the Rosary on a regular basis. In my younger years we also prayed the Rosary as a family. While I can't say that I have prayed the Rosary on a consistent basis throughout my life I can say that is has always been my go to prayer both when I was anxious and when I wanted to spend some quiet time with the Lord. 

Like many boys at a young age I remember getting a Rosary as a gift during important moments of my faith life and though I am not a big collector of Rosaries there are a few that mean a lot to me. In most cases I have use my Rosary ring as it is something I tend to keep in my left front pocket. I think the main reason for that is that while I do love to pray inside of a Church I also like to pray when I am moving around my house, which means that there is not chance for my Rosary to get caught on something.

Many people describe the repeated prayers of the Rosary as a mantra, a rhythm that is supposed to assist us with our concentration. As a drummer this is something I can really appreciate because while many discuss how the universe moves in rhythm I was conscious of that before ever coming across the concept. One of my favorite times to pray the Rosary is when I am watering my plants because I really love the sound of the prayer in my head while hearing the consistent flow of water.

While some question how this repeated prayer is of any benefit to us I also like to think of the gift it can be to us when we are angry or hurt and not in a condition to know what to say to Our Lord. Such moments are when these memorized prayers are of great assistance to us.

Being a part of the Universal Roman Catholic Church, I know of the traditions and practices that are known by my brethren around the world. While I prefer to pray in private I have very fond memories of attending Catholic conferences with people from around the world as we prayed this simple prayer that I grew up with. It was both exhilarating and comforting to know that I am part of this tradition that is truly, catholic! 

The Rosary to me is also an equalizer. In other words, it can be done by anyone who simply comprehends what is going on. Therefore, the people next me to could be highly educated or illiterate, rich or poor, famous or unknown. It doesn't matter. And Our Lady and Our Lord hear our prayers equally. 

Now I would like to offer some short observations on the Mysteries of the Rosary. 


The Joyful Mysteries

As a student of the Theology of the Body these Mysteries are very moving to me because of the fact that they center around the Incarnation. Of course this is not just the moment when God became man but also showed humanity our true value. To come into this world as one of us always reminds me of the love that Our Lord has for us. This empowers me most during those moments when I struggle both with myself as well as my relationships with others. 

Of course the Nativity could not occur without Our Lady's Fiat, which always reminds me to pray fo the same faith and courage as Our Lady. And, since we pray these Mysteries twice a week I focus on this regularly during my spiritual journey. 

The Sorrowful Mysteries 

What is interesting for me is that I rarely meditate on my own struggles as much as I pray for the struggles of others. I tend to focus a lot on those who are persecuted with violence or even slander as my heart pleads with the Lord to be with them. I also focus on those who have carried burdens for many years as I wish them the peace that only God can offer. 

There are also times when I focus on Our Lord's suffering, usually after I hear a religious song that speaks of Our Lord's Passion. It is always important for me to remember all that Jesus endured for us, from the rejection He encountered during His ministry to the complete suffering He endured during His Passion. 

The Luminous Mysteries. 

I still remember when Pope Saint John Paul II added these Mysteries and right away, I loved them! It just made sense that we had some Mysteries from Our Lord's earthly ministry and our Holy Father gave us some beautiful moments to meditate on. 

These are my preferred Mysteries to pray with my ministry partner, especially when it comes to The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God because that is what we are all called to do. Further, the Institution of the Eucharist always reminds me of how Our Lord left Himself with us, which is why I always love attending Mass. 

The Glorious Mysteries 

These Mysteries have always been my source of hop, which is why I am filled with joy when I complete them. The thought of Our Lord not only conquering death but also the the thrill it must have been for His followers to see their faith rewarded. Meanwhile, the Risen Lord is also a gift for us while the witnesses to His Resurrection wish for us to see the same thing that they saw on that fateful day. Further, while I am aware of Our Lady always being with us while we pray the Rosary, thus, allowing us the chance to fulfill Matthew 18:20 as he pray alone, I also feel the presence of the apostles as they are participants in the first two Mysteries. 

The last three Mysteries are also moving to me. I always pray to be open to receiving the same Spirit that came upon the early Church during Pentecost so I too can fulfill God's will. Then, as I reflect on all that Our Lady endured during her time with Our Lord I rejoice at the way Our Lord honored His Mother when she was welcomed into heaven. 

Let us conclude this blog with the following from St. Louis de Montfort:

The spiritual rewards are without measure. 

Carlos Solorzano
BA & MA in Religious Studies from Cal State Long Beach
Certified Through the Theology of the Body Institute
Co-Founder of Humana Corpus Dignitate

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Our Lady of Courage

Many Christians say that we are living in very trying and dangerous times. That is certainly true but one thing that Christians have to realize is that there has never been a safe time to follow Jesus Christ. His way has always been counter cultural and while different eras of history as well as geographic location could determine the type of danger we face, we must realize that each threat is real as are the feelings of fear and rejection. 

This was a reality not only for Christians in the early Church but for Jesus' family. In this year of St. Joseph we reflected on all that we can learn from Jesus' earthly father in an earlier blog ( but during this month of Mary we will now reflect on what we can learn from the courage displayed by our Blessed Mother. 

Yes, there are places in the world right now where being a Christian is a threat to your physical life. There are organizations out there right now who provide updated information on such threats. However, we should not forget the struggles that many of us face in the secular world, which has created an atmosphere where people of faith are not welcomed to share their beliefs while those with other forms of subjective beliefs are allowed to speak openly. It has become such a part of our culture that such attitudes exist in some Catholic schools where faith filled students are frowned upon when they speak of their faith outside of the classroom...while still being on campus.

As part of Humana Corpus Dignitate Catholic ministry I, along with my partner Angelica Delallana speak openly about how we are available for talks on some of the hard topics in our Church. Still, that does not mean that we do not face our own doubts and fears, especially when it comes to the potential backlash from those with a great passion for the opposing view. Therefore, a lot of what I am going to share in this blog is not just for those reading it but also for myself as well as my partner in ministry.

We are always reminded to take our concerns and struggles to Jesus. Still, we are reminded that aside from His love and grace Jesus has also given us the Communion of Saints in order to offer us various examples of how we can live as He wishes. No better example of this than the Queen of all Saints, which is why I took the time to write this blog to honor our Blessed Mother during this Month of the Rosary. 


Who is This Woman? 

The name Mary is the same as Miriam, who was the sister of Moses & Aaron, which also means that it is a name of great status. The name is defined as bitter or grieved, which might serve as a sign of things to come in our discussion. 

One of the titles that Our Lady is known for is the Virgin Mary. Some believe that it refers to her being a virgin at the time of Jesus' birth while others see it as a reference to her perpetual virginity throughout her life. There are those who actually challenge the belief in the virgin birth based on the Hebrew word almah, which is found in Isaiah 7:14. This word refers to a young woman of marriage able age. It is true that such a woman may not necessarily be a virgin but that does not mean she is not a virgin. 

The Greek translation uses the word virgin for almah and while this could challenge the idea of Mary's virginity at the time of Jesus' birth we have to also consider Joseph's intention to divorce her since he believed that she had been with another man (Matthew 1:19) as well as Gabriel's Annunciation where he explained to Mary, who was clearly a virgin at the time of this exchange, that the child's conception in her womb would be will of the Most High (Luke 1:35). Perhaps we are seeing not so much the fulfillment of the Law but the fulfillment of a divine revelation that began with the prophet Isaiah that would be fully pronounced by the angel Gabriel, who as stated to Zechariah in Luke 1:19, stood before God. 

This divine revelation would be fully manifested in Mary's Fiat in Luke 1:38: Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word. This is a beautiful portrayal of her faith in God's promises to His people (Luke 1:55) and is also the reason why she is described in Catholic Tradition as being Jesus' first disciple due to the fact that she knew Who she was carrying in her womb. Still, there was a great risk in accepting this blessing. As stated by Leslie Church: Never was a daughter of Eve so dignified as the Virgin Mary was, and yet in danger of falling under the imputation of one of the worst crimes; yet we do not find that she tormented herself about it; but, being conscious of her own innocence, she kept her mind calm and easy, and committed her cause to Him that judgeth righteously.


Holy Mother of God, teach us to accept Jesus' call for our lives and to have the courage to accept this mission knowing of the peace that He will give to us once we get closer to Him.

The Birth of the Promised One 

Matthew 2:1-4 tells us that Joseph had to take his family to his hometown of Bethlehem to enroll in the census. Censuses were taken to assess taxation and to find those who would be available for military service.  It occurred every 14 years and there is actual documentation from the years 20 to 270 AD. Jews were exempt from military service so the purpose for this census during the time of Jesus' birth was for taxation reasons.

Taking the journey to Bethlehem was both necessary and a great challenge for the Holy Family as it was 80 miles from Nazareth with travel and accommodations being far from comfortable. Travelers were responsible for their own food with innkeepers only providing fodder for the animals as well as fire for their guests to cook. It was certainly disappointing for this difficult journey to end with Joseph and Mary having to stay in  manger where animals feed but the Spirit within our Blessed Mother most likely gave her an insight as to the meaning of this struggle. William Barclay suggests that the reality of no room in the inn being a symbol of the cross: there was only room for Him on the cross since He seeks entry in the over-crowded hearts of men. With that being said, perhaps we could also suggest that Jesus was rejected from the beginning and in this case, our Blessed Mother was also a part of this experience.

After the birth of Jesus, the Holy Family were visited by shepherds, who were despised due to the fact that they were unable to keep the ceremonial details of the law, the meticulous hand washing rituals along with the other rules and regulations. They were also seen as robbers, thieves and outcasts, so it would seem odd to have them be present at the birth of Jesus since the cultural tradition was to have local musicians serenade boys that were born (Note: Jesus' birth brought a chorus from heaven, see Luke 2:13-14). Of course the presence of the shepherds speak right away of the mission of Jesus: I did not come to call the righteous but sinners (Mark 2:17).  

In this episode we see how much was gained from the courage of our Blessed Mother to take this trip to Bethlehem. Not only was she able to assist her husband in honoring his legal duty but also saw how the birth of Jesus was already changing the lives of others.  

Holy Mother of God, teach us to trust the paths that the Lord gives to us knowing that He will lead us to those who need to know Him. 

Simeon on the Suffering to Come
While the Holy Family was safe from Herod the reality of what was to come was further stated by Simeon during the Presentation of our Lord.  Although Jesus speaks of division in Matthew 10:34-36 it was foretold by the righteous and devout Simeon from Jerusalem.  As stated in Luke 2:34: Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted. As stated by Barclay: Towards Jesus Christ there can be no neutrality. We either surrender to Him or are at war with Him. And it is the tragedy of life that our our pride often keeps us from making that surrender  which leads to victory. Still, to be a part of this journey would mean that Jesus' family would also suffer. As further stated by Bergant & Karris: The shadow of the cross falls upon the Holy Family. Suffering would also be expected by Jesus' later followers (Matthew 16:24). 

This was of course best demonstrated in The Rejection at Nazareth (Matthew 13:54-58). While the Gospel does not state clearly if Mary was present she certainly would know of the episode and have suffered knowing that this occurred in her hometown of all places. As stated by Church: There are those who will be prejudiced and enraged against him. In other words, how could the Promised One be such a simple man that we have seen grow up before our eyes? The question though should be, why not such a person since these people are descendants of a faith tradition with a history of God using people from humble backgrounds to do His will.

Holy Mother of God, teach us to see with the eyes of faith, those who the Lord sends to us with a genuine faith in order to lead us to your Son. 

The First Sign 

At the Wedding of Cana, we find out in John 2:3 that they had run out of wine. When Mary informs Jesus of this predicament His response was: Woman, how does your concern affect me? (John 2:4). According to Barclay, while we are unaware of Jesus' tone when He responded to Mary we are aware of the fact that this was a common phrase at the time. If stated in anger, it represented a complete disagreement. If stated gently, then it was not so much reproach but misunderstanding. It was Jesus' way of letting Mary know that He was able to deal with the situation.

To those in the modern world, the use of the word woman may be seen as insulting but we must remember that Jesus used the same word on the cross when He gave our Blessed Mother to John (John 19:26-27). Barclay tells us that this was a sign of respect, similar to the English word Lady. Barclay further tells us that use of the word woman in this way was also known in other ancient cultures as we also saw it used by Odysseus in addressing Penelope, his well beloved wife and by the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus when he addressed Cleopatra, the famous Egyptian Queen

Mary had complete confidence in Jesus as her prompting of Jesus to do something about the lack of wine gave Him the chance to offer a glimpse of His glory. Still, with Jesus also stating in John 2:4 that His hour had not yet come, we sometimes fail to recognize the courage it took for her to show that confidence in public because after all, Jesus could easily have denied her request. Still, like most loving sons,  Jesus essentially changed His plans, which was not a foreign concept in the Jewish tradition as we have numerous occasions of God working with a situation that did not quite go according to plan. However, in this case, Our Lord did it in order to address His mother's concern for the wedding party.  

Holy Mother of God, help us to stay the course when struggles interrupt our plans. To trust in your Son to be there with us as He continues to guide us on our way. 

The True Family of Jesus 

Acts 2:44 tells us this about the first Christian community: All who believed were together and had all things in common. For this to occur the community would have to live in a very family like atmosphere knowing that most if not all of their fellow Christians were not blood relatives. Such an idea had to be taught by Jesus, who made if very clear in Mark 3:35 that His family are those who do the will of God

Mary certainly understood what that meant but there is still the reality of Mark 3:33 when Jesus said:
Who are my mother and my brothers? While we can focus on Mary being conceived without original sin, thus, not being one to retaliate or harbor any ill will towards Jesus. Still, we cannot forget that she was a human being with a mother's heart for her Son.
Aside from that, Jesus also challenged his own people to look beyond what was familiar to them....and this was not the first time. We can look to the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37), where Jesus featured the goodness of a person who would not have been highly regarded by His own people.  However, in the idea of who is truly a member of Jesus' family, He takes it to a more personal level. Consider this statement by Bergant & Karris: In a society that placed a very high value on blood relationship, Jesus' teaching about His disciples forming a spiritual family would be quite challenging. 

The struggle was also beyond Jesus' words in terms of what made up His true family. John 7:5 tells us that Jesus' brothers did not believe in Him (for clarification of the use of the word brothers please see: While this seems tragic it is not exactly something many of us are not familiar with. While many of us recognize the special bond we have with our families we also recognize the value of a genuine friendship. As stated by Barclay: Friendships are founded on common ideals & experiences. True love is found on obedience (John 15:14). True kinship is not always a matter of flesh and blood. Such relationships begin with a choice on who to befriend and/or marry, so the power of choice is in fact grounded on something that could be defined as deeper than blood. 

Some of us are blessed not only with such friendships and marriages but also faith communities. Working with people who truly seek to live the Gospel as the first Christian community from Acts of the Apostles. A community that Our Lady was also a part of. This goes to show what can be achieved through the power of God's grace along with our commitment to live as those who do the will of God. 

Holy Mother of God, teach us to open our hearts and welcome our neighbor not just as a child of God but as a member of both God's family and our family. 

The Suffering Mother

Theologians speak of Jesus being abandoned by the Father on the cross even though Our Lord said in John 10:18: No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. In other words, Jesus was always aware of the fact that He would Rise after laying His life down for others.  

Historically speaking, Jesus was not alone on the Cross. As stated in John 19:25: Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Mind you, this went on after Our Lord's apostles had already abandoned Him. Some argue that the women faced no risk of danger due to their lack of status in the ancient world. However, Barclay responds with the following: It is always a dangerous thing to be an associate of a man whom the Roman government believed to be so dangerous that He deserved the Cross. It is always a dangerous thing to demonstrate one's love for someone whom the orthodox regard as a heretic. In other words, the women had to be concerned of the backlash they could receive both from the Romans as well as the Jewish leaders but had no regard for that because, as Barclay says, perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). 

This perfect love is most apparent in all of these women but only one of them was Jesus' mother. Therefore, she also endured a pain that these other women could never endure. Jesus is both her Son and Her God. Therefore, her suffering was one that only she could know. Jesus was the fulfillment of God's promise to humanity but He could only have one mother. Therefore, even though we grieve at the thought of what He did for all of us none of us could ever know the suffering of Mary, the Mother of Our Lord. 

As we try to contemplate all that Mary could have felt at that moment let us look to Barclay's reflection: If Mary did not understand she could still love. Her presence was the most natural thing in the world for a mother. Jesus was a criminal to some but He was her Son. The eternal love of motherhood is in Mary at the cross. 

In other words, Mary teaches us what it means to be a mother.

And yet, there is still more for us to learn in Barclay's reflection. 

There is something infinitely moving in the fact that Jesus in the agony of the Cross, when the salvation of the world hung in the balance, thought of the loneliness of His mother in the days ahead. He never forgot the duties that lay to His hand. He was Mary's eldest soon, and even in the moment of His cosmic battle, He did not forget the simple things that lay near home. To the end of the day, even on the Cross, Jesus was thinking more of the sorrows other than of His own. 

We can speak a lot on Ephesians 5:25-27 but that teaching came from this moment of Jesus on the Cross. Here is the moment when Our Lord demonstrated the self-denial that He calls for all husbands and fathers as He both cared for His mother while also giving Her to us: the Church. His Bride. 

Jesus teaches us what it means to be a husband and a father. He died for all of us while also giving us what we need (Matthew 7:9-11 & Luke 11:11-13). In this case, His mother. 

Further, had it not been for Mary's courage from her Fiat to the moment she would suffer the agony of watching her Son die on the cross, we would not have her as our mother along with her example of what it means to have a courageous faith.  

Holy Mother of God, teach us to love when our hearts are broken and please comfort us when we are close to losing hope in the promises of your Son. 



We have so much work to do but in the midst of that work we also have much to endure. We have seen many people of faith lose their careers, their status, their reputations as well as their peace of minds. People of faith have always faced rejection from family and friends. In other words, the people of Christ do in fact carry many crosses. 

One of those crosses is the burden of fear. While many American Christians speak of us not having to live in parts of the world where our faith can cost us our lives we still have the burden of rejection, which for any person is a great challenge since we are both communal beings and people of faith who are called to share the Gospel with others. 

Let us look to Our Lady as an example of courage and know that we can turn to her for inspiration and guidance on how to endure our own struggles. Allow her to show us the maternal gaze of her Son while we seek to follow and imitate Him. 


Carlos Solorzano
BA & MA in Religious Studies from Cal State Long Beach
Certified Through the Theology of the Body Institute
Co-Founder of Humana Corpus Dignitate



  • Achtemeier, Paul J. (editor) Harper's Bible Dictionary Harper San Francisco 1971 p. 610
  • Bergant, Dianne & Karris, Robert J (editors). The Collegeville Bible Commentary. The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN. 1986 pgs. 422, 865, 881, 941-942
  • Brown, Raymond. An Introduction to the New Testament. Doubleday, 1997. pgs. 232
  • Church, Leslie F. (editor). Matthew Henry's Commentary in One Volume. Zondervan Publishing House, 1961. pgs, 1204, 1419 
  • Barclay, William. The Gospel of Matthew Volume 1. The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1975 pgs. 18-21 
  • Barclay, William. The Gospel of Matthew Volume 2. The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1975 p. 53
  • Barclay, William. The Gospel of Luke. The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1975 pgs. 20-23, 26-27
  • Barclay, William. The Gospel of John Volume 1. The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1975 pgs. 97-99
  • Barclay, William. The Gospel of John Volume 2. The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1975 pgs. 255-257

Sunday, October 3, 2021

The Marriage is the Key to the Salvation of the Family (Sunday Reading Reflection 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time October 3, 2021)

Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment.  But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.'"

- Mark 10:5

Recently my 3rd grader son had been taught about the 10 Commandments in his Catholic school. I was watching an action-packed television show from my phone that I had watched many time before. This time with the knowledge he was just given, my son asked me, “Mommy, can you stop watching that? It doesn’t follow the 5th Commandment.  I realized how important it was for my son to live God’s will fully and how important it was that I followed His Commandments.  I was reminded how much our children watch what we do, even if we don’t put it directly in front of them.

The family unit is key in ensuring the well-being of our children’s and bringing them closer to God.  This starts with the parents and the marriage they have established.  Jesus, Himself, gave the example of the sacrifice a husband should make in order to ensure that “[his] wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the recesses of your home your children like olive plants around your table.”  Jesus the bridegroom was "made lower than the angels,” gave Himself wholly to His bride, we the Church, in order to bring “many children to glory”.  It is our responsibility as parents to bring our children into salvation. And we must do so humbly and wholly, giving ourselves to the glory of God, leading by our actions and example.

   Unfortunately, we often fall short, giving in to our own selfishness and not considering the good of our families.  In the Gospel, the Pharisees make reference to a commandment in which Moses talks about a bill of divorce should a man be displeased with his wife (Deut 24).  Jesus explained to them that this happened because of the mindset of the people. But just like the Pharisees, what people do not consider is the whole text.  Moses then emphasized the importance of a husband staying home in his first year of marriage “for the sake of his family, to bring joy to the wife he has married.” There is great importance for the bond between husband and wife to be established first before any other duty, even to his country, and charging the husband to do so.  What kind of relationship have we established in our own marriages that in turn affect our children?

Jesus then goes on to remind them of the relationship that God had intended in creation. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.” (Gen 2:24)  God meant for us to live in the perfect companionship with one another.  Notice in the beginning of the first reading, God did not mean for us to be alone.  Yet no matter what kind of creatures he created, it was not until woman was created that Adam found the one who was suitable. But God created woman from a rib of Adam.  In order to make the perfect companion, Adam had to give a part of himself into her, and it was God who brought them together.  How willing are we to give ourselves to each other and allow God to bring us together?  How can we  teach our children to love if we do not give love to each other?  How do they live life fully and joyously and seek the the Kingdom of God if we do not model the same genuinely?

Friday, October 1, 2021

Weep for the Unborn Children

 Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed. – Luke 23:28-29

              It was a Wednesday that I went to the Adoration Chapel and decided to pray my scriptural Rosary.  The verse for the bead had the beginning of the above: Do not weep for me… but for your children.  Yet I was compelled to read further, so I turned on my Bible application and was dumbfounded.  It hit me in that very moment that we are in the midst of the days when people are “blessing” the “barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.”  As I picked my Rosary back up and continued to pray the mysteries of the Passion of our Lord, I did begin to weep.

              On September 1, 2021, the state of Texas enacted Senate Bill 8, more commonly known as “The Heartbeat Act” which states that “a physician may not knowingly perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman if the physician detected a fetal heartbeat for the unborn child.”  Once news broke that the bill was passed, a social media frenzy began, and news feeds were flooded either supporting the enactment of the bill by pro-lifers or denouncement of the bill and expressed disappointment in the legislation of the government of Texas by pro-choicers.  As my Facebook and Instagram feeds became inundated with outrage for the law, it became even more apparent that the legal status of abortion is not the issue.  Instead of fixing the problem, it seems to have caused an even greater rift and division in society.  The problems go deeper than can or can’t.  It is about will and won’t.

              How have we come to this?  How can people, especially women, be so willing to even consider the possibility of ridding her body of the innocent child in her womb, essentially killing her unborn baby?  We as a society have found ways to get immediate gratification for our desires without any thoughts of the long-term effects of our actions.  But methods we have manufactured to fix the consequences in a broken society are merely bandages that cover the surface.  Yet the wounds run deep, without any sign of healing.  And as we continue to hemorrhage out the very dignity of the human person, we are barely clinging to life as we attempt to hold on to the ideals that diminish our humanity.

              The paradigm shift began in the 1960s and spilling into the 1970s.  The babies born around the time of World War II were now adolescents and adults who rejected the conservative values set by their parents.  The sexual revolution began, along with the first FDA-approved oral contraception and the eventual 1973-ruling of the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade which ruled that women had the right to an abortion.  The 1960s also brought about the second wave of the women’s rights movement in which women fought for equal opportunities and equal pay as men.  Women felt empowered with the ability to control their bodies and to achieve success in ways that historically was not allowed.  Children would be seen as a hindrance to achieving goals.  The option to not have children also gave women the freedom to be as promiscuous as their counterparts without fear of consequences.

              As women have striven to become more valuable in positions outside of the home and worked for equality with their male counterparts, the value that they hold as women have been reduced to mere objects of fantasy and pleasure.  As Pope Paul VI predicted in his famous Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life), in the widespread use of contraception, “men may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.”  In continuing the opening verse, Jesus, Himself, said “for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry” (Lk 23:31).   The option to not only prevent fertility but to terminate pregnancy without any regard for the long-term emotional and physical side effects has created a free-for-all perspective.  There is more sense of entitlement for physical pleasure, unaware of the emotional bond that the sexual act brings between two people.

The desire for control has also played a huge roll.  The on-going mantra for “My body, my choice” has rung loud and clear all over the world.  Yet, studies have shown that a majority of women felt pressured into having an abortion, expressing that they did not freely and willfully choose to terminate their pregnancy.  The pressure to do so came from the partners themselves, or other family members, including parents, or even friends.  While women fight for the right to control what they do with their bodies, abortion has also been used to control women.

The mental health consequences on abortion that are not discussed.  There are several reports that claim there is no increased incidence of depression and anxiety in those who had undergone elective/induced abortions.  Yet, there are studies that show that women who have abortions the risk of Post Abortion Stress Syndrome, the term given to those who suffer from post-traumatic stress following an induced abortion.  In the study, it states that “women while terminating pregnancy are not aware that they will require psychological support later due to subsequent psychological effects they experience.”  

It must be stated that abortion is not often an easy decision to come to.  In his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, Pope Saint John Paul II recognized that this choice is often made out of fear, either for her own health and safety, for the sustenance of the family, or fear of the environment the child may grow up in.  Pope Francis acknowledged that “there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart”.

The true underlying issue is that from a young age, girls and women are not fully informed and girls, from a young age, should be encouraged to see the beauty of themselves without needing the validation of a relationship.  The solutions to fix the problem after the issues have occurred is prominent.  There are many reports that hormonal contraception is safe and effective.  Yet so few women actually know how the hormonal contraception works on their bodies and the risks that they take, especially with long-term use.  The abortion narrative has been pushed, seeming to be an easy solution, and the abortion clinics who profit push the hardest.  Women who have undergone abortion later state that they were not informed enough or taught enough.  They were never shown an ultrasound of their babies, are unaware of the risks they are taking undergoing the procedure and were never told of other options.  This battle for control is to the point that violent attacks and vandalism has occurred between pro-choice and pro-life advocates.  This has become a war between a mother’s right to choose to live her life as she pleases and a child who never got to choose to live.   St. Faustina, herself, a mystic and doctor of the Church, felt the unrelenting pain of the unborn children which no modern medicine of the time could relieve or cure which Christ had revealed to her.

If only women could see their value beyond the superficial and see the another much deeper truth of “My body, my choice.” If only that mantra could be transposed to choosing to value their bodies so as to not give it to whomever as they seek for the immediate gratification of lustful desires or the need to quench the ache of loneliness and affection.  If women could just not to give their bodies to those who desire them only for a meaningless moment of pleasure and refuse to see the gift they truly are. If only women would truly know the miracle of the natural order of their bodies, their ability to conceive as an indication that there are things going right with them and nothing as wrong; that their monthly cycle is a method the body cleanses itself in order to stay healthy.   If they could understand the heartache for the women who realize could not choose to have their own child as they struggle through the pain of infertility.  If only others could understand the beauty God had created so they could cherish their beauty deep down to their soul and not just to satisfy the flesh.

What it all comes down to is love, the greatest Commandment.  In the book of Matthew, Jesus tells us to love God... love others, and to love ourselves in this very order.  Now our society has diminished and even rejected a love for God, and the love for ourselves has become the most important without regard for others.  The love we have for ourselves has become conditional, dependent on the superficial ideals society has placed on us rather than to accept who we truly are.  We have chosen artificial means to ensure we continue in our own selfish desire.  If only we learned to give ourselves in love, not lust, and to act in love toward others could be the key to making abortion unthinkable, regardless of legality. 

Friday, September 10, 2021

Our Ministry and Our Mission

We are in the throes of chaos.  The very essence of our humanity has been questioned, and we live in a world and society that people act upon immediate gratification without any thoughts of future consequences.  Competition is even more apparent now, especially with social media where a small lens that one allows others to see sets the bar for others to wonder their own life’s worth and value.  We have gone against God’s natural order and begun to choose what we are created to be, attempting to alter who and what we were born to be.  We have artificially created band-aids to cover the wounds, hiding from the depths of the issues at hand.  We have devalued who we are at the very core, lost our love for God’s creation.  The goal of Humana Corpus Dignitate is to help others rediscover the love, the value and the dignity within ourselves as God intended for us.

The Challenge of the Modern World

Our experience as teachers has taught us a lot over the years especially when it comes to an effective delivery when it comes to sharing the Church's teachings with the modern world.  From the bombardment of information from various media sources to the opposition of an overwhelming number of industries who seek to oppose to mission of the Catholic Church with each of these entities having in most cases, more resources and manpower.

Aside from that, we have a culture that promotes the idea of science and reason over religious belief, which they at times see as something worthy of suspicion since it supposedly contains a number of outdated superstitions.  Sadly, such an idea is being sold to a mass of people who seem to accept it without question, which is why we wish to correct some falsities that are being sold to the rest of the world. In doing so we wish to show how the Church was always a big supporter of the connection between faith and science and how that continues to this day.

Unfortunately, we are also faced with a number of Catholics who are also unaware of many of the Church's official teachings. It is certainly important for us to see why this is so while taking every opportunity to further educate the flock on the theological and historical truths that remain through the centuries. Thankfully, in many cases we have also seen the impact it has had on such people during many of our past presentations as well as the yay people have reacted to our blogs and podcasts, which in many cases, confirmed the truths that they had carried in their hearts. Of course, such experiences could only occur through the grace of God. 

Who We Are


We are Humana Corpus Dignitate (HCD for short) and are a 501(c)(3) non-profit Catholic ministry ( We have been active in the Southwestern part of the United States since the fall of 2019, which includes appearances at schools and parishes in the Diocese of Tucson as well as the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. We also host our own podcast called Anchored in Faith where we invite people in the world of Catholic ministry to share their stories (, have appeared on numerous radio shows and podcasts, given talks at events such as the Living Pro-Life Conference as well as events put on by Smart Catholics while continuing to network what we have to offer to other communities around the country. 

Co-founder Carlos Solorzano, who is currently teaching theology at St. Augustine Catholic High School in Tucson, AZ and has also taught ethics, medical ethics and philosophy at the college level. He has been teaching now for 25 years and has a BA & MA in Religious Studies from California State University at Long Beach and is certified from Theology of the Body Institute near Philadelphia, PA. 

Our other co-founder Angelica Delalallana has been a nurse for over 12 years and is a Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner working in a small community clinic that serves the underserved population and is an adjunct professor of nursing, teaching nursing students in the clinical setting.  Angelica is also in the process of becoming certified in Natural Family Planning, the Creighton Model through the St. Paul VI Institute.

We have also been blessed to have our ministry approved by Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger from the Diocese of Tucson as well as Bishop Marc V. Trudeau, who is the auxiliary Bishop from the San Pedro region of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Our current spiritual advisers are Fr. Martin Martinez, who is the pastor at San Martin de Porres parish in Sahuarita, AZ and Fr. Jeffrey Smialek, who is the campus minister at Joliet Catholic Academy in Joliet, IL. 

The origin of our ministry began when the two of us began to see how our fields of expertise could in fact benefit the other when it comes to sharing the teachings of the Church. In creating this partnership we are able to offer a sound theological presentation that makes use of medical data in order to give substance to the Church's teaching on topics such as the biblical vision of humanity, life issues and various other topics that deal with the well being of the human person. In doing this we are showing how religion and science do in fact work together when it comes to unfolding the truth of who the human person is as well as God's purpose for our lives.



Our Approach

First and foremost, we recognize that everyone is a child of God. If anyone is in error, we need to know what has led them into such errors while finding ways to dialogue with them in order to find a way to at least plant the right seeds on fertile soil that will allow the truth to grow within them. For those who are closer to having an understanding of the truth, it may be a matter of simply steering them in the right direction. In either case, we do our best to act as Christ who both came to the people and listened to their stories.  

Our Lord, like the prophets of the Old Testament knew of the influence and in many cases, the temptations that the people of God faced when it came to the influence of the culture around them. This also means that he knows of the regret many people felt by turning away from God as well as the anger they may have felt after being misled into sin. We too have fallen short with our own lives so we are not afraid to share such experiences in order to show that we are in need of the same Savior that we share with others.

Our Lord also addressed many of the hard topics from His time period and we too have answered that call. This is also where our use of medical data and at times, the history of how popular thought evolved in order to show how the culture has carefully come for the hearts of the masses. Yes, we should listen to the feelings and experiences of everyone involved, but in our efforts to get along with everyone we at times fail to remember a very uncomfortable truth that still is, and that is the existence of sin. The effects or sin continue to hurt ourselves as well as our loved ones and we can help correct those errors by learning and embracing the truths of how God made our bodies. Jesus Himself said that He did not come to condemn but in doing that He also did not condone sinful behavior (See John 8:1-11). We make use of this approach when discussing life issues, the Catholic view of marriage, sexual ethics as well as many of the current cultural issues and trends.

In order to avoid as much of the confusion that surrounds these topics, our presentations always make use of Church approved translations of the bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, official Church documents, Papal Encyclicals as well as periodicals published by respected teachers of the faith. It has already been a very eye-opening experience for us to see the reaction of most people who were previously unaware of the Church's position on many of these issues before we incorporate facts from the medical world to further enforce the Church's position on such issues. 

The same method can be used when it comes to discussing other Catholic teachings such as our beliefs in purgatory, devotion to Mary & the Saints, the Sacraments, the male priesthood, etc. While science at times cam assist us in unfolding these teachings we also know that history is a great resource to offer a deeper understanding of such teachings. Many times we are misled by secular versions of such events, thus convincing both Catholics and the rest of the world of false beliefs concerning the theological teachings of the Church along with some popular historical beliefs. Again, careful research into all of the facts helps us have a clearer understanding of what really happened as well as why the Church holds to her position on such issues.


What To Expect from HCD Blogs

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome everyone from the Diocese of Tucson to our blog. We would also like to thank everyone at The New Outlook for inviting us to contribute to their weekly periodical in order to share what our ministry has to offer. 

We are excited to share much of what we have to offer and look forward to your feedback. While we accept the challenge of what will be required of us to take on many of the hard topics we also want to celebrate and share the richness of our faith. While we will certainly address many of the pressing issues in the world today we will also discuss many of the other beautiful Catholic beliefs and traditions that we all hold dear to our hearts. At times we will also share our reflections on anything from the weekly Gospel readings to the stories of many of our faith heroes...and much more! 

We also look forward to seeing some of you in person at future events that will take place in the Diocese of Tucson, at your local parishes & schools as well as online events. We are available for in person and virtual talks with it being easiest to reach us through our website: or at 

God bless you all! 



Friday, March 19, 2021

Honoring St. Joseph

Pope Francis declared 2021 to be the year of St. Joseph and that is a most appropriate thing during a time when so many men are struggling with their masculinity as well as identity in this world.

As men we are not told that it is okay to struggle, to be afraid as well as to express our emotions. And in many cases, it takes our own wives years to get through these walls that we and our environment create for us. Yes, there are certainly times when men have to play a certain role when it comes to their interactions with other men. At times it is simply to be professional while at other times it is to stand our ground in a challenging world. Joseph certainly would know this since he was charged with the idea of having to provide for his family in the first century. Still, there was a side of him that we can see based on the evidence that has been before us since the beginning of the Church. 

We will not focus on Joseph's background as a carpenter or his daily religious life for that matter because I covered both of these in a recent blog on the Incarnation. Here is the link to that blog and I highly encourage you all to read it, as it allows us to see the influence Joseph had on the life of Jesus.

Instead, we will take a deeper look at many of the stories that we are most familiar with in order to see the man who, along with our Blessed Mother, raised our Savior to be the devout Jew that God the Father would expect His Son to be while living on earth among His people. This will also help us see how a devotion to St. Joseph will lead us to become not only better Christians but Christians with the courage to walk by faith.

The Annunciation 

Our Blessed Mother is the reason why we have a Church. Her fiat was the gateway to salvation as the Lord has always honored the freewill that he gifted to humanity. Even though our Blessed Mother was raised by Joachim and Anne to be a great woman of faith she still had great courage to accept the task given to her by angel Gabriel (Luke 1:38). 

This was certainly a moment of great joy for our Blessed Mother. Being a Jewish woman she knew of the Covenant that God made with her people, which included the promise to send a Savior. Her joy was expressed in the Magnificat as she was aware of the fact that this moment was about to occur (Luke 1:54-55). She had also learned that she would be the vessel that would deliver the Messiah to the world (Luke 1:46-48). 

Meanwhile, she still had to speak to Joseph on this matter after she had departed in haste to see her relative Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-40) who would affirm Mary's encounter with the angel (Luke 1:41-45). This certainly gave our Blessed Mother the courage to share her miraculous encounter with her betrothed.   

A betrothal differed from engagements in today's world because it included a ceremony where the man and woman were required to commit to getting married on a certain date. In today's world a couple announces their intention to marry, usually after they have made that decision in private. This is why for Joseph to end the relationship he had to divorce her and not just, as we see in our world today, break the engagement. 

In Matthew 1:19 we see that Joseph had the intention to divorce Mary quietly in order to spare her the shame of adultery. This short verse leads to so many questions. Why would he show consideration for the woman that many would see as someone who shamed him? Why would he want to spare her from what he knew was the rightful punishment for her sin (Ezekiel 16:40)? Was he in fact convinced that Mary had committed adultery because after all, she certainly told him of the circumstances of her conception (Matthew 1:18). 

The Gospel tells us that he had such an intention before he encountered the angel in his dream (Matthew 1:20). That tells us that he was far from just having a marital arrangement with Mary. He truly knew the character of this woman and had to feel a sense of truth in what she told him. Being a righteous man (Matthew 1:19) he would not have lived in a way that went against the Law. However, to spare Mary the public shame of adultery his righteousness to protect her served as a preview of the Gospel, which would of course be delivered by the Child in her womb. In other words, Joseph's understanding of righteousness surpassed what was commonly known by his people (Matthew 5:20), what it meant to hold a grudge against one's neighbor (Matthew 5:22-24) as well as what it meant to keep one's word (Matthew 5:37). Of course his word would not be broken once he encountered the angel who would confirm all that our Blessed Mother surely told him (Matthew 1:21-24).

Matthew 1:24 states that Joseph did as the angel commanded and took Mary into his home. With the two of them being betrothed we know that part of that ceremony included the citing of a specific date when they would fulfill their marital union. Did this encounter happen near the date that he was supposed to bring her into his home or, did Joseph act as such because he had great faith in the divine encounter he had with the angel in his dream? 

Either way, if we look at Joseph's willingness to take Mary into his home, which included raising a child who was not of his own flesh and blood he had to believe both in the woman that he married as well as his encounter with God. The fact that Joseph both had a divine encounter and was described as a man of righteousness actually leads us to compare him to one of the bible's most famous patriarchs, Abraham.

It is said that Abraham's faith was reckoned to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6) and he too would be greatly tested by God (Genesis 22:1-19). Both he (Genesis 22:11-12) and Joseph encountered the divine and in doing so did not hesitate to do what was asked of them. Therefore, it would not be a stretch to compare the two when it came to their level of righteousness. 

Interestingly enough, one could also refer to Abraham in terms of why we honor our Blessed Mother. In Genesis 12:2 we hear God say I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing while in Genesis 12:3 God says all the families of the earth will find a blessing in you. And for how many generations have Jews, Christians and Muslims honored their common father Abraham? Meanwhile, in Luke 1:48, while our Blessed Mother recites The Magnificat she says behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.

It is safe to say that Lord chose well when it came to His earthly parents. 


Faith Rewarded 

Joseph's response to God's will is not without the graces to provide all that he and his family would need. While scripture does not cite specifically the internal struggle of either man we can gather from our own human experiences the fear they must have encountered. All husbands and fathers struggle with such realities even if we live in a culture that does not allow us to express such things. 

Sadly, many husbands fail to recognize that their greatest confidant is before them, their wives! While we are told that Joseph took Mary into his home do we really reflect on what that meant? Our Blessed Mother had already experienced rejection when she learned of his intention to divorce here quietly. How that must have challenged her faith as she reflected on not only her encounter with the divine but also the child that she now carried. Can we imagine though when she would speak with Joseph again when he would share with her now only his decision to take her into his home but the reasons? The same God who blessed her had reached out to her betrothed and now he brought her into his home. That along would be a pillar of their faith life as a married couple, which they would need once Jesus was born.

The Hebrew word for male is Zakar, which means to remember. Today's world is greatly wounded because of the men who fail to remember their obligations. Thankfully, Joseph was not one of those men but his commitment to his family along with being blessed by God did not spare him the fears and struggles that come with having a family. The bigger question is, was he and his family truly alone when they encountered such challenges? 

The couple's first moment with Jesus may not have been what they would expect. We know that Jesus was born in a manger but Joseph certainly would have wanted more for Mary and their son (Luke 2:7). Of course it would not take long before they would face great danger. In Matthew 2:13-14 Joseph was ordered in another dream to flee to Egypt in order to avoid what would is now known as The Massacre of the Innocents (King Herod's order to kill all boys under the age of two). In Matthew 2:19-20 he was ordered in another dream to return to the land of Israel since all who sought the life of the child had now died. In Matthew 19:22 we see that both Joseph's fear and another dream guided him to the region of Galilee instead of Judea since Herod's son Archelaus was now ruling over that region.

The final dream that we are told of is the only place where it speaks of Joseph being afraid but as we can see, the fact that he had dreams to direct shows how God remained with him while he remembered his obligation to protect his family. In scripture, dreams were one of the ways that one encountered the divine so this gives the reader an immediate glimpse of the source of what caused Joseph to trust what he had to do in order to care for Mary and Jesus. This is something we too can experience if we live our lives in the same way that Joseph did when it came to being such people of righteousness while putting our trust in the same God who gave us the precepts for living such a righteous life. 

This is something we too can encounter in our own lives with the the child in Mary's womb telling us later in life why it would happen. As stated in John 14:18: I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. The Lord did this for Joseph and Mary and He will certainly do the same for all of us. In order to respond to that we are not only called to live a life that is pleasing to God but also a life that will allow us to see God's will as our sins are the thing that can blind us to what God has placed before us. 

Now let's take a look at out more human experiences in order to have a deeper understand of how Joseph impacted the life of his family. The Hebrew word for female is Negba, which means to open. The fact that Joseph took Mary into his home already demonstrated his faith in God as well as in what she had told him in terms of the origin of the child she was carrying. He would have to continue to communicate his divine encounters with his wife when it was time for them to travel to the destinations that God prepared for them. How would Mary react in seeing Joseph's trust in the Lord? How much closer would she feel to him while she was carrying the Son of the Most High (Luke 1:32)? More than that, how would this impact her faith in the Lord as she sees how much her Fiat is now impacting the life of her husband? 

Aside from that, it is entirely possible that Mary not only saw the fear and concern on her husband's face but also heard such words from his own mouth. While scripture does not tell us such things we can almost assume such a thing would happen as this is indeed the man who went back to her to take her into his home after having to tell her of his first encounter with the angel. Again, how much closer would she feel towards him and, how much more would she open up to him? 

On the other hand, how would our Blessed Mother respond to Joseph? Knowing her faith and character she would have been supportive and obedient since she knew that Joseph was obeying the will of God. More than that, how would her support and willingness to follow her husband impact him knowing that she did these things while he not only communicated the message of his dreams but also his fears? There is great comfort for a man when he can be vulnerable before his wife knowing that she will not use that against him, especially when it comes to challenging his masculinity. 

The Holy Family was rooted in the true friendship of Joseph and Mary as they certainly lived out the values that the Lord calls us all to take on as our own. One being a man of righteousness and the other being the Immaculate Conception (Luke 1:28).   This friendship is best stated by Pope St. John Paul II when he says that, friendship has two dimensions, the first of which involves a turning toward one another in a recognition and affirmation of the good of one another—which establishes the structural dimension of friendship—and the second, a turning toward a common good together with one another, a good that they seek together and for one another—which establishes the content-based dimension of friendship.

In looking at all that Joseph and Mary endured both at the beginning of their marriage as well as the at the moment of Jesus' birth we see why it was so important for them to have what we can see is a deep friendship. While many of us search for true love in our lives we tend to forget that to make this love last we must establish a true and authentic friendship. The Lord not only chose Joseph and Mary to raise His Son but also gave two wonderful and holy people as the God Man needed to be loved as much as any human child. We should take this to heart knowing that our children are in need of the same thing. 

The Righteous Father 

In conclusion, let us reflect on a number of passages from the Book of Proverbs that Joseph certainly would have known from his years of attending synagogue services. Further, such passages would also be read while he took Our Lord with him to synagogue services during His upbringing.

Proverbs 20:7 - The just walk in integrity; happy are their children after them. In thinking of the role Joseph had in raising Our Lord it is hard not to think of the impact he had on the life of Jesus in the same way that other good fathers have always had on their sons. Jesus would have not only received good instruction but would also be loved without question.

Proverbs 22:6 - Train the young in the way they should go; and even when old, they will not swerve from it. Joseph was no longer around when Jesus began His earthly ministry and yet He certainly maintained all that He had learned from His earthly father.

Proverbs 23:22: Listen to your father who begot you. No, Joseph did not have a physical role in the conception of Jesus but a true father does much more than assist with the conception of a child. Further, by taking a pregnant Mary into his home he took on the role he not only kept his promise made during their betrothal but did so knowing all that would be required from him when it came to the Holy Child she was carrying.

Proverbs 4:1 - Hear, O children, a father's instruction, be attentive, that you might gain understanding. The same God who inspired this passage also led Paul the Apostle to write the following passage in Romans 8:32 - He who did not spare His own Son but handed Him over for us all (God will do whatever it takes to save us), how will He not also give us everything else along with him? Would that not also include Joseph, the one that the Gospels refers to as a righteous man? Would He offer Joseph the necessary graces that would make Jesus want to be attentive to His earthly father's instruction? Would God deprive other fathers the same gift who also want to raise their children in the same way? 

So as it is our custom to honor our Blessed Mother for all that she did for Our Lord as well as all that she does for us we should also take this time to honor St. Joseph for all that he did for the Holy Family along with all that he continues to do for the Church. Perhaps we can begin with this devotion to St. Joseph while we continue to mediate and learn more about the one who was charged to take on a task that challenged both his manhood as well as his faith. 

St. Joseph, pray for us. 


Carlos Solorzano
BA & MA in Religious Studies from Cal State Long Beach
Certified Through the Theology of the Body Institute
Co-Founder of Humana Corpus Dignitate