Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: A NOVENA OF FASTING AND PRAYERS/ASSUMPTION/DORMITION
Posted on 07/31/2005 1:02:50 PM PDT by Siobhan
Prayer of Consecration
In union with all mankind, in communion with the entire Church, and with our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, we address to you O Father, this supplication especially for our country, through the heart and the hands of the Virgin Mary.
Father, send your Holy Spirit, so that each one of us might become an instrument of your peace,
From hunger and war, deliver us! From nuclear war, from incalculable self destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us!
From the sins against the life of man from its very beginning, deliver us!
From discouragement, from hatred and from the degradation of the dignity of the children of God, deliver us!
From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national and international, deliver us!
From the readiness to trample on the Commandments of God, deliver us!
From the attempt to extinguish the very truth of God in human hearts, deliver us!
From the loss of consciousness of good and evil, deliver us!
From the sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us!
Mother of Christ and Mother of all peoples, we ask for your protection and your intercession. Pray to your Son for us, to send the Holy Spirit in abundance, the Spirit of Truth who is the source of Life. Welcome the Spirit for us and with us as you did on the feast of Pentecost with the first disciples. Mother you know and share our sufferings and hopes.
Today we entrust the whole world to you. We pray for you to accompany us on our path. Like John the apostle, we wish to accept you into our homes, to learn from you how to resemble Jesus. We entrust all our people to you, starting with those who are the weakest and who suffer the most: the unborn children, those whose life is menaced, those born in poverty, the young people searching for a sense to their life, the refugees, the unemployed, those tried by sickness, the families who are divided, elderly persons deprived of assistance and all those who are alone and without hope.
May the infinite saving power of Redemption rise up once more in the history of the world, the power of the Merciful Love of the Father! May the Holy Spirit transform consciences! May He heal our memories and purify our hearts. May the Lord always reign among us, He who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Mary, Queen Assumed into Heaven, I rejoice that after years of heroic martyrdom on earth, you have at last been taken to the throne prepared for you in heaven by the Holy Trinity.
Lift my heart with you in the glory of your Assumption above the dreadful touch of sin and impurity. Teach me how small earth becomes when viewed from heaven. Make me realize that death is the triumphant gate through which I shall pass to your Son, and that someday my body shall rejoin my soul in the unending bliss of heaven.
From this earth, over which I tread as a pilgrim, I look to you for help. I ask for this favor: (Mention your request).
When my hour of death has come, lead me safely to the presence of Jesus to enjoy the vision of my God for all eternity together with you.
I had something between html tags that vanished. It is funny to read just "Be prepared" -- but indeed, that could be said of the Dormition Fast or the Novena of Fasting and Praying for the Assumption, that one was being prepared.
This icon depicts Mary presenting the Christ Child to the viewer. The dome at the top consists of a blue arch, a middle row of leaves, and a sheet of gold with inlaid gems, and symbolizes the life of the Triune God. The shrine, represents the Kingdom in which dwell Mary and the Lord of heaven and earth. The Lady of paradise is dressed in a purple cloak, a color reserved for kings and queens, which suggests that she is the Mother of the King. Her red shoes, the footwear of Byzantine queens, notes that Mary is the mother of the Divine Lord. The Child holds a scroll of the eternal law for Christ is its fulfillment.
The Virgin and Child are a "Greek" style, yet the haloes, reveal significant Syriac features, namely:
Siobhan says: I always think of this famous Maronite ikon whenver I think of the Assumption for our most glorious Lady and ever-Virgin Mary is taken beyond the realm of time where in a way that saints can imagine she once again holds her infant son, stands by his side, finds her Virgin Soul held by him, and is led to her throne beside Him. Forgive me if I do not state this with the accuracy of a theologian or the artistry of a poet, but I wished to convey the devotion in my heart.
Another point for me is the genius in Syriac iconography of using the 3 primary colours in the haloes for Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Mother of God. From these come all loveliness.
May the Mantle of the Holy Protection of the Mother of God rest upon the United States of America and her citizens wherever they may live, wherever they may serve, wherever they may be. Amen.
Allow me to praise thee, O Sacred Virgin. Give me strength against thine enemies.
In hoc signo vinces BUMP.
I hope you may find something useful on this thread I have posted and if so that you would ping others.
Beautiful! BUMPed and bookmarked!
What a beautiful thread.
Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Prayer and Fasting Ping List.
That is very nice, thanks.
|THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY: A BELIEF SINCE APOSTOLIC TIMES|
|Father Clifford Stevens
|The Assumption is the oldest feast day of Our Lady, but we don't know how it first came to be celebrated.
Its origin is lost in those days when Jerusalem was restored as a sacred city, at the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (c. 285-337). By then it had been a pagan city for two centuries, ever since Emperor Hadrian (76-138) had leveled it around the year 135 and rebuilt it as <Aelia Capitolina> in honor of Jupiter.
For 200 years, every memory of Jesus was obliterated from the city, and the sites made holy by His life, death and Resurrection became pagan temples.
After the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 336, the sacred sites began to be restored and memories of the life of Our Lord began to be celebrated by the people of Jerusalem. One of the memories about his mother centered around the "Tomb of Mary," close to Mount Zion, where the early Christian community had lived.
On the hill itself was the "Place of Dormition," the spot of Mary's "falling asleep," where she had died. The "Tomb of Mary" was where she was buried.
At this time, the "Memory of Mary" was being celebrated. Later it was to become our feast of the Assumption.
For a time, the "Memory of Mary" was marked only in Palestine, but then it was extended by the emperor to all the churches of the East. In the seventh century, it began to be celebrated in Rome under the title of the "Falling Asleep" ("Dormitio") of the Mother of God.
Soon the name was changed to the "Assumption of Mary," since there was more to the feast than her dying. It also proclaimed that she had been taken up, body and soul, into heaven.
That belief was ancient, dating back to the apostles themselves. What was clear from the beginning was that there were no relics of Mary to be venerated, and that an empty tomb stood on the edge of Jerusalem near the site of her death. That location also soon became a place of pilgrimage. (Today, the Benedictine Abbey of the Dormition of Mary stands on the spot.)
At the Council of Chalcedon in 451, when bishops from throughout the Mediterranean world gathered in Constantinople, Emperor Marcian asked the Patriarch of Jerusalem to bring the relics of Mary to Constantinople to be enshrined in the capitol. The patriarch explained to the emperor that there were no relics of Mary in Jerusalem, that "Mary had died in the presence of the apostles; but her tomb, when opened later . . . was found empty and so the apostles concluded that the body was taken up into heaven."
In the eighth century, St. John Damascene was known for giving sermons at the holy places in Jerusalem. At the Tomb of Mary, he expressed the belief of the Church on the meaning of the feast: "Although the body was duly buried, it did not remain in the state of death, neither was it dissolved by decay. . . . You were transferred to your heavenly home, O Lady, Queen and Mother of God in truth."
All the feast days of Mary mark the great mysteries of her life and her part in the work of redemption. The central mystery of her life and person is her divine motherhood, celebrated both at Christmas and a week later (Jan. 1) on the feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. The Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8) marks the preparation for that motherhood, so that she had the fullness of grace from the first moment of her existence, completely untouched by sin. Her whole being throbbed with divine life from the very beginning, readying her for the exalted role of mother of the Savior.
The Assumption completes God's work in her since it was not fitting that the flesh that had given life to God himself should ever undergo corruption. The Assumption is God's crowning of His work as Mary ends her earthly life and enters eternity. The feast turns our eyes in that direction, where we will follow when our earthly life is over.
The feast days of the Church are not just the commemoration of historical events; they do not look only to the past. They look to the present and to the future and give us an insight into our own relationship with God. The Assumption looks to eternity and gives us hope that we, too, will follow Our Lady when our life is ended.
The prayer for the feast reads: "All-powerful and ever-living God: You raised the sinless Virgin Mary, mother of your Son, body and soul, to the glory of heaven. May we see heaven as our final goal and come to share her glory."
In 1950, in the Apostolic Constitution <Munificentissimus Deus>, Pope Pius XII proclaimed the Assumption of Mary a dogma of the Catholic Church in these words: "The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heaven."
With that, an ancient belief became Catholic doctrine and the Assumption was declared a truth revealed by God.
Father Clifford Stevens writes from Tintern Monastery in Oakdale, Neb.
This article was taken from the July-August 1996 issue of "Catholic Heritage". To subscribe write Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington, IN 46750-9957 or call 1-800-348-2440. Published bimonthly at a charge of $18.00 per year.
|Father William Saunders
|Please explain our Catholic belief in the Assumption of the Blessed Mother.
Addressing a jubilant crowd of more than 500,000 people packed into St. Peter's Square, Pope Pius XII solemnly defined in "Munificentissimus Deus" on Nov. 1, 1950, that the "Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory." Although the solemn definition may have been at the midpoint of the 20th century, the belief in the Assumption of our Blessed Mother exemplifies the dynamism of revelation and the Church's ongoing understanding of it as guided by the Holy Spirit.
Granted, the word Assumption does not appear in Sacred Scripture. For this reason many fundamentalists who literally interpret the Bible would have a difficulty with this belief. Nevertheless, we must first pause and reflect on the role of our Blessed Mother in the mystery of salvation, for this provides the foundation for the belief in the Assumption.
We firmly believe that from the first moment of her conception Mary was free of all sin, including Original Sin, by a special favor of almighty God. The Archangel Gabriel recognized her as "full of grace," "blessed among women" and "one with the Lord." Mary had been chosen to be the Mother of our savior. By the power of the Holy Spirit, she conceived our Lord Jesus Christ, and through her, true God became also man, "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us."
During her lifetime, although the Gospel citations are limited, Mary always presented our Lord to others: to Elizabeth and her son, John the Baptist, who leapt for joy in the womb at the presence of the Lord still in his own mother's womb; to the simple shepherds as well as the wise Magi; and to the people at Cana, when our Lord acquiesced to His mother's wish and performed the first miracle.
Moreover, Mary stood at the foot of the cross with her Son, supporting Him and sharing in His suffering through her love as only a mother could do. Finally, she was with the Apostles at Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended and the Church was born. Therefore, each of us can step back and see Mary as the faithful servant of God who shared intimately in the birth, life, death and resurrection of our Lord.
For these reasons we believe that the promises our Lord has given to each of us of sharing eternal life, including a resurrection of the body, were fulfilled in Mary. Since Mary was free of Original Sin and its effects (one of which is corruption of the body at death), since she shared intimately in the life of the Lord and in His passion, death and resurrection, and since she was present at Pentecost, this model disciple appropriately shared in the bodily resurrection and glorification of the Lord at the end of her life. (Note that the solemn definition does not specify whether Mary physically died before being assumed or just was assumed; it simply states, "Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life...")
The <Catechism>, also quoting the Byzantine Liturgy, states, "The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians: 'In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death'" (No. 966).
The belief in the Assumption of our Blessed Mother has been longstanding in our Church. We must remember that the early Church was preoccupied with resolving questions about Christ, particularly His incarnation and the hypostatic union (His divine and human natures). However, in addressing these questions, the Church gradually defined the titles of Mary as Mother of God and as New Eve, and the belief of the Immaculate Conception, all of which form the basis for the Assumption.
In "Munificentissimus Deus," Pope Pius XII cited various Church Fathers to trace the longstanding tradition of the belief of the AssumptionSt. John Damascene, St. Andrew of Crete, St. Modestus of Jerusalem and St. Gregory of Tours, to name a few. Bishop Theoteknos of Livias (c. 550-650) delivered one of the most comprehensive early sermons concerning the Assumption: "For Christ took His immaculate flesh from the immaculate flesh of Mary, and if He had prepared a place in heaven for the Apostles, how much more for His mother; if Enoch had been translated and Elijah had gone to heaven, how much more Mary, who like the moon in the midst of the stars shines forth and excels among the prophets and Apostles? For even though her God-bearing body tasted death, it did not undergo corruption, but was preserved incorrupt and undefiled and taken up into heaven with its pure and spotless soul."
St. John Damascene (d. 749) also recorded an interesting story concerning the Assumption: "St. Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, at the Council of Chalcedon (451), made known to the Emperor Marcian and Pulcheria, who wished to possess the body of the Mother of God, that Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles, but that her tomb, when opened upon the request of St. Thomas, was found empty; wherefrom the Apostles concluded that the body was taken up to heaven." In all, the Patristic Fathers defended the Assumption on two counts: Since Mary was sinless and a perpetual virgin, she could not suffer bodily deterioration, the result of Original Sin, after her death. Also, if Mary bore Christ and played an intimate role as His mother in the redemption of man, then she must likewise share body and soul in His resurrection and glorification.
The Byzantine Emperor Mauritius (582-602) established the celebration of the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15 for the Eastern Church. (Some historians speculate that the celebration was already widespread before the Council of Ephesus in 431). By the end of the 6th century, the West likewise celebrated the Feast of the Assumption. While the Church first emphasized the death of Mary, gradual shifts in both title and content occurred so that by the end of the 8th century, the Gregorian Sacramentary had prayers for Assumption Day.
The Feast of the Assumption gives each of us great hope as we contemplate this one facet of the beautiful woman of faith, our Blessed Mother. Mary moves us by example and prayer to grow in God's grace, to be receptive to His will, to convert our lives through sacrifice and penance, and seek that everlasting union in the heavenly Kingdom.
In 1973, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, in their letter "Behold Your Mother," stated, "Christ has risen from the dead, we need no further assurance of our faith. Mary assumed into heaven serves rather as a gracious reminder to the Church that our Lord wishes all whom the Father has given Him to be raised with Him. In Mary taken to glory, to union with Christ, the Church sees herself answering the invitation of the heavenly Bridegroom."
Fr. Saunders is pastor of Queen of Apostles Parish and president of Notre Dame Institute, both in Alexandria.
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