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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 08-15-10, Solemnity, Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary
USCCB.org/New American Bible ^ | 08-15-10 | New American Bible

Posted on 08/14/2010 9:38:29 PM PDT by Salvation

August 15, 2010


Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mass

during the Day

 

Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2
Gospel


Reading 1

Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab

God’s temple in heaven was opened,
and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.
Then another sign appeared in the sky;
it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns,
and on its heads were seven diadems.
Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky
and hurled them down to the earth.
Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth,
to devour her child when she gave birth.
She gave birth to a son, a male child,
destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.
Her child was caught up to God and his throne.
The woman herself fled into the desert
where she had a place prepared by God.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed One.”

 
Responsorial Psalm

R. (10bc) The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
The queen takes her place at your right hand in gold of Ophir.
R. The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear,
forget your people and your father’s house.
R. The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
So shall the king desire your beauty;
for he is your lord.
R. The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
They are borne in with gladness and joy;
they enter the palace of the king.
R. The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.

 
Reading 2

Brothers and sisters:
Christ has been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since death came through man,
the resurrection of the dead came also through man.
For just as in Adam all die,
so too in Christ shall all be brought to life,
but each one in proper order:
Christ the firstfruits;
then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ;
then comes the end,
when he hands over the Kingdom to his God and Father,
when he has destroyed every sovereignty
and every authority and power.
For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death,
for “he subjected everything under his feet.”

 
Gospel

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.”

Mary remained with her about three months
and then returned to her home.



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; ordinarytime; saints
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1 posted on 08/14/2010 9:38:36 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; markomalley; ...
Alleluia Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Alleluia Ping List.

2 posted on 08/14/2010 9:42:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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3 posted on 08/14/2010 9:42:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Information:
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Feast Day: August 15

4 posted on 08/14/2010 9:43:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
5 posted on 08/14/2010 9:44:56 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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[CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS] The Feast of the Assumption Is Our Feast Too
[CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS] Where was Mary assumed to?

[CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS] Assumpta est Maria in cælum!
Why do we believe in the Assumption? (Catholic Caucus)
[CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS] Understanding The Assumption of Mary Into Heaven
Don't Assume the Assumption (Catholic Caucus :-)
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Assumption of Mary
Tens of Thousands of Vietnamese Catholics Rally for Religious Freedom on Feast of the Assumption
On Mary, Mother of Priests (Assumption)
The Assumption/Dormition: Mystery of Mary, Meaning of Life
From Eden to Eternity: A Homily on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Dormition of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: 15 August [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Assumption and the World by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
The Early Church Fathers on the Assumption [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY: A BELIEF SINCE APOSTOLIC TIMES [Ecumenical]
August 15, Feast of the Assumption - Did Mary's Assumption Really Occur? [Ecumenical]
Assumption Sermon of Rev James Bartoloma 8/16/07 (on Summorum Pontificum)
Angelus - Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (2007)
In Charm City, 100K Have Seen the Light
The Assumption of Our Lady
Solemnity of the Assumption

Solemnity of the Assumption
Mary’s Assumption is hope for today’s society, says Pope
Meditations for this Feast Day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
HOMILIES PREACHED BY FATHER ALTIER ON THE FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION
Why Catholics Believe in the Assumption of Mary
St. John Damascene: Homily 3 on the Assumption/Dormition
St. John Damascene: Homily II on the Assumption/Dormition
St. John Damascene: Homily I on the Assumption/Dormition
Catholic Caucus: The Assumption of Mary - Marcellino D'Ambrosio, PhD
Today's the Feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven

Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15th.
Maronite Catholic: Qolo (Hymn) of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
St. Gregory Palamas: On the Dormition of Our Supremely Pure Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary
Maronite Catholic: Qolo (Hymn) of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Catholic Caucus: A NOVENA OF FASTING AND PRAYERS/ASSUMPTION/DORMITION
St. Gregory Palamas: On the Dormition of Our Supremely Pure Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary
The Fourth Glorious Mystery
Archbishop Sheen Today! -- The glorious assumption
The Assumption Of The Blessed Virgin Mary Reflections For The Feast 2003
A Homily on the Dormition of Our Supremely Pure Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary
The Assumption Of Mary

6 posted on 08/14/2010 9:45:46 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Information:
Bl. Isidore Bakanja
Feast Day: August 15
Born: 1887 at northeast Republic of the Congo
Died: 8 or 15 August 1909
Beatified: 24 April 1994 by Pope John Paul II

7 posted on 08/14/2010 9:52:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Information:
St. Stanislaus Kostka
Feast Day: August 15
Born: October 28, 1550, Rostkowo
Died: August 15, 1568, Rome
Patron of: Jesuit novices, students, Poland

8 posted on 08/14/2010 9:52:42 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Information:
St. Tarsicius
Feast Day: August 15
Died: 3rd century
Major Shrine: San Silvestro in Capite, Rome
Patron of: altar servers and first communicants

9 posted on 08/14/2010 9:53:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Continuing to pray for priests.
 

Jesus, High Priest
 
Jesus. High Priest
 

 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

10 posted on 08/14/2010 9:54:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]


11 posted on 08/14/2010 10:03:12 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

12 posted on 08/14/2010 10:04:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America

Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Bachmann: Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

Psalm 109:8

    "Let his days be few; and let another take his place of leadership."

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


13 posted on 08/14/2010 10:05:08 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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August Devotion -- The Immaculate Heart [of Mary]

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of August is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The physical heart of Mary is venerated (and not adored as the Sacred Heart of Jesus is) because it is united to her person: and as the seat of her love (especially for her divine Son), virtue, and inner life. Such devotion is an incentive to a similar love and virtue.

This devotion has received new emphasis in this century from the visions given to Lucy Dos Santos, oldest of the visionaries of Fatima, in her convent in Tuy, in Spain, in 1925 and 1926. In the visions Our Lady asked for the practice of the Five First Saturdays to help make amends for the offenses given to her heart by the blasphemies and ingratitude of men. The practice parallels the devotion of the Nine First Fridays in honor of the Sacred Heart.

On October 31, 1942, Pope Pius XII made a solemn Act of Consecration of the Church and the whole world to the Immaculate Heart. Let us remember this devotion year-round, but particularly through the month of August.

INVOCATIONS

O heart most pure of the Blessed Virgin Mary, obtain for me from Jesus a pure and humble heart.

Sweet heart of Mary, be my salvation.

ACT OF CONSECRATION
Queen of the most holy Rosary, help of Christians, refuge of the human race, victorious in all the battles of God, we prostrate ourselves in supplication before thy throne, in the sure hope of obtaining mercy and of receiving grace and timely aid in our present calamities, not through any merits of our own, on which we do not rely, but only through the immense goodness of thy mother's heart. In thee and in thy Immaculate Heart, at this grave hour of human history, do we put our trust; to thee we consecrate ourselves, not only with all of Holy Church, which is the mystical body of thy Son Jesus, and which is suffering in so many of her members, being subjected to manifold tribulations and persecutions, but also with the whole world, torn by discords, agitated with hatred, the victim of its own iniquities. Be thou moved by the sight of such material and moral degradation, such sorrows, such anguish, so many tormented souls in danger of eternal loss! Do thou, O Mother of mercy, obtain for us from God a Christ-like reconciliation of the nations, as well as those graces which can convert the souls of men in an instant, those graces which prepare the way and make certain the long desired coming of peace on earth. O Queen of peace, pray for us, and grant peace unto the world in the truth, the justice, and the charity of Christ.

Above all, give us peace in our hearts, so that the kingdom of God may spread its borders in the tranquillity of order. Accord thy protection to unbelievers and to all those who lie within the shadow of death; cause the Sun of Truth to rise upon them; may they be enabled to join with us in repeating before the Savior of the world: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will."

Give peace to the nations that are separated from us by error or discord, and in a special manner to those peoples who profess a singular devotion toward thee; bring them back to Christ's one fold, under the one true Shepherd. Obtain full freedom for the holy Church of God; defend her from her enemies; check the ever-increasing torrent of immorality; arouse in the faithful a love of purity, a practical Christian life, and an apostolic zeal, so that the multitude of those who serve God may increase in merit and in number.

Finally, even as the Church and all mankind were once consecrated to the Heart of thy Son Jesus, because He was for all those who put their hope in Him an inexhaustible source of victory and salvation, so in like manner do we consecrate ourselves forever to thee also and to thy Immaculate Heart, O Mother of us and Queen of the world; may thy love and patronage hasten the day when the kingdom of God shall be victorious and all the nations, at peace with God .and with one another, shall call thee blessed and intone with thee, from the rising of the sun to its going down, the everlasting "Magnificat" of glory, of love, of gratitude to the Heart of Jesus, in which alone we can find truth, life, and peace. — Pope Pius XII

IN HONOR OF THE IMMACULATE HEART
O heart of Mary, mother of God, and our mother; heart most worthy of love, in which the adorable Trinity is ever well-pleased, worthy of the veneration and love of all the angels and of all men; heart most like to the Heart of Jesus, of which thou art the perfect image; heart, full of goodness, ever compassionate toward our miseries; deign to melt our icy hearts and grant that they may be wholly changed into the likeness of the Heart of Jesus, our divine Savior. Pour into them the love of thy virtues, enkindle in them that divine fire with which thou thyself dost ever burn. In thee let Holy Church find a safe shelter; protect her and be her dearest refuge, her tower of strength, impregnable against every assault of her enemies. Be thou the way which leads to Jesus, and the channel, through which we receive all the graces needful for our salvation. Be our refuge in time of trouble, our solace in the midst of trial, our strength against temptation, our haven in persecution, our present help in every danger, and especially) at the hour of death, when all hell shall let loose against u its legions to snatch away our souls, at that dread moment; that hour so full of fear, whereon our eternity depends. An,; then most tender virgin, make us to feel the sweetness of thy motherly heart, and the might of thine intercession with Jesus, and open to us a safe refuge in that very fountain of mercy, whence we may come to praise Him with thee in paradise, world without end. Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

Sacred Heart Of Jesus

Sacred Heart Of Jesus image

Immaculate Heart of Mary

Immaculate Heart of Mary image

Blessed be the Most Loving Heart and Sweet Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the most glorious Virgin Mary, His Mother, in eternity and forever. Amen.

....Only the Heart of Christ who knows the depths of his Father's love could reveal to us the abyss of his mercy in so simple and beautiful a way ----From the Catechism. P:1439

From the depth of my nothingness, I prostrate myself before Thee, O Most Sacred, Divine and Adorable Heart of Jesus, to pay Thee all the homage of love, praise and adoration in my power.
Amen. - -
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus just as it invokes his most holy name. It adores the incarnate Word and his Heart which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins. Christian prayer loves to follow the way of the cross in the Savior's steps.-- >From the Catechism. P: 2669

WB01539_.gif (682 bytes) The Salutation to the Heart of Jesus and Mary

WB01539_.gif (682 bytes)   An Offering of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary

 

WB01539_.gif (682 bytes) Novena Prayer to Sacred Heart  of Jesus

WB01539_.gif (682 bytes) Prayer to the Wounded Heart of Jesus

WB01539_.gif (682 bytes)  Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart

WB01539_.gif (682 bytes)  Meditation & Novena Prayer on the Sacred Heart

WB01539_.gif (682 bytes) Beads to the Sacred Heart

 

WB01539_.gif (682 bytes)  Novena Prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

 WB01539_.gif (682 bytes) A Solemn Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

WB01539_.gif (682 bytes)  The Daily Offering to the  Immaculate Heart of Mary

WB01539_.gif (682 bytes)  Exaltation of the Immaculate  Heart of Mary

WB01539_.gif (682 bytes)  Prayer to the Blessed Virgin

The Holy Heart of Mary Is, After the Heart of Jesus, the Most Exalted Throne of Divine Love
Let us recollect that God has given us the feast of the most pure Heart of the Blessed Virgin so that we may render on that day all the respect, honor and praise that we possibly can. To enkindle this spirit within us let us consider our motivating obligations.

The first is that we ought to love and honor whatever God loves and honors, and that by which He is loved and glorified. Now, after the adorable Heart of Jesus there has never been either in heaven or on earth, nor ever will be, a heart which has been so loved and honored by God, or which has given Him so much glory as that of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Never has there been, nor will there ever be a more exalted throne of divine love. In that Heart divine love possesses its fullest empire, for it ever reigns without hindrance or interruption, and with it reign likewise all the laws of God, all the Gospel maxims and every Christian virtue.

This incomparable Heart of the Mother of our Redeemer is a glorious heaven, a Paradise of delights for the Most Holy Trinity. According to St. Paul, the hearts of the faithful are the dwelling place of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ Himself assures us that the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost take up Their abode in the hearts of those who love God. Who, therefore, can doubt that the Most Holy Trinity has always made His home and established the reign of His glory in an admirable and ineffable manner in the virginal Heart of her who is the Daughter of the Father, the Mother of the Son, the Spouse of the Holy Ghost, who herself loves God more than all other creatures together?

How much then are we not obliged to love this exalted and most lovable Heart?

St. John Eudes

Today: Immaculate Heart of Mary [DEVOTIONAL]

The Immaculate Heart of Mary [Devotional] Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Saturdays and the Immaculate Heart of Mary [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Brown Scapular (Catholic Caucus)
The History of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Homilies preached by Father Robert Altier on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Marian Associations Unite to Celebrate Immaculate Heart
Solemnity Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary
FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY, AUGUST 22ND
Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

fatimamary.jpg (14780 bytes)7_sorrows.jpg (66800 bytes)ihm.jpg (15545 bytes)marylily.jpg (17424 bytes)maryjesus.jpg (16542 bytes)

15 posted on 08/14/2010 10:07:03 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 

August 2010
Year C - Weekdays II

Holy Father's Intentions
The Unemployed and the Homeless
General:  That those who are without work or homes or who are otherwise in serious need may find understanding and welcome, as well as concrete help in overcoming their difficulties.

Victims of Discrimination, Hunger and Forced Emigration
Missionary:
That the Church may be a “home” for all people, ready to open its doors to any who are suffering from racial or religious discrimination, hunger, or wars forcing them to emigrate to other countries.


16 posted on 08/14/2010 10:16:12 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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From: Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab

The Sounding of the Seventh Trumpet


[19] Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was
seen within his temple.

The Woman Fleeing from the Dragon


[1] And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with
the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; [2] she was
with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery [3] And
another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads
and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. [4] His tail swept down a third
of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before
the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when
she brought it forth; [5] she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the
nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne,
[6] and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by
God.

[10] And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

19. The seer introduces the heavenly temple (the location par excellence of
God’s presence), paralleling the earlier mention of the temple of Jerusalem (cf.
11:1-2). The opening of the temple and the sight of the Ark of the Covenant show
that the messianic era has come to an end and God’s work of salvation has been
completed. The ark was the symbol of Israel’s election and salvation and of God’s
presence in the midst of his people. According to a Jewish tradition, reported in
2 Maccabees 2:4-8, Jeremiah placed the ark in a secret hiding place prior to the
destruction of Jerusalem, and it would be seen again when the Messiah came.
The author of the Apocalypse uses this to assure us that God has not forgotten
his covenant: he has sealed it definitively in heaven, where the ark is located.

Many early commentators interpreted the ark as a reference to Christ’s sacred
humanity, and St Bede explains that just as the manna was kept in the original
ark, so Christ’s divinity lies hidden in his sacred body (cf. “Explanatio Apocalyp-
sis”, 11, 19).

The heavenly covenant is the new and eternal one made by Jesus Christ (cf. Mt
26:26-29 and par.) which will be revealed to all at his second coming when the
Church will triumph, as the Apocalypse goes on to describe. The presence of the
ark in the heavenly temple symbolizes the sublimity of the messianic kingdom,
which exceeds anything man could create. “The vigilant and active expectation
of the coming of the Kingdom is also the expectation of a finally perfect justice
for the living and the dead, for people of all times and places, a justice which
Jesus Christ, installed as supreme Judge, will establish (cf. Mt 24:29-44, 46;
Acts 10:42; 2 Cor 5: 10). This promise, which surpasses all human possibilities,
directly concerns our life in this world. For true justice must include everyone; it
must explain the immense load of suffering borne by all generations. In fact, with-
out the resurrection of the dead and the Lord’s judgment, there is no justice in
the full sense of the term. The promise of the resurrection is freely made to meet
the desire for true justice dwelling in the human heart” (SCDF, “Libertatis Con-
scientia”, 60).

The thunder and lightning which accompany the appearance of the ark are remi-
niscent of the way God made his presence felt on Sinai; they reveal God’s mighty
intervention (cf. Rev 4:5; 8:5) which is now accompanied by the chastisement of
the wicked, symbolized by the earthquake and hailstones (cf. Ex 9: 13-35).

1-17. We are now introduced to the contenders in the eschatological battles which
mark the final confrontation between God and his adversary, the devil. The author
uses three portents to describe the leading figures involved, and the war itself. The
first is the woman and her offspring, including the Messiah (12:1-2); the second is
the dragon, who will later transfer his power to the beasts (12:3); the third, the
seven angels with the seven bowls (15:1).

Three successive confrontations with the dragon are described—1) that of the Mes-
iah to whom the woman gives birth (12:1-6); 2) that of St Michael and his angels
(12:7-12); and 3) that of the woman and the rest of her offspring (12:13-17) These
confrontations should not be seen as being in chronological order. They are more
like three distinct pictures placed side by side because they are closely connec-
ted: in each the same enemy, the devil, does battle with God’s plans and with
those whom God uses to carry them out.

1-2. The mysterious figure of the woman has been interpreted ever since the time
of the Fathers of the Church as referring to the ancient people of Israel, or the
Church of Jesus Christ, or the Blessed Virgin. The text supports all of these inter-
pretations but in none do all the details fit. The woman can stand for the people
of Israel, for it is from that people that the Messiah comes, and Isaiah compares
Israel to “a woman with child, who writhes and cries out in her pangs when she
is near her time” (Is 26:17).

She can also stand for the Church, whose children strive to overcome evil and to
bear witness to Jesus Christ (cf. v. 17). Following this interpretation St Gregory
wrote: “The sun stands for the light of truth, and the moon for the transitoriness
of temporal things; the holy Church is clothed like the sun because she is pro-
tected by the splendor of supernatural truth, and she has the moon under her
feet because she is above all earthly things” (”Moralia”, 34, 12).

The passage can also refer to the Virgin Mary because it was she who truly and
historically gave birth to the Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord (cf. v. 5). St Bernard
comments: “The sun contains permanent color and splendor; whereas the moon’s
brightness is unpredictable and changeable, for it never stays the same. It is quite
right, then, for Mary to be depicted as clothed with the sun, for she entered the
profundity of divine wisdom much further than one can possibly conceive” (”De B.
Virgine”, 2).

In his account of the Annunciation, St Luke sees Mary as representing the faith-
ful remnant of Israel; the angel greets her with the greeting given in Zephaniah 3:
15 to the daughter of Zion (cf. notes on Lk 1:26-31). St Paul in Galatians 4:4 sees
a woman as the symbol of the Church, our mother; and non-canonical Jewish lite-
rature contemporary with the Book of Revelation quite often personifies the com-
munity as a woman. So, the inspired text of the Apocalypse is open to interpre-
ting this woman as a direct reference to the Blessed Virgin who, as mother,
shares in the pain of Calvary (cf. Lk 2:35) and who was earlier prophesied in
Isaiah 7:14 as a “sign” (cf. Mt 1:22-23). At the same time the woman can be in-
terpreted as standing for the people of God, the Church, whom the figure of Mary
represents.

The Second Vatican Council has solemnly taught that Mary is a “type” or sym-
bol of the Church, for “in the mystery of the Church, which is itself rightly called
mother and virgin, the Blessed Virgin stands out in eminent and singular fashion
as exemplar both of virgin and mother. Through her faith and obedience she gave
birth on earth to the very Son of the Father, not through the knowledge of man
but by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, in the manner of a new Eve who
placed her faith, not in the serpent of old but in God’s messenger, without wa-
vering in doubt. The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the
first-born among many brethren (cf. Rom 8:29), that is, the faithful, in whose ge-
neration and formation she cooperates with a mother’s love” (Vatican II, “Lumen
Gentium”, 63).

The description of the woman indicates her heavenly glory, and the twelve stars
of her victorious crown symbolize the people of God—the twelve patriarchs (cf.
Gen 37:9) and the twelve apostles. And so, independently of the chronological
aspects of the text, the Church sees in this heavenly woman the Blessed Virgin,
“taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when her earthly life was over, and
exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, that she might be the more fully
conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords (cf. Rev 19:16) and conqueror of sin and
death” (”Lumen Gentium”, 59). The Blessed Virgin is indeed the great sign, for,
as St Bonaventure says, “God could have made none greater. He could have
made a greater world and a greater heaven; but not a woman greater than his
own mother” (”Speculum”, 8).

3-4. In his description of the devil (cf. v. 9), St John uses symbols taken from the
Old Testament. The dragon or serpent comes from Genesis 3:1-24, a passage
which underlies all the latter half of this book. Its red color and seven heads with
seven diadems show that it is bringing its full force to bear to wage this war. The
ten horns in Daniel 7:7 stand for the kings who are Israel’s enemies; in Daniel a
horn is also mentioned to refer to Antiochus IV Epiphanes, of whom Daniel also
says (to emphasize the greatness of Antiochus’ victories) that it cast stars down
from heaven onto the earth (cf. Dan 8:10). Satan drags other angels along with
him, as the text later recounts (Rev 12:9). All these symbols, then, are designed
to convey the enormous power of Satan. “The devil is described as a serpent”, St
Cyprian writes, “because he moves silently and seems peaceable and comes by
easy ways and is so astute and so deceptive [...] that he tries to have night taken
for day, poison taken for medicine. So, by deceptions of this kind, he tries to des-
troy truth by cunning. That is why he passes himself off as an angel of light” (”De\
Unitate Ecclesiae”, I-III).

After the fall of our first parents war broke out between the serpent and his seed
and the woman and hers: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between
your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel”
(Gen 3:15). Jesus Christ is the woman’s descendant who will obtain victory over
the devil (cf. Mk 1:23-26; Lk 4:31-37; etc.). That is why the power of evil concen-
trates all his energy on destroying Christ (cf. Mt 2:13-18) or to deflecting him from
his mission (cf. Mt 4:1-11 and par.). By relating this enmity to the beginnings of
the human race St. John paints a very vivid picture.

5. The birth of Jesus Christ brings into operation the divine plan announced by the
prophets (cf. Is 66:7) and by the Psalms (cf. Ps 2:9), and marks the first step in
ultimate victory over the devil. Jesus’ life on earth, culminating in his passion, re-
surrection and ascension into heaven, was the key factor in achieving this victory.
St John emphasizes the triumph of Christ as victor, who, as the Church confes-
ses, “sits at the right hand of the Father” (”Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed”).

6. The figure of the woman reminds us of the Church, the people of God. Israel
took refuge in the wilderness to escape from Pharaoh, and the Church does the
same after the victory of Christ. The wilderness stands for solitude and intimate
union with God. In the wilderness God took personal care of his people, setting
them free from their enemies (cf. Ex 17:8-16) and nourishing them with quail and
manna (cf. Ex 16:1-36). The Church is given similar protection against the powers
of hell (cf. Mt 16:18) and Christ nourishes it with his body and his word all the
while it makes its pilgrimage through the ages; it has a hard time (like Israel in
the wilderness) but there will be an end to it: it will take one thousand two hun-
dred and sixty days (cf. notes on 11:3).

Although the woman, in this verse, seems to refer directly to the Church, she
also in some way stands for the particular woman who gave birth to the Messi-
ah, the Blessed Virgin. As no other creature has done, Mary has enjoyed a very
unique type of union with God and very special protection from the powers of evil,
death included. Thus, as the Second Vatican Council teaches, “in the meantime
[while the Church makes its pilgrim way on earth], the Mother of Jesus in the
glory which she possesses in body and soul in heaven is the image and begin-
ning of the Church as it is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise she
shines forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come (cf. 2 Pet 3:10), a sign
of certain hope and comfort to the pilgrim people of God” (”Lumen Gentium”, 68).

10-12. With the ascension of Christ into heaven the Kingdom of God is estab-
lished and so all those who dwell in heaven break out into a song of joy. The devil
has been deprived of his power over man in the sense that the redemptive action
of Christ and man’s faith enable man to escape from the world of sin. The text
expresses this joyful truth by saying that there is now no place for the accuser,
Satan whose name means and whom the Old Testament teaches to be the accu-
ser of men before God: cf. Job 1:6-12; 2:1-10). Given what God meant creation to
be, Satan could claim as his victory anyone who, through sinning, disfigured the
image and likeness of God that was in him. However, once the Redemption has
taken place, Satan no longer has power to do this, for, as St John writes, “if any
one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
and he is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of
the whole world” (Jn 2:1-2). Also, on ascending into heaven, Christ sent us the
Holy Spirit as “Intercessor and Advocate, especially when man, that is, mankind,
find themselves before the judgment of condemnation by that ‘accuser’ about
whom the Book of Revelation says that ‘he accuses them day and night before
our God”’ (John Paul II, “Dominum Et Vivificantem”, 67).

Although Satan has lost this power to act in the world, he still has time left, be-
tween the resurrection of our Lord and the end of history, to put obstacles in
man’s way and frustrate Christ’s action. And so he works ever more frenetically,
as he sees time run out, in his effort to distance everyone and society itself from
the plans and commandments of God.

The author of the Book of Revelation uses this celestial chant to warn the Church
of the onset of danger as the End approaches.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


17 posted on 08/14/2010 10:20:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 1 Corinthians 15:20-27

The Basis of Our Faith (Continuation)


[20] But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who
have fallen asleep. [21] For as by a man came death, by a man has come also
the resurrection of the dead. [22] For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall
all be made alive. [23] But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at
his coming those who belong to Christ. [24] Then comes the end, when he deli-
vers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authori-
ty and power. [25] For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his
feet. [26] The last enemy to be destroyed is death. [27] “For God has put all
things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “All things are put in sub-
jection under him,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things under him.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

20-28. The Apostle insists on the solidarity that exists between Christ and Chris-
tians: as members of one single body, of which Christ is the head, they form as
it were one organism (cf. Rom 6:3-11; Gal 3:28). Therefore, once the resurrection
of Christ is affirmed, the resurrection of the just necessarily follows. Adam’s diso-
bedience brought death for all; Jesus, the new Adam, has merited that all should
rise (cf. Rom 5:12-21). “Again, the resurrection of Christ effects for us the resur-
rection of our bodies not only because it was the efficient cause of this mystery,
but also because we all ought to arise after the example of the Lord. For with re-
gard to the resurrection of the body we have this testimony of the Apostle: ‘As by
a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead’ (1 Cor
15:21). In all that God did to accomplish the mystery of our redemption he made
use of the humanity of Christ as an effective instrument, and hence his resurrec-
tion was, as it were, an instrument for the accomplishment of our resurrection”
(”St Pius V Catechism”, I, 6, 13).

Although St Paul here is referring only to the resurrection of the just (v. 23), he
does speak elsewhere of the resurrection of all mankind (cf. Acts 24:15). The
doctrine of the resurrection of the bodies of all at the end of time, when Jesus will
come in glory to judge everyone, has always been part of the faith of the Church;
“he [Christ] will come at the end of the world, he will judge the living and the dead;
and he will reward all, both the lost and the elect, according to their works. And
all those will rise with their own bodies which they now have so that they may re-
ceive according to their works, whether good or bad; the wicked, a perpetual
punishment with the devil; the good, eternal glory with ‘Christ” (Fourth Lateran
Council, “De Fide Catholica”, chap. 1).

23-28. St Paul outlines very succinctly the entire messianic and redemptive work
of Christ: by decree of the Father, Christ has been made Lord of the universe (cf.
Mt 28:18), in fulfillment of Ps 110:1 and Ps 8:7. When it says here that “the Son
himself will also be subjected to him who put all things under him”, this must be
understood as referring to Christ in his capacity of Messiah and head of the
Church; not Christ as God, because the Son is “begotten, not created, consub-
stantial with the Father” (”Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed”).

Christ’s sovereignty over all creation comes about in history, but it will achieve
its final, complete, form after the Last Judgment. The Apostle presents that last
event —a mystery to us—as a solemn act of homage to the Father. Christ will offer
all creation to his Father as a kind of trophy, offering him the Kingdom which up
to then had been confided to his care. From that moment on, the sovereignty of
God and Christ will be absolute, they will have no enemies, no rivals; the stage
of combat will have given way to that of contemplation, as St Augustine puts it
(cf. “De Trinitate”, 1, 8).

The Parousia or second coming of Christ in glory at the end of time, when he es-
tablishes the new heaven and the new earth (cf. Rev 21:1-2), will mean definitive
victory over the devil, over sin, suffering and death. A Christian’s hope in this vic-
tory is not something passive: rather, it is something that spurs him on to ensure
that even in this present life Christ’s teaching and spirit imbue all human activities.
“Far from diminishing our concern to develop this earth,” Vatican II teaches, “the
expectancy of a new earth should spur us on, for it is here that the body of a new
human family grows, foreshadowing in some way the age which is to come. That
is why, although we must be careful to distinguish earthly progress clearly from
the increase of the Kingdom of Christ, such progress is of vital concern to the
Kingdom of God, insofar as it can contribute to the better ordering of human so-
ciety.

“When we have spread on earth the fruits of our nature and our enterprise -
hu-
man dignity, brotherly communion, and freedom—according to the command of
the Lord and in his Spirit, we will find them once again, cleansed this time from
the stain of sin, illuminated and transfigured, when Christ presents to his Father
an eternal and universal kingdom of truth and life, a kingdom of holiness and
grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace (”Roman Missal”, preface for the so-
lemnity of Christ the King). Here on earth the Kingdom is mysteriously present;
when the Lord comes it will enter into its perfection” (”Gaudium Et Spes”, 39).

24. “When he delivers the kingdom to God the Father”: this does not quite catch
the beauty of the Greek which literally means “when he delivers the kingdom to
the God and Father”. In New Testament Greek, when the word “Theos” (God) is
preceded by the definite article (”ho Theos”) the first person of the Blessed Trini-
ty is being referred to.

25. “He must reign”: every year, on the last Sunday of ordinary time, the Church
celebrates the solemnity of Christ the King, to acknowledge his absolute sove-
reignty over all created things. On instituting this feast, Pius XI pointed out that
“He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and
firm belief to revealed truths and to the teachings of Christ. He must reign in our
wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our
hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and
cleave to him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which
should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls, or, to use
the words of the Apostle Paul, as instruments of righteousness unto God (Rom
6:13)” (”Quas Primas”).

27. By “all things” the Apostle clearly means all created beings. In pagan my-
thology, rivalry and strife occurred among the gods and sometimes led to the son
of a god supplanting his father. St Paul wants to make it quite clear that Sacred
Scripture suggests nothing of that kind. No subjection is possible among the
three persons of the Blessed Trinity, because they are one God.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


18 posted on 08/14/2010 10:30:25 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 1:39-56

The Visitation


[39] In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a
city of Judah, [40] and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
[41] And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb;
and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit [42] and she exclaimed with a loud
cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! [43]
And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? [44]
For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my
womb leaped for joy. [45] And blessed is she who believed that there would be
a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

The Magnificat


[46] And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, [47] and my spirit rejoices in
God my Savior, [48] for He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden. For
behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; [49] for He who is mighty
has done great things for me, and holy is His name. [50] And His mercy is on
those who fear Him from generation to generation. [51] He has shown strength
with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, [52]
He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree
[53] He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent empty
away. [54] He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, [55]
as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.”

[56] And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

39-56. We contemplate this episode of our Lady’s visit to her cousin St. Elizabeth
in the Second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary: “Joyfully keep Joseph and Mary
company...and you will hear the traditions of the House of David.... We walk in
haste towards the mountains, to a town of the tribe of Judah (Luke 1:39).

“We arrive. It is the house where John the Baptist is to be born. Elizabeth grate-
.fully hails the Mother of her Redeemer: Blessed are you among women, and
blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honored with a visit from the
mother of my Lord? (Luke 1:42-43).

“The unborn Baptist quivers...(Luke 1:41). Mary’s humility pours forth in the
“Magnificat”.... And you and I, who are proud—who were proud—promise to be
humble” (St. J. Escriva, “Holy Rosary”).

39. On learning from the angel that her cousin St. Elizabeth is soon to give birth
and is in need of support, our Lady in her charity hastens to her aid. She has no
regard for the difficulties this involves. Although we do not know where exactly
Elizabeth was living (it is now thought to be Ain Karim), it certainly meant a jour-
ney into the hill country which at that time would have taken four days.

From Mary’s visit to Elizabeth Christians should learn to be caring people. “If we
have this filial contact with Mary, we won’t be able to think just about ourselves
and our problems. Selfish personal problems will find no place in our mind” (St.
J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By,” 145)

42. St. Bede comments that Elizabeth blesses Mary using the same words as
the archangel “to show that she should be honored by angels and by men and
why she should indeed be revered above all other women” (”In Lucae Evangelium
Expositio, in loc.”).

When we say the “Hail Mary” we repeat these divine greetings, “rejoicing with
Mary at her dignity as Mother of God and praising the Lord, thanking Him for
having given us Jesus Christ through Mary” (”St. Pius X Catechism”, 333).

43. Elizabeth is moved by the Holy Spirit to call Mary “the mother of my Lord”,
thereby showing that Mary is the Mother of God.

44. Although he was conceived in sin—original sin—like other men, St. John the
Baptist was born sinless because he was sanctified in his mother’s womb by the
presence of Jesus Christ (then in Mary’s womb) and of the Blessed Virgin. On
receiving this grace of God St. John rejoices by leaping with joy in his mother’s
womb—thereby fulfilling the archangel’s prophecy (cf. Luke 1:15).

St. John Chrysostom comments on this scene of the Gospel: “See how new and
how wonderful this mystery is. He has not yet left the womb but he speaks by
leaping; he is not yet allowed to cry out but he makes himself heard by his ac-
tions [...]; he has not yet seen the light but he points out the Sun; he has not yet
been born and he is keen to act as Precursor. The Lord is present, so he cannot
contain himself or wait for nature to run its course: he wants to break out of the
prison of his other’s womb and he makes sure he witnesses to the fact that the
Savior is about to come” (”Sermo Apud Metaphr., Mense Julio”).

45. Joining the chorus of all future generations, Elizabeth, moved by the Holy
Spirit, declares the Lord’s Mother to be blessed and praises her faith. No one
ever had faith to compare with Mary’s; she is the model of the attitude a creature
should have towards its Creator—complete submission, total attachment. Through
her faith, Mary is the instrument chosen by God to bring about the Redemption;
as Mediatrix of all graces, she is associated with the redemptive work of her Son:
“This union of the Mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest
from the time of Christ’s virginal conception up to His death; first when Mary, ari-
sing in haste to go to visit Elizabeth, is greeted by her as blessed because of her
belief in the promise of salvation and the Precursor leaps with joy in the womb of
his mother [...]. The Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith and faith-
fully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood (cf.
John 19:25), in keeping with the Divine Plan, enduring with her only-begotten Son
the intensity of His suffering, associating herself with His sacrifice in her mother’s
heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this Victim which was born of
her” (Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium”, 57f).

The new Latin text gives a literal rendering of the original Greek when it says
“quae credidit” (RSV “she who has believed”) as opposed to the Vulgate “quae
credidisti” (”you who have believed”) which gave more of the sense than a literal
rendering.

46-55. Mary’s “Magnificat” canticle is a poem of singular beauty. It evokes cer-
tain passages of the Old Testament with which she would ave been very familiar
(especially 1 Samuel 2:1-10).

Three stanzas may be distinguished in the canticle: in the first (verses 46-50)
Mary glorifies God for making her the Mother of the Savior, which is why future
generations will call her blessed; she shows that the Incarnation is a mysterious
expression of God’s power and holiness and mercy. In the second (verses 51-53)
she teaches us that the Lord has always had a preference for the humble, resis-
ting the proud and boastful. In the third (verses 54-55) she proclaims that God, in
keeping with His promise, has always taken care of His chosen people—and now
does them the greatest honor of all by becoming a Jew (cf. Romans 1:3).

“Our prayer can accompany and imitate this prayer of Mary. Like her, we feel the
desire to sing, to acclaim the wonders of God, so that all mankind and all creation
may share our joy” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 144).

46-47. “The first fruits of the Holy Spirit are peace and joy. And the Blessed
Virgin had received within herself all the grace of the Holy Spirit” (St. Basil, “In
Psalmos Homilae”, on Psalm 32). Mary’s soul overflows in the words of the Mag-
nificat. God’s favors cause every humble soul to feel joy and gratitude. In the case
of the Blessed Virgin, God has bestowed more on her than on any other creature.
“Virgin Mother of God, He whom the heavens cannot contain, on becoming man,
enclosed Himself within your womb” (”Roman Missal”, Antiphon of the Common
of the Mass for Feasts of Our Lady). The humble Virgin of Nazareth is going to
be the Mother of God; the Creator’s omnipotence has never before manifested
itself in as complete a way as this.

48-49. Mary’s expression of humility causes St. Bede to exclaim: “It was fitting,
then, that just as death entered the world through the pride of our first parents, the
entry of Life should be manifested by the humility of Mary” (”In Lucae Evangelium
Expositio, in loc.”).

“How great the value of humility!—”Quia respexit humilitatem.... It is not of her
faith, nor of her charity, nor of her immaculate purity that our Mother speaks in
the house of Zachary. Her joyful hymn sings: ‘Since He has looked on my hu-
mility, all generations will call me blessed’” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 598).

God rewards our Lady’s humility by mankind’s recognition of her greatness: “All
generations will call me blessed.” This prophecy is fulfilled every time someone
says the Hail Mary, and indeed she is praised on earth continually, without inter-
ruption. “From the earliest times the Blessed Virgin is honored under the title of
Mother of God, under whose protection the faithful take refuge together in prayer
in all their perils and needs. Accordingly, following the Council of Ephesus, there
was a remarkable growth in the cult of the people of God towards Mary, in vene-
ration and love, in invocation and imitation, according to her own prophetic words:
‘all generations will call me blessed, for He who is mighty has done great things
for me’” (Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium”, 66).

50. “And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation”:
“At the very moment of the Incarnation, these words open up a new perspective
of salvation history. After the Resurrection of Christ, this perspective is new on
both the historical and the eschatological level. From that time onwards there is
a succession of new generations of individuals in the immense human family, in
ever-increasing dimensions; there is also a succession of new generations of the
people of God, marked with the sign of the Cross and of the Resurrection and
‘sealed’ with the sign of the paschal mystery of Christ, the absolute revelation of
the mercy that Mary proclaimed on the threshold of her kinswoman’s house:
“His mercy is [...] from generation to generation’ [...].

“Mary, then, is the one who has the “deepest knowledge of the mystery of God’s
mercy”. She knows its price, she knows how great it is. In this sense, we call
her the “Mother of Mercy”: Our Lady of Mercy, or Mother of Divine Mercy; in each
one of these titles there is a deep theological meaning, for they express the spe-
cial preparation of her soul, of her whole personality, so that she was able to
perceive, through the complex events, first of Israel, then of every individual and
of the whole of humanity, that mercy of which ‘from generation to generation’
people become sharers according to the eternal design of the Most Holy Trinity”
(John Paul II, “Dives In Misericordia”, 9).

51. “The proud”: those who want to be regarded as superior to others, whom they
look down on. This also refers to those who, in their arrogance, seek to organize
society without reference to, or in opposition to, God’s law. Even if they seem to
do so successfully, the words of our Lady’s canticle will ultimately come true, for
God will scatter them as He did those who tried to build the Tower of Babel, thin-
king that they could reach as high as Heaven (cf. Genesis 11:4).

“When pride takes hold of a soul, it is no surprise to find it bringing along with it
a whole string of other vices—greed, self-indulgence, envy, injustice. The proud
man is always vainly striving to dethrone God, who is merciful to all His creatures,
so as to make room for himself and his ever cruel ways.

“We should beg God not to let us fall into this temptation. Pride is the worst sin
of all, and the most ridiculous.... Pride is unpleasant, even from a human point
of view. The person who rates himself better than everyone and everything is
constantly studying himself and looking down on other people, who in turn react
by ridiculing his foolish vanity” (St. J. Escriva, “Friends of God”, 100).

53. This form of divine providence has been experienced countless times over the
course of history. For example, God nourished the people of Israel with manna
during their forty years in the wilderness (Exodus 16:4-35); similarly His angel
brought food to Elijah (1 Kings 19:5-8), and to Daniel in the lions’ den (Daniel
14:31-40); and the widow of Sarepta was given a supply of oil which miraculously
never ran out (1 Kings 17:8ff). So, too, the Blessed Virgin’s yearning for holiness
was fulfilled by the incarnation of the Word.

God nourished the chosen people with His Law and the preaching of His prophets,
but the rest of mankind was left hungry for His word, a hunger now satisfied by the
Incarnation. This gift of God will be accepted by the humble; the self-sufficient,
having no desire for the good things of God, will not partake of them (cf. St. Basil,
“In Psalmos Homilae”, on Psalm 33).

54. God led the people of Israel as He would a child whom He loved tenderly: “the
Lord your God bore you, as a man bears his son, in all the way that you went”
(Deuteronomy 1:31). He did so many times, using Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David,
etc., and now He gives them a definitive leader by sending the Messiah—moved by
His great mercy which takes pity on the wretchedness of Israel and of all mankind.

55. God promised the patriarchs of old that He would have mercy on mankind.
This promise He made to Adam (Genesis 3:15), Abraham (Genesis 22:18), David
(2 Samuel 7:12), etc. From all eternity God had planned and decreed that the
Word should become incarnate for the salvation of all mankind. As Christ Himself
put it, “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in
Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


19 posted on 08/14/2010 10:31:37 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings

These readings are for the day of the feast itself. Readings for the Vigil mass (on the evening before) are shown further down the page.

First reading Apocalypse 11:19,12:1-6,10 ©
The sanctuary of God in heaven opened and the ark of the covenant could be seen inside it. Then came flashes of lightning, peals of thunder and an earthquake, and violent hail.
  Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown. She was pregnant, and in labour, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth. Then a second sign appeared in the sky, a huge red dragon which had seven heads and ten horns, and each of the seven heads crowned with a coronet. Its tail dragged a third of the stars from the sky and dropped them to the earth, and the dragon stopped in front of the woman as she was having the child, so that he could eat it as soon as it was born from its mother. The woman brought a male child into the world, the son who was to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre, and the child was taken straight up to God and to his throne, while the woman escaped into the desert, where God had made a place of safety ready, for her to be looked after in the twelve hundred and sixty days.
  Then I heard a voice shout from heaven, ‘Victory and power and empire for ever have been won by our God, and all authority for his Christ, now that the persecutor, who accused our brothers day and night before our God, has been brought down.’
Psalm Psalm 44:10-12,16
Second reading 1 Corinthians 15:20-26 ©
Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order: Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, having done away with every sovereignty, authority and power. For he must be king until he has put all his enemies under his feet and the last of the enemies to be destroyed is death, for everything is to be put under his feet.
Gospel Luke 1:39-56 ©
Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’
  And Mary said:
‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit exults in God my saviour;
because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.
Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name,
and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.
He has shown the power of his arm,
he has routed the proud of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.
He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy
– according to the promise he made to our ancestors –
of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’
Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home.

These readings are for the Vigil Mass on the evening before the feast:

First reading 1 Chronicles 15:3-4,15-16,16:1-2 ©
David gathered all Jerusalem to bring the ark of God up to the place he had prepared for it. David called together the sons of Aaron and the sons of Levi. And the Levites carried the ark of God with the shafts on their shoulders, as Moses had ordered in accordance with the word of the Lord.
  David then told the heads of the Levites to assign duties for their kinsmen as cantors, with their various instruments of music, harps and lyres and cymbals, to play joyful tunes. They brought the ark of God in and put it inside the tent that David had pitched for it; and they offered holocausts before God, and communion sacrifices. And when David had finished offering holocausts and communion sacrifices, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord.
Psalm Psalm 131:6-7,9-10,13-14
Second reading 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 ©
When this perishable nature has put on imperishability, and when this mortal nature has put on immortality, then the words of scripture will come true: Death is swallowed up in victory. Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? Now the sting of death is sin, and sin gets its power from the Law. So let us thank God for giving us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Gospel Luke 11:27-28 ©
As Jesus was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, ‘Happy the womb that bore you and the breasts you sucked!’ But he replied, ‘Still happier those who hear the word of God and keep it!’

20 posted on 08/14/2010 10:35:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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In Mary, Humanity and Divinity Are at Home, Biblical Reflection for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary by Father Thomas Rosica, CSB

In Mary, Humanity and Divinity Are at Home


Biblical Reflection for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary

As ZENIT will suspend service Aug. 1-15, we are publishing the Gospel reflection for Aug. 15 in advance of the break.

By Father Thomas Rosica, CSB

TORONTO, JULY 30, 2010 (Zenit.org).- It is not often that the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary falls on a Sunday. I would like to offer a few reflections on the historical and pastoral significance of this important feast, and its relevance for our own life. The Assumption of Mary, Mother of the Lord, into heaven is a consoling sign of our hope. In looking to her, carried up amid the rejoicing of angels, human life is opened to the perspective of eternal happiness. Our own death is not the end but rather the entrance into life that knows no death.

Immaculate Conception

For Catholic Christians, the belief in the Assumption of Mary flows from our belief in and understanding of Mary's Immaculate Conception. We believe that if Mary was preserved from sin by the free gift of God, she would not be bound to experience the consequences of sin and death in the same way that we do. We believe that because of the obedience and fidelity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the end of her earthly life, she was assumed both body and soul into heavenly glory.

History

For several centuries in the early Church, there is no mention by the church fathers of the bodily Assumption of Mary. Irenaeus, Jerome, Augustine, Ambrose and the others Church Fathers said nothing about it. Writing in 377 A.D., church father Epiphanius states that no one knows Mary's end.

As early as the 5th century, the feast of the Assumption of Mary was celebrated in Syria. In the 5th and 6th centuries, the Apocryphal Books were testimony of the unwillingness of the Church to accept the fact that the body of the Mother of God should lie in a grave. In the 6th century, the feast of the Assumption was celebrated in Jerusalem and perhaps even in Alexandria.

The first "genuine" written references to the Assumption come from authors who lived in the sixth to the eighth centuries. It is mentioned in the sermons of St. Andrew of Crete, St. John Damascene, St. Modestus of Jerusalem and others. In the West, St. Gregory of Tours mentions it first. St. Gregory lived in the sixth century, while St John Damascene belongs to the eighth century.

In the 9th century, the feast of the Assumption was celebrated in Spain. From the 10th to the 12th centuries, there was no dispute over the celebration of the feast in the Western Church. In the 12th century, the feast of was celebrated in the city of Rome and in France.

From the 13th century to the present, there is certain and undisputed faith in the Assumption of Mary in the universal Church. In 1950, Pope Pius XII taught infallibly ("Munificentissimus Deus"): "Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory."

Assumption or Dormition?

The Catholic feast of the Assumption is celebrated on Aug. 15, and Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholics celebrate the Dormition of the Theotokos (the falling asleep of the Mother of God) on or around the same date. Eastern Orthodox Christians believe that Mary died a natural death, that her soul was received by Christ upon death, and that her body was resurrected on the third day after her death and that she was taken up into heaven bodily in anticipation of the general resurrection. Her tomb was found empty on the third day. (One can visit the Orthodox tomb of the Virgin Mary in Jerusalem. It is located near the Church of All Nations and the Garden of Gethsemane.)

Sign of the Kingdom

In presenting the "great sign" of the "woman clothed with the sun," the first reading from the Book of Revelation (11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10) says that she "was with child and ... cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery" (12:2). Just as the risen Christ who has ascended into heaven forever bears the wounds of his redemptive death within his glorious body, so his Mother brings to eternity "the pangs" and "anguish for delivery" (12:2). We could say that Mary, as the new Eve, continues from generation to generation to give birth to the new man, "created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness" (Ephesians 4:24). This is the Church's eschatological image, which is present and active in the Virgin Mary.

Unless Christ is risen

In the second reading for today's feast (1 Corinthians 15:20-27), St. Paul addresses a problem among the Corinthians: their denial of the resurrection of the dead (12) apparently because of their inability to imagine how any kind of bodily existence could be possible after death (35). Paul affirms both the essential corporeity of the resurrection and its future orientation. His response moves through three steps: a recall of the basic "kerygma" about Jesus' resurrection (15:1-11), an assertion of the logical inconsistencies involved in denial of the resurrection (12-34), and an attempt to perceive theologically what the properties of the resurrected body must be (35-58).

Denial of the resurrection (15:12) involves logical inconsistencies. The basic one, stated twice (15:13, 16), is that if there is no such thing as (bodily) resurrection, then it has not taken place even in Christ's case. The consequences for the Corinthians are grave: both forgiveness of sins and salvation are an illusion, despite their strong convictions about both. Unless Christ is risen, their faith does not save.

Christ's definitive victory over death, which came into the world because of Adam's sin, shines out in Mary, assumed into Heaven at the end of her earthly life. It was Christ, the "new" Adam, who conquered death, offering himself as a sacrifice on Calvary in loving obedience to the Father. In this way he redeemed us from the slavery of sin and evil. In Mary's triumph, the Church contemplates her whom the Father chose as the true Mother of his Only-begotten Son, closely associating her with the saving plan of Redemption.

Life from barren wombs and empty tombs

The Gospel for today's feast (Luke 1:39-56) invites us into the extraordinary story of two women sharing their faith, hope, and happiness as they prepare for motherhood. It is an occasion for celebration between Elizabeth, who is old and barren, and Mary, a young betrothed virgin -- a story of God's ability to both give and sustain life. Our God causes life to surge forth from barren wombs and empty tombs. Mary's trip to the hill country of Judah is also a manifestation of the coming kingdom.

Mary is a model for each of us, and her Assumption into heaven reminds us that there is hope for you and me. What happens to the Virgin daughter of Nazareth at the end of her earthly pilgrimage will happen to each of us if we are faithful and obedient as she was.

Taken up into heaven, Mary shows us the way to God, the way to heaven, the way to life. She shows it to her children baptized in Christ and to all people of good will. She opens this way especially to the little ones and to the poor, those who are open to divine mercy. The Queen of the world reveals to individuals and to nations the power of the love of God whose plan upsets that of the proud, pulls down the mighty from their thrones and exalts the humble, fills the hungry with good things and sends the rich empty away (Luke 1:51-53).

Marian triptych

We celebrate three great moments of Mary's life knowing that they represent all of our lives. When Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854 with the Bull "Ineffabilis," he referred explicitly to the biblical story of the Annunciation in Luke's Gospel. The angel Gabriel's salutation, "Hail, full of grace," is understood as recognizing that Mary must always have been free from sin. God was present and moving in Mary's life from the earliest moments. God's grace is greater than sin; it overpowers sin and death. Through her Immaculate Conception, Mary was called for a special mission.

The second moment of Mary's life is the Incarnation. Through the virginal birth of Jesus we are reminded that God moves powerfully in our lives too. Our response to that movement must be one of recognition, gratitude, humility, openness and welcome. Through the Incarnation, Mary was gifted with the Word made Flesh.

The Church celebrates Mary's final journey into the fullness of God's Kingdom with the dogma of the Assumption promulgated by Pius XII in 1950. As with her beginnings, so too, with the end of her life, God fulfilled in her all of the promises that he has given to us. We, too, shall be raised up into heaven as she was. In Mary we have an image of humanity and divinity at home. God is indeed comfortable in our presence and we in God's. Through her Assumption, Mary was chosen to have a special place of honor in the Godhead.

Mary follows our footsteps

Let me conclude these reflections on Mary's Assumption with the moving words of Benedict XVI, spoken at his weekly General Audience at Castel Gandolfo on Aug. 16, 2006.

He said: "By contemplating Mary in heavenly glory, we understand that the earth is not the definitive homeland for us either, and that if we live with our gaze fixed on eternal goods we will one day share in this same glory and the earth will become more beautiful. Consequently, we must not lose our serenity and peace even amid the thousands of daily difficulties. The luminous sign of Our Lady taken up into Heaven shines out even more brightly when sad shadows of suffering and violence seem to loom on the horizon.

"We may be sure of it: from on high, Mary follows our footsteps with gentle concern, dispels the gloom in moments of darkness and distress, reassures us with her motherly hand. Supported by awareness of this, let us continue confidently on our path of Christian commitment wherever Providence may lead us. Let us forge ahead in our lives under Mary's guidance."

[The readings for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary are Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab; 1 Corinthians 15:20-27; Luke 1:39-56]

* * *

Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, chief executive officer of the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation and Television Network in Canada, is a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.


21 posted on 08/14/2010 10:41:08 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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“You’re Only Human”

“You’re Only Human”

August 14th, 2010 by Fr. Jerry Pokorsky

Clichés can be useful. Their original meanings, however, are often long forgotten. When we feel a little depressed, we say we have “the blues.” The phrase softly suggests that the depression felt is not clinical, perhaps just a passing condition that good company or a well-placed joke would cure. Never mind that the cliché is said to have grown out of the drug culture when opium users felt “the blues” until their next fix. Some clichés had even more sinister beginnings. “Hocus-pocus,” for example, originated as a Reformation insult to the words of the institution of the blessed Eucharist at Mass: “Hoc est Corpus meum,” “This is my Body.” The real presence was thus dismissed in a phrase rooted in blasphemy to popularize an anti-Catholic attitude: “I don’t believe in that hocus-pocus.”

A far more common cliché, “You’re only human,” may harbor unintended meanings as well. Of course the phrase is usually used in charity, to console someone who feels regret about an error, or even a sin. The phrase is similar to Alexander Pope’s observation, “To err is human; to forgive divine.” Maybe. Catholics, however, ought to be attentive to certain distinctions regarding God and man and not allow such clichés to distort our thinking. The first obvious deficiency in the phrase is that it certainly cannot be used in reference to Christ, who, born of Mary, is the Son of God with two natures: human and divine. Clearly He is not “only human.” Yet in Christ God and man have been reconciled and the human nature of Christ cannot be disparaged.

For a different reason, it also would be unsettling to apply the cliché to Mary. Contrary to certain strains of anti-Catholic misunderstandings, Catholics do not revere Mary as a “goddess” or consider her equal with her divine Son. Mary is honored precisely because she is the Mother of God (Theotokos), the Mother of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, though, most of us would probably have an aversion to the suggestion that Mary is “only human.” Mary without sin distinguishes Mary from us. Mary made sinless mistakes and had uncertain knowledge (e.g., when the angel Gabriel revealed to her that she would bear a son, she asked, “How can this be since I do not know man?”) What resonates with us is not the reduction of Mary’s humanity, but the exaltation of it. With St. Elizabeth we rejoice in Mary’s humanity: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”

The early Church Father St. Irenaeus taught: “The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God.” The vision of God brings life to man and gives glory to God. The vision of God in heaven is man’s destiny. On this feast of the Assumption the Church infallibly asserts that Mary was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory. In her humanity, untouched by sin, both original sin and personal sin, Mary is revealed to be “fully alive” and gives glory to God. Mary in her assumption is the crown jewel of our dignity as human beings redeemed in Christ. The poet William Wordsworth was theologically precise in his poem about Mary: “Woman! above all women glorified, Our tainted nature’s solitary boast” (William Wordsworth, “The Virgin”).

Unlike Mary, we carry in our souls the effects of original sin as well as our personal sins. Our Catholic minds also should be jostled a bit when our own humanity is disparaged with the phrase, “You’re only human.” It may be accurately translated: “What can we expect of you, what with your human nature wounded by sin?” But if the intention is to console in charity, such a theologically precise statement fails miserably. (Maybe the imprecision of clichés is the reason good English teachers take points off for them.)

Wounded by sin our human nature may be, but we who have been baptized into the mystical body of Christ now have a nature redeemed. Our humanity has not only been restored by Christ, but also has been elevated by the Incarnation to a nature greater than that of the angels. The dogma of Mary’s assumption into heaven reveals our own ultimate destiny when purified of all sin: resurrection of the body on the last day. We are not “only human.” Through Mary’s intercession and example, we can discover the dignity of our humanity. We are true sons in the Son and in our humanity give glory to God.

Fr. Pokorsky is pastor of St. Michael Parish in Annandal, Virginia.

(This article courtesy of the
Arlington Catholic Herald.)

22 posted on 08/14/2010 10:46:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Work of God

 My soul magnifies the Lord Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year C

 -  The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

My soul magnifies the Lord

My soul magnifies the Lord Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit Luke 1:39-56

39 And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda.
40 And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.
41 And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42 And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For behold as soon as the voice of your salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
45 And blessed are you who believed, that the things spoken by the Lord would be accomplished.
46 And Mary said: My soul magnifies the Lord.
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48 Because he has regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49 Because he that is mighty has done great things to me; and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.
51 He has shown might in his arm: he has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
52 He has put down the mighty from their seat, and has exalted the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54 He has received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy:
55 As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.
56 And Mary abode with her about three months; and she returned to her own house.

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - My soul magnifies the Lord My mother always lived in the Presence of God. Before she conceived by the Holy Spirit she was always in our Presence by means of her holy life of prayer and humility. Her total surrender to God’s will and her desire for the Messiah, advocated for all humanity for the coming of the Saviour of the world. When She conceived by the Holy Spirit, She received me in her womb, She became united to me in the most intimate way, I shared my divinity with her and She shared her humanity with me, the Word of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among men, but for nine months it was a miracle of the Love of God inside the holy womb of my virgin mother.

At the visitation of my mother to her cousin Elizabeth, John came in close contact with me, He was to announce my coming to the world, and so He was anointed with the Holy Spirit even before He was born. The baby leaped for joy in the womb of Elizabeth as she also received the Holy Spirit and proclaimed the blessedness of my mother and the fruit of her womb. She honoured the visitation of the Mother of God and praised her for having believed the promises made to her by God.

The emanation of my divine attributes flowed into the soul of my mother. By becoming the spouse of the Holy Spirit she had already received a great share of the Wisdom of God; by becoming the mother of The Word, the Incarnate Wisdom of God, She became the seat of Wisdom and was clothed with divine perfections. At the visitation She proclaimed the greatness of the Lord for having regarded her humility and for exalting her to be blessed by all generations. She saw clearly the plan of God taking place throughout the ages; She saw the triumph of God and his goodness over evil and She praised God immensely in the Magnificat.

My mother continues to be the Most Sacred temple of the Holy Trinity, The Arch of the Covenant, which has been opened for all to receive the Saviour of the world. When you honour my mother with your devotions, you are honouring the Holy Trinity. God has exalted Mary to be the mother of all the living, when someone acknowledges her, he or she is acknowledging the masterpiece of God, the Heaven created for God and all his children, the New Jerusalem.

At the cross I gave you my mother to care for you. Do not hesitate to come to her as any child would come to his mother. She is full of Grace, and her grace is given to all those who love her. She has the power to crush the head of the devil in your lives, this way she can deliver you if you come to her maternal protection. She will lead you straight to me because all She desires is to give Glory to God.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


23 posted on 08/14/2010 10:52:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Archdiocese of Washington

This year we are privileged to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary into heaven on a Sunday. Let’s ponder this feast in three stages:

1. Explained – To be “assumed” means to be taken up by God bodily into heaven. As far back as the Church can remember we have celebrated the fact that Mary was taken up into heaven. We do not just acknowledge that her soul was taken to heaven,  as is the case with all the rest of the faithful who are taken there (likely after purgation). Rather Mary was taken up, soul AND body into heaven after her sojourn on this earth was complete. There is no earthly tomb containing her body, neither are there relics of her body to be found among the Christian faithful. This is our ancient memory and what we celebrate today, Mary was taken up, body and soul into heaven.

2. Exemplified - The actual event of the Assumption is not described in Scripture. However, there are assumptions recorded in the Scriptures and the concept is thus biblical.

  1. It happened to Enoch in the Old Testament The Book of Genesis records: Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away (Gen. 5:24). Hebrews 11: 5 elaborates: By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was attested as having pleased God.
  2.  It also happened to Elijah as he walked with Elisha: And as they still went on and talked, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven….And he was seen no more. (2 Kings 2:11 ).
  3. Some say Moses too was taken up since his grave is not known: He was buried  in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is (Dt. 34:6). The text of course does not say his body was taken up and if it was, it occurred after death and burial. Jude 1:9 hints at the fact when is says, But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses….. (Jude 1:9) Some further credibility is lent to the view of him being   assumed  by the fact that he appears alongside Elijah in the Transfiguration account. Some of the Church Fathers held this view and there is also a Jewish work from the 6th Century AD entitled The Assumption of Moses that represents the tradition of his assumption. But in the end the Assumption of Moses only a view held by some and it not officially held by the Church.
  4. And While it is true that the historical event of the assumption  is not recorded in Scripture nor are there historical accounts of the event, there may be one other scriptural account that evidences Mary’s whereabouts, body and soul.  The Church presents for our consideration in today’s second reading a passage from the Book of Revelation wherein John records his sighting of the Ark of God: 

Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm. A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads… The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. (Rev 11:19 – 12:5) 

The Woman is clearly Mary since the child is clearly Jesus. And where is Mary seen? In heaven. Now some may argue the text does not necessarily indicate her body is in heaven but may only be referring to her soul. However the physicality of the description of her is rather strong.  Some also argue that Mary is linked to John’s sighting of the Ark of the Convent which is seen by John in Heaven. He mentions the Ark and goes on to describe the woman clothed with the sun (Mary) and there is a possibility that he is still describing the Ark he sees in Heaven. (I have written on this elsewhere. See here: Mary: The Ark of the New Covenant)  If she is the Ark described  that Ark is clearly described as being in heaven.

So, the Biblical record, while not recording the event of the Assumption, does set forth other assumptions and thus shows that assumption is a biblical concept. Further, Mary’s physical presence in heaven seems hinted at by John and some would argue that the passage actually attests to her physical presence there.

But remember, the Church does not rely soley on Scripture. In this case what we celebrate is most fundamentally taught to us by Sacred Tradition in that the memory of Mary’s assumption goes back as long as we can remember.

3. Extended -  The Feast of the Assumption may be of theological interest to some and may provide for interesting biblical reflection but eventually the question is bound to come: “So What?” How does what happened to Mary have impact on my life and what does it mean for me? The answer to this question is bound up in nearly every Marian Doctrine. Simply put, what happened to Mary in an profound and preliminary way will also happen for us in the end. As Mary bore Christ into he world, we too bear him there in the Holy Communion we receive and in the witness of his indwelling presence in our life. As Mary is (and always was) sinless, so too will we one day be sinless (immaculate) with God in heaven. As Mary cared for Christ in his need, so do we care for him in the poor, the suffering, needy and afflicted. And as Mary was assumed, body and soul into heaven so too will we be there one day, body and soul.

For now our souls go to heaven once purified but our body lie in a tomb. But one day when the trumpet shall sound, on that “great gettin’ up morning” our bodies will rise and be joined to our soul:

For we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”…….Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 15:51-57)

So our bodies shall rise shall be assumed and joined to our soul.

Improved model!  Now a older woman once said to me upon hearing  that her body would rise: “Father if this old body has to rise, I’m hoping for an improved model!”  Yes indeed! Me too! I want my hair back, my slender figure and knees that work! I  want to upgrade from a general issue late model version,  to a luxury model. And God will in fact do that.  Scripture says:

  1. He will take these lowly bodies of ours and transform them to be like his own glorified body. (Phil 3:21)
  2. But someone may ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body…..So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; …..And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. (1 Cor 15:35-49) Yes we shall also be taken up, assumed, and then shall be fulfilled for us the saying of Job: I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another ’s (Job 19:25-27).

The assumption of our bodies, prefigured by Christ in his own power and also in Mary by the gift of God, will one day be our gift too. For now, it waits till that “great gettin’ up morning.” Until that day, and on that day,  fare you well, fare you well!

This song is an African American Spiritual and speaks of that Great Gettin’ up morning when our bodies will rise. And if we have been faithful they will rise to glory!

I’m gonna tell you about the coming of the judgement (Fare you well) There’s a better day a coming….In that great gettin’ up morning fare you well! Oh preacher fold your Bible, For the last soul’s converted….Blow your trumpet Gabriel…..Lord, how loud shall I blow it? Blow it right calm and easy Do not alarm all my people….Tell them to come to the judgement…….In that great gettin’ up morning fare you well. Do you see them coffins bursting? Do you see them folks is rising? Do you hear the rumbling thunder? Do you see the stars a falling? Oh Fare you well poor sinner. In that great gettin’ up morning fare you well.


24 posted on 08/14/2010 10:57:07 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Gospel Reflections

The Assumption
Reading I:
Rv 11:19,12:1-6,12:10 II: 1Cor 15:20-27
Gospel
Luke 1:39-56

1:39 During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah,
1:40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
1:41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit,
1:42 cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
1:43 And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
1:44 For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
1:45 Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."
1:46 And Mary said: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
1:47 my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
1:48 For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
1:49 The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
1:50 His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.
1:51 He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart.
1:52 He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly.
1:53 The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.
1:54 He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy,
1:55 according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever."
1:56 Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.


Interesting Details
  • This passage is the story of visitation, which is preceded by two annunciations: the annunciation to Zechariah of the birth of John the Baptist by the aged Elizabeth and the annunciation of the birth of Jesus to Mary a virgin mother.
  • (v.39) The trip from Galilee where Mary lived to a village in Judea where her relative Elizabeth lived would take four days of traveling. If a fourteen-year-old Jewish virgin girl like Mary made that trip alone in the male dominated society, she would be subject to charges of shameful intentions and misconduct.
  • (v.41) The "leaping" of John in Elizabeth's womb alludes to the leaping of Esau and Jacob in Rebekah's womb (Gen 25:22), which foretold their later destinies.
  • (v.43) Even before his birth, Jesus is first identified as "Lord," which is properly used as a resurrection title.
  • "All ages to come shall call me blessed" is a prophecy by Mary, not a boast. She attributes this blessedness to the "greatness of the Lord". Her prophesy has been fulfilled from the very first day of the Church. She has been given the highest place among all of God's creatures - Queen of Angels and Queen of all Saints.
  • Mary's response is the Magnificat, which has two main sections. In the first, Mary praises God for what has happened to her. In the second, she speaks for all Israel of what God is doing for the chosen people
  • The use of Mary's great hymn, the Magnificat reminds us that all the honor we give to Mary is really honor to God, who has done great things for her.

One Main Point

Mary is the first Christian in the New Testament because she believed in the promises that God made to her, she has total trust in God. Like Mary, blessed are those who believe in God's promises.


Reflections
  1. Recall a moment of joy and happiness when God is part of your life. Compare this moment to the joy and pride of a mother-to-be when she experiences baby kicks in her womb. Can you feel the exultation of Mary and Elizabeth?
  2. Slowly recite the "Hail Mary" word by word, and imagine that you were Elizabeth and you are greeting young Mary. What do you see in her face, in her gesture? What will you say?
  3. Many people in this world are lonely; they need someone to talk to. Do you ever visit those in hospital, in nursing home or in prison? If you do visit a friend or a relative, what is your intention?

25 posted on 08/14/2010 11:01:22 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday, August 15, 2010
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Solemnity)
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6, 10
Psalm 45:10-12, 16
1 Corinthians 15:20-27
Luke 1:39-56

Take notice that if souls do not find themselves quite resolved to pardon any injury or affront which may be inflicted upon them, they cannot trust much to their prayer. For the soul which God truly unites to Himself by so lofty a method of prayer, feels none of these things, and no longer cares whether she is esteemed or not, or whether she is spoke well of or ill; nay rather honors and repose give her more pain than dishonor and trials.

-- St. Teresa


26 posted on 08/14/2010 11:07:18 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of
our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


27 posted on 08/14/2010 11:08:37 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Crucifixion by Giotto
 
At the Cross, Mary mourns her Son's death.
 
In today's world, Mary mourns the deaths of all the aborted children.
 

28 posted on 08/14/2010 11:10:04 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: aruanan; Religion Moderator
This is a Catholic Caucus thread. Please follow the Religion Moderator's Guidelines for Catholic Caucus Threads
30 posted on 08/15/2010 8:35:43 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Office of Readings and Invitatory Psalm

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.


Introduction
O God, come to my aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.

Hymn
HAIL, of paradise the portal!
  Tree of Life regained, immortal;
Whence, through thee, all sweetness floweth,
  And salvation’s fruit still groweth.
Thou our hearts aright inclinest,
  On our life’s way brightly shinest;
Us from God’s just anger savest,
  Who to man our Saviour gavest.
Hail! Blest shrine of God the Father,
  Thither sinners haste to gather;
Pardon for their guilt obtaining,
  Freedom from the foe’s enchaining;
Strength from thee the weak shall borrow,
  Comfort, thou, of all who sorrow;
From the final wrath tremendous,
  Mother of our Christ, defend us.
Star of ocean! Mother fairest!
  Who the name of Mary bearest;
In thy bright illumination
  Pales each star and constellation.
Hail, O Father! Hail, sweet Mother!
  Hail, O Son of God, our Brother!
Let the hosts of heaven adore thee,
  Every spirit bow before thee.
Psalm 23 (24)
The Lord comes to his temple
O Virgin Queen, arise. Eternal honour is yours: enter the glorious palace of the eternal King.
The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
  the world and all who live in it.
He himself founded it upon the seas
  and set it firm over the waters.
Who will climb the mountain of the Lord?
  Who will stand in his holy place?
The one who is innocent of wrongdoing and pure of heart,
  who has not given himself to vanities or sworn falsely.
He will receive the blessing of the Lord
  and be justified by God his saviour.
This is the way of those who seek him,
  seek the face of the God of Jacob.
Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
  and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of might and power.
  The Lord, strong in battle.
Gates, raise your heads. Stand up, eternal doors,
  and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the king of glory?
The Lord of hosts
 – he is the king of glory.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
O Virgin Queen, arise. Eternal honour is yours: enter the glorious palace of the eternal King.

Psalm 45 (46)
God, our refuge and our strength
God chose her and predestined her, and brought her to live in his own dwelling.
The Lord is our refuge and our strength,
  a true help in our troubles.
Therefore we do not fear,
  even when the earth is shaken and mountains fall into the depths of the sea,
the waves roar and foam
  and rise up to shake the mountains.
The streams of the river give joy to the city of God,
  the holy dwelling-place of the Most High.
God is within it, it will not be shaken;
  God will give help as the day dawns.
The nations are in turmoil and kingdoms totter:
  at the sound of his voice, the earth flows like water.
The Lord of strength is with us,
  the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come and see the works of the Lord,
  who has done wonders on the earth.
He puts an end to wars over all the world:
  he tramples the bow, shatters weapons, and burns the shields with fire.
Stop and see that I am God:
  I will be exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.
The Lord of strength is with us,
  the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
God chose her and predestined her, and brought her to live in his own dwelling.

Psalm 86 (87)
Jerusalem, mother of all nations
Glorious things are told of you, O Virgin Mary!
Its foundations are set on the sacred mountains –
  the Lord loves the gates of Zion
  more than all the tents of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you, city of God!
I shall count Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge me.
  The Philistines, Tyrians, Ethiopians –
  all have their birthplace here.
Of Zion it will be said “Here is the birthplace of all people:
  the Most High himself has set it firm.”
The Lord shall write in the book of the nations:
  “Here is their birthplace.”
They will sing as in joyful processions:
  “All my being springs from you.”
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Glorious things are told of you, O Virgin Mary!

Blessed are you, Mary, because you believed.
–  The prophecies made to you have been fulfilled.

Reading Ephesians 1:16-2:10 ©
I have never failed to remember you in my prayers and to thank God for you. May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of him. May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you, what rich glories he has promised the saints will inherit and how infinitely great is the power that he has exercised for us believers. This you can tell from the strength of his power at work in Christ, when he used it to raise him from the dead and to make him sit at his right hand, in heaven, far above every Sovereignty, Authority, Power, or Domination, or any other name that can be named not only in this age but also in the age to come. He has put all things under his feet and made him, as the ruler of everything, the head of the Church; which is his body, the fullness of him who fills the whole creation.
  And you were dead, through the crimes and the sins in which you used to live when you were following the way of this world, obeying the ruler who governs the air the spirit who is at work in the rebellious. We all were among them too in the past, living sensual lives, ruled entirely by our own physical desires and our own ideas; so that by nature we were as much under God’s anger as the rest of the world. But God loved us with so much love that he was generous with his mercy: when we were dead through our sins, he brought us to life with Christ – it is through grace that you have been saved – and raised us up with him and gave us a place with him in heaven, in Christ Jesus.
  This was to show for all ages to come, through his goodness towards us in Christ Jesus, how infinitely rich he is in grace. Because it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; not by anything of your own, but by a gift from God; not by anything that you have done, so that nobody can claim the credit. We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning he had meant us to live it.
Responsory
How lovely, how beautiful the Virgin Mary, who has left this world to be with Christ. Clothed with heavenly power, she shines like the sun among the choirs of saints.
Let the angels rejoice and the archangels exult in the Virgin Mary. Clothed with heavenly power, she shines like the sun among the choirs of saints.

Reading The Apostolic Constitution of Pope Pius XII on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Your body is holy and glorious
In their sermons and speeches on the feast day of the Assumption of the Mother of God, the holy fathers and the great doctors of the church were speaking of something that the faithful already knew and accepted: all they did was to bring it out into the open, to explain its meaning and substance in other terms. Above all, they made it most clear that this feast commemorated not merely the fact that the blessed Virgin Mary did not experience bodily decay, but also her triumph over death and her heavenly glory, following the example of her only Son, Jesus Christ.
  Thus St John Damascene, who is the greatest exponent of this tradition, compares the bodily Assumption of the revered Mother of God with her other gifts and privileges: It was right that she who had kept her virginity unimpaired through the process of giving birth should have kept her body without decay through death. It was right that she who had given her Creator, as a child, a place at her breast should be given a place in the dwelling-place of her God. It was right that the bride espoused by the Father should dwell in the heavenly bridal chamber. It was right that she who had gazed on her Son on the cross, her heart pierced at that moment by the sword of sorrow that she had escaped at his birth, should now gaze on him seated with his Father. It was right that the Mother of God should possess what belongs to her Son and to be honoured by every creature as the God’s Mother and handmaid.
  St Germanus of Constantinople considered that the preservation from decay of the body of the Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, and its elevation to heaven as being not only appropriate to her Motherhood but also to the peculiar sanctity of its virgin state: It is written, that you appear in beauty, and your virginal body is altogether holy, altogether chaste, altogether the dwelling-place of God; from which it follows that it is not in its nature to decay into dust, but that it is transformed, being human, into a glorious and incorruptible life, the same body, living and glorious, unharmed, sharing in perfect life.
  Another very ancient author asserts: Being the most glorious Mother of Christ our saviour and our God, the giver of life and immortality, she is given life by him and shares bodily incorruptibility for all eternity with him who raised her from the grave and drew her up to him in a way that only he can understand.
  All that the holy fathers say refers ultimately to Scripture as a foundation, which gives us the vivid image of the great Mother of God as being closely attached to her divine Son and always sharing his lot.
  It is important to remember that from the second century onwards the holy fathers have been talking of the Virgin Mary as the new Eve for the new Adam: not equal to him, of course, but closely joined with him in the battle against the enemy, which ended in the triumph over sin and death that had been promised even in Paradise. The glorious resurrection of Christ is essential to this victory and its final prize, but the blessed Virgin’s share in that fight must also have ended in the glorification of her body. For as the Apostle says: When this mortal nature has put on immortality, then the scripture will be fulfilled that says “Death is swallowed up in victory”.
  So then, the great Mother of God, so mysteriously united to Jesus Christ from all eternity by the same decree of predestination, immaculately conceived, an intact virgin throughout her divine motherhood, a noble associate of our Redeemer as he defeated sin and its consequences, received, as it were, the final crowning privilege of being preserved from the corruption of the grave and, following her Son in his victory over death, was brought, body and soul, to the highest glory of heaven, to shine as Queen at the right hand of that same Son, the immortal King of Ages.
Responsory
Here again is the wonderful day on which the Virgin Mary was taken up into heaven. We all praise her with the words: Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
Blessed are you, holy Virgin Mary, and most worthy of praise: through you has risen the Sun of justice, Christ our God. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

Hymn Te Deum
God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:
“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.
Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.
You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.
And so we ask of you: give help to your servants, whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.
The final part of the hymn may be omitted:
Bring your people to safety, Lord, and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Almighty and ever-living God, you welcomed the immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of your Son, into heaven, body and soul.
  Grant that we may constantly keep our eyes on heavenly things,
  and come to deserve a share in her glory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  God for ever and ever.
Amen.

31 posted on 08/15/2010 8:43:43 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Solemnity
August 15th

Mateo Cerezo
Assumption of Mary
Oil on canvas, 237 x 169 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

'See the beauty of the daughter of Jerusalem, who ascended to heaven like the rising sun at dawn.'

-- Benedictus antiphon from Daily Office

"By contemplating Mary in heavenly glory, we understand that the earth is not the definitive homeland for us either, and that if we live with our gaze fixed on eternal goods we will one day share in this same glory and the earth will become more beautiful. Consequently, we must not lose our serenity and peace even amid the thousands of daily difficulties. The luminous sign of Our Lady taken up into Heaven shines out even more brightly when sad shadows of suffering and violence seem to loom on the horizon.

"We may be sure of it: from on high, Mary follows our footsteps with gentle concern, dispels the gloom in moments of darkness and distress, reassures us with her motherly hand. Supported by awareness of this, let us continue confidently on our path of Christian commitment wherever Providence may lead us. Let us forge ahead in our lives under Mary's guidance".

— Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience at Castel Gandolfo Aug. 16, 2006.


For hundreds of years, Catholics observed the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15 -- celebrating Mary's being taken bodily to Heaven after her death -- but it was not until 1950 that the Church proclaimed this teaching a dogma of the Church -- one of the essential beliefs of the Catholic faith.

This page includes history and observance of the Feast of the Assumption - special Prayers and Devotions including hymns and Scripture readings - Suggested Activities for families

Deiparae Virginis Mariae, Encyclical of Pope Pius XII on the Possibility of Defining the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a Dogma of Faith, May 1, 1946 [Links to the Vatican website]

Apostolic Constitution: Munificentissimus Deus -- Defining the Dogma of the Assumption, Pope Pius XII, November 1, 1950


August 15 is the day that Catholics have long celebrated what is called the Dormition (falling asleep) or Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The Feast of the Assumption celebrates both the happy departure of Mary from this life by her natural death, and her assumption bodily into heaven.

Along with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8) the Assumption is a principal feast of the Blessed Virgin and a Holy Day of Obligation -- one of the most important feasts of the Church year. (In the United States, in 1991, the US bishops amended the Church calendar by removing the obligation to attend Mass whenever January 1, August 15, or November 1 fell on a Saturday or a Monday. Their action was approved by the Holy See in 1992.)

Now at the end of the summer season, the Church celebrates the most glorious "harvest festival" in the Communion of Saints -- Mary, the supremely blessed one among women, Mary, the most precious fruit which has ripened in the fields of God's kingdom, is today taken into heaven.

The idea of the assumption of Mary into heaven after her death is first expressed in narratives of the fifth and sixth centuries. Even though these were never official, they bear witness to the very early belief in a teaching of the Catholic Church which was not formally defined as a dogma (a teaching essential to the Catholic faith) until 50 years ago.

Though it was almost universally believed for more than a thousand years, the Bible contains no mention of the assumption of Mary into heaven. The first Church writer to speak of Mary's being taken up into heaven by God is Saint Gregory of Tours (594). Other early sermons on the Feast of Mary's entry into heaven are those of Ps.-Modestus of Jerusalem (ca. 700).

On May 1, 1946, Pope Pius XII, asked all bishops in the world whether they thought this belief in the assumption of Mary into heaven should be defined as a proposition of faith, and whether they with their clergy and people desired the definition. Almost all the bishops replied in the affirmative.

On November 1, 1950, the Feast of All Saints, Pope Pius XII declared as a dogma revealed by God that "Mary, the immaculate perpetually Virgin Mother of God, after the completion of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into the glory of Heaven".

We have no real knowledge of the day, year, and manner of Our Lady's death. The dates which have been assigned to her death vary between three and fifteen years after Christ's Ascension. Both Jerusalem and Ephesus claim to be the place where she died. (By tradition, Mary lived at Ephesus after the death of Jesus.) Mary's tomb was presumably found in Jerusalem. It is believed that Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles, but that after her burial, her tomb, when opened, was found empty. Therefore, they concluded that her body had been taken up (assumed) into heaven.

Saint Gregory of Tour provided a rationale for the tradition, which is related to her having been preserved from original sin. He said that it is inconceivable to think Mary's sinless body, likened to the Ark of the Covenant which was made of incorruptible wood, should decay in the grave. The text, 'Rise thou and the ark of thy strength' (Ps 132/1:8) was understood to mean that it was God's will that, as Christ had ascended, so too Mary would be received into heaven.

There is an important difference, of course, between the ascension of Jesus into Heaven after His Resurrection, and the assumption of Mary. To ascend is to rise up under one's own power; while to be assumed means something that is done to one. Jesus, being the Second Person of the Trinity, had no need of assistance; whereas Mary did not have this power. (A pastor once demonstrated this difference in an unusual way. He asked two children to come to the front of the church. He told one child to walk from one side of the sanctuary to the other; and the other child he carried across.)

According to one tradition, Mary was warned of her approaching end by Saint Michael the Archangel, who conducts souls to Heaven, and was surrounded on her death-bed by the apostles, who were miraculously transported to her bedside from their various mission-fields. It was said that Jesus appeared, bore away her soul, and returned three days after her burial, when angels carried her body to Paradise where it was reunited with her soul under the Tree of Life. 

Observance of the Assumption

In Catholic countries the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is one of the most popular festivals of the year.

The increased number and splendor of paintings of Mary's assumption into heaven from the late sixteenth century onwards, in which Mary appears as "a woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, and with twelve stars on her head for a crown" (from the description in the Book of Revelation 12:1), attests the depth of popular devotion to this manifestation of divine grace bestowed on the Mother of God.

The theme of the heavenly coronation of the Blessed Virgin as Queen of Heaven, often represented paintings and sculpture, is related to her being assumed into Heaven where she reigns next to her Divine Son.

The title "Mother of God" (in Greek, Theotokos), was officially conferred upon Mary at the Council of Ephesus, in 431. (As an Anglican bishop once responded to Protestant objections to this title for Mary, "If she was not the mother of God, who was she the mother of?")

The Feast of the Assumption has always been loved dearly by the faithful who are children of Mary. It is a sign to us that someday, through God's grace and our efforts, we too may join the Blessed Mother in giving glory to God. The Assumption is a source of great hope for us, too, for it points the way for all followers of Christ who imitate her fidelity and obedience to God's will. Where she now is, we are meant eventually to be, and may hope to be through Divine grace. Mary's being taken to heaven after her life on earth was ended is the logical outcome of her immaculate nature, uniquely protected -- also by God's grace -- from personal sin. We seek to imitate her self-sacrificing love, her indestructible faith and her perfect obedience.

"Blessed is she who trusted that the Lord's words to her would be fulfilled."

For Christians, death is not extinction, though, unlike Mary, all ordinary mortals, even the most faithful Christians, the saints, must await the Second Coming of Christ and the general Resurrection to receive our "glorified bodies".

'May we see heaven as our goal and come to share her glory'.

Bibliography:

The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907.
Metford, J.C.J. The Christian Year. New York: Crossroad Pub., 1991.
Ott, Ludwig, Dr. Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma. trans. Patrick Lynch. Tan Books and Publishers Inc., 1960.
Parsch, Pius, The Church's Year of Grace. Collegeville, MN.: The Liturgical Press, 1959.
Vitz, Evelyn Birge. A Continual Feast. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1991.


Prayers and Devotions for the Feast of the Assumption

HYMN: The Ark which God has Sanctified

The ark which God has sanctified,
Which He has filled with grace,
Within the temple of the Lord
Has found a resting-place.

More glorious than the seraphim,
This ark of love divine,
Corruption could not blemish her
Whom death could not confine.

God-bearing Mother, Virgin chaste,
Who shines in heaven's sight;
She wears a royal crown of stars
Who is the door of Light.

To Father, Son and Spirit blest
may we give endless praise
With Mary, who is Queen of heaven,
Through everlasting days.
(from Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal)

 

Prayer Intercessions

  • We lift up our prayers to be one with the Blessed Mother who today was assumed into heaven:
  • That the blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, will guide and support all Church leaders with her maternal love.
  • That all people will revere the sanctity of human life, and for an end to abortion and euthanasia.
  • For blessings on children, especially those who are orphaned or abused.
  • For the grace to live modestly and chastely.
  • Eternal Word, you taught your mother Mary to choose the part that was best; let us follow her example and hunger for the food of everlasting life.

Loving Father, you have raised up the Blessed Virgin Mary to share in your communion of love. Accept us into that holy embrace through the sacrifice of our prayers. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Compiled from Daily Office books)

 

Meditations

"Jesus gave every human being to Mary, and commanded her to show to each one of us the heart of a mother. Mary fulfilled this, and she continues throughout eternity to fulfill with an incomparable perfection this command of God, just as she had all the others."

Venerable Charles de Foucauld

[We seek to] attain to the unity of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles.

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and up builds itself in love.

- Ephesians 4: 13-16
(Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition)

"The more we are sinners, the more she has tenderness and compassion for us."

- Saint John Marie Vianney, the Curé of Ars


Hymn: Immaculate Mary

Immaculate Mary, thy praises we sing,
Who reignest in splendor with Jesus, Our King.
Ave, ave, ave Maria! Ave, ave Maria!

In heaven the blessed thy glory proclaim;
On earth, we, thy children, invoke thy sweet name!
Ave, ave, ave Maria! Ave, ave Maria!

We pray for our mother, the Church upon earth;
And bless, dearest Lady, the land of our birth.
Ave, ave, ave Maria! Ave, ave Maria!

(The Adoremus Hymnal - p 532)


Scripture readings for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Vigil Readings:
First Reading: 1 Chr 15:3-4, 15,16;16:1-2
David assembled all Israel at Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the Lord to its place, which he had prepared for it. And David gathered together the sons of Aaron and the Levites: And the Levites carried the ark of God upon their shoulders with the poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord. David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brethren as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise sounds of joy.

And they brought the ark of God, and set it inside the tent which David had pitched for it; and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God. And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord.

Second Reading: 1 Cor 15:54b-57
"Death is swallowed up in victory." "O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel Reading: Lk 11:27-28
As he said this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked!" But He said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"

FIRST READING: Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab
"A woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet"

God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant could be seen in the temple.

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.

Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems.

Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth.

Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth.

She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and His throne. The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Anointed One."

SECOND READING: I Corinthians 15:20-27
"Christ the firstfruits, then those who belong to Him".

Brothers and sisters: Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

For since death came through man, the resurrection of the dead came also through man.

For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order:

Christ the firstfruits; then, at His coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to His God and Father, when He has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power.

For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.

The last enemy to be destroyed is death, for "He subjected everything under His feet."

GOSPEL READING: Luke 1:39-56
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent empty away. He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity for ever." And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.


SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES for observing the Assumption in the "Domestic Church"

Here is picture of Mary holding the Baby Jesus and surrounded by children for your children to color. The artist, Phyllis Mees, drew this for WFF's "Family Sourcebook" series. This can help you teach even very young children the words of the "Hail Mary". Don't forget to hang the results on your refrigerator!
(Click here for a full size version to download or print out for your children.)

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee:
Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

"Finally; the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death." 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.... She is our Mother in the order of grace."

This passage from the Catechism might be read aloud, by a parent or one of the older children, during family prayers; for example before saying at least one decade of the Rosary together.

The Assumption (detail) by Lorenzo Lotto (ca. 1512). Milan, Pinacoteca di Brera


“Wedding and Blessing of the Sea”

It is a custom in many coastal regions in the US and Europe to have special blessings of the water - the sea or ocean - on the Feast of the Assumption. The custom originated in 15th century Italy, when a bishop traveling from Venice, during a storm at sea on the Feast of the Assumption, prayed and threw his pastoral ring into the sea from the ship — and the waters were calmed.

In the US, these celebrations take place annually in Atlantic City, Camden, Long Island, and in other coastal cities and seaports along the eastern seaboard. In some of these “blessings of the sea” celebrations, after the priest or bishop has blessed the water, the people wade out into the water and fill bottles with it, and apparently use it like regular holy water.

The celebration in Atlantic City is called the “wedding of the sea”, and part of the ceremony is the bishop (or priest) throwing a wreath of flowers and a ring from a boat into the water, symbolizing the union of the city and the sea. A similar blessing and “wedding” is an annual event in European coastal cities — and especially Venice, where it is, understandably, a celebration of longstanding tradition.

Holy Day of Obligation


32 posted on 08/15/2010 8:51:01 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Spiritual Bouquet - Meditations by Pade Pio

Spiritual Bouquet
A different meditation each time you click.

 

Meditations by Padre Pio

Father, today is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows; say something to me. Answer: Our Lady of Sorrows who loves us, has born us in pain and love. May Our Lady of Sorrows be ever on your mind, and may Her sorrows be ever imprinted on your heart; may She inflame your heart with love for Her Son.


33 posted on 08/15/2010 1:34:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Comment #34 Removed by Moderator

To: Salvation
Luke
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 1
39 And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda. Exsurgens autem Maria in diebus illis, abiit in montana cum festinatione, in civitatem Juda : αναστασα δε μαριαμ εν ταις ημεραις ταυταις επορευθη εις την ορεινην μετα σπουδης εις πολιν ιουδα
40 And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth. et intravit in domum Zachariæ, et salutavit Elisabeth. και εισηλθεν εις τον οικον ζαχαριου και ησπασατο την ελισαβετ
41 And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: Et factum est, ut audivit salutationem Mariæ Elisabeth, exsultavit infans in utero ejus : et repleta est Spiritu Sancto Elisabeth : και εγενετο ως ηκουσεν η ελισαβετ τον ασπασμον της μαριας εσκιρτησεν το βρεφος εν τη κοιλια αυτης και επλησθη πνευματος αγιου η ελισαβετ
42 And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. et exclamavit voce magna, et dixit : Benedicta tu inter mulieres, et benedictus fructus ventris tui. και ανεφωνησεν φωνη μεγαλη και ειπεν ευλογημενη συ εν γυναιξιν και ευλογημενος ο καρπος της κοιλιας σου
43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Et unde hoc mihi, ut veniat mater Domini mei ad me ? και ποθεν μοι τουτο ινα ελθη η μητηρ του κυριου μου προς με
44 For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Ecce enim ut facta est vox salutationis tuæ in auribus meis, exsultavit in gaudio infans in utero meo. ιδου γαρ ως εγενετο η φωνη του ασπασμου σου εις τα ωτα μου εσκιρτησεν το βρεφος εν αγαλλιασει εν τη κοιλια μου
45 And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord. Et beata, quæ credidisti, quoniam perficientur ea, quæ dicta sunt tibi a Domino. και μακαρια η πιστευσασα οτι εσται τελειωσις τοις λελαλημενοις αυτη παρα κυριου
46 And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord. Et ait Maria : Magnificat anima mea Dominum : και ειπεν μαριαμ μεγαλυνει η ψυχη μου τον κυριον
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo. και ηγαλλιασεν το πνευμα μου επι τω θεω τω σωτηρι μου
48 Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Quia respexit humilitatem ancillæ suæ : ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes, οτι επεβλεψεν επι την ταπεινωσιν της δουλης αυτου ιδου γαρ απο του νυν μακαριουσιν με πασαι αι γενεαι
49 Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name. quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est : et sanctum nomen ejus, οτι εποιησεν μοι μεγαλεια ο δυνατος και αγιον το ονομα αυτου
50 And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him. et misericordia ejus a progenie in progenies timentibus eum. και το ελεος αυτου εις γενεας γενεων τοις φοβουμενοις αυτον
51 He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. Fecit potentiam in brachio suo : dispersit superbos mente cordis sui. εποιησεν κρατος εν βραχιονι αυτου διεσκορπισεν υπερηφανους διανοια καρδιας αυτων
52 He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. Deposuit potentes de sede, et exaltavit humiles. καθειλεν δυναστας απο θρονων και υψωσεν ταπεινους
53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. Esurientes implevit bonis : et divites dimisit inanes. πεινωντας ενεπλησεν αγαθων και πλουτουντας εξαπεστειλεν κενους
54 He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy: Suscepit Israël puerum suum, recordatus misericordiæ suæ : αντελαβετο ισραηλ παιδος αυτου μνησθηναι ελεους
55 As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever. sicut locutus est ad patres nostros, Abraham et semini ejus in sæcula. καθως ελαλησεν προς τους πατερας ημων τω αβρααμ και τω σπερματι αυτου εις τον αιωνα
56 And Mary abode with her about three months; and she returned to her own house. Mansit autem Maria cum illa quasi mensibus tribus : et reversa est in domum suam. εμεινεν δε μαριαμ συν αυτη ωσει μηνας τρεις και υπεστρεψεν εις τον οικον αυτης

35 posted on 08/15/2010 2:28:43 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
39. And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;
40. And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
41. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42. And she spoke out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
43. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44. For, lo, as soon as the voice of your salutation sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
45. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

AMBROSE; The Angel, when he announced the hidden mysteries to the Virgin, that he might build up her faith by an example, related to her the conception of a barren woman. When Mary heard it, it was not that she disbelieved the oracle, or was uncertain about the messenger, or doubtful of the example, but rejoicing in the fulfillment of her wish, and conscientious in the observance of her duty, she gladly went forth into the hill country. For what could Mary now, filled with God, but ascend into the higher parts with haste!

ORIGEN; For Jesus who was in her womb hastened to sanctify John, still in the womb of his mother. Whence it follows, with haste.

AMBROSE; The grace of the Holy Spirit knows not of slow workings. Learn, you virgins, not to loiter in the streets, nor mix in public talk.

THEOPHYL. She went into the mountains, because Zacharias dwelt there. As it follows, To a city of Juda, and entered into the house of Zacharias. Learn, O holy women, the attention which you ought to show for your kinswomen with child. For Mary, who before dwelt alone in the secret of her chamber, neither virgin modesty caused to shrink from the public gaze, nor the rugged mountains from pursuing her purpose, nor the tediousness of the journey from performing her duty. Learn also, O virgins, the lowliness of Mary.

She came a kinswoman to her next of kin, the younger to the elder, nor did she merely come to her, but was the first to give her salutations; as it follows, And she saluted, Elisabeth. For the more chaste a virgin is, the more humble she should be, and ready to give way to her elders. Let her then be the mistress of humility, in whom is the profession of chastity. Mary is also a cause of piety, in that the higher went to the lower, that the lower might be assisted, Mary to Elisabeth, Christ to John.

CHRYS. Or else the Virgin kept to herself all those things which have been said, not revealing them to any one, for she did not believe that any credit would be given to her wonderful story; nay, she rather thought she would suffer reproach if she told it, as if wishing to screen her own guilt.

GREEK EX. But to Elisabeth alone she has recourse, as she was wont to do from their relationship, and other close bonds of union.

AMBROSE; But soon the blessed fruits of Mary's coming and our Lord's presence are made evident. For it follows, And it came to pass, that when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb. Mark the distinction and propriety of each word. Elisabeth first heard the word, but John first experienced the grace. She heard by the order of nature, he leaped by reason of the mystery. She perceived the coming of Mary, he the coming of the Lord.

GREEK EX. For the Prophet sees and hears more acutely than his mother, and salutes the chief of Prophets; but as he could not do this in words, he leaps in the womb, which was the greatest token of his joy. Who ever heard of leaping at a time previous to birth? Grace introduced things to which nature was a stranger. Shut up in the womb, the soldier acknowledged his Lord and King soon to be born, the womb's covering being no obstacle to the mystical sight.

ORIGEN; He was not filled with the Spirit, until she stood near him who bore Christ in her womb. Then indeed he was both filled with the Spirit, and leaping imparted the grace to his mother; as it follows, And Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. But we cannot doubt that she who w as then filled with the Holy Spirit, was filled because of her son.

AMBROSE; She who had hid herself because she conceived a son, began to glory that she carried in her womb a prophet, and she who had before blushed, now gives her blessing; as it follows, And she spoke out with a loud voice, Blessed are you among women. With a loud voice she exclaimed when she perceived the Lord's coming, for she believed it to be a holy birth. But she says, Blessed are you among women. For none was ever partaker of such grace or could be, since of the one Divine seed, there is one only parent.

THEOPHYL; Mary is blessed by Elisabeth with the same words as before by Gabriel, to show that she was to be reverenced both by men and angels.

THEOPHYL. But because there have been other holy women who yet have borne sons stained with sin, she adds, And blessed is the fruit of your womb. Or another interpretation is, having said, Blessed are you among women, she then, as if some one inquired the cause, answers, And blessed is the fruit of your womb: as it is said, Blessed be he that comes in the name of the Lord. The Lord God, and he has shown us light; for the Holy Scriptures often use and, instead of because.

TIT. BOS. Now she rightly calls the Lord the fruit of the virgin's womb, because He proceeded not from man, but from Mary alone. For they who are sown by their fathers are the fruits of their fathers.

GREEK EX. This fruit alone then is blessed, because it is; produced without man, and without sin.

THEOPHYL; This is the fruit which is promised to David, Of the fruit of your body will I set upon your throne. From this place we derive the refutation of Eutyches, in that Christ is stated to be the fruit of the womb. For all fruit is of the same nature with the tree that bears it. It remains then that the virgin was also of the same nature with the second Adam, who takes away the sins of the world. But let those also who invent curious fictions concerning the flesh of Christ, blush when they hear of the real child-bearing of the mother of God. For the fruit itself proceeds from the very substance of the tree. Where too are those who say that Christ passed through the virgin as water through an aqueduct? Let these consider the words of Elisabeth who was filled with the Spirit, that Christ was the fruit of the womb. It follows, And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

AMBROSE; She says it not ignorantly, for she knew it was by the grace and operation of the Holy Spirit that the mother of the prophet should be saluted by the mother of his Lord, to the advancement and growth of her own pledge; but being aware that this was of no human deserving, but a gift of Divine grace, she therefore says, Whence is this to me, that is, By what right of mine, by what that I have done, for what good deeds?

ORIGEN; Now in saying this, she coincides with her son. For John also felt that he was unworthy of our Lord's coming to him. But she gives the name of "the mother of our Lord" to one still a virgin, thus forestalling the event by the words of prophecy. Divine foreknowledge brought Mary to Elisabeth, that the testimony of John might reach the Lord. For from that time Christ ordained John to be a prophet. Hence it follows, For, lo, as soon as the voice of your salutation sounded, &c.

AUG. But in order to say this, as the Evangelist has premised, she was filled with the Holy Spirit, by whose revelation undoubtedly she knew what that leaping of the child meant; namely, that the mother of Him had come to her, whose forerunner and herald that child was to be. Such then might be the meaning of so great an event; to be known indeed by grown up persons, but not understood by a little child; for she said not, "The babe leaped in faith in my womb," but leaped for joy. Now we see not only children leaping for joy, but even the cattle; not surely from any faith or religious feeling, or any rational knowledge. But this joy was strange and unwonted, for it was in the womb; and at the coming of her who was to bring forth the Savior of the world. This joy, therefore, and as it were reciprocal salutation to the mother of the Lord, was caused (as miracles are) by Divine influences in the child, not in any human way by him. For even supposing the exercise of reason and the will had been so far advanced in that child, as that he should be able in the bowels of his mother to know, believe, and assent; yet surely that must be placed among the miracles of Divine power, not referred to human examples.

THEOPHYL. The mother of our Lord had come to see Elisabeth, as also the miraculous conception, from which the Angel had told her should result the belief of a far greater conception, to happen to herself; and to this belief the words of Elisabeth refer, And blessed are you who have believed, for there shall be a performance of those things which were told you from the Lord.

AMBROSE; You see that Mary doubted not but believed, and therefore the fruit of faith followed.

THEOPHYL; Nor is it to be wondered at, that our Lord, about to redeem the world, commenced His mighty works with His mother, that she, through whom the salvation of all men was prepared, should herself be the first to reap the fruit of salvation from her pledge.

AMBROSE; But happy are you also who have heard and believed, for whatever soul has believed, both conceives and brings forth the word of God, and knows His works.

THEOPHYL; But every soul which has conceived the word of God in the heart, straightway climbs the lofty summits of the virtues by the stairs of love, so as to be able to enter into the city of Juda, (into the citadel of prayer and praise, and abide as it were for three months in it,) to the perfection of faith, hope, and charity.

GREG. She was touched with the spirit of prophecy at once, both as to the past, present, and future. She knew that Mary had believed the promises of the Angel; she perceived when she gave her the name of mother, that Mary was carrying in her womb the Redeemer of mankind; and when she foretold that all things would be accomplished, she saw also what was as to follow in the future.

46. And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord.

AMBROSE; As evil came into the world by a woman, so also is good introduced by women; and so it seems not without meaning, that both Elisabeth prophesies before John, and Mary before the birth of the Lord. But it follows, that as Mary was the greater person, so she uttered the fuller prophecy.

BASIL; For the Virgin, with lofty thoughts and deep penetration, contemplates the boundless mystery, the further she advances, magnifying God; And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord.

GREEK EX. As if she said, Marvelous things has the Lord declared that He will accomplish in my body, but neither shall my soul be unfruitful before God. It becomes me to offer Him the fruit also of my will, for inasmuch as I am obedient to a mighty miracle, am I bound to glorify Him who performs His mighty works in me.

ORIGEN; Now if the Lord could neither receive increase or decrease, what is this that Mary speaks of, My soul doth magnify the Lord? But if I consider that the Lord our Savior is the image of the invisible God, and that the soul is created according to His image, so as to be an image of an image, then I shall see plainly, that as after the manner of those who are accustomed to paint images, each one of us forming his soul after the image of Christ, makes it great or little, base or noble, after the likeness of the original so when I have made my soul great in thought, word, and deed, the image of God is made great, and the Lord Himself whose image it is, is magnified in my soul.

47. And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

BASIL; The first-fruit of the Spirit is peace and joy. Because then the holy Virgin had drunk in all the graces of the Spirit, she rightly adds, And my spirit has leaped for joy. She means the same thing, soul and spirit. But the frequent mention of leaping for joy in the Scriptures implies a certain bright and cheerful state of mind in those who are worthy. Hence the Virgin exults in the Lord with an unspeakable springing (and bounding) of the heart for joy, and in the breaking forth into utterance of a noble affection It follows, in God my Savior.

THEOPHYL; Because the spirit of the Virgin rejoices in the eternal Godhead of the same Jesus (i.e. the Savior,) whose flesh is formed in the womb by a temporal conception.

AMBROSE; The soul of Mary therefore magnifies the Lord, and her spirit rejoiced in God, because with soul and spirit devoted to the Father and the Son, she worships with a pious affection the one God from whom are all things. But let every one have the spirit of Mary, so that he may rejoice in the Lord. If according to the flesh there is one mother of Christ, yet, according to faith, Christ is the fruit of all. For every soul receives the word of God if only he be unspotted and free from sin, and preserves it with unsullied purity.

THEOPHYL. But he magnifies God who worthily follows Christ, and now that he is called Christian, lessens not the glory of Christ by acting unworthily, but does great and heavenly things; and then the Spirit (that is, the anointing of the Spirit) shall rejoice, (i.e. make him to prosper,) and shall not be withdrawn, so to say, and put to death.

BASIL; But if at any time light shall have crept into his heart, and loving God and despising bodily things he shall have gained the perfect standing of the just, without any difficulty shall he obtain joy in the Lord.

ORIGEN; But the soul first magnifies the Lord, that it may afterwards rejoice in God; for unless we have first believed, we can not rejoice.

48. For he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

GREEK EX. She gives the reason why it becomes her to magnify God and to rejoice in Him, saying, For he has regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden; as if she said, "He Himself foresaw, therefore I did not look for Him." I was content with things lowly, but now am I chosen to counsels unspeakable, and raised up from the earth to the stars.

AUG. O true lowliness, which has borne God to men, has given life to mortals, made new heavens and a pure earth, opened the gates of Paradise, and set free the souls of men. The lowliness of Mary was made the heavenly ladder, by which God descended upon earth. For whet does regarded mean but "approved;" For many seem in my sight to be lowly, but their lowliness is not regarded by the Lord. For if they were truly lowly, their spirit would rejoice not in the world, but in God.

ORIGEN; But why was she lowly and cast down, who carried in her womb the Son of God? Consider that lowliness which in the Scriptures is particularly praised as one of the virtues, so called by the philosophers "modestia." And we also may paraphrase it, that state of mind in which a man instead of being puffed up, casts himself down.

THEOPHYL, But she, whose humility is regarded, is rightly called blessed by all; as it follows, For, behold, from henceforth all shall call me blessed. ATHAN. For if as the Prophet says, Blessed are they who have seed in Sion, and kinsfolk in Jerusalem, how great should be the celebration of the divine and ever holy Virgin Mary, who was made according to the flesh, the Mother of the Word?

GREEK EX. She does not call herself blessed from vain glory, for what room is there for pride in her who named herself the handmaid of the Lord? But, touched by the Holy Spirit, she foretold those things which were to come.

THEOPHYL, For it was fitting, that as by the pride of our first parent death came into the world, so by the lowliness of Mary should be opened the entrance into life.

THEOPHYL. And therefore she says, all generations, not only Elisabeth, but also every nation that believed.

49. For he that is mighty has done to me great things; and holy is his name.

THEOPHYL. The Virgin shows that not for her own virtue is she to be pronounced blessed, but she assigns the cause saying, For he that is mighty has magnified me.

AUG. What great things has He done to you; I believe that a creature you gave birth to the Creator, servant you brought forth the Lord, that through you God redeemed the world, through you He restored it to life.

TITUS BOS. But where are the great things, if they be not that I still a virgin conceive (by the will of God) overcoming nature. I have been accounted worthy, without being joined to a husband, to be made a mother, not a mother of any one, but of the only-begotten Savior.

THEOPHYL; But this has reference to the beginning of the hymn, where it is said, My soul doth magnify the Lord. For that soul can alone magnify the Lord with due praise, for whom he deigns to do mighty things.

TITUS BOS; But she says, that is mighty, that if men should disbelieve the work of her conception, namely, that while yet a virgin, she conceived, she might throw back the miracles upon the power of the Worker. Nor because the only-begotten Son has come to a woman is He thereby defiled, for holy is his name.

BASIL. But holy is the name of God called, not because in its letters it contains any significant power, but because in whatever way we look at God we distinguish his purity and holiness.

THEOPHYL; For in the height of His marvelous power He is far beyond every creature, and is widely removed from all the works of His hands. This is better understood in the Greek tongue, in which the very word which means holy, signifies as it were to be "apart from the earth."

50. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

THEOPHYL; Turning from God's special gifts to His general dealings, she describes the condition of the whole hole human race, And his mercy is from generation to generation on them that fear him. As if she said, Not only for me has He that is mighty done great things, but in every nation he that fears God is accepted by Him.

ORIGEN; For the mercy of God is not upon one generation, but extends to eternity from generation to generation.

GREEK EX. According to the mercy which He has upon generations of generations, I conceive, and He Himself is united to a living body, out of mercy alone undertaking our salvation. Nor is His mercy shown indiscriminately, but upon those who are constrained by the fear of Him in every nation; as it is said, upon those who fear him, that is, upon those who being brought by repentance are turned to faith and renewal for the obstinate unbelievers have by their sin shut against themselves the gate of mercy.

THEOPHYL. Or by this she means that they who fear shall obtain mercy, both in that generation, (that is, the present world,) and the generation which is to come, (i.e. the life everlasting.) For now they receive a hundred-fold, but hereafter far more.

51. He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

THEOPHYL; In describing the state of mankind, she shows what the proud deserve, and what the humble; saying, He has shown strength with his arm, &c. i.e. with the very Son of God. For as your arm is that whereby you work, so the arm of God is said to be His word by whom He made the world

ORIGEN; But to those that fear Him, He has done mighty things with His arm; though you come weak to God if you have feared Him you shall obtain the promised strength.

THEOPHYL. For in His arm, that is, His incarnate Son, He has shown strength, seeing that nature was vanquished, a virgin bringing forth, and God becoming man.

GREEK EX. Or she says, Has shown, for will show strength; not as long ago by the hand of Moses against the Egyptians, nor as by the Angel, (when he slew many thousand of the rebel Assyrians,) nor by any other instrument save His own power, He openly triumphed, overcoming spiritual enemies. Hence it follows, he has scattered, &c. that is to say, every heart that was puffed up and not obedient to His coming He has laid bare, and exposed the wickedness of their proud thoughts.

CYRIL OF JERUS. But these words may be more appropriately taken to refer to the hostile ranks of the evil spirits. For they were raging on the earth, when our Lord's coming put them to flight, and restored those whom they had bound, to His obedience.

THEOPHYL. This might also be understood of the Jews whom He scattered into all lands as they are now scattered.

52. He has put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

THEOPHYL; The words, He has showed strength with his arm, and those which went before, And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation, must be joined to this verse by a comma only. For truly through all generations of the world, by a merciful and just administration of Divine power, the proud do not cease to fall, and the humble to be exalted. As it is said, He has put down the mighty from their seat, he has exalted the humble and meek.

CYRIL; The mighty in knowledge were the evil spirits, the Devil, the wise ones of the Gentiles, the Scribes and Pharisees; yet these He has put down, and raised up those who humbled themselves under the mighty hand of God; giving them the power of treading upon serpents and scorpions and every power of the enemy. The Jews were also at one time puffed up with power, but unbelief slew them, and the mean and lowly of the Gentiles have through faith climbed up to the highest summit.

GREEK EX. For our understanding is acknowledge d to be the judgment-seat of God, but after the transgression, the powers of evil took their seat in the heart of the first man as on their own throne. For this reason then the Lord came and cast out the evil spirits from the seat of our will, and raised up those who were vanquished by devils, purging their consciences, and making their hearts his own dwelling place.

53. He has filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he has sent empty away.

GLOSS. Because human prosperity seems to consist chiefly in the honors of the mighty and the abundance of their riches, after speaking of the casting down of the mighty, and the exalting of the humble, he goes on to tell of the impoverishing of the rich and the filling of the poor, He has filled the hungry, &c.

BASIL; These words regulate our conduct even with respect to sensible things, teaching the uncertainty of all worldly possessions, which are as short lived as the wave which is dashed about to and fro by the violence of the wind. But spiritually all mankind suffered hunger except the Jews; for they possessed the treasures of legal tradition and the teachings of the holy prophets. But because they did not rest humbly on the Incarnate Word they were sent away empty, carrying nothing with them neither faith nor knowledge, and were bereft of the hope of good things, being shut out both of the earthly Jerusalem and the life to come. But those of the Gentiles, who were roughs low by hunger and thirst, because they clung to the Lord, were filled with spiritual goods.

GLOSS. They also who desire eternal life with their whole soul, as it were hungering after it, shall be filled when Christ shall appear in glory; but they who rejoice in earthly things, shall at the end be sent away emptied of all happiness.

54. He has holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
55. As he spoke to our fathers, Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

GLOSS. After a general mention of the Divine mercy and holiness, the Virgin changes the subject to the strange and marvelous dispensation of the new incarnation, saying, He has holpen his servant Israel, &c. as a physician relieves the sick, becoming visible among men, that He might make Israel (i.e. him who sees God) His servant.

THEOPHYL; That is, obedient and humble; for he who disdains to be made humble, cannot be saved.

BASIL; For by Israel she means not Israel after the flesh, whom their own title made noble, but the spiritual Israel, which retained the name of faith, straining their eyes to see God by faith.

THEOPHYL. It might also be applied to Israel after the flesh, seeing that out of that body multitudes believed. But this he did remembering His mercy, for He has fulfilled what he promised to Abraham, saying, For in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. This promise then the mother of God called to mind, saying, As he spoke to out father Abraham; for it was said to Abraham, I will place my covenant, that I shall be your God, and the God of your seed after you.

THEOPHYL; But by seed he means not so much those who are begotten in the flesh, as those who have followed the steps of Abraham's faith, to whom the Savior's coming was promised for evermore.

GLOSS. For this promise of heritage shall not be narrowed by any limits, but to the very end of time there shall never lack believers, the glory of whose happiness shall be everlasting.

56. And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

AMBROSE; Mary abode with Elisabeth until she had accomplished the time of her bringing forth; as it is said, And Mary abode, &c.

THEOPHYL. For in the sixth month of the conception of the forerunner, the Angel came to Mary, and she abode with Elisabeth three months, and so the nine months are completed.

AMBROSE; Now it was not only for the sake of friendship that she abode so long, but for the increase also of so great a prophet. For if at her first coming the child had so far advanced, that at the salutation of Mary he leaped in the womb, and his mother was filled with the Holy Spirit, how much must we suppose the presence of the Virgin Mary to have added during the experience of so long a time? Rightly then is she represented as having shown kindness to Elisabeth, and preserved the mystical number.

THEOPHYL, For the chaste soul which conceives a desire of the spiritual word must of necessity submit to the yoke of heavenly discipline, and sojourning for the days as it were of three months in the same place, cease not to persevere until it is illuminated by the light of faith, hope, and charity.

THEOPHYL. But when Elisabeth was going to bring forth, the Virgin departed, as it follows, And she returned; or, probably because of the multitude, who were about to assemble at the birth. But it became not a virgin to be present on such an occasion.

GREEK EX. For it is the custom for virgins to go away when the pregnant woman brings forth. But when she reached her own home, she went to no other place, but abode there until she knew the time of her delivery was at hand. And Joseph doubting, is instructed by an Angel.

Catena Aurea Luke 1
36 posted on 08/15/2010 2:29:11 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex


Reliquary Tabernacle

Fra Angelico

c. 1430
Tempera and gold on panel, 62 x 39 cm
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

37 posted on 08/15/2010 2:30:28 PM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: All
Lauds -- Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer (Lauds)

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.


Introduction
O God, come to my aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.

Hymn
Mary Immaculate, star of the morning,
  Chosen before the creation began,
Chosen to bring in the light of thy dawning,
  Woe to the serpent and rescue to man.
Here, in this world of both shadow and sadness
  Veiling thy splendour, thy course hast thou run:
Now thou art throned in all glory and gladness,
  Crowned by the hand of thy Saviour and Son.
Sinners, we worship thy sinless perfection;
  Fallen and weak, for thy pity we plead:
Grant us the shield of thy sov’reign protection,
  Measure thine aid by the depth of our need.
Bend from thy throne at the voice of our crying,
  Bend to this earth which thy footsteps have trod:
Stretch out thine arms to us, living and dying,
  Mary Immaculate, Mother of God.
Psalm 62 (63)
Thirsting for God
Happy are you, Mary, for through you salvation came into the world. Now you are clothed in glory and rejoice before the Lord.
O God, you are my God, I watch for you from the dawn.
My soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you.
I came to your sanctuary,
  as one in a parched and waterless land,
  so that I could see your might and your glory.
My lips will praise you, for your mercy is better than life itself.
Thus I will bless you throughout my life,
  and raise my hands in prayer to your name;
my soul will be filled as if by rich food,
  and my mouth will sing your praises and rejoice.
I will remember you as I lie in bed,
  I will think of you in the morning,
for you have been my helper,
  and I will take joy in the protection of your wings.
My soul clings to you; your right hand raises me up.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Happy are you, Mary, for through you salvation came into the world. Now you are clothed in glory and rejoice before the Lord.

Canticle Daniel 3
All creatures, bless the Lord
Mary is lifted high above the choirs of angels. Let all the faithful rejoice and bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, all his works,
  praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, you heavens;
  all his angels, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, you waters above the heavens;
  all his powers, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, sun and moon;
  all stars of the sky, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, rain and dew;
  all you winds, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, fire and heat;
  cold and warmth, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, dew and frost;
  ice and cold, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, ice and snow;
  day and night, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, light and darkness;
  lightning and storm-clouds, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, all the earth,
  praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, mountains and hills;
  all growing things, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, seas and rivers;
  springs and fountains, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, whales and fish;
  birds of the air, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, wild beasts and tame;
  sons of men, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, O Israel,
  praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, his priests;
  all his servants, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, spirits and souls of the just;
  all who are holy and humble, bless the Lord.
Ananias, Azarias, Mishael, bless the Lord,
  praise and exalt him for ever.
Let us bless Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
  praise and exalt them for ever.
Bless the Lord in the firmament of heaven,
  praise and glorify him for ever.
Mary is lifted high above the choirs of angels. Let all the faithful rejoice and bless the Lord.

Psalm 149
The saints rejoice
The Lord has made your name so great that mankind will never cease to praise you.
Sing a new song to the Lord,
  his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker,
  and the sons of Zion delight in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing,
  sing to him with timbrel and lyre,
for the Lord’s favour is upon his people,
  and he will honour the humble with victory.
Let the faithful celebrate his glory,
  rejoice even in their beds,
the praise of God in their throats;
  and swords ready in their hands,
to exact vengeance upon the nations,
  impose punishment on the peoples,
to bind their kings in fetters
  and their nobles in manacles of iron,
to carry out the sentence that has been passed:
  this is the glory prepared for all his faithful.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
The Lord has made your name so great that mankind will never cease to praise you.

Short reading (Isaiah 61:10) ©
I shall exult for joy in the Lord, my soul will rejoice in my God, for he has clothed me in the garments of salvation, he has wrapped me in the cloak of integrity, like a bride adorned in her jewels.

Short Responsory
Today the Virgin Mary ascended into heaven.
– Today the Virgin Mary ascended into heaven.
She is triumphant for ever in heaven with Christ.
– Today the Virgin Mary ascended into heaven.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
– Today the Virgin Mary ascended into heaven.

Canticle Benedictus
The Messiah and his forerunner
She is beautiful, the fair daughter of Jerusalem, arising like the dawn.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
  for he has come to his people and brought about their redemption.
He has raised up the sign of salvation
  in the house of his servant David,
as he promised through the mouth of the holy ones,
  his prophets through the ages:
to rescue us from our enemies
  and all who hate us,
to take pity on our fathers,
  to remember his holy covenant
and the oath he swore to Abraham our father,
  that he would give himself to us,
that we could serve him without fear
 – freed from the hands of our enemies –
in uprightness and holiness before him,
  for all of our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High:
  for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his path,
to let his people know their salvation,
  so that their sins may be forgiven.
Through the bottomless mercy of our God,
  one born on high will visit us
to give light to those who walk in darkness,
  who live in the shadow of death;
  to lead our feet in the path of peace.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
She is beautiful, the fair daughter of Jerusalem, arising like the dawn.

Prayers and Intercessions
Our Saviour deigned to be born of the Virgin Mary. Let us give him worship and turn to him in prayer:
– Remember Mary, full of grace, and hear our prayers.
Eternal Word, you chose Mary as your incorruptible dwelling-place on earth:
  free us from the corruption of sin.
– Remember Mary, full of grace, and hear our prayers.
Our Redeemer, you made the Virgin Mary a pure habitation for you and a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit:
  make us an everlasting temple of your Spirit.
– Remember Mary, full of grace, and hear our prayers.
King of kings, by your will your mother was taken up into heaven, body and soul:
  keep our minds always on heavenly things.
– Remember Mary, full of grace, and hear our prayers.
Lord of heaven and earth, you brought Mary to stand at your right hand:
  grant that we may deserve to share her glory.
– Remember Mary, full of grace, and hear our prayers.

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
  hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
  thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
  and forgive us our trespasses
  as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
  but deliver us from evil.

Almighty and ever-living God, you welcomed the immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of your Son, into heaven, body and soul.
  Grant that we may constantly keep our eyes on heavenly things,
  and come to deserve a share in her glory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  God for ever and ever.
Amen.

May the Lord bless us and keep us from all harm; and may he lead us to eternal life.

AMEN


38 posted on 08/15/2010 2:53:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6,10

The Assumption of the Virgin Mary

… A woman clothed with the sun. (Revelation 12:1)

Today we celebrate the unique end of one of the most exceptional lives ever lived. Mary stands out among all humanity because she trusted in God wholly and completely. Even when her life and the life of her son were on the line, Mary continued to say “yes” to God. And as a reward for such steadfast and humble faith, the church proclaims that she was assumed, body and soul, into heaven.

Imagine Mary’s faith. It wasn’t the simple, innocent faith of a young child but the mature, reasoned faith of a woman whose mind was uncluttered by sin. When the angel Gabriel announced God’s plan to her, Mary reasoned in her heart that God wouldn’t ask her to do the impossible. Surely he would protect the child in her womb. Since God himself was the author of this plan, she could trust that he would see it through to completion.

This is the kind of faith that God wants each of us to imitate. Of course, none of us will ever be as perfect in following the Lord as Mary was. She was sinless, after all!

But at the same time, God does call us to try our best to follow his plans for us. And he doesn’t leave us to do it all by ourselves. Every day, he is pouring out grace, helping us to say “yes” to him in the situations that are set before us. Every day, he offers us words of encouragement in the Scriptures so that we can trust in his provision, even when logic tells us otherwise. Every day, he seeks to clothe us in his Spirit so that each of us can bring Christ into the world through the witness of our own lives of faith.

In the end, it is a very simple path—but one that leads to the glory of heaven.

“Thank you, Mary, for saying ‘yes’ to God. I want to follow the path that you paved. Please pray for me, so that I will know the same heavenly triumph that you now know.”


Questions for Individual Reflection or Group Discussion

(Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6,10; 1 Corinthians 15:20-27; Psalm 45:10-12,16; Luke 1:39-56)

1. The first reading mentions the ark of the covenant, which is also one of the titles traditionally bestowed on Mary. Mary, through her faithfulness to God’s will (“Let it be done to me according to your word”), conceived, carried in her womb, and gave birth to her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is he who established in His Person the new covenant. How can you use Mary’s example of faith to deepen your own faithfulness to God’s will for your life?

2. The responsorial psalm uses the phrase “turn your ear”. Mary, by being attentive to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, is a model for us of obedience and love. What steps can we take, in the midst of the busyness of our days, to open ourselves more to the promptings the Holy Spirit, and be obedient to him?

3. The second reading speaks to the unique reason for the joy of today’s feast. Mary’s assumption into heaven is an anticipation of the resurrection of all of us. She points to our place in the glory of the Trinity, in the communion of all the saints. What obstacles do you face in your daily lives that keep you from experiencing the joy of this truth? How can you keep alive in your heart this glorious reminder of our true home with God?

4. In the Gospel, Mary’s beautiful Magnificat reminds us of the perspective God has on human behavior, that is, he has mercy on those who fear him and he prefers humility to pride, the lowly to the mighty, and the hungry to those who are rich. What is your reaction to these words? How can you use these words of the Magnificat to give yourself a godly perspective on your own behavior?

5. In the meditation, we hear these words: “Imagine Mary’s faith. It wasn’t the simple, innocent faith of a young child but the mature, reasoned faith of a woman whose mind was uncluttered by sin.” What about your faith in the Lord? Is it immature like a young child’s or is it a mature, reasoned faith? What steps can you take to deepen your relationship with the Lord and increase the maturity of your faith?


39 posted on 08/15/2010 3:16:56 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Sunday Scripture Study

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary  - Cycle C

August 15, 2010

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10b

Psalm:  45:10-12,16

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:20-27

Gospel Reading: Luke 1:39-56

  • On August 15 the Church observes the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This solemnity celebrates Mary’s being assumed (or ‘taken up’) into heaven by God (by contrast, Jesus ascended into heaven by his own divine power). Our Gospel reading for this Solemnity features the second joyful mystery of the rosary, what is known as ‘the Visitation.’
  • In the preceding scene in Luke’s Gospel (1:26-38, the Annunciation), Mary has just learned from the angel Gabriel that she is to be the mother of the long awaited Messiah, the one who is to save her people, and all who fear God. (verse 50). Immediately upon giving her assent, her fiat, she proceeds on a four-day journey to the town of her cousin, Elizabeth, who is now six months pregnant with John the Baptist (Luke 1:1-24).
  • As the two meet, John the Baptist leaps in his mother’s womb from joy. Elizabeth proclaims Mary as the Mother of God (verse 43) and praises her faith (verse 45).
  • Mary breaks forth into the beautiful canticle known as the Magnificat. Her song glorifies God for what he has done in her (verses 46-50); she teaches us God’s preference for the humble (verse 51-53); and she proclaims the fact that God continues to keep his promises to his people (verses 54-55).

 

QUESTIONS:

  • In the First Reading, we hear about St. John’s vision of a woman in glory; a crowned queen (in ancient cultures the mother of a king) who is physically in heaven. Who is this Woman?
  • Reading St. Paul’s description in the Second Reading of how all those who believe in him and serve him faithfully will be raised like him, can you see how Mary’s assumption is a sign of hope for all believers?
  • In the Gospel reading, what is the purpose of Mary’s journey to visit her kinswoman Elizabeth?
  • For what does Mary praise God in the Magnificat? What contrasts does she make in verses 51-53? How do these reflect her knowledge of God? Of her standing before God? What level of social status do you need to fulfill God’s purposes?
  • Of the attributes of God celebrated in Mary’s Magnificat, which do you appreciate the most? Which challenges you the most? Why?
  • Who are the “arrogant,” the “rulers,” and the “rich” whose overthrow Mary celebrates? How will Mary’s Magnificat be fulfilled in Jesus? From the perspective of the Magnificat, are you one of God’s lowly servants—or an arrogant, rich ruler?

Closing Prayer

Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 717, 2675-77, 495, 148, 722, 2619, 971, 273

 

Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords, and conqueror of sin and death.

–Pius XII (Munificentissimus Deus)


40 posted on 08/15/2010 3:39:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Mary is Assumed into Heaven

Pastor’s Column

19th Sunday Ordinary Time

August 15, 2010

 

How many resurrected bodies do we know are in heaven right now?  The answer, of course, is that there are at least two: Jesus and his mother.  Jesus’ ascension is found in scripture; Mary’s assumption is not.  So why do we believe this? 

          First of all, in the Old Testament, Elijah was caught up in a whirlwind and taken up to heaven in a chariot directly from earth without dying (2 Kings 2:8ff);  Enoch was a friend of God who did not die “because God took him” (Genesis 5:24).  So already in the Old Testament we find humans close to God who have bodies in the next world. 

          In the New Testament, after Jesus rose from the dead, many saints came out of their tombs bodily and appeared to the believers (Matthew 27:52-53).  What happened to them after that?  Is it really realistic to think that these saints then went back into their tombs, closed the door and died again?  Obviously, they are already sharing in the bodily resurrection of the dead with Jesus, something all believers will share in one day. 

          We know that many in the early Church believed in the Assumption of Mary, because from the earliest times there have been Churches dedicated to Mary’s Assumption, even though it was not dogmatically defined until recently. 

          In light of these biblical realities, it would be odd if Mary didn’t share in the bodily resurrection of the dead, like some of the saints already have. This is because Mary was conceived without sin, in anticipation of her son’s birth, for how could the Son of God have taken flesh from a woman born into sin?  Therefore death, the penalty of sin, could not hold Mary’s body.  

          Mary’s Assumption is a feast for us all, because God’s will is that all believers will one day live with him, body and soul, like Mary, in heaven.  Angels are pure spirits, but we humans are both flesh and spirit.  We cannot be fully human without both!  But in the next world, after the resurrection of the dead, the body we will receive will be a glorified body like that of Christ, not subject to sin and death, and not confined to time and space or the earth we live on.  Mary already shares this great gift.  When we reflect on this truth of our faith, we cannot but be filled with hope.  The present may be tough, but, in Christ, the future is glorious, and Mary points the way for us!

                                                                                Father Gary


41 posted on 08/15/2010 3:54:33 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: August 15, 2010
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: 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. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns wth you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Ordinary Time: August 15th 

  Solemnity of the Assumption Old Calendar: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Dormition of Our Lady (Eastern Rite); St. Tarcisius, martyr, (Hist)

On November 1, 1950, Pius XII defined the dogma of the Assumption. Thus he solemnly proclaimed that the belief whereby the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the close of her earthly life, was taken up, body and soul, into the glory of heaven, definitively forms part of the deposit of faith, received from the Apostles. To avoid all that is uncertain the Pope did not state either the manner or the circumstances of time and place in which the Assumption took place — only the fact of the Assumption of Mary, body and soul, into the glory of heaven, is the matter of the definition.

Please see this special section on The Assumption.

Historically today is the feast of St. Tarcisius, a young martyr of the Eucharist.


The Assumption
Now toward the end of the summer season, at a time when fruits are ripe in the gardens and fields, the Church celebrates the most glorious "harvest festival" in the Communion of Saints. Mary, the supremely blessed one among women, Mary, the most precious fruit which has ripened in the fields of God's kingdom, is today taken into the granary of heaven.

— Pius Parsch

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.

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.

Excerpted from Fr. Clifford Stevens in Catholic Heritage

Things to Do:

  • The Directory on Popular Piety talks about the deep significance of this feast day. It also refers to the custom of blessing herbs:

    In the Germanic countries, the custom of blessing herbs is associated with 15 August. This custom, received into the Rituale Romanum, represents a clear example of the genuine evangelization of pre-Christian rites and beliefs: one must turn to God, through whose word "the earth produced vegetation: plants bearing seeds in their several kinds, and trees bearing fruit with their seed inside in their several kinds" (Gen 1, 12) in order to obtain what was formerly obtained by magic rites; to stem the damages deriving from poisonous herbs, and benefit from the efficacy of curative herbs.

    This ancient use came to be associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary, in part because of the biblical images applied to her such as vine, lavender, cypress and lily, partly from seeing her in terms of a sweet smelling flower because of her virtue, and most of all because of Isaiah 11, 1, and his reference to the "shoot springing from the side of Jesse", which would bear the blessed fruit of Jesus.

    This Blessing of Herbs is included in the prayers library.

  • In an age of sensuality and materialism the Assumption points out the dignity and destiny of our human body, extols the dignity of womanhood, and turns our eyes to the true life beyond the grave. At Mass today ask Mary for the grace to keep your mind fixed on things above and to aspire continually to be united with her and to be brought to the glory of the Resurrection.


St. Tarcisius
Tarcisius was a twelve-year-old acolyte during one of the fierce Roman persecutions of the third century, probably during that of Valerian. Each day, from a secret meeting place in the catacombs where Christians gathered for Mass, a deacon would be sent to the prisons to carry the Eucharist to those Christians condemned to die. At one point, there was no deacon to send and so St. Tarcisius, an acolyte, was sent carrying the "Holy Mysteries" to those in prison.

On the way, he was stopped by boys his own age who were not Christians but knew him as a playmate and lover of games. He was asked to join their games, but this time he refused and the crowd of boys noticed that he was carrying something. Somehow, he was also recognized as a Christian, and the small gang of boys, anxious to view the Christian "Mysteries," became a mob and turned upon Tarcisius with fury. He went down under the blows, and it is believed that a fellow Christian drove off the mob and rescued the young acolyte.

The mangled body of Tarcisius was carried back to the catacombs, but the boy died on the way from his injuries. He was buried in the cemetery of St. Callistus, and his relics are claimed by the church of San Silvestro in Capite.

In the fourth century, Pope St. Damasus wrote a poem about this "boy-martyr of the Eucharist" and says that, like another St. Stephen, he suffered a violent death at the hands of a mob rather than give up the Sacred Body to "raging dogs." His story became well known when Cardinal Wiseman made it a part of his novel Fabiola, in which the story of the young acolyte is dramatized and a very moving account given of his martyrdom and death.

Tarcisius, one of the patron saints of altar boys, has always been an example of youthful courage and devotion, and his story was one that was told again and again to urge others to a like heroism in suffering for their faith. In the Passion of Pope Stephen, written in the sixth century, Tarcisius is said to be an acolyte of the pope himself and, if so, this explains the great veneration in which he was held and the reason why he was chosen for so difficult a mission.

Excerpted from The One Year Book of Saints by Rev. Clifford Stevens


42 posted on 08/15/2010 4:20:05 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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"Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ." - St. Jerome
The Assumption of Mary - El Greco

Saturday, August 14, 2010

On this solemn Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, listen to this beautiful Ave Maria as you pray through the scripture reflection: "God who is mighty"
 
"God who is mighty has done great things for me"
 
It isn’t often that we mark the anniversary of a loved one’s death with much fanfare. Normally, we may visit their gravesite, request that a Mass be offered in their memory, share a few stories on the day of the anniversary, or examine pictures of them. But for the most part, we recall their parting quietly and turn to our memories of their life with us.

However, this Sunday August 15th, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, is a solemn major feast in the Catholic Church which marks not the life of Mary but rather the transition of her life here to that of eternal life. There is strong belief that Mary did indeed die but, like her son, entered eternal life with body and soul. Unlike the resurrection of Jesus, however, there are no claimed witnesses to Mary’s assumption into heaven. Tradition states an empty tomb was discovered at the burial site of Mary in Jerusalem. No relics of Mary have ever been claimed, no charge that her body was stolen, but the truth of the specific event comes from the days of the early Church. Likely built upon the memories of the apostles and earliest of Christians of which there are early records.

It is a dogma (infallible teaching) which is not stated specifically in the scriptures. But it is a logical development of thought. Yet, it is problematic for our Protestant brethren and perhaps for some Catholics as well. Though held for centuries, it was not formally defined as an infallible truth until 1950 when Pope Pius XII proclaimed: “The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heaven.” (Munificentissimus Deus). How can we best understand its significance? Perhaps, through Mary herself.

The one and only true Savior of the world, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Word of God made flesh among us, entered this world at a specific time and century in human history, in a precise geographical location on earth, in a particular religious culture of the Jews, and through the normal, biological process of the fertilization of a human egg by a sperm, within the womb of a human mother chosen for this singular purpose. The egg was Mary’s and the sperm would have had to be divinely created, yet totally human otherwise Mary could have never conceived as she did.

Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary in the Gospel of Luke 1: 39-56 for today’s solemn feast, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb . . .” was indeed an understatement of Biblical proportions. For us Catholics and for other Christians of the Orthodox faith, Mary is not an afterthought, an appendage, an incidental human person used for a function and then forgotten. She is the one through whom the promise given to Abraham, Moses and the Prophets was ultimately fulfilled in the birth of her son, the enfleshed Word of God. For that reason alone, she would deserve our great respect if not more. Her cooperation with God’s plan was pivotal to salvation.

The first reading from Revelation 11: 19; 12:1 – 6, 10 speaks of a “great sign” a “woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars . . .” The parallels with Jesus and Mary’s role are significant. So, we look to this somewhat mystical image of a woman and there see Mary’s role symbolized.

The Gospel passage from Luke 1: 39-56 is, I feel, one of the most joy-filled in the entire New Testament. You can not read this event without a smile on your face or capture some portion of what these two women, Mary and Elizabeth, must have experienced. . Mary becomes the first and most personal of all messengers of the good news. God has finally, after centuries of hope, come to visit his people. And she is the human door through which God has entered among us. So, Mary becomes the model disciple that calls us all to be heralds of the good news of salvation – a true evangelizer!

It is logical to assume, that her role in salvation history, her consistent faithfulness to what God asked of her, her purity, her courage, her trust – all of which we hear about in the Gospels, particularly that of Luke and John, would have brought some appropriate reward. But, what would be most fitting for such an exemplary model of faith?

In 1854, when Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, he referred to the Gospel story of the Annunciation and to the words of the angel we read in the Gospel of Luke. The angel did not address Mary by name. He did not say, “Hail Mary.” He addressed her, “Hail, full of grace!” and “blessed among women.” It is a way of the scriptures telling us the state of Mary’s soul. She was “filled with” the perfect grace of God already – there was no sin on her. She was, in fact, called to her special mission because she was created without sin. The perfect mother for the perfect son. It is logical.

The Assumption of Mary body and soul into heaven is the logical reward for this person created without sin that remained sinless all of her earthly life. Where Mary has gone, we see our hope as well.

All of this may be quite a stretch for some. But there is no doubt that it is our faith in Jesus Christ, and faith in him alone that will bring us salvation. Mary is not divine. She was and remains a human being, albeit in some altered state of glorification, as is Jesus himself, and we can probably assume that she would be the last one to claim any credit for the honor she has been given.

The Catholic belief on Mary, as the rest of Catholic theology, tradition, spirituality, does not take away from Protestantism. In fact, for those who enter the Church from another Christian tradition, I think they quickly find that the road to the Catholic faith does not take away from – it adds to what they already believe but now come to see in its fullness. This Marian teaching implies the sanctity of human life, God's special favor for the poor, the healing of injustice in the world, and the need for reconciliation between cultures and peoples.

There is no doubt, then, that the Catholic Church has a love affair with the mother of Jesus. Cathedrals, Basilicas, religious shrines, pilgrimage sites such as Lourdes and Fatima, countless parish Churches including my own, claimed apparitions of the Blessed Mother, novenas, rosaries, prayers, etec, all portray, “The greatness of the Lord” expressed through this lowly maiden and greatest of all saints in heaven.
Father Tim

43 posted on 08/15/2010 5:46:54 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Insight Scoop



The Assumption | Mgr. Ronald Knox | From Pastoral and Occasional Sermons | August 15, 2010 | Ignatius Insight


A cave Jeremias found there, in which he set down tabernacle and ark and incense-altar, and stopped up the entrance behind him. There were some that followed; no time they lost in coming up to mark the spot, but find it they could not.—2 Machabees 2:5-6.

After this, God's heavenly temple was thrown open, and the ark of the covenant was plain to view, standing in his temple.—Apocalypse 11:19.

The Son of God came to earth to turn our hearts away from earth, Godwards. The
material world in which we live was, by his way of it, something immaterial; it didn't matter. We were not to be always worrying about our clothes being shabby, or wondering where our next meal was to come from; the God who fed the sparrows and clothed the Wies would see to all that. We were not to resent the injuries done to us by our neighbours; the aggressor was welcome to have a slap at the other cheek, and when he took away our greatcoat he was to find that we had left our coat inside it. Life itself, the life we know, was a thing of little value; it was a cheap bargain, if we lost life here to attaIn the life hereafter. There was a supernatural world, interpenetrating, at a higher level, the world of our experience; it has its own laws, the only rule we were to live by, its own prizes, which alone were worth the winning. All that he tried to teach us; and we, intent on our own petty squabbles, our sordid struggle for existence, cold-shouldered him at first, and then silenced his protest with a cross.

His answer was to rise from the dead; and then, for forty days in the world's history, that supernatural life which he had preached to us flourished and functioned under the conditions of earth. A privileged few saw, with mortal eyes, the comings and goings of immortality, touched with their hands the impalpable. For forty days; then, as if earth were too frail a vessel to contain the mystery, the tension was suddenly relaxed. He vanished behind a cloud; the door of the supernatural shut behind him, and we were left to the contemplation of this material world, drab and barren as ever.

What was the first thing the apostles saw when they returned from the mount of the Ascension to the upper room? "Together with Mary"—is it only an accident that the Mother of God is mentioned just here, by name, and nowhere else outside the gospels? The Incarnate Word had left us, as silently as he came to us, leaving no trace behind him of his passage through time. No trace? At least, in the person of his blessed Mother, he had bequeathed to us a keepsake, a memory. She was bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh, the new Eve of the new Adam. That body of hers, still part of the material order of things, had housed and suckled God. As long as she lived, there would still be a link, a golden link, between this lower earth and Paradise. As long as she lived; and even if it was God's will that she, Eve's daughter, should undergo the death that was Eve's penalty, the penalty she had never incurred, her mortal remains would still be left with us, an echo from the past, an influence on our lives. We men, since we are body and soul, do honour even to the lifeless bodies which have housed the dead; Napoleon rests in the Invalides, Lenin at Moscow. The day would come when there would be pilgrimages from all over the world to the shrines of Peter and Paul at Rome, of James at Compostela. Was it not reasonable to hope that somewhere, at Jerusalem, perhaps, or at Ephesus, we should be privileged to venerate the mortal remains of her through whom salvation came to us? Or perhaps at Bethlehem, Bethlehem-Ephrata, this new Ark of God would rest, as the ark rested of old; "And now, at Ephrata, we have heard tidings of what we looked for" [1] —the old tag from the Psalms should still ring true.
 

God disposed otherwise. Jewish tradition recorded that when Jerusalem was destroyed by the armies of Babylon, the prophet Jeremias took the ark of God away from the city, and buried it in some secret cleft of the rock; it was never seen again. Never again, except by St John, in his vision on the isle of Patmos; he saw the ark of God, but in heaven. And so it was with this new Ark of God, the virgin body that had been his resting-place. When and where she passed away from this earth, or in what manner, nobody can tell us for certain. But we know where she is. When Elias was carried up into heaven, the sons of the prophets at Jericho asked Eliseus if they might go out in search of him; "it may be", they said, "the spirit of the Lord has carried him off and left him on some hill-top or in some cleft of the valleys." He consented grudgingly, and when they returned from their fruitless errand, greeted them with the words; "Did I not tell you not to send?" [2] So it is with the body of the blessed Virgin: nowhere in Christendom will you hear the rumour of it. So many churches, all over the world, eagerly claiming to possess the relics of this or that saint; who shall tell us whether John the Baptist sleeps at Amiens, or at Rome? But never of our Lady; and if any of us still hoped to find that inestimable treasure, the Holy Father has called off the search, only the other day. We know where her body is; it is in heaven.

Of course, we knew it all along. For myself, I have never doubted the doctrine of the Assumption since I heard it preached forty-four years ago, in an Anglican church over at Plymouth. You see, we get it all wrong about body and soul, simply because our minds are dominated by matter. We think it the most natural thing in the world that soul and body should be separated after death; that the body should remain on earth and the soul go to heaven, once it is purged and assoiled. But it isn't a natural thing at all; soul and body were made for one another, and the temporary divorce between them is something out of the way, something extraordinary, occasioned by the Fall. In our blessed Lady, not born under the star of that defeat, human nature was perfectly integrated; body and soul belonged to one another, as one day, please God, yours and mine will.

Long ago, in those fields of Bethlehem, Ruth had gleaned in the footsteps of her beloved; and he, secretly, had given charge to the reapers to drop handfuls of corn on purpose, so that she might fill her bosom the sooner. So he, whose reapers are the angels, would leave for his blessed Mother a special portion of those graces that were to enrich mankind. The child-bearing which brought, to us others, redemption from the fault of our first parents should bring, to her, exemption; the empty tomb, which assures us that our bodies will rise at the judgment, was for her the earnest of an immediate resurrection; Christ the first-fruits, and who should glean them, but she? For that, heaven is the richer, earth the poorer. We can go to Lourdes, and offer adoration in the place where her feet stood; we cannot press with our lips some precious reliquary containing the hand that swaddled Christ. In a world so dominated by matter, in which matter itself seems to carry the seeds of its own destruction, there is no material object left that can link our destinies with hers.

And yet, is the loss all loss? When the dogma of the Assumption was defined a friend of mine, a very intelligent Mohammedan, congratulated me on the gesture which the Holy Father had made; a gesture (said he) against materialism. And I think he was right. When our Lord took his blessed Mother, soul and body, into heaven, he did honour to the poor clay of which our human bodies are fashioned. It was the frrst step towards reconciling all things in heaven and earth to his eternal Father, towards making all things new. "The whole of nature", St Paul tells us, "groans in a common travail all the while. And not only do we see that, but we ourselves do the same; we ourselves although we have already begun to reap our spiritual harvest, groan in our hearts, waiting for that adoption which is the ransoming of our bodies from their slavery." [3] That transformation of our material bodies to which we look forward one day has been accomplished—we know it now for certain-in her.

When the Son of God came to earth, he came to turn our hearts away from earth, Godwards. And as the traveller, shading his eyes while he contemplates some long vista of scenery, searches about for a human figure that will give him the scale of those distant surroundings, so we, with dazzled eyes looking Godwards, identify and welcome one purely human figure close to his throne. One ship has rounded the headland, one destiny is achieved, one human perfection exists. And as we watch it, we see God clearer, see God greater, through this masterpiece of his dealings with mankind.

(A sermon broadcast from Buckfast Abbey, Devon, on the Feast of Our Lady Assumption, 15 August 1954.)

ENDNOTES:

[1] Psalm 131:6.
[2] 4 Kings 2:16, 18.
[3] Romans 8:22-3.

44 posted on 08/15/2010 6:13:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Secret Harbor ~ Portus Secretioris

14 August 2010

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

‘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’ (Munificentissimus Deus, Pope Pius XII, 1950).

Dear readers, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was declared as an infallible dogma in 1950 by Pope Pius XII, but the belief in Mary's Assumption dates back to the early days of the Church. A very ancient writer, Modestus of Jerusalem asserts: ‘As the most glorious Mother of Christ, our Saviour and God and the giver of life and immortality, has been endowed with life by Him, she has received an eternal incorruptibility of the body together with Him Who has raised her up from the tomb and has taken her up to Himself in a way known only to Him’. There have been many writings from the saints on the subject: John Damascene, Germanus of Constantinople, Anthony of Padua, Albert the Great, Bernardine of Siena, Robert Bellarmine and Francis de Sales, to name only some. The Assumption is not explicitly found in Sacred Scripture but it is there implicitly. Here are some examples: ‘Arise, O Lord, into Your resting place: You and the Ark, which You have sanctified’ (Psalm 132:8). ‘The Queen takes her place at Your right Hand’ (Psalm 45:10). ‘Who is she that goes up by the desert, as a pillar of smoke of aromatical spices, of myrrh, and frankincense, and of all the powders of the perfumer?’ (Songs 3:6). ‘Who is this that comes up from the desert, flowing with delights, leaning upon her beloved?’ (Songs 8:5). Perhaps one of the most convincing and prophetic passages in the Old Testament is found in the First Book of Kings, supporting the Catholic belief that Jesus is the King of kings, Mary His Mother is the Queen who is with Him in His eternal Kingdom, interceding on our behalf: ‘Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, and the king stood up to meet her and paid her homage. Then he sat down upon his throne, and a throne was provided for the king’s mother, who sat at his right. There is one small favour I would ask of you, she said. Do not refuse me. Ask it my mother, the king said to her, for I will not refuse you’ (1 Kings 2:19-20).

First Reading, Revelation 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab
In the Old Testament the covenant that was kept in the ark was a symbol of God’s presence among His people. The Blessed Virgin Mary carried in her womb not a symbol of God’s presence, but God Himself. Because of this, Mary was the human Ark -- the reality and fulfilment of what the ark of the Old Covenant symbolized. In this, the Book of Revelation, we read about a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. There are two ways to interpret this. First, the woman is the Church which shines with the light of faith under the guidance and protection of the Sun of Justice. The moon represents the changeable things of this world of which the affections of the faithful will rise above; hence, those changeable things will be under our feet. And so, the Church is clothed with Christ, with the changeable things of this world under her feet and is governed by Christ through the twelve stars who are the Apostles. The second way to interpret this is to say that the woman is our Blessed Lady who is clothed with Christ and her crown of twelve stars signifies that she is the Queen of heaven, Queen of the Church, Queen of the Twelve Apostles and Queen of the twelve tribes of Israel. Through this interpretation the Church proclaims that our Blessed Mother was taken to heaven, body and soul to reign as our Queen and Mother. The woman is in pain as she labours to bring forth spiritual children along with Christ in the midst of persecutions and afflictions. The dragon is often identified as the devil or Satan. The seven heads and ten horns represent those who serve the dragon by persecuting the servants of Almighty God. This is alluded to in the Book of Psalms: ‘The kings of the earth rise up and the princes conspire together against the Lord and against His anointed’ (Psalm 2:2). Also, in the Book of Genesis we read as God rebukes the serpent: ‘I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers. And to the woman He said, I will intensify the pangs of your childbearing; in pain shall you bring forth children’ (Genesis 3:15-16). In the heart of Mary and the Church is produced the Word that is persecuted by the enemies and the unbelievers of this world. Saint John the Evangelist, the author of the Book of Revelation, must have reasoned that this woman was our Lady. How could he have not thought this? On the Cross, Christ gave her to him to be his Mother (cf. Saint John 19:27). Additionally, tradition teaches us that after Christ’s Ascension, Saint John and Mary were often in each other’s company. While we can say the woman can be identified as either the Church or Mary, it was Saint Ambrose who taught that Mary is a type of the Church in the order of faith, charity and perfect union with Christ. This was reiterated by the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium. The dragon’s tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. More than likely this is alluding to Lucifer being driven out of heaven bringing with him all the fallen angels who sided with him in rebellion against God. The dragon stood before the woman who was able to flee into the desert to a place prepared for her by God. In the early days of the Church many saints fled to the desert to escape persecution. Saint Jerome points out that it was these types of occurrences that gave rise to the eremitical state of life. In the final verse heaven rejoices in the Church which through her trials and persecutions remained faithful to her Lord and thus was victorious over her enemies.

Second Reading, 1 Corinthians 15:20-27
Saint Paul often makes the comparison between Adam and our Lord. Adam was created into an earthly paradise but his sin corrupted that paradise. Christ came and restored to humanity a Paradise which is not of this world. Paul refers to our Saviour as the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. If Jesus is the firstfruits, then it supposes that others will rise after Him. At the general resurrection Christ will present us to His heavenly Father as the fruits of His glorious triumph over sin and death. Since Paul makes the comparison between Adam and Christ, rightfully the comparison can be made between Eve and the Blessed Virgin Mary. Because of the sin of our first parents, Eve became the mother of the dead. Because of Christ’s victory over sin and death, Mary became the Mother of all the living. Saint Paul writes that all shall be brought to life in proper order; following Christ will be those who belong to Him. In our Blessed Mother is the proof of what Christ has promised. She has been lifted up to her Son, body and soul. Around 380 A.D. Timothy of Jerusalem wrote: ‘The Virgin is immortal because He Who dwelt in her took her to the regions of the Ascension’. Additionally, Gregory of Tours in 580 wrote: ‘Mary, the glorious Mother of Christ, who, we believe, was a Virgin before and after childbirth, was carried to Paradise preceded by the Lord amidst the singing of angelic choirs’. John Henry Cardinal Newman in his work, Meditations and Devotions wrote: ‘Was she [Mary] not nearer to Him than the greatest of the saints before her? Therefore we confidently say that our Lord, having preserved her from sin and the consequences of sin by His Passion, lost no time in pouring out the full merits of that Passion upon her body as well as her soul’. If you think about it, the Church really doesn’t teach anything all that differently about Mary than what the Church teaches about us. Mary was conceived immaculately without the stain of original sin. In Baptism, we are born to a new life in Christ; and in that new birth original sin is washed away. Mary is in heaven, body and soul. Christ promises the same for us. Mary has been granted this grace ahead of time as proof that our Saviour is faithful to what He promises.

Gospel, Luke 1:39-56
With this weekend’s Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, this Gospel is a reminder of one important fact when trying to grow in the spiritual life: where there is Mary, there is Jesus. Look for her and you’ll find Him. Come to her and she’ll lead you to Him. In this Gospel are the makings of the first ever Eucharistic procession. Mary, however, the human Tabernacle, does not need to be carried through the hill country leading to Judah; she is able to carry herself, bringing with her our Lord, her Lord and her Son. The house of Zechariah and Elizabeth suddenly becomes a chapel for adoration. Certainly Elizabeth recognizes Mary as the Tabernacle carrying her Lord when she says: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me that the Mother of my Lord should come to me’? John the Baptist recognizes his Lord as he leaps for joy in the womb of his mother Elizabeth. In Mary’s Magnificat are the eternal words: ‘From this day all generations will call me blessed.’ It is under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that the angel Gabriel called her blessed at the Annunciation, that Elizabeth calls her blessed at the Visitation, that Mary proclaims her own blessedness for all generations in the Magnificat. The Venerable Bede asserts that in her eternal blessed state we hold her up to the veneration of both men and angels. Saint Jerome adds that Elizabeth too is blessed, yet the excellency of the Mother of God far surpasses that of Elizabeth and every other woman, as the great luminary outshines the smaller stars. Mary brought our Lord into the world. She gave Him to us. She presented Him to Simeon at the temple; she presents Him to us as our Saviour. She was present for many of the events of His human life; and after His Ascension He called her to Himself to be with Him in heaven. He also calls us to heaven to spend eternity with Him; and if we so choose, Mary can be our tour guide in this life’s journey, to direct us along the path that leads to her Son. In the Apostolic Constitution of Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, are the words: ‘She [Mary], by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body’. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read: ‘The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians’ (CCC 966).

 

45 posted on 08/15/2010 6:29:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Vultus Christi

Blessing of Herbs and Flowers

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Christians of both East and West have, from very early times, blessed herbs and fruit on the Feast of the Assumption. Thus blessed, these creatures become sacramentals of the Church and portents of divine protection from dangers to soul and body. In some places the herbs were placed on the altar, and even beneath the altar linens, so that from this proximity to the Most Holy Eucharist they might receive a special hallowing, beyond that conferred by the blessing prayers of the Church.

The prayers of the rite suggest that this custom of the Church hearkens back to the ancient customs ordained by God through Moses. According to Christian tradition, when the Apostles accompanied Saint Thomas, who had been absent at the time of the Blessed Virgin's death, to her tomb, upon opening it they discovered that her body was not there. Instead, they found the tomb filled with fragrant herbs and flowers. Blessed herbs recall the lingering fragrance of the virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Church.

Blessing of Herbs and Flowers in Honour of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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After the Asperges if it is a Sunday, otherwise immediately before Mass, the priest, standing before the altar and facing the people who hold the sheaves of new grain, garden vegetables, flowers and new herbs and the finest fruits of their orchards in their hands, says in a clear voice:

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord. All: Who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 64

P: To you we owe our hymn of praise, O God, in Sion; to you must vows be fulfilled, you who hear prayers. All: To you all flesh must come* because of wicked deeds. P: We are overcome by our sins; * it is you who pardon them. All: Happy the man you choose, * and bring to dwell in your courts. P: May we be filled with the good things of your house, * the holy things of your temple. All: With awe-inspiring deeds of justice you answer us, * O God our Savior, P: The hope of all the ends of the earth * and of the distant seas. All: You set the mountains in place by your power, * you who are girt with might; P: You still the roaring of the seas, * the roaring of their waves and the tumult of the peoples. All: And the dwellers at the earth's ends are in fear at your marvels; * the farthest east and west you make resound with joy. P: You have visited the land and watered it; * greatly have you enriched it. All: God's watercourses are filled; you have prepared the grain. * Thus have you prepared the land: P: Drenching its furrows, * breaking up its clods, All: Softening it with showers, * blessing its yield. P: You have crowned the year with your bounty, * and your paths overflow with a rich harvest; All: The untilled meadows overflow with it, * and rejoicing clothes the hills. P: The fields are garmented with flocks and the valleys blanketed with grain. * They shout and sing for joy. All: Glory be to the Father. P: As it was in the beginning.


P: The Lord will be gracious. All: And our land will bring forth its fruit. P: You water the mountains from the clouds. All: The earth is replenished from your rains. P: Giving grass for cattle. All: And plants for the benefit of man. P: You bring wheat from the earth. All: And wine to cheer man's heart. P: Oil to make his face lustrous. All: And bread to strengthen his heart. P: He utters a command and heals their suffering. All: And snatches them from distressing want. P: O Lord, hear my prayer. All: And let my cry come unto you. P: The Lord be with you. All: And with your spirit.

Let us pray. Almighty everlasting God, who by your word alone brought into being the heavens, earth, sea, things seen and things unseen, and garnished the earth with plants and trees for the use of man and beast; who appointed each species to bring forth fruit in its kind, not only for the food of living creatures, but for the healing of sick bodies as well; with mind and word we urgently call on you in your great kindness to bless + these various herbs and fruits, thus increasing their natural powers with the newly given grace of your blessing. May they keep away disease and adversity from men and beasts who use them in your name; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.

Let us pray. God, who through Moses, your servant, directed the children of Israel to carry their sheaves of new grain to the priests for a blessing, to pluck the finest fruits of the orchard, and to make merry before you, the Lord their God; hear our supplications, and shower blessings + in abundance upon us and upon these bundles of new grain, new herbs, and this assortment of produce which we gratefully present to you on this festival, blessing + them in your name. Grant that men, cattle, flocks, and beasts of burden find in them a remedy against sickness, pestilence, sores, injuries, spells, against the fangs of serpents or poisonous creatures. May these blessed objects be a protection against diabolical mockery, cunning, and deception wherever they are kept, carried, or otherwise used. Lastly, through the merits of the blessed Virgin Mary, whose Assumption we are celebrating, may we all, laden with the sheaves of good works, deserve to be taken up to heaven; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.

Let us pray. God, who on this day raised up to highest heaven the rod of Jesse, the Mother of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, that by her prayers and patronage you might communicate to our mortal nature the fruit of her womb, your very Son; we humbly implore you to help us use these fruits of the soil for our temporal and everlasting welfare, aided by the power of your Son and the prayers of His glorious Mother; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.

And may the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son, + and Holy Spirit, come upon these creatures and remain always. All: Amen.

They are sprinkled with holy water and incensed.


46 posted on 08/15/2010 6:41:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Vultus Christi

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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I preached this homily several years ago. Allow me to share it with you again.

A lovely icon for Marymas or Lady-Day-in-Harvest

Luke 1:39-56
1 Corinthians 15:20-26
Psalm 44:10-12.16
Apocalypse 11:19; 12:1-6.10

The Pascha of Summer

Today's festival, the Pascha of summer, signals the beginning of the final phase of the liturgical year. The Church enters into the splendours of her harvest time. With the feasts of late summer and autumn, the Church turns the shimmering pages of the book of the Apocalypse and draws us into their mystery. "Blessed is he who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, writes the Apostle, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written therein; for the time is near" (Ap 1:3).

The Transfiguration and the Cross

On August 6th, precisely forty days before the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, we celebrated the Transfiguration of the Lord, a mystery of heavenly glory, a foretaste of the apocalyptic brightness of the Kingdom. "I saw one like a son of man, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength (Ap 1:16). Having contemplated the glory of the Father shining on the face of the transfigured Christ (2 Cor 4:6), in another month we will celebrate His Glorious Cross, the Tree of Life with leaves "for the healing of the nations" (Ap 22:2).

All Saints

On November 1st, the immense mosaic of all the saints will be unveiled before our wondering eyes in a liturgy scintillating with images from the book of the Apocalypse and echoing with "the voice of a great multitude like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying, 'Alleluia'" (Ap 19:6).

Saint John Lateran

On November 9th, the liturgy of the feast of the Dedication of Saint John Lateran will point to "the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride, adorned for her husband" (Ap 21:2). As Mother Church approaches holy Advent, the end of her yearly cycle, the sacred liturgy seems to increase its momentum. Soon the last cry of the book of the Apocalypse will be ceaselessly in our hearts and on our lips, "'Surely. I am coming soon.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus" (Ap 22:20).

Those Who Belong to Christ

Today, on this solemnity of the Assumption of the All-Holy Mother of God and Blessed Virgin Mary, we enter into the phase described by Saint Paul in the second reading, "As in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at His coming those who belong to Christ" (1 Cor 15:22).

Into the Holy Place

Today, she who "belongs to Christ" by a unique, abiding, and unrepeatable privilege, the most holy Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, follows where he has gone, "through the greater and more perfect tent not made by human hands, that is, not of this creation . . . into the Holy Place" (Heb 9:11).

The Fragrance of Her Holiness

An antiphon of today's Office makes us sing: "Draw us in your footsteps, O Mary, hidden with Christ in God! Your paths are sown with delights; exquisite the fragrance of your perfumes." True devotion to the Mother of God consists in allowing oneself to be drawn after her. He who walks in the footprints of Mary inhales the mysterious fragrance of her holiness, a fragrance known to all the saints.

The Blessing of Herbs and Flowers

An old custom would have us bless fragrant herbs and flowers on the festival of the Assumption; according to legend the tomb of the Mother of God was found to be full of fragrant herbs and flowers after her body had been taken up into glory. Assumed body and soul into heaven, Mary leaves behind a lingering fragrance. It is subtle, not overpowering, but unmistakable. It is the fragrance of purity, of humility, and of adoration. Inhale it, and you will be drawn in her footsteps, even to the feet of the risen and ascended Christ, hidden in glory.

The Best Part

The ancient gospel for the Assumption, Luke 10:38-42 is that of another Mary -- Mary of Bethany -- seated in sweet repose at the feet of Jesus, listening to his word (Lk 10:39). "Mary has chosen the best part, which shall not be taken from her" (Lk 10:42). With eyes illumined by the Holy Spirit, the Church discerned in the familiar figure of Mary of Bethany an icon of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, assumed into heaven. There, in the presence of her Son, she enjoys the rest promised by God, the Sabbath that will have no end (cf. Heb 4:1-10).

The Chambers of the King

"Draw me after you, let us make haste" (Ct 1:4), was the longing and desire of her heart. Now, to us, she says, "The king has brought me into his chambers" (Ct 1:4). The Assumption of the Mother of God is a signal to the entire cosmos that the divine economy is indeed entering into its final and glorious phase. "Then, says Saint Paul, comes the end, when He (Christ) delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For He must reign until he has put all his enemies beneath his feet" (1 Cor 15:24-25).

A Woman Clothed with the Sun

In the lesson from the Apocalypse, "God's temple in heaven was opened" (Ap 11:19). The Church, like Saint Stephen her proto-martyr, "full of the Holy Spirit, gazes into heaven and sees the glory of God" (Ac 7:55). The whole array of theophanic signs seen once on Sinai's heights is deployed again: "flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder" (Ap 11:19). And then, in the heavens appears the great portent: "a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (Ap 12:1).

The Woman is the bride of the Lamb adorned for her spouse (Ap 21:2); the Woman is the Church presented "in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing . . . holy and without blemish" (Eph 5:27); the Woman is the Virgin Mother of Nazareth, Bethlehem, Cana, Calvary, and the Mount of Olives. "Mary is assumed into heaven; the angels rejoice, and praising, bless the Lord" (Antiphon of Vespers). Behold the Woman of the psalm, the queen whose beauty the king desires, standing at his right, arrayed in gold (Ps 45: 9b-15).

Magnificat

The liturgy is not content with exalting the great apocalyptic icon before our eyes; the liturgy would have us hear the woman's song for her heart overflows with a goodly theme (Ps 45:1). This, of course, is the reason for today's jubilant gospel. "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour" (Lk 1:46). This is the song of the Bride of the Lamb; this is the song of the Church in every age; this is the song of the Holy Mother of God in the midst of the angels.

Praise and Adoration

If the apocalyptic phase of the liturgical year teaches us anything, it is that, in the end, the praise of God, and adoration, will have the final word. The glorious Assumption of the Mother of God points to the immense and ceaseless liturgy of heaven, to the fullness of that doxological and eucharistic life that begins for us here and now. Those who go in search of the Lamb will find Him in the company of Mary His Mother. "We have seen his star in the east, and are come to adore him" (Mt 2:2).

Mary Is That Star

For us, Mary is that star. "Look to the star," says Saint Bernard, "and call upon Mary." Already, the "voice of the great multitude, like the sound of many waters" (Ap 19:6) begins to swell. It is the voice of those who look to the star, and follow her to the marriage supper of the Lamb. A new song rises in the heart of a Church that is alive and young: "The Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come'" (Ap 22:17). Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.


47 posted on 08/15/2010 6:42:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Vultus Christi

The Things That Are Above

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A Commentary on the Mass of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

There is no better way to enter into the mystery of any feast than by passing through the portals opened for us by the Church herself in the texts and signs she has chosen for it. Nothing of what the Church says and does in the liturgy is without significance. Every word, every gesture, is, as Psalm 118 puts it, "a door opening onto the light, giving intelligence to the simple" (Ps 118:130).

Introit

Gaudeamus! The Mass today opens on a note of irrepressible joy: Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a festival in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at whose Assumption the angels rejoice and all together praise the Son of God. This is no mere earthly joy; it is the joy of heaven spilling over, cascading down through the choirs of angels until, having reached us here below, it again takes flight heavenward, leaving us surprised by joy.

The joy of today's festival descends from heaven and returns to heaven. It leaves us caught up in a mystery bigger than ourselves, obliges us to set our sights "on the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God" (Col 3:1). It is as if the Virgin Mother herself, borrowing the words of the Apostle, speaks to us out of that glory in which she is "hidden with Christ in God" (Col 3:3), and says, "Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth" (Col 3:2). The Assumption of the Mother of God is a jubilant "Sursum corda!"

Collect

Almighty and ever-living God,
by whom Mary, the immaculate Virgin Mother of your Son,
was taken up, body and soul into the glory of heaven:
grant, we beseech you,
that, ever intent on the things that are above,
we may become worthy
of sharing in the glory that is hers.

The Collect of the day flows directly out of the Introit. What the Introit proclaims in song, the Collect turns into prayer. We address the Almighty and ever-living God, the God for whom, as the Angel said to Mary, "nothing is impossible" (Lk 1:37). We confess the Church's firm belief that Mary, at the term of her mortal life, was taken up, body and soul, into the glory of heaven. An astonishing thing! That Mary should be in heaven spiritually, is something easily conceded. That her very body should be mysteriously "hid with Christ in God" (Col 3:3) is quite another thing.

The dogma of the Assumption declares that the human body, being constitutive of who we are, is not expendable, not a mere wrapping to be discarded. Our bodies have a glorious destiny: the liturgy of the heavenly Jerusalem, described in the book of Revelation, will engage our bodies as well as our spiritual souls. The Mother of God is already engaged body and soul in that heavenly liturgy where the priests of Sion "are clothed with salvation and her saints rejoice with exceeding great joy" (Ps 131:9). This is why the Preface will call Mary, "the beginning and likeness of the Church in her fullness."

The petition of the Collect asks that, "ever intent on the things that are above, we may become worthy of sharing in the glory that is hers." The language of this petition is lifted directly from Colossians 3:1: "Seek the things that are above." Everything today moves upward. Everything is caught up in that movement of return to the Father inaugurated by resurrection and ascension of Christ our high priest, a grand entrance procession wonderfully continued in the assumption of his Mother.

Prayer Over the Offerings

May the offering of ourselves
rise up into your presence, Lord;
and may the all-blessed Virgin Mary,
taken up to heaven by you,
so help us by her intercession,
that our hearts, set ablaze with the fire of love,
may ever yearn for you.

The Prayer Over the Offerings intensifies the upward movement into the presence of God, but here, the upward movement becomes one of offering. Ascendat ad te are the opening words of the prayer. The images are those of Psalm 140, the song of the evening sacrifice: "Let my prayer arise before you like incense, the raising of my hands like an evening oblation" (Ps 140:2). This is the prayer of the Virgin Mary at the hour of her passing-over. Mary herself is the incense rising at the evening hour of her earthly life. "Who is she coming up from the wilderness, like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense?" (Ct 3:6). And so we pray, "May the offering of ourselves rise up into your presence, Lord, and may the all-blessed Virgin Mary, taken up into heaven by you, so help us by her intercession, that our hearts, ablaze with the fire of charity, may ever yearn for you."

The image of incense rising is coupled with that of hearts set ablaze with the fire of charity. In the ancient form of the Mass, the priest, after incensing the altar, returns the thurible to the deacon, saying, "May the Lord kindle within us the fire of his love, and the flame of undying charity." There is something of that prayer in today's Prayer Over the Offerings. It invites us to cast our lives, our very selves, like grains of incense onto the glowing embers of a charity fanned by the Spirit. Thus do we ascend heavenward with Mary's evening sacrifice as an offering made to God.

Preface

Truly it is right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.

Today the Virgin Mother of Christ
was taken up into the heavens,
to be the beginning and likeness
of your Church in her fullness
and an assurance of hope and consolation
for your people on their pilgrim way.
You would not let her see corruption in the grave
for she had given birth to your Son, the author of all life,
in the wonder of his Incarnation.

United therefore with all the choirs of angels,
we praise you, and in gladness proclaim:

The Preface of today's Mass sees in the Virgin Mother of Christ an icon of what the whole Church will be in her fullness. From her place in heaven, Mary shines as "an assurance of hope and consolation" for us as we make our pilgrim way through this valley of tears. The Preface borrows its imagery from Chapter Eight of Lumen Gentium: "The Mother of Jesus in the glory which she possesses in body and soul in heaven is the image and beginning of the Church, as it is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise she shines forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come (cf. 2 P 3:10), a sign of certain hope and comfort to the Pilgrim People of God" (LG, art. 68).

In Mary's shining forth from heaven, one detects also something of Saint Bernard's marvelous sermon on Mary, the radiant Star set by God in the heavens. Listen to the Abbot of Clairvaux: "Mary is that star I say, uplifted over the ocean of this world, shining by her merit and shedding light on us by her example. O you who struggle in this stormy sea, do not turn your eyes from this star, if you would escape shipwreck! When the winds of temptation arise and you run on the rocks of tribulation, look at that star, think of Mary, call on her by name. If you follow her, you will not go off course; if you cry to her, you will not give up hope; if you think of her, you will not go astray" (Sermon IV, Super Missus Est).

The last part of the Preface draws upon Psalm 15, the prophecy that, from the time of Saint Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost, spoke to Christians of the resurrection of Christ. What David prophesied about Christ concerns also those who belong to Him and, in the first place, His holy Mother. The Preface sings, "You would not let her see corruption in the grave for she had given birth to your Son, the author of all life, in the wonder of his Incarnation." The Psalm -- and today we hear it from the lips of the Virgin Mother -- says, "My heart rejoices, my soul is glad; even my body shall rest in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead, nor let your beloved know decay. You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence, at your right hand happiness forever" (Ps 15:9-11).

Communion Antiphon

The Communion Antiphon rightly repeats a line from the Gospel of the Mass. Mary's bold prophecy at the time of her Visitation to Elizabeth is fulfilled in the mystery of her Assumption: "All ages will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me" (Lk 1:48-49). The Eucharist is the beginning in time of our eternal blessedness. It is the "beatifying" sacrament because it makes us truly happiness with a foretaste of the bliss of the blessed in heaven. The Eucharist is first among the magnalia Dei, the great things done for us by the Almighty.

Prayer After Communion

Grant, we entreat you, Lord,
to us who have partaken of this healing sacrament,
that the merits and intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary
whom you have taken up to heaven
may bring us in our turn
to the glory of the resurrection.

The Prayer After Communion refers to the Eucharist as a health-bringing sacrament. Our Eucharistic healing will be complete only when we, like Mary, are taken up to heaven in the glory of the resurrection. One hears beneath the Prayer After Communion the words of Jesus in the discourse on the Bread of Life: 'He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day" (Jn 6:54). The last phrase of the prayer is ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur, "that we may be brought to the glory of the resurrection." Thus does the Prayer After Communion resume and complete the whole upward movement of today's Mass.

Ours it is to allow the prayer of the Church, her lex orandi, to penetrate us so completely that it is, not only what we believe objectively, her lex credendi, but also how we live today, tomorrow, and the next day, our lex vivendi. Evelyn Underhill, at the beginning of her marvelous little book on the Mass, expresses it in a piece of poetry:

We rise, but but by the symbol charioted,
Through loved things rising up to Love's own ways:
By these the soul unto the vast has wings
And sets the seal celestial on all mortal things.


48 posted on 08/15/2010 6:43:07 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vespers -- Evening Prayer

Vespers (Evening Prayer)


Introduction
O God, come to my aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.

Hymn
Hail, Queen of the heavens, hail Mistress of earth;
Hail, Virgin most pure of immaculate birth:
Clear star of the morning in beauty enshrined;
O Lady, make speed to the help of mankind.
Thee God in the depth of eternity chose,
And formed thee all fair as his glorious spouse,
And called thee his own Word’s true Mother to be
By whom he created the earth, sky, and sea.
Hail, Mother most pure, hail, Virgin renowned,
Hail, Queen with the stars as a diadem crowned;
Above all the angels in glory untold,
Set next to the King in a vesture of gold.
These praises and prayers we lay at thy feet,
O Virgin of virgins, O Mary most sweet:
Be thou our true guide through this pilgrimage here,
And stand by our side when our death draweth near.
Psalm 121 (122)
Jerusalem, the holy city
Mary has been assumed into heaven. The angels rejoice and give praise and blessing to the Lord.
They filled me with joy when they said,
  “We will go to the house of the Lord.”
Now our feet are standing
  within your gates, Jerusalem.
Jerusalem, built as a city,
  whole and self-contained:
there the tribes have gone up,
  the tribes of the Lord –
the witness of Israel,
  to praise the Lord’s name.
For there are the thrones of justice,
  the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
  “Safety for those who care for you,
peace inside your walls,
  security within your ramparts!”
For my brethren and those near to me I will say
  “Peace be upon you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
  I will call blessings upon you.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Mary has been assumed into heaven. The angels rejoice and give praise and blessing to the Lord.

Psalm 126 (127)
Without the Lord, we labour in vain
The Virgin Mary has been assumed to the halls of heaven, where the King of kings is seated on his throne of stars.
If the Lord does not build the house,
  its builders labour in vain.
If the Lord does not watch over a city,
  its workmen guard it in vain.
It is vain for you to rise before the dawn
  and go late to your rest,
  eating the bread of toil –
  to those he loves, the Lord gives sleep.
The Lord bestows sons as an heirloom,
  the fruit of the womb as a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior –
  so are the sons of one’s youth.
Happy the man who fills his quiver thus:
  when he disputes with his enemies at the gate,
  he will not be the loser.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
The Virgin Mary has been assumed to the halls of heaven, where the King of kings is seated on his throne of stars.

Canticle Ephesians 1
God the Saviour
Daughter, you are blessed by the Lord, because through you we have shared in the fruit of life.
Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
  who has blessed us, in Christ,
  with every spiritual blessing in heaven.
In love, he chose us before the creation of the world,
  to be holy and spotless in his sight.
He predestined us to be his adopted children through Jesus Christ,
  simply because it pleased him to do so.
This he did for the praise of the glory of his grace,
  of his free gift to us in his Beloved,
in whose blood we have gained redemption,
  and the forgiveness of our sins.
This he did according to the riches of his grace,
  which he gave us in abundance,
with all wisdom and discernment,
  revealing to us the mysteries of his will,
  because it pleased him to do so.
In this action he has planned, in the fulfilment of time,
  to bring all things together in Christ,
  from the heavens and from the earth.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Daughter, you are blessed by the Lord, because through you we have shared in the fruit of life.

Short reading 1 Corinthians 15:22-23 ©
Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order: Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him.

Short Responsory
The Virgin Mary has been raised above all the choirs of angels.
– The Virgin Mary has been raised above all the choirs of angels.
Blessed be the Lord, who raised us to this place.
– The Virgin Mary has been raised above all the choirs of angels.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
– The Virgin Mary has been raised above all the choirs of angels.

Canticle Magnificat
My soul rejoices in the Lord
Today the Virgin Mary ascended into heaven. Be filled with gladness, for she reigns with Christ for ever.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
  and my spirit rejoices in God, my salvation.
For he has shown me such favour –
  me, his lowly handmaiden.
Now all generations will call me blessed,
  because the mighty one has done great things for me.
His name is holy,
  his mercy lasts for generation after generation
  for those who revere him.
He has put forth his strength:
  he has scattered the proud and conceited,
  torn princes from their thrones;
  but lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
  the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel,
  he has remembered his mercy as he promised to our fathers,
  to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen.
Today the Virgin Mary ascended into heaven. Be filled with gladness, for she reigns with Christ for ever.

Prayers and Intercessions
God the almighty Father willed that all generations should celebrate Mary, the mother of his son. Let us praise him with great praise and humbly bring him our petitions:
– Remember Mary, full of grace, and hear our prayers.
God, worker of miracles, you lifted up the immaculate Virgin Mary, body and soul, to share the glory of Christ in heaven:
  guide the hearts of your children to that same glory.
– Remember Mary, full of grace, and hear our prayers.
You gave us Mary to be our mother. Through her intercession give healing to those worn out by sickness, consolation to those who mourn and pardon to those who have done wrong;
  and to all of us give salvation and peace.
– Remember Mary, full of grace, and hear our prayers.
You filled Mary with grace:
  grant everyone your grace in joyful abundance.
– Remember Mary, full of grace, and hear our prayers.
Lord, make love keep your Church united, heart and soul:
  make Christians persevere in prayer, united with Mary the mother of Jesus.
– Remember Mary, full of grace, and hear our prayers.
You crowned Mary as the queen of heaven:
  may the dead join your saints and rejoice for ever with them in your kingdom.
– Remember Mary, full of grace, and hear our prayers.

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
  hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
  thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
  and forgive us our trespasses
  as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
  but deliver us from evil.

Almighty and ever-living God, you welcomed the immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of your Son, into heaven, body and soul.
  Grant that we may constantly keep our eyes on heavenly things,
  and come to deserve a share in her glory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  God for ever and ever.
Amen.

May the Lord bless us and keep us from all harm; and may he lead us to eternal life.

AMEN


49 posted on 08/15/2010 6:46:00 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

God Lifts Up the Lowly
INTERNATIONAL | SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Sunday, 20th Week in Ordinary Time

August 15, 2010
Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Father Steven Reilly, LC

Luke 1: 39-56

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary´s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord." And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever." And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

Introductory Prayer:  Lord, I believe in your wondrous, shining glory, although this is hidden from my eyes. I hope in the peace and everlasting joy of the world to come, for this world is a valley of tears. I love you, even though I am not always able to discern the love in your intentions when you permit me to suffer. You are my God and my all.

Petition: Lord, help me to be humble!

1. All Generations Will Call Me Blessed  When Pius XII defined the dogma of the Assumption, it was a cause of great joy throughout the Catholic world. Believed for centuries, it entered the realm of official Catholic dogma. Our Lady is brought to heaven to share in the glory and joy of her Son and our Lord. We have always looked to Mary as our mother, and so the feast of the Assumption continues to fill us with happiness. She is with Christ, and she is our mother more than ever. We entrust ourselves to her in the same way that Pope John Paul the Great did, “Totus Tuus.”

2. Scattering the Proud  Proud people are generally very focused on whatever serves their best interests. So “scattering” is a very good verb to use to indicate what happens to the proud when God goes into action. Mary rejoices in that “scattering,” but who are the proud? Maybe we don’t have to look any further than ourselves. How much we fight with that root sin of pride! Mary is happy when pride gets scattered and the perspective we have widens. Instead of just seeing things from our own myopic point of view, this scattering opens up the “thoughts of our hearts” to see others and their needs. Nothing is more Mary-like than that.

3. Lifting Up the Lowly  This feast of the Assumption is proof that God literally lifts up the lowly. Like her Son and his Ascension, Mary is lifted up by God into the realm of eternal life. Sometimes we cling to our pride out of a sort of instinct of self-preservation—“If I don’t look out for number one, who will?” But Mary’s humility is a lesson for us. Our true self fulfillment lies in becoming everyday more filled with God; We can only do that if we are not filled with ourselves. Let’s ask Mary to help us to live more like her and experience the true joy—the lifting up—that there is in humility.

Conversation with Christ:  Lord, I thank you for giving us such a wonderful mother. She helps me to stay on the path of fulfilling your will. Help me to be able to sing a Magnificat in my own soul, “The Almighty has done great things for me!”

Resolution:  I will be generous and joyful when I am asked to help out.


50 posted on 08/15/2010 6:50:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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