In case you aren’t aware, tomorrow, Aug. 15, 2013, is the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Yes, that’s a Holy Day of Obligation.
What’s it all about, anyway?
In 1950, Pope Pius XII wrote Munificentissimus Deus, defining the Dogma of the Assumption.
It’s really the go-to guide for this feast.
Pope Pius XII said, “Since ancient times, there have been both in the East and in the West solemn liturgical offices commemorating this privilege.”
This isn’t something new that Pope Pius XII thought would be a great idea. Cool! Let’s make a new feast day for Mary and make it a Holy Day of Obligation!
No, this has been a tradition in the Church throughout the world since “ancient times.” When the Church talks about “ancient times,” you know it’s pretty serious.
Pope Pius XII continued, “The fact that holy fast had been ordered from ancient times for the day prior to the feast is made very evident by what our predecessor St. Nicholas I testifies in treating of the principal fasts which ‘the Holy Roman Church has observed for a long time, and still observes.'”
There are even traditions that most (read: me) Catholics don’t follow… a fast before the feast day? What a great idea! I wish we hadn’t given that up. I may try that today (Wednesday). Except… usually, I fast breakfast and lunch and then eat dinner. I should work on that and what a great time to start.
There’s more from Pope Pius XII:
“The Holy Fathers and the great Doctors, in the homilies and sermons they gave the people on this feast day, did not draw their teaching from the feast itself as from a primary source, but rather they spoke of this doctrine as something already known and accepted by Christ’s faithful.”
ALREADY KNOWN by Christ’s faithful. It was already in our (Catholics) corporate knowledge. It was just something that made sense to us. Of course. Mary’s body was not corrupted. She was just lifted up into Heaven. This makes perfect sense.
Pope Pius XII explains exactly what we know in our hearts.
“She, by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result she was not the 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.”
Now, if you haven’t got to that part about the bodily assumption of all humans… go check out your copy of the Catechism. That’s right. We aren’t going to be angels. We’re going to be humans, perfected in Heaven. We’ll be near Christ in our human bodies, in the same way Mary is now.
Just like not bearing sin, she’s the the forerunner. She does it before us (and with us, of course). You can’t get any closer to Christ than Mary is. She’s there, walking in his footsteps. She walks so close behind her rabbi, she’s covered in the dust from his sandals.
Let me break down this quote.
ENTIRELY UNIQUE – she’s the only one that not only had an Immulate Conception, was chosen (AND ACCEPTED) and was taken up to Heaven. The only one. She’s special.
NOT THE SUBJECT OF THE LAW – that’s right, those biological laws. she wasn’t subject to them. She didn’t have to die. God spared her from that, because she, too, sacrificed her only son.
END OF TIME FOR REDEMPTION – the rest of us have to wait until Christ returns. and oh, what a wait. Mary didn’t have to wait. She didn’t have to be away from Jesus.
Pope Pius XII said, “The august tabernacle of the Divine Word had never been reduced to dust and ashes.”
I had to look up august in this sense. It means marked by majestic dignity. Is there any better way to describe Mary? Majestic dignity.
St. Robert Bellarmine said, “And who, I ask, could believe that the ark of holiness, the dwelling place of the Word of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit, could be reduced to ruin? My soul is filled with horror at the though that this virginal flesh which had begotten God, had brought him into the world, had nourished and carried him, could have been turned into ashes or given over to be food for worms.”
St. Peter Canisius, the Vatican’s secret agent, said, “This teaching (of the Assumption) has already been accepted for some centuries, it has been held as certain in the minds of the pious people, and it has been taught to the entire Church in such a way that those who deny that Mary’s body has been assumed into heaven are not to be listened to patiently but are everywhere to be denounced as over-contentious or rash men, and as imbued with a spirit that is heretical rather than Catholic.”
WOW. St. Peter Canisius thinks this doctrine of Mary’s Assumption is pretty serious stuff.
And we should, too.
Pope Pius XII tells us, “Since our Redeemer is the Son of Mary, he could not do otherwise, as the perfect observer of God’s law, than to honor, not only his eternal Father, but also his most beloved Mother. And, since it was within his power to grant her this great honor, to preserve her from the corruption of the tomb, WE MUST BELIEVE (emphasis mine) that he really acted in this way.”
Now, Mary sits “in splendor at the right hand of her Son,” Pope Pius XII said.
Wait, the right side? So Jesus is in between Mary and God. Interesting.
It’s like… A HOLY FAMILY. Wow.
I’ll let you know how my fast goes… if it goes. Maybe I’ll give up coffee.
Yes. I’ll start with abstaining from coffee. And add on.
Check out other learn something posts:
I am that person…
in the office that is getting super excited about Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up!
I mean, come on! Why not be happy about it? It’s a glorious time of year.
We celebrate the day Christ came to us through Mary. And praise God for that.
OSV (Our Sunday Visitor) has a great list of ways to “stay joyous” during Advent and Christmas. I love it.
My first big idea
is to sneak into work EXTRA early on St. Nicholas Day and put a sock with candy coins in on everyone’s desk.
How cute and fun right! And it’s not going to create a mess or take a ton of work. But it will be fun, and not that costly. There are only 16 of us in the office. So 8 pairs of socks (I have to give myself one, so it looks like St. Nick came to all of us haha) and so candy coins.
Toooooo excited about this.
My second big idea
is already underway, too.
I have a list of gifts for everyone in the office… mostly really simple things, and I’ve found most of them at Goodwill already. Nothing that looks trashy or cheaply made, though.
So I’m going to come in early (or late, depending) and decorate the office before we leave for Christmas with my miniature tree and everyone’s gift wrapped.
I am even going to put up lights for this. So that will take some work… and a little bit of extra money.
I can’t believe how excited and happy I am about it, though. It’s just making me absolutely giddy like a little kid planning a surprise.
How are your holiday plans coming?
My family isn’t doing a traditional Thanksgiving meal together this year, our work schedules are just not conducive to that.
We’ll be having appetizers at my mom’s Thursday night, probably. That’s still not for sure.
Thankfully, I am not getting stressed by my lack of concrete plans this year. It’s just not worth the hassle.
I need to remember what it’s really about and be grateful I get to see my family.
I will probably be quitting this blog entirely soon.
Like I’ve said in earlier posts, it’s just not the kind of writing I need to be focusing on right now.
I always dread planning the posts I’m going to write each week… but once I get writing it’s OK.
And, of course, I appreciate the comments and likes and follows I’ve gotten. It’s so nice to know there are other people who relate and understand.
I’m sure I’ll be back on the Internet at some point in the future, but this “experiment” just isn’t at the right point in my life.
This girl has stories to write, novels to dream about and photos to take.
Oh, and prayers to pray!
But, for now, I’ll be around. Probably until December starts.
I consider Michaelmas one of “my” feast days.
War broke out in heaven;
Michael and his angels battled against the dragon.
The dragon and its angels fought back,
but they did not prevail
and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.
The huge dragon, the ancient serpent,
who is called the Devil and Satan,
who deceived the whole world,
was thrown down to earth,
and its angels were thrown down with it.
It’s one of “mine” because of my military history. I don’t want to get into it too much.
Everyone, right now, every American… we’re all attached to someone, some how who’s served.
Yet, it’s less than what it was during World War II. We don’t “know there’s a war on.”
And St. Michael, he’s the patron saint of the armed services. See, it’s all rolling into place now.
Yes, I know it’s not called Michaelmas anymore, either: Feast of Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel and Saint Raphael, archangels.
Though your servant is careful of them,
very diligent in keeping them,
Yet who can detect failings?
Cleanse me from my unknown faults!
My priest is officially becoming St. Patrick’s pastor tomorrow. How exciting for him and for us!
He’s been a delight for me since I started attending here in July, and I welcome the new authority he will hold over the parish.
In the Bible:
It’s definitely more… factual and academic than the InterVarsity study I just finished. It doesn’t have as much feeling and personal reaction behind it.
But there’s something that can be gained from it just the same.
“In the beginning God (Elohim) created heaven and earth. Now the earth was a formless void, there was darkness over the deep, with a divine wind sweeping over the waters. God (Elohim) said, ‘Let there be light, and there was light.’
God, the Father = first person of the Holy Trinity; the divine wind – God the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity; and “God said” = the Word of God, the third person of the Holy Trinity.”
The way the passages are broken down, the way it’s so easy to see the way the New Covenant is already apparent in the Old. It’s so easy and beautiful to see God’s plan already in action.
I highly suggest this study, regardless of one’s academic path. It’s enlightening to me even with my minor in Religious Studies.
Feast of Our Lady of Ranson
This is another reason I LOVE the Catholic Church. Feast Days galore!
And each feast day is an example for us.
I didn’t know about Our Lady of Ranson… but it just happens that my priest is from Barcelona! So he told us the story. How absolutely inspiring.
If the priests in the new order couldn’t buy a slave’s freedom from an owner, they vowed to offer themselves as a slave in order to free the imprisoned.
Could you do that? Give up your freedom, your life, for another? These priests did (and still do!), and Jesus died on the cross for us.
Like I noted yesterday, if we can’t give our lives, can we give an hour a week in service to others? To help those causes in desperate need?
If we can’t offer service, can we offer prayer? Can we fast?
I fasted a few weeks ago from food for 24 hours. Skipping breakfast is the hard part for me.. then around 11 or 11:30, when I usually get hungry for lunch, I don’t get hungry. It’s like my body knows to not get hungry.
Then when I do feel “pangs,” I cross myself and offer my hunger up to God.
40 Days for Life
…starts on Wednesday.
I am so pro-life, sometimes it’s scary. Not scary, intense.
I’ll write about those experiences as well. I hope to (finally) join my county pro-life group and will be participating in vigils if they’re held. Or perhaps hold some of my own, if I get the courage and make it a priority.
There are so many groups across the U.S. and the world that support pro-life causes and missions. I suggest you find one and try to do something over the 40 days to mark that observance.
I will probably find something to “fast” from during the 40 days. Like a Lenten observance, perhaps.
It’s also good to add an additional prayer, even if it’s just “please help those mothers who feel they have no choice.”
I had a great interaction in Mass.
Well, first, let me start with St. Matthew. I didn’t even know it was the feast today until my priest announced it!
I’m a slacker when it comes to liturgical celebrations (besides the big ones, of course).
Once I realize it’s a feast day or celebration, I check Catholic Cuisine because I’ll find things like this delicious looking recipe for Irish Stew.
Anyway, I did not make pancakes for St. Matthew today.
But I did think about how Matthew answered Christ’s call.
From the USCCB’s website:
As Jesus passed by,
he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And he got up and followed him.
HE GOT UP AND FOLLOWED HIM.
How simple, Matthew. How easy. How straight forward.
My priest said it’s probably a simplification of the events in Matthew’s life, but think of how the Gospel writer chose to explain it.
It must have been a pretty significant event.
How great that Jesus saw him and told him to follow. Sometimes I wish that my call was that easy for me to hear/see.
I wonder, though, would I just pick my self up and follow?
Anyway, so the interaction. I should call it a conversation, I guess.
A woman in the pew in front of me asked for my name during the Sign of Peace. I told her. She repeated it, incorrectly, but I didn’t correct her. She asked if I was in school. No, I’m a reporter. (But thanks for thinking I look really young.) Oh, she said.
Then, after Mass she asked how long I had been in the area. A few months. Well, that’s just wonderful, she said.
It completely made my day. Completely. Well, Jesus did with his presence in the Eucharist. But this woman, I never asked her name, she made my day as well.
I hope that my presence, as a “young person” in a daily Mass celebration, shows her that the Church is in no way passing our of relevance. It is in no way falling apart because of the youth.
We love Mass and the Church, too!