Tagged: thankful

Learn something: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Learn something

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?

The beginning

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.

Our beliefs

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.”

Doctrine

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.

God bless.

Check out other learn something posts:

Missing Mass

Confirmation

Mary, Queen of Heaven

Leave it a little better

What if we always left the place a little nicer than we found it?

Every time I use a bathroom, I pick up something that’s on the floor. I wipe off the wet counter. I leave it just a little nicer for the next person.
I don’t spend an hour cleaning. I spend an extra two seconds grabbing the paper towel that fell on the floor.
I think if someone walks into a room, and it’s clean, he’ll try to keep it that way.
If it’s already messy, he’ll try to keep it that way.
It’s really an unconscious thing.
So at my bathroom at work, I pick up the paper towels.
And I’m on a mission to clean the entire thing by just spending a few extra seconds in there every time I use it.
I wipe off the soap residue from the sink. I dusted the heating vent a few weeks ago over several days.
Usually, I just use my wet paper towel and wipe something.
If I did this everywhere I go, the world would be much better.
Nicer, neater, cleaner.
And maybe it will sway others to do the same.
I don’t go out of my way to change the world. But if a piece of trash is on my way, I’ll grab it and throw it away.
It’s not hard to do something nice for someone or the world.
I make it a goal to do it everyday. Or try to do it at least. Sometimes, our best intentions don’t work.
On Friday, I tried to cover the last few dollars on an elderly woman’s grocery bill. She couldn’t cover it.
She refused, but I tried.
She said thank you.
I hope that doesn’t come off in the wrong way.
It’s hard to not cross the line of being over-generous or domineering in those situations.
I wanted to help, I wasn’t trying to flaunt my own personal financial success. I just happened to have some cash in my wallet right then. I normally don’t have cash and wouldn’t usually be able to help in times like that.
What about when I leave my own bathroom?
Not really the same thing, and as I write this post, I’m vowing to take better care of my own things.
Maybe I can put the hand towel back the way it’s supposed to be. Maybe I can make sure my tissues are all in the garbage can. Maybe I can wipe off the toothpaste from the sink.
And what about the rest of my apartment? What about my car?
I shouldn’t just be treating the rest of the world with respect. I should be treating my own things that way, too.
So, when I get out of my car tonight after work, I’m going to grab something and put it away. The gloves that are still in my back seat that need to go to Goodwill.
(Speaking of Goodwill, I took a whole storage tub full of stuff there yesterday. It was so nice to get rid of things.)
When I take off my shoes and jacket, I’m going to make sure my clothes hooks are organized.
These things will only take a few extra seconds, yet I’ll have a cleaner place.
And I’m going to keep going with my mission to clean the bathroom at work, and maybe start that same mission with everywhere I go.
The village offices I see weekly.
It’s funny how many bathrooms I’m thinking of right now, haha.
What small thing can you do to make it better? Nicer? Cleaner?
And it doesn’t always have to be cleaning or putting away. It could be bringing flowers to somewhere that needs flowers. Opening a window to somewhere that needs air.
Opening the blinds, finding the remote control or stacking the dishes.
As I write that list, I realize it’s mostly cleaning.
But they aren’t hard things. They aren’t things that take a long time.
Try it. Tell me how it goes.
God Bless.

“So also endures the office”

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

862     “Just as the office which the Lord confided to Peter alone, as first of the apostles, destined to be transmitted to his successors, is a permanent one, so also endures the office, which the apostles received, of shepherding the Church, a charge destined to be exercised without interruption by the sacred order of bishops.” Hence the Church teaches that “the bishops have by divine institution taken the place of the apostles as pastors of the Church, in such wise that whoever listens to them is listening to Christ and whoever despises them despises Christ and him who sent Christ.”

 

Do you ever hear those people… those of other faiths say that the Apostolic age ended with the Apostles?

Well, 862 is just a smidge of Church teaching about it.

Also endures the office, which the apostles received, of shepherding the Church, a charge destined to be exercised WITHOUT INTERRUPTION by the sacred order of bishops.

And so, the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit will find the next Bishop to lead our Church. We’ll continue that tradition without interruption. How beautifully put.

 

Lent.

It’s come to that point, at work, that I realize some people think I take my faith lightly by the way I talk about it. I wish that wasn’t the case.

Often to make it accessible, I joke about it, lightly. I shouldn’t. My faith is serious, and strong, though not as strong as I’d like it to be.

My coworkers seem to think Lent is this… joke.

I have a CRS Rice Bowl at my desk. There’s some money in it. They’ve seen me put money into it. So, why the jokes? Why do they laugh when I ask the fellow Catholics what  they’ve given up for Lent? Nothing, both of them, nothing.

Interesting.

I pray often that God uses me as an example for others, for my boyfriend, for my family, for my friends. I need to add coworkers to that list as well.

God Bless.

Lenten plans

Like every other Catholic, I’ve been thinking about what  I would abstain from during Lent this year.

Chocolate, coffee, meat… all serious options for me this year. Well, not so much chocolate. I don’t eat it that much. But coffee and meat, those make up the bulk of my diet. (well, kind of)
I want to do something challenging, but I also don’t want to be crabby at  eating only vegetables for the entire time. I gave up meat in 2011. It wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but I wasn’t eating Paleo back then either. Beans and rice and grains were OK, so I was OK. Now I couldn’t go back to a grain-based diet, so cutting meat is not an option for me. At least not right now.
Giving up coffee would be a good challenge for me, except I just gave it up for January… so, I talked myself out of that. And, anyway, I didn’t even make espresso this morning because I didn’t have make time for it. I had a really early meeting and I just didn’t want to get up earlier to make coffee.
(So, I bought a sugar-full cup of cappuccino at a gas station. Bad decision, though it was tasty.)
Anyway, I haven’t really made an effort of alms giving in my past Lenten observation, so I wanted to do something with that this year. I know there have been words spoken about how CRS does it’s charitable work, but I’m going with them anyway, in solidarity with the church.
They give out those rice bowls at Ash Wednesday service, and I’m actually going to use my this year.
I decided to give up… complaining. That’s right, no more, “Oh, it’s so cold, this sucks,” or “I hate spinach.”
When I make a complaint, I’m going to put a nickel in. When my roll of nickels is gone, I’m going to start with dimes. Hopefully, by the end of Lent, I’ll still have some dimes left, and I’ll be doing something instead of just complaining.
For example, here’s what will happen:
Walking to my car… oh, no, I have to scrap the frost off because it was so cold last night.
Nickel in the rice bowl. And I pray for those who don’t have cars and gratitude that I do have a car.
Hopefully, it works out like that.
I’ll be letting my coworkers and my boyfriend know the situation, so if they catch me complaining I’ll be accountable.
I’ll be adding a Rosary (I did this a few Lents ago), in the mornings with my cup of coffee. I’ll make the coffee and pray. And if I have meetings, I’ll pray in the evenings. If I’m going to Mass, I’ll pray there.

Birthday review

I did make it to Mass for my birthday Friday. I went to a small chapel with some discalced Carmelite friar celebrating the Mass. There was also a whole family of secular Carmelites in front of me with scapulars and all. Beautiful.
Then my boyfriend took me out to dinner. Then we went ice skating for the first time ever!!!
That’s right, I, at 26 years old (and counting) had never been ice skating before. Of course, my boyfriend was pretty skilled at it. He’d done when he was still in school.
I was so nervous, and my boyfriend was a little scared to let me hang on him when I first went on the ice. I thought I would fall. I kept thinking I would fall, in fact.
But I never did. And soon enough it was like I do it all the time.
It really is just like rollerblading, which I used to do a lot. The blades weren’t that sharp (we rented some at the facility), but they worked.
Then we went to the apartment and played Phase 10 (love that game) and drank wine.
It was a wonderful, perfect, happy birthday.
I’m starting to realize that I really am in control about how I feel about things. I could have had a horrible birthday just by the way I thought about it.
Instead, I set myself up to have a great day, and it worked out. Regardless of what I did with my boyfriend, I would have had a great day. Just spending time with him would have  been great.
God bless.
Also, prayers for Pope Benedict XVI and the College of Cardinals as they go about finding a new pope for us. Pray for the Holy Father’s health.

Seven Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 3)

— 1 —

Today is my 26th Birthday! If you have been following along, I already celebrated yesterday a little with funny cat videos (isn’t that what the Internet is for?) and making cookie chocolate cookie mousse cake thing last night.

I had a piece two pieces for breakfast. Don’t judge me haha. It was AMAZING. Everything I thought it would be and more. Perfect cookie layer on the bottom, smooth thick creamy chocolate in the center and fluffy coffee frosting on the top. Wow. I was pretty impressed with myself. Which is a great way to spend a birthday morning while watching My Boys on Netflix.

I also said the Guardian Angel prayer when I was brushing my teeth (there’s a lot of sugar in that cookie thing). That was nice. I mean, I said it in my head, not out loud. What a sweet way to concentrate on God, instead of just the mundane task, though.

— 2 —

We’re actually getting rid of our Netflix account later this month, so I’m trying to watch the rest of that series, though I know I watched most of it when it aired originally. The main character is a reporter, so I relate highly to the show. I love her, too.

— 3 —

My boyfriend and I are meeting up tonight for a secret, surprise event to celebrate my birthday. He told me to bring long, thin socks. Interesting.

— 4 —

Also, because it’s my birthday, I gave up brewed coffee today instead of meat just in case we’re going out for steak or something. Which wouldn’t explain the socks, but I’ll go with that. Steak. Yes, please.

— 5 —

I tried to go to Mass this morning. I was even early enough for Rosary! But… the doors were locked. I just wanted to go to Mass on my Birthday. C’mon! So I trolled around the Archdiocese website and found a few tonight close to wherever the secret, surprise event is. So I’ll be going to a new Parish for Mass, that’ll be twice this month!

— 6 —

The snow is beautiful here. It may take more time to get everywhere through it, but I guess most people are more patient. I try to be more patient at least. Take your time and relax already. It’s beautiful, enjoy it.

— 7 —

Lastly, I have a hearing today at the courthouse for work. Law & Order baby. You’re on. It always makes me want to check out LSAT prep books from the library… even though I know I can’t afford to even take the test, let alone go to law school right now. Some day.

God bless. 🙂

 For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!