The Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions, August 2010The 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.
Thoughts on Adoration"Place your mind before the mirror of eternity! Place your soul in the brilliance of glory! Place your heart in the figure of the divine substance! And transform your entire being into the image of the Godhead Itself through contemplation. So that you too may feel what His friends feel as they taste the hidden sweetness that God Himself has reserved from the beginningfor those who love Him." -St Clare, August 11
"You come to me and unite Yourself intimately to me under the form of nourishment. Your Blood now runs in mine, Your Soul, Incarnate God, compenetrates mine, giving courage and support. What miracles! Who would have ever imagined such!" - St. Maximilian Kolbe, August 14
"It was love that motivated His self-emptying, that led Him to become a little lower than angels, to be subject to parents, to bow His head beneath the Baptist's hands, to endure the weakness of the flesh, and to submit to death even upon the cross," - St. Bernard, August 20
"The unique glory of the sanctuary of Lourdes resides in this fact, that people are attracted there from everywhere by Mary for the adoration of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, so that this sanctuary—at once the center of Marian devotion and the throne of the Eucharistic Mystery—surpasses in glory, it seems, all others in the Catholic world," - St. Pius X, August 21
"Christ held Himself in His hands when He gave His Body to His disciples saying: 'This is My Body.' No one partakes of this Flesh before he has adored it." -St. Augustine, August 28
ASSUMPTION DEFINITION AND SUMMARYThe Feast of the Assumption is also known as the Feast of the Dormition (falling asleep) of Mary. The feast commemorates Mary's assumption into heaven.
"We pronounce, declare and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory." With these words, Pope Pius XII officially and infallibly declared the Assumption of Mary, the Mother of God (theotokos), to be dogma in 1950. In this pronouncement, Pope Pius was simply stating dogmatically what the Church, East and West, had believed devotionally for many years.
Although probably not unknown in the early Church, the earliest references to the Assumption of Mary appear in the 4th (or possibly late 3rd) century in Liber Requiei Mariae (The Book of Mary's Repose), and in the writings of a Bishop Meliton. Some of the Church Fathers believed that the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVM) was assumed while still alive, others that she was assumed after she had died. Both views are permitted under the infallible definition of Pius XII. St. John of Damascus relates a tradition where, during the Council of Chalcedon (AD 451), the emperor Marcian and his wife wished to find the body of Mary. He tells how all the apostles had seen her death, but her tomb was empty upon inspection.
Festivals commemorating the death of the Blessed Virgin Mary were common from the 5th century onwards, although the exact dates were never universally fixed. In AD 556 the patriarch of Alexandria, Theodosius, attests to two popular Marian feasts in Egypt: Mary's death (January 16) and Assumption (August 9).
Theodosius understood Mary to have died before being assumed, and according to the feast dates in Egypt at the time, she was assumed 206 days after her death. In AD 600, the emperor Mauricius decreed that the Assumption was to be celebrated on August 15. Soon, the Church in Ireland adopted this date, and it was later introduced in Rome. As the cult of Mary grew in the West, there was more pressure for the Catholic Church to define the exact nature of the Assumption. Pope Pius did this in 1950, in terms that are still rather general, and can be accepted by Western Catholics, Eastern Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox. (Source: Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church).
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. How Can the Assumption of Mary be True if it Was Not Made Dogma Until 1950?
First, recall that neither the Catholic Church nor the Orthodox Churches believe in the concept of sola scriptura, the 16th century Protestant concept that doctrines must be proved from Scripture alone. Second, just because a belief is made dogma in 1950 doesn't mean that the belief has not been true beforehand, or that is was invented in 1950. Truth unfolds, or rather, the implications and hows and whys of certain truths unfold. It took a hundred years after Jesus' birth for a gospel clearly outlining Jesus' divinity to appear, even though the earliest gospels hint at Jesus having the authority and attributes of God. Thus later enunciations of certain truths will be more complex than earlier explanations.
The tradition which comes from the apostles develops in the Church with the help of the Holy Spirit. For there is a growth in the understanding of the realities and the words which have been handed down. Thus, just because the Assumption was not made dogma until 1950 does not lessen the importance of the feast, or render the dogma unbelievable. The reason Pope Pius XII declared the Immaculate Conception to be dogma was because so many people believed in it and cherished it, not to invent something new.
These pages written by David Bennett and Jonathan Bennett. Last updated 06-16-2007. www.churchyear.net/assumption