Friday, August 15, 2014

How Does This Happen

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Minute Meditations

Posture of the Heart

It's never too late to fall into the arms of God. Prayer is not complicated, and it should never be scary. It's not about the words—it's about the posture of the heart. Stop and pray right now, and ask God to speak to you.
— from Zealous

Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary

On November 1, 1950, Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary to be a dogma of faith: "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." The pope proclaimed this dogma only after a broad consultation of bishops, theologians and laity. There were few dissenting voices. What the pope solemnly declared was already a common belief in the Catholic Church.

We find homilies on the Assumption going back to the sixth century. In following centuries the Eastern Churches held steadily to the doctrine, but some authors in the West were hesitant. However, by the 13th century there was universal agreement. The feast was celebrated under various names (Commemoration, Dormition, Passing, Assumption) from at least the fifth or sixth century. Today it is celebrated as a solemnity.

Scripture does not give an account of Mary's Assumption into heaven. Nevertheless, Revelation 12 speaks of a woman who is caught up in the battle between good and evil. Many see this woman as God's people. Since Mary best embodies the people of both Old and New Testament, her Assumption can be seen as an exemplification of the woman's victory.


Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 15:20 Paul speaks of Christ's resurrection as the firstfruits  of those who have fallen asleep.


Since Mary is closely associated with all the mysteries of Jesus' life, it is not surprising that the Holy Spirit has led the Church to belief in Mary's share in his glorification. So close was she to Jesus on earth, she must be with him body and soul in heaven.


In the light of the Assumption of Mary, it is easy to pray her Magnificat (Luke 1:46--55) with new meaning. In her glory she proclaims the greatness of the Lord and finds joy in God her savior. God has done marvels to her and she leads others to recognize God's holiness. She is the lowly handmaid who deeply reverenced her God and has been raised to the heights. From her position of strength she will help the lowly and the poor find justice on earth, and she will challenge the rich and powerful to distrust wealth and power as a source of happiness.


"In the bodily and spiritual glory which she possesses in heaven, the Mother of Jesus continues in this present world as the image and first flowering of the Church as she is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise, Mary shines forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come (cf. 2 Peter 3:10), as a sign of certain hope and comfort for the pilgrim People of God" (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 68).
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.


"Be still and know that I am God."
Lord, Your words lead us to the
calmness and greatness of your presence.


There are very few people
who realise what God would make of them
if they abandoned themselves into his hands,
and let themselves be formed by his grace. (Saint Ignatius)
I ask for the grace to trust myself totally to God's love.


At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to You.  I will leave aside my chores and preoccupations.  I will take rest and refreshment in your presence Lord.

The Word of God

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mass during the Day
Lectionary: 622

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 ps 45:10, 11, 12, 16

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 1 cor 15:20-27

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 lk 1:39-56

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.


Conversation requires talking and listening. As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen. I picture the gentleness in his eyes and the smile full of love as he gazes on me. I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell him of my worries and my cares. I will open up my heart to him as I tell him of my fears and my doubts. I will ask him to help me to place myself fully in his care, to abandon myself to him, knowing that he always wants what is best for 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.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Luke 1:39-56

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The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

From this day all generations will call me blessed. (Luke 1:48)


In Italy and in Italian-American communities throughout the United States, people will celebrate today's feast with colorful processions and fireworks displays. In Sao Paulo and other parts of Latin America, decorative canoes will float on rivers through small villages to spread the good cheer. In fact, people everywhere will mark Mary's assumption as the culmination of her faith-filled yes to the angel's invitation to become the Mother of God!

As we celebrate Mary's faithfulness today, let's also think about our own yeses to the Lord, the small ones as well as the big ones.

What are some of the big yeses? Accepting the call to place Jesus at the center of our lives is probably the biggest one. So many issues want to occupy that prime location: our careers, our possessions, or our free time, perhaps. But God asks us to place Jesus there and to build our lives around him instead. When we are tempted to remove Jesus from the center, we can remember how Mary continued to say yes, even when Simeon prophesied that a sword would pierce her heart (Luke 2:35). Her decision to hold fast yielded great blessings for her—and for all of us as well.

What about the small areas? Well, they are just as important. For saying yes to the Lord in our day-to-day dealings will help us to stay faithful when the big challenges come along. Mary said yes every morning as she cared for her son. She said yes every time she heard of his miracles and when she heard of the controversies swirling around him. Every day, she chose to hold on to her commitment, and so can we. We can find strength in these daily challenges as we recall the heavenly glory that we can share with Mary as a result of our faithfulness.

So decide to say yes to God today. Yes, I will forgive when someone hurts me. Yes, I will hold my tongue when I'm tempted to gossip. Yes, I will repent for even the small transgressions that I fall into today. Yes, yes, yes! Each one of these yeses, no matter how small, can help you move forward. Nothing is too insignificant in God's eyes!

"Lord, give me the grace to say yes to you in every moment."


Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6, 10; Psalm 45:10-12, 16; 1 Corinthians 15:20-27


My mom mentioned in conversation to me yesterday that this day Holy Mass is very poorly attended.  Most Masses during the week, even if they are solemnities, are not well attended.  In other countries it is a great day to celebrate.  Here, not so much.  It is a different world in other countries, and here, it seems as if a static blanket covers everyone.  In the definition of the word static, it says it is acting but no movement.  The Cursillo is a movement.  Yet if we remain static in the movement, there is no movement.  And so begins the story of the movement of Christ, and it begins with God, and then the Ark of the Covenant, and then comes Jesus.  The Holy of Holies in the Old Testament was an ark that carried basically 3 important things; the ten commandments, the mana from Heaven, and the Aaron's rod that budded. When the ark was completed, the glory cloud of the Lord (the Shekinah Glory) covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle (Ex 40:34-35; Nm 9:18, 22). The verb for "to cover" or "to overshadow" and the metaphor of a cloud are used in the Bible to represent the presence and glory of God.  Fast Forward to the conception of Jesus our Lord and King.  Mary was "overshadowed" in the same manner, filled with the Holy Spirit in a way unknown.  Yet Elizabeth knew, because she was filled with the Holy Spirit that called Mary Blessed forever.  The new ark, and the new covenant with God's people, me and you. 
The new Ark is Mary.  Many read the Revelation as if to try to pry into the future when in fact that future has already been.  Many are mesmorized and imagine this and that, even stating that Catholics are of the "whore of babylon".  This kind of thing happens when you get further and further from the truth, denomination splitting to another denomination to non-denomination.  And so we are presented with the new Covenant...Jesus.  The New Commandments made of the old, the new Mana from Heaven would be His own Body, and the new rod would be an Iron Rod as we read in Revelation.  Wooden rod, temporary, would make way for the new rod of Iron which is to last forever, the Kingship of the Lord of the Universe, Jesus Christ who defeated sin...and also defeated death.  Sin because it has a hold on our lives, and death because we are to face those waters.  How do we get free from sin?  Jesus.  How do we beat death?  Jesus.  What will secure our lives?  Jesus.  So many times we try to find solace and security in worldly things.  What happens when we do this?  We build on sand.  We might as well say, worship other things. 
You know, I was wondering this week, "if you could not talk, how would you show people that you love them?  How would you show them you appreciate them?"  Because I've just about had it with people with their words of love and thank you's.  Could we be rabbling without meaning?  In group reunion at Ultreya last night a brother said he likes to tell people "God Bless you" at the end of conversation.  I said "If I'm going to say it, I want to make sure I am actually blessing them".  Because so much we do can be habit, no real meaning.  That's the new Yes.  On the feast of the Assumption of Mary, the first and ultimate disciple of Jesus, I want to renew my Yes too.  Yes to what?  Yes to who is more the question.  Jesus who is all powerful, awesome and amazing
We Will Praise You with our Lives