Blessed Virgin Mary

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

In 1950 when Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven, body and soul, he was basing this on a long held belief in the Church. Recently I was able to go to an art museum that had a depiction by Fra Angelico of the dormitory or the Assumption of Mary. He painted this painting in 1432. Clearly this was already a widely held belief in the Church.

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Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary…

Given the state of thing in the United States in the Church, this letter by Benedict XVI to the church in Ireland seemed appropriate. On this vigil of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, let us beg her to crush the devil.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

Amen.

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Jesus heals the Leper

Homily for the Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time. The Gospel is Mark 1:40-45.

We live in an age of programs. I was talking with a young man the other day who was telling me about a new workout program that is extremely intense but only lasts 25 minutes. Everyday we hear of a new diet program. Even in the Church we hear of program after program. Yet, what if we were told, “here is a program from God Himself”. It contains seven steps, and each of these is extremely helpful for living a close relationship with Jesus Christ, and through Him, living in a close and deep relationship with the Holy Spirit and the Father.

Wouldn’t that be something? (more…)

In Praise of the Virgin Mary

Today’s guest writer is St Bernard of Clairvoux, whose writing appears in the Office of Readings for December 19:

The image is The Annunciation (1644), by Philippe de Champaigne (1602-1674)

From a homily In Praise of the Virgin Mother by Saint Bernard, abbot

(Hom. 4:8-9; Opera omnia, Edit Cisterc 4. [1966], 53-54)

The whole world awaits Mary’s reply

You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son; you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit. The angel awaits an answer; it is time for him to return to God who sent him. We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion; the sentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us. (more…)