This article was taken from the July-August 1996 issue of Catholic Heritage and provided courtesy of Eternal Word Television Network at www.ewtn.com/library/answers/aofmary.htm.
The Assumption is the oldest feast day of Our Lady, but we don't know how it first came to be celebrated.
Its origin is lost in those days when Jerusalem was restored as a sacred city, at the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (c. 285-337). By then it had been a pagan city for two centuries, ever since Emperor Hadrian (76-138) had leveled it around the year 135 and rebuilt it as <Aelia Capitolina> in honor of Jupiter.
For 200 years, every memory of Jesus was obliterated from the city, and the sites made holy by His life, death and Resurrection became pagan temples.READ MORE
The sacrament that you receive is effected by the words of Christ.
We see that grace can accomplish more than nature, yet so far we have been considering instances of what grace can do through a prophet's blessing. If the blessing of a human being had power even to change nature, what do we say of God's action in the consecration itself, in which the very words of the Lord and Savior are effective? If the words of Elijah had power even to bring down fire from heaven, will not the words of Christ have power to change the natures of the elements? You have read that in the creation of the whole world he spoke and they came to be; he commanded and they were created. If Christ could by speaking create out of nothing what did not yet exist, can we say that his words are unable to change existing things into something they previously were not? It is no lesser feat to create new natures for things than to change their existing natures.READ MORE
Fr. Rey was ordained on July 16, 1993. His 25th anniversary celebration took place in the Parish Center on July 21 where he shared the following story of his vocation journey.
"Why did you become a priest, Fr. Rey?" I always encounter this question. For me, priesthood is a gift and a mystery. It is a mystery because it is only God who knows the answer to why I became a priest in spite of my weaknesses. It is a gift given, and once it is a gift it is always embedded with mystery. The receiver doesn't know the inner motive of the giver.READ MORE
This week is Natural Family Planning Awareness Week. It corresponds with the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae (July 25) which articulates Catholic beliefs about human sexuality, conjugal love and responsible parenthood. In 1998 Pope John Paul II wrote a letter to Dr. Anna Cappella, director of the Center for Research and Study on the Natural Regulation of Fertility at Rome's Catholic University of the Sacred Heart. The occasion was a convention commemorating Humanae Vitae. Excerpts are reprinted below.
I hope that everyone will benefit from a closer study of the Church's teaching on the truth of the act of love in which spouses become sharers in God's creative action.READ MORE
(The following comes from a transcript of a video in which Brant Pitre explains the Mass readings from last week.)
Let's look for a few moments at an issue that is really, frankly, rather a big issue for a lot of Catholics, and that is the whole reference to the brothers of Jesus. I don't know about you, but I remember being a young Catholic and hearing this particular passage, Mark’s gospel in particular, read at Sunday Mass and wondering, “well wait, I thought Mary was perpetually virgin, who are these so-called brothers of Jesus?” What is the gospel referring to here? And it doesn't just mention his brothers, it even mentions his sisters as well. So who are all these brothers and sisters of Jesus, are they the children of Mary?READ MORE
This Wednesday, July 11, is the feast of St. Benedict, who is considered the founder of Western monasticism. The only authentic record of his life comes from the second book of Pope St. Gregory I's "Dialogues." It consists mostly of accounts of the various miracles attributed to St. Benedict during his life.
Benedict was born in Nursia, Italy (now known as Norcia) around the year 480. He was the son of a Roman noble and had a twin sister, St. Scholastica. He went to school in Rome, but once he reached the higher level of studies, he left school, tired of the immorality and corruption that was endemic of the city at the time.READ MORE
“America has always wanted to be a land of the free. Today, the challenge facing America is to find freedom’s fulfillment in the truth: the truth that is intrinsic to human life created in God’s image and likeness, the truth that is written on the human heart, the truth that can be known by reason and can therefore form the basis of a profound and universal dialogue among people about the direction they must give to their lives and their activities.”
“...President Abraham Lincoln asked whether a nation ‘conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal’ could ‘long endure.’ President Lincoln’s question is no less a question for the present generation of Americans. Democracy cannot be sustained without a shared commitment to certain moral truths about the human person and human community. The basic question before a democratic society is: ‘how ought we to live together?’ In seeking an answer to this question, can society exclude moral truth and moral reasoning?
Can the Biblical wisdom which played such a formative part in the very founding of your country be excluded from that debate?”