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
In high school, I was active in my Catholic faith, I went to Mass every Sunday and was involved in the youth group. And I had heard many times and knew that the Church taught the Eucharist is not ordinary bread but the bread and wine is actually transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ. I knew what the Church taught, but I didn’t really understand how, and I wanted to have a deeper understanding. What about you, raise your hand if you too have known what the Church teaches about the Eucharist, but at some time in your life have wondered how, or had a hard time accepting or believing it?READ MORE
Today we continue with week 2 of 5 on the great Eucharistic chapter, John 6. You may know that there are 2 main interpretations of these such important verses of John 6. One, like many Protestants do, can interpret them as metaphoric- so that the ‘bread of life’ is symbolic for belief or faith in Jesus. In this view, Jesus means the term ‘bread of life’ to be a metaphor like how Jesus says that He is the Gate, or He is the vine, you are the branches. Or the second way to interpret these verses in John 6, is as Catholics do, can interpret them as sacramental- meaning that it is not a metaphor, but that Jesus actually and literally means what he says and that what he says is truly what it is. After reading our Gospel from today, and from my own experience and faith, I have to admit that the metaphoric interpretation is right! …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