THE DOMINICAN SOUL
Fr. M. M. Philipon, OP
A DOMINICAN SOUL is a soul of light whose rapt gaze dwells in the
inaccessible splendor wherein God conceals Himself. It lives with Him by faith, is in
the company of the Three Divine Persons; a true child of God, adopted through grace
into the very Family of the Trinity. The invisible world becomes familiar to it; it
pursues its way on earth in intimacy with Christ, the Blessed Mother and the saints. It
perceives everything in the radiance of God.
But it does not jealously guard its faith for itself. It longs to bear the torch of
faith everywhere on land and sea, in every country, to the ends of the earth. This soul
belongs to that race of apostles who have been prophetically designated by the Church
from their earliest days as champions of the faith and true lights of the world:
“Pugiles fidei et vera mundi lumina.” We have here the key to the whole Dominican
vocation: to live, defend and propagate the faith in the atmosphere of the Church.
The Dominican soul, looking beyond the activity of secondary causes, judges men and
things only in the light of God.
To realize this sublime mission, the Dominican soul must be a soul of silence.
According to the traditional axiom, the word Preacher must flow from a soul of
silence: Silentium, pater Praedicatorum. A Dominican soul which does not love long
hours of solitude and recollection deceives itself about the spiritual fruits of its action.
It must mix with the crowd to act, but it must know how to separate itself from it for
thought and prayer. St. Dominic was a man of tremendous silence. St. Thomas
Aquinas’ fellow-pupils called him the “dumb ox of Sicily.” Pere Lacordaire prepared
his brilliant conferences for Notre Dame in Paris with long vigils of reflection and
intimate union with God. The spiritual depth of a soul is measured by its capacity for
A Dominican soul is a virginal soul, detached from all evil. It dwells in
complete union with God. All our Dominican carry a lily in their hands. They are
virgins, pure, free from inordinate affections. They walk in the midst of people in
accord with St. Dominic’s deathbed admonition; in the conquering raiment of their
translucent purity. Purity is a characteristic note of the Order of light and truth.
A DOMINICAN SOUL in its sublimest activity is a contemplative soul. It
dwells on the heights in the unalloyed splendor of God. Its gaze becomes identified
through the light to the Word with the wisdom of God. Solitude, penance, prayer, a
life of study, of silence, of action, all contribute to the formation of a sense of the
divine reality, of the”one thing necessary” from which nothing, absolutely nothing,
should distract it, much less deter it. Its purpose is to direct everything straight to
God as quickly and as completely as possible. Its existence among men should be
nothing else than a prolonged gaze of long toward God alone. It is in contemplative
silence that a Dominican soul finds the fulness of God.
THE DOMINICAN SOUL is a soul of prayer and praise. The spirit of prayer is
the normal climate, the completely divine atmosphere in which the contemplative soul
breathes. it sees nothing but God. No matter how distracting surrounding creatures
become, it rises above them, invulnerable to their empty fascination, impervious to
their tempting and seductive appeal. But it does hear their cries of distress, their
desperate pleas; then, silent with profound compassion, it turns, suppliant, toward the
God of all light and goodness, to obtain the truth which sets men free and the pardon
which brings salvation. Following the example of St. Dominic, whose loud cries used
to startle the brethren at night, the ardent and apostolic prayer of the Dominican soul
must become a redemptive cry, accompanied, as was that of Jesus Gethsemani, by
tears, and sweat of blood. Here lies hidden the real secret of the many fruitful lives of
our missionaries, of our contemplative nuns, of the many Dominican vocations in the
cloister and in the world, silent and crucified, but infinitely powerful in behalf of
Christ’s Mystical Body. dominican prayer, the daughter of redemptive charity, is
lifted toward the God of the Order night and day. O, LORD, WHAT IS TO BECOME
OF THESE POOR SINNERS. Following the example of Christ crucified, a Dominican
soul saves more souls by its contemplative and co-redeeming prayer than by words or
by dint of action. All our saints were people of continual prayer and immolation.
Prayer was the all-powerful lever which helped them lift the universe to God.
But in Dominican prayer, the first place belongs to praise. “Praise God, exalt
Him, bless Him and preach Him everywhere,”; this is the purpose of the Order and its
unique ambition: Laudare, benedicere, praedicare. The Dominican soul is
theocentric; in everything it aims at the primacy of God:
the primacy of the First Cause in all the attainments of our spiritual lives;
the primacy of honor and of effective direction for theological wisdom over the study
of profane sciences;
the primacy of choral life, of the Opus Dei, in the hierarchy of monastic observances
and among our means of sanctification;
the primacy of the Word of God over human rhetoric in an office of preaching which
must always be essentially evangelical and supernatural;
the primacy of God in all things.
The Dominican soul finds its joy in proclaiming and singing the supreme grandeur of
Him alone Who is.
A DOMINICAN SOUL is an apostolic soul which is hindered by nothing when
the glory of God and the spiritual good of souls is at stake. The vows of religion,
monastic observances, study, prayer and community life all converge to give the
Dominican life the maximum of apostolic efficacy. Setting aside secondary tasks and
material preoccupations, the Friar Preacher dedicated himself wholly and directly to
the salvation of souls, following the example of the first Apostles who left behind
absorbing economic cares to consecrate themselves to “prayer and the Word of God.”
Whatever is doctrinal is ours; when the faith is endangered, the Dominican soul is
aroused and enters the fray for Christ. Not without reasons did St. Peter and St. Paul
appear to St. Dominic. In the history of the Church, the redemptive mission of the
order is a prolongation of the vocation of those two great Apostles of Christ:
announcing to all men the Gospel of salvation. All the means of spreading divine
Truth must become ours; press, radio, films, television. The Order is present in full
vigor at these command posts of the human universe, to pursue its mission of truth. A
Dominican soul is not regimented, it is not disturbed by progress, nor does it find new
techniques disconcerting; rather, it marshals these into the service of the liberating
truth which is Love. So it is that the Order through centuries has preserved its youth
and its creative spirit, ready to answer redemption’s every appeal.
The Dominican soul is strong, with the very power of God. Because it is certain
of the redemptive power of the Cross, it has the initiative in the midst of a confused
and despairing world to undertake great enterprises, the genius to create institutions
capable of adapting themselves to meet the demands of an ecclesiastical apostolate
which is constantly being renewed and adjusted. With faith and tenacity, it
relentlessly perseveres in its works of salvation. “The desperate hours are the hours of
God,” and often, in a moment, Providence miraculously intervenes and saves all. The
Dominican soul advances in the midst of the difficulties of life, serene and confident,
buoyed up by the Immutable Force of God.
While engaged in the difficult combats of the Church Militant, the Dominican
soul remains joyful. “The religion of the Father Dominic,” said God to St. Catherine of
Siena, “is joyful and lightsome.” Above the trials of redemption, joy pervades the
Dominican soul, the inadmissible joy of God. The secret of this Dominican joy lies in
the peaceful certitude that God is infinitely happy in the society of the Three Divine
Persons, even if men refuse to know Him and receive Him. At the summit of the souls
of the saints, joy always flourished together with an unalterable peace. God is God,
and what possible difference can anything else make? The joy of a soul is measured
by its love. The Apostles went away joyful because they had been judged worthy to
suffer for Christ, Whom they loved above everything else. On the roads Languedoc,
the sharper the rocks became, the more St. Dominic sang. Raised up by the same spirit
of heroic strength fortified with love, the Dominican soul remains fixed in an ever-
THE DOMINICAN SOUL is a daughter of the Church, always ready to obey the
Pope and the directives of the hierarchy, and to place itself at the service of the
Mystical Body of Christ. It cherishes the memory of the symbolic vision of Pope
Innocent III, who perceived St. Dominic supporting the columns of the Church of the
Lateran, the mother-church of Catholicism. “Thou are Peter and upon this rock, I will
build my Church.”; Who hears you, hears me; who spurns you, spurns me,” the Lord
Jesus had forcefully asserted. The Dominican soul does not hesitate. Who hears the
Pope, hears Christ; the authority of God speaks through the bishops and all religious
superiors, St. Catherine of Siena called the Pope the “gentle Christ of this earth.” Her
filial docility toward the hierarchy made her to an eminent degree a true daughter of
the Church and defender of the Papacy. Thus she became after her death the
secondary patron of Rome and by her protection shelters Catholic Action throughout
the world. A Dominican soul lives and dies for the Church of Christ.
THE DOMINICAN SOUL is an imitator of the Word, singularly solicitous for
the glory of the Father, eager to work for the redemption of the world, for the
“consummation of all men in the unity” of the Trinity. It is modeled, in all its interior
acts, on the intimate sentiments of the Soul of Christ, the adorer of the Father and the
Saviour of souls. Now the Word fulfills a twofold function:
within the Trinity, He is the divine light, “Lumen de Lumine,” the Image and Splendor
of the Father.
outside, as the Incarnate Word, He lives as the Incarnate Word, He lives as the Revealer
par excellence of the Father and of all the mysteries of God.
Similarly, the Dominican soul which receives by reason of its vocation the “office of
the Word” dwells within itself, in a profound, living contemplation of the pure Light
of God, keeping itself continually before the face of the Father, while by its apostolic
activity, it becomes manifestive of the Divine Truth; it walks on earth among men like
a mirror of God.
A DOMINICAN SOUL is divine with no desire but God: to know Him, love
Him, serve Him and to spend eternity with Him in order to exalt Him ceaselessly.
Everything is simple in the life of a Dominican soul faithful to its divine vocation. It is
not overcome by pitiful sights, nor by complicating details; it clearly sees:
only one horizon: God
only one motive power: Love
only one end: the forming of the whole Christ as ordained to the City of God.
Everything else fades from it sight. Nothing, apart from God, is worthy of attention. It
realized the ideal of St. Dominic: “To speak only with God or about God,” Cum Deo
vel de Deo. Dominican saints have hewed to this line of divine conduct: “My
daughter, think of Me,” God commanded St. Catherine of Siena, “and for My part, I
shall think of thee.” And at the twilight of his life of immense labor for Christ, St.
Thomas Aquinas wished for no other reward but God: Nothing save THEE. Nisi TE.
This is the fundamental attitude of every Dominican soul. GOD, GOD, GOD.
FINALLY, THE DOMINICAN SOUL is a Marian soul. The preface of the feast
of St. Dominic places in high relief the wonders of the spiritual fecundity attained
through this intimate friendship with Mary. Under the constant guidance of Mary,
our holy Father renewed the apostolic form of life in the Church, launched intrepid
champions of the faith into the world, and won thousands of souls for Christ. When
dying, he left as his legacy to the Church, the Rosary wherein his religious family
might find the proper form for its devotion to Mary. Where is the Dominican who
does not dream of living and dying with the Rosary in his or her hand? It is a
universal law of the economy of salvation: the more devoted a soul is to Mary the
more Christian it is. It is equally true to say that the more devoted a soul is to Mary
the more Dominican it is.
THUS THE DOMINICAN LIFE is a harmonious synthesis which the great light
of God illumines. Everything proceeds from faith and is ordered to His glory. Fixed
in God by love, the Dominican soul lives for this alone: united with Christ in each of
its acts, through Him, with Him and in Him, it thinks only of glorifying the Father by
continual adoration and of saving souls who will glorify Him eternally. It lives in the
Church, through the Church, for the Church, in a spirit of brotherhood with all men,
eager to communicate to them the Truth which is achieved in Love. Everything is light
in a Dominican soul, but a light which revolves on love. It mediates frequently on the
memorable words of St. Dominic to a cleric who was astonished at the power of his
apostolic preaching: “My son, I have studied in the books of charity more than in any
other; love teaches all.” Redeeming and illuminating charity is the key to Dominican
life. Not the love of knowledge, but the knowledge of love. The Dominican soul is
another Word which spirates love. Its favorite book is the Gospel, in which the
Eternal Word speaks.
From that divine Light, under the gentle influence of the same Spirit of Love, all
the virtues diffuse themselves in the Dominican soul. Among these virtues, three
shine forth brilliantly in the luminous raiment of faith: the cross, purity, love; the
cross which raises us above the earth, purity which frees us from all that is not God,
love which fixes us in Him. This is the harmonious synthesis of the ideal Dominican:
the purity fo a virgin, the light of a doctor, and the soul of a martyr.
When evening comes, the Virgin of the “Salve” is there to gather the soul of the
faithful servant under her mantle. Initiated for all eternity into the splendors of the
beatific vision, which supplant the obscurities of faith, with Him, through Him, and in
Him, together with all the angels and saints, the Dominican soul in unison with the
Spirit of Love, chants the glory of the Father unto eternity.
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From the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus by Pope Pius XII
Your body is holy and excelling in splendor
In their homilies and sermons on this feast the holy fathers and great doctors spoke of the assumption of the Mother of God as something already familiar and accepted by the faithful. They gave it greater clarity in their preaching and used more profound arguments in setting out its nature and meaning. Above all, they brought out more clearly the fact that what is commemorated in this feast is not simply the total absence of corruption from the dead body of the Blessed Virgin Mary but also her triumph over death and her glorification in heaven, after the pattern set by her only Son, Jesus Christ.
Thus Saint John Damascene, preeminent as the great preacher of this truth of tradition, speaks with powerful eloquence when he relates the bodily assumption of the loving Mother of God to her other gifts and privileges: “It was necessary that she who had preserved her virginity inviolate in childbirth should also have her body kept free from all corruption after death. It was necessary that she who had carried the Creator as a child on her breast should dwell in the tabernacles of God. It was necessary that the bride espoused by the Father should make her home in the bridal chambers of heaven. It was necessary that she, who had gazed on her crucified Son and been pierced in the heart by the sword of sorrow which she had escaped in giving him birth, should contemplate him seated with the Father. It was necessary that the Mother of God should share the possessions of her Son, and be venerated by every creature as the Mother and handmaid of God.”
Saint Germanus of Constantinople considered that it was in keeping not only with her divine motherhood but also with the unique sanctity of her virginal body that it was incorrupt and carried up to heaven: “In the words of Scripture, you appear in beauty. Your virginal body is entirely holy, entirely chaste, entirely the house of God, so that for this reason also it is henceforth a stranger to decay: a body changed, because a human body, to a preeminent life of incorruptibility, but still a living body, excelling in splendor, a body inviolate and sharing in the perfection of life.”
Another early author declares: “Therefore, as the most glorious Mother of Christ, our God and Savior, giver of life and immortality, she is enlivened by him to share an eternal incorruptibility of body with him who raised her from the tomb and took her up to himself in a way he alone can tell.”
All these reasonings and considerations of the holy Fathers rest on Scripture as their ultimate foundation. Scripture portrays the loving Mother of God, almost before our very eyes, as most intimately united with her divine Son and always sharing in his destiny.
Above all, it must be noted that from the second century the holy Fathers present the Virgin Mary as the new Eve, most closely associated with the new Adam, though subject to him in the struggle against the enemy from the nether world. This struggle, as the first promise of a redeemer implies, was to end in perfect victory over sin and death, always linked together in the writings of the Apostle of the Gentiles. Therefore, just as the glorious resurrection of Christ was an essential part of this victory and its final trophy, so the struggle shared by the Blessed Virgin and her Son was to end in glorification of her virginal body. As the same Apostle says: When this mortal body has clothed itself in immortality, then will be fulfilled the word of Scripture: Death is swallowed up in victory.
Hence, the august Mother of God, mysteriously united from all eternity with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination, immaculate in her conception, a virgin inviolate in her divine motherhood, the wholehearted companion of the divine Redeemer who won complete victory over sin and its consequences, gained at last the supreme crown of her privileges—to be preserved immune from the corruption of the tomb, and, like her Son, when death had been conquered, to be carried up body and soul to the exalted glory of heaven, there to sit in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the ages.
This is the glorious day, on which the Virgin Mother of God was taken up to heaven; let us sing these words in her praise:
— Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
Happy are you, holy Virgin Mary, and most worthy of all praise, from your womb Christ the Sun of Justice has risen.
— Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
You are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:
All creation worships you.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the King of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.
When you became man to set us free
you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.
You overcame the sting of death,
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.
Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.
Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
— Govern and uphold them now and always.
Day by day we bless you.
— We praise your name for ever.
Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
— Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
Lord, show us your love and mercy,
— for we have put our trust in you.
In you, Lord, is our hope:
— And we shall never hope in vain.
O God, who,
looking on the lowliness of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
raised her to this grace,
that your Only Begotten Son was born of her according to the flesh
and that she was crowned this day with surpassing glory,
grant through her prayers,
that, saved by the mystery of your redemption,
we may merit to be exalted by you on high.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
From the Letters of Maximilian Mary Kolbe
Apostolic zeal for the salvation and sanctification of souls
The burning zeal for God’s glory that motivates you fills my heart with joy. It is sad for us to see in our own time that indifferentism in its many forms is spreading like an epidemic not only among the laity but also among religious. But God is worthy of glory beyond measure, and therefore it is of absolute and supreme importance to seek that glory with all the power of our feeble resources. Since we are mere creatures we can never return to him all that is his due. The most resplendent manifestation of God’s glory is the salvation of souls, whom Christ redeemed by shedding his blood. To work for the salvation and sanctification of as many souls as possible, therefore, is the preeminent purpose of the apostolic life. Let me, then, say a few words that may show the way toward achieving God’s glory and the sanctification of many souls.
God, who is all-knowing and all-wise, knows best what we should do to increase his glory. Through his representatives on earth he continually reveals his will to us; thus it is obedience and obedience alone that is the sure sign to us of the divine will. A superior may, it is true, make a mistake; but it is impossible for us to be mistaken in obeying a superior’s command. The only exception to this rule is the case of a superior commanding something that in even the slightest way would contravene God’s law. Such a superior would not be conveying God’s will.
God alone is infinitely wise, holy, merciful, our Lord, Creator, and Father; he is beginning and end, wisdom and power and love; he is all. Everything other than God has value to the degree that it is referred to him, the maker of all and our own redeemer, the final end of all things. It is he who, declaring his adorable will to us through his representatives on earth, draws us to himself and whose plan is to draw others to himself through us and to join us all to himself in an ever deepening love.
Look, then, at the high dignity that by God’s mercy belongs to our state in life. Obedience raises us beyond the limits of our littleness and puts us in harmony with God’s will. In boundless wisdom and care, his will guides us to act rightly. Holding fast to that will, which no creature can thwart, we are filled with unsurpassable strength.
Obedience is the one and the only way of wisdom and prudence for us to offer glory to God. If there were another, Christ would certainly have shown it to us by word and example. Scripture, however, summed up his entire life at Nazareth in the words: He was subject to them; Scripture set obedience as the theme of the rest of his life, repeatedly declaring that he came into the world to do his Father’s will. Let us love our loving Father with all our hearts. Let our obedience increase that love, above all when it requires us to surrender our own will. Jesus Christ crucified is our sublime guide toward growth in God’s love.
We will learn this lesson more quickly through the Immaculate Virgin, whom God has made the dispenser of his mercy. It is beyond all doubt that Mary’s will represents to us the will of God himself. By dedicating ourselves to her we become in her hands instruments of God’s mercy even as she was such an instrument in God’s hands. We should let ourselves be guided and led by Mary and rest quiet and secure in her hands. She will watch out for us, provide for us, answer our needs of body and spirit; she will dissolve all our difficulties and worries.
RESPONSORY Ephesians 5:1-2; 6:6
Be imitators of God as his dear children. Follow the way of love, even as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as an offering to God.
— A gift of pleasing fragrance.
Do God’s will with your whole heart as servants of Christ.
— A gift of pleasing fragrance.
who filled the Priest and Martyr Saint Maximilian Kolbe
with a burning love for the Immaculate Virgin Mary
and with zeal for souls and love of neighbor,
graciously grant, through his intercession,
that striving for your glory by eagerly serving others,
we may be conformed, even until death, to your Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Taken from http://www.divineoffice.org August 14, 2017; feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Also, see Fr. James E. McCurry, OFM Conv. booklet titled Maximilian Kolbe: Martyr of Charity.
The Militia of Mary Immaculate
Crusade of Mary Immaculate (In Latin, Militia Immaculatae)
Pro amore usque ad victimam (For love even unto victimhood) – that inscription was handwritten in Latin by Fr. Maximilian in the local Mass register.
|THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY: A BELIEF SINCE APOSTOLIC TIMES|
|Father Clifford Stevens
|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.
After the building of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 336, the sacred sites began to be restored and memories of the life of Our Lord began to be celebrated by the people of Jerusalem. One of the memories about his mother centered around the “Tomb of Mary,” close to Mount Zion, where the early Christian community had lived.
On the hill itself was the “Place of Dormition,” the spot of Mary’s “falling asleep,” where she had died. The “Tomb of Mary” was where she was buried.
At this time, the “Memory of Mary” was being celebrated. Later it was to become our feast of the Assumption.
For a time, the “Memory of Mary” was marked only in Palestine, but then it was extended by the emperor to all the churches of the East. In the seventh century, it began to be celebrated in Rome under the title of the “Falling Asleep” (“Dormitio”) of the Mother of God.
Soon the name was changed to the “Assumption of Mary,” since there was more to the feast than her dying. It also proclaimed that she had been taken up, body and soul, into heaven.
That belief was ancient, dating back to the apostles themselves. What was clear from the beginning was that there were no relics of Mary to be venerated, and that an empty tomb stood on the edge of Jerusalem near the site of her death. That location also soon became a place of pilgrimage. (Today, the Benedictine Abbey of the Dormition of Mary stands on the spot.)
At the Council of Chalcedon in 451, when bishops from throughout the Mediterranean world gathered in Constantinople, Emperor Marcian asked the Patriarch of Jerusalem to bring the relics of Mary to Constantinople to be enshrined in the capitol. The patriarch explained to the emperor that there were no relics of Mary in Jerusalem, that “Mary had died in the presence of the apostles; but her tomb, when opened later . . . was found empty and so the apostles concluded that the body was taken up into heaven.”
In the eighth century, St. John Damascene was known for giving sermons at the holy places in Jerusalem. At the Tomb of Mary, he expressed the belief of the Church on the meaning of the feast: “Although the body was duly buried, it did not remain in the state of death, neither was it dissolved by decay. . . . You were transferred to your heavenly home, O Lady, Queen and Mother of God in truth.”
All the feast days of Mary mark the great mysteries of her life and her part in the work of redemption. The central mystery of her life and person is her divine motherhood, celebrated both at Christmas and a week later (Jan. 1) on the feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. The Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8) marks the preparation for that motherhood, so that she had the fullness of grace from the first moment of her existence, completely untouched by sin. Her whole being throbbed with divine life from the very beginning, readying her for the exalted role of mother of the Savior.
The Assumption completes God’s work in her since it was not fitting that the flesh that had given life to God himself should ever undergo corruption. The Assumption is God’s crowning of His work as Mary ends her earthly life and enters eternity. The feast turns our eyes in that direction, where we will follow when our earthly life is over.
The feast days of the Church are not just the commemoration of historical events; they do not look only to the past. They look to the present and to the future and give us an insight into our own relationship with God. The Assumption looks to eternity and gives us hope that we, too, will follow Our Lady when our life is ended.
The prayer for the feast reads: “All-powerful and ever-living God: You raised the sinless Virgin Mary, mother of your Son, body and soul, to the glory of heaven. May we see heaven as our final goal and come to share her glory.”
In 1950, in the Apostolic Constitution <Munificentissimus Deus>, Pope Pius XII proclaimed the Assumption of Mary a dogma of the Catholic Church in these words: “The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heaven.”
With that, an ancient belief became Catholic doctrine and the Assumption was declared a truth revealed by God.
Father Clifford Stevens writes from Tintern Monastery in Oakdale, Neb.
This article was taken from the July-August 1996 issue of “Catholic Heritage”. To subscribe write Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 200 Noll Plaza, Huntington, IN 46750-9957 or call 1-800-348-2440. Published bimonthly at a charge of $18.00 per year.
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I recommend purchasing this booklet which you can through the link below. It comes through America Needs Fatima, http://www.ANF.org.
In the booklet there is a more detailed article as to the history of the Rosary than the article in the links below provide. There is also a guide to praying the Rosary including all of the prayers, the litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, along with other prayers and St. Louis de Montfort’s summary of the Life, Death and Glory of Jesus and Mary in the Holy Rosary, The Five First Saturday’s devotion, why the battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571 was so important and the reason for Our Blessed Mother’s appearing in Fatima, Portugal in 1917 to the three shepherd children was also more important for our times, as well as the Fifteen Promises of Mary Most Holy to those who pray the Rosary.
Make no mistake about it and know that it makes perfect sense why God is sending his daughter, spouse and mother as His messenger in our times! God is Merciful before He is Just! Mary is Mother of Mercy among her numerous titles. When Jesus Christ comes again, it will be for the final Judgment, so that will be it! There will be no more time for Mercy! It will be Judgment! Hence, we need to heed the message of Our Blessed Mother at Fatima! She is the final message of God’s mercy and her Immaculate heart will triumph “before the great and terrible day of the Lord!”
You can read more by clicking on the two links below and you can purchase the booklet as well. It is worth purchasing the booklet and reading it, in my opinion. It’s a small booklet of only 46 pages and also contains beautiful images of artwork.
St. Catherine of Siena explained it this way: “[Lord,] you are a mystery as deep as the sea; the more I search, the more I find, and the more I find the more I search for you but I can never be satisfied; what I receive will ever leave me desiring more. When you fill my soul I have an even greater hunger, and I grow more famished for your light. I desire above all to see you, the true light, as you really are.”
St. Catherine of Siena was named Doctor of the Church and is co patron of Italy and one of six patron saints of Europe. She was a Third Order Dominican like I am. We are now called lay fraternities of St. Dominic. She lived from 1347-1380. She was the 24th of 25 children. She counseled two Popes and was instrumental in the Popes returning to Italy from Avignon, France. She was a gifted preacher and writer and her masterpiece in writing is a book called The Dialogue. She is woman after my own heart even though she lived 800 years before me. She is a great saint to emulate because she emulated Jesus! I have a strong devotion to her and I encourage you to read about her and read The Dialogue.
I also want to thank my friend Fr. Jim as the piece above was taken from his Jubilee homily. The full homily appears on http://www.hutchsharbor.com.
St. Catherine of Siena, thank you for your example and pray for us!!!
OREMUS COMMUNICATIONS JULY 2017 NEWSLETTER
Hello everyone. Before we continue our ongoing tribute to Our Lady of Fatima on the 100th
Anniversary of her visits to the 3 children, Lucia, Jacinta, and Francesco in 1917, we want to mention a
guest appearance on the Oremus Communications Family Rosary Program (OCFRP) on Sunday, July 16,
by Dr. George Isajiw. In addition to being a Pro-life icon throughout Southeast Pennsylvania wherein he
has helped numerous families and saved the lives of countless babies, Dr. George is the grandson of
Blessed Nicholas Konrad, one of the 25 Ukrainian Martyrs beatified by St. John Paul II in 2001. Dr.
George will talk about these and other great topics as well as pray the Holy Rosary. We hope that you
can join us by logging onto: http://www.oremuscomms.com and clicking onto: LISTEN LIVE. Program begins
at 2:00pm EST-USA.
Also, in recognition of Natural Family Planning Awareness Week (July 23-29), sponsored by the
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Allyson Dreher of The St. Augustine Foundation
will be joining us on Tuesday, July 25th at 12:05pm EST-USA on the OCFRP to discuss Natural Family
Planning and Catholic Sexuality with emphasis on teen chastity.
And now back to the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima. On July 13th, 1917, Our Blessed
Mother appeared to the Fatima children for the 3rd time and the number of people gathered around
the children had grown from 50 or so in June to several thousand. The July visit is remarkable for
several reasons, not least of which is the vision of hell which the children witnessed; the request to
practice The First Saturday Devotion in order to make reparation for sins against her Immaculate Heart,
save souls from hell, and bring about world peace; and the importance of consecrating Russia to the
Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In his book, Fatima: The Full Story, Fr. John De Marchi, I.M.C gives an excellent account of the July
visit. The following are two relevant excerpts from pages 78 and 79 respectively.
“You have seen hell where the souls of sinners go. To save them God wishes to establish in the
world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If you do what I tell you many souls will be saved and
there will be peace. The war will end, but if men do not cease to offend God another worse one
will begin. …..To prevent it, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate
Heart and the reparatory Communion of the First Saturdays.”
“If my desires are fulfilled, Russia will be converted and there will be peace; if not, she will
spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church; the good
will be martyred and the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be
annihilated. But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate
Russia to me and she will be converted and the world will enjoy a period of peace.”
On Wednesday, July 12th, Mr. Carl Malburg from the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of
Fatima Foundation will join OCFRP to comment further on the significance of the July apparition.
We hope you can join us on these various events and together we can continue to make a spiritual
difference throughout the world. OREMUS
1 John 1:8-10 – If we say , “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say , ‘We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Lord, have mercy!
John 15:16 – It was not you who chose me, says the Lord, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.
Psalm 139 – …truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb…
Psalm 71 – …from my mother’s womb you have been my help…
1 John 4:7-16 – …Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God…
Pope Benedict XVI – The essential nucleus of Christianity is expressed in the heart of Jesus!
“As Mary approached, Elizabeth’s child performed his first prophetic act, “announcing” Jesus’ arrival by a wild leap, while still inside the womb of Elizabeth”
“A lamp to my feet is your word, a light to my path”
John 6:58 – “Whoever eats this bread will live forever”.
Servant of God Dorothy Day to the Blessed Mother after receiving Holy Communion – “Here He is in my heart; I believe, help my unbelief; Adore Him, Thank Him, and Love Him, for me. He is your Son; His honor is in your hands. Do not let me dishonor him.”
Saint Justin, Martyr – “We are slain with the sword but we increase and multiply”
Saint Iraneus – “The glory of God is man fully alive”
John , chapter 17 – …”May they all be one as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that the world may believe that you sent me, says the Lord”…
Saint Catherine of Siena – “Selfish love shrinks your heart till it has room neither for yourself nor for your neighbors, while Divine charity so expands it that it can welcome friends and enemies alike – everyone, in fact – because it is clothed in Christ’s love and so follows him”
Cardinal Robert Sarah – “Western societies are organized and live as though God did not exist. Christians…have settled down to a silent apostasy. The Church must immerse herself more deeply in the grace of the sacraments…the duty to lead toward the “splendor of truth” from Saint John Paul II”
Pope Francis – “Being children of God…is our primordial vocation. We were made to be God’s children, it is in our DNA.
Saints Timothy and Maura were married and died in 286 – …Husband and wife were pinned up or crucified in such a way that each could see the other. Their passion lasted nine days “and, encouraging each other to persevere in the faith, they consummated their martyrdom” (Roman Martyrology)
Tobit, chapter 12 – “I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who enter and serve before the Glory of the Lord”. “So now get up from the ground and praise God”.
2 Corinthians 13:11-13 – …encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you…
John 3:16-18 – God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
Father Cornelius A Lapide on The Holy Trinity – To the Father is appropriated memory…To the Son is appropriated the intellect…To the Holy Spirit is appropriated the will…The Father therefore reforms the memory when he blots out of it the appearances of vain, foul, and forbidden things, and brings into it the appearances of divine things, so that it should remember only God, his worship and his love, piety and the other virtues. The Son reforms the intellect, so that it should think only of the things which pertain to salvation and holiness. The Holy Spirit reforms the will, so that it should love and desire the same. Therefore a holy soul continually reflects that it is a temple of the Holy Trinity.
Matthew 23:12 – Whoever exalts himself will be humbled
A reporter was once accompanying Mother Theresa as she cleaned the ulcerous sores of a dying man. The stench was overpowering. “I wouldn’t do that for a million dollars,” said he.
“Neither would I,” said Mother Theresa.
All these quotes and stories come from June issue of Magnificat.