‘They will all be taught by God, and to hear the teaching of the Father and learn from it is to come to me’
John Chapter 6
Canon Paul writes: This teaching, which is the only way to life, has its heart and foundation in the ‘Liturgy of the Word’ at Mass. The Church teaches that when the scriptures are proclaimed at Mass, the Lord is truly present and is speaking to us.
Our response to the Liturgy of the Word is to treasure the message that comes to us and to allow it to shape our thoughts and actions. A further response is to treasure all the scriptures and a way to do this is to use them for prayer.
A very fruitful way of praying, taught by St. Ignatius of Loyola, is to take some time in silence and solitude to reflect on a passage from the Gospel. It could be twenty minutes or more. Find a comfortable sitting position, with light and ventilation and read a passage. For the newcomer to this way of praying, it is good to find a passage from the Gospel which involves a story or scene which can be visualised and imagined. The Annunciation is one of my favourites. Simply read the passage and allow the imagination to explore what is happening, either by being a character in the scene or, Jesus himself, or one of the crowd, and allow the mind to follow the direction that it wants. Try being Mary at the foot of the Cross. At the end of the time which was allotted, ask the question “What was the Lord saying to me in that experience of prayer?” Then close by saying the Lord’s Prayer.
Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Feast day August 15
The Feast of the Assumption commemorates the death of Mary and her bodily assumption into Heaven, before her body could begin to decay–a foretaste of our own bodily resurrection at the end of time. It is the most important of all Marian feasts and a Holy Day of Obligation.
The Feast of the Assumption is a very old feast of the Church, celebrated universally by the sixth century. The feast was originally celebrated in the East, where it is known as the Feast of the Dormition, a word which means “the falling asleep.” The earliest printed reference to the belief that Mary’s body was assumed into Heaven dates from the fourth century, in a document entitled “The Falling Asleep of the Holy Mother of God.” The document is written in the voice of the Apostle John, to whom Christ on the Cross had entrusted the care of His mother, and recounts the death, laying in the tomb, and assumption of the Blessed Virgin. Tradition variously places Mary’s death at Jerusalem or at Ephesus, where John was living.
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life is a defined dogma of the Catholic Church. On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII, exercising papal infallibility, declared in Munificentissimus Deus that it is a dogma of the Church “that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” As a dogma, the Assumption is a required belief of all Catholics.
Icon of Dormition of the Theotokos, Dormition Abbey, Mt. Zion, Jerusalem Icon
Please note that the Assumption will not be kept on the 15th August this year.
The Promised Land – 27th to 31st August:
Portsmouth Diocese Catholic Youth are planning a coach from our diocese to Walsingham for Youth 2000’s summer prayer festival. If you want to be on it, email firstname.lastname@example.org
What: A 5 day Prayer Festival, packed with dynamic talks, live-band worship, powerful prayer times, fun social activities, creative workshops, in-depth discussions, evening entertainment and loads more. With top speakers from the USA and all over the UK! Where: The Roman Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady, Walsingham, Norfolk, NR22 6AL. In this ancient and holy place we come with our Big Top and tents to create a great festival atmosphere. Who’s it for: Youth 2000 events are primarily for 16-35 year olds. If you are in this age range and looking for answers to the big questions in life, then this retreat is for you. For more info, see: www.youth2000.org