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Saturday in the Octave of the Immaculate Conception FEAST OF JUAN DIEGO-CHRISTMAS CARD DAY   Job, Chapter 21, Verse 9 Their homes ar...

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Tuesday, August 16,2016

Hebrews, Chapter 11, Verse 23
By faith Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after his birth, because they saw that he was a beautiful child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.

Moses parents must have had a great enjoyment of life for how else could they have refused to kill a beautiful child of God and be not afraid of the king’s edict. Their fear was set aside by their love and by the faith they had in the love of their God.

Christ advices us in today’s gospel that “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord, ‘will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” (Mathew 7:21) The will of the Father is that we be filled with love. God is love therefore if we are to have a covenant with God the highest and holiest point of this relationship and the very condition for eternal life is the union of the soul to God by love. Christ was reiterating that life cannot exist where the love of God is not, and the love of God cannot exist where there is rebellion against Him. The Ten Commandments that Moses gave began with “thou shall not” were summed up by Christ into two great commandments which is “Thou shalt love God” and “Thou shalt love thy neighbor”. Therefore the yielding of the mind and heart to selfish sins or thoughts of lust, murder or any dozen of evil actions is as sinful as the act. The core of sin is the soul of man twisting itself out of the right relationship with God.[1]

Amoris Lætitia[2] Love in Marriage Love is generous (101-102)

To love another we must first love ourselves. Paul’s hymn to love, however, states that love “does not seek its own interest,” nor “seek what is its own”. This same idea is expressed in another text: “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil 2:4). The Bible makes it clear that generously serving others is far more noble than loving ourselves. Loving ourselves is only important as a psychological prerequisite for being able to love others: “If a man is mean to himself, to whom will he be generous? “No one is meaner than the man who is grudging to himself.” (Sir 14:5-6). Saint Thomas Aquinas explains that “it is more proper to charity to desire to love than to desire to be loved,” indeed, “mothers, who are those who love the most, seek to love more than to be loved.”  Consequently, love can transcend and overflow the demands of justice, “expecting nothing in return” (Lk 6:35), and the greatest of loves can lead to “laying down one’s life” for another (cf. Jn 15:13). Can such generosity, which enables us to give freely and fully, really be possible? Yes, because it is demanded by the Gospel: “You received without pay, give without pay” (Mt 10:8).

Blessing of Nature[3]

Just as Mary's assumption into heaven signifies her purity of body and soul, so too does it remind us of her freedom from the curses of the Fall, such as having to live by the sweat of one's brow on a land that yields only thorns and thistles (Gen. 3.18,19). It is perhaps for this reason that the Feast or the Octave of the Assumption was a favorite time for blessing the scene of man's labors, especially those related to the production of food. In Western Europe, for example, fields would often be blessed by the parish priest, while in America and Latin countries Assumption Day is traditionally the occasion for blessing the fishing fleets of coastal towns. Also tying into this theme of nature is the German and Austrian time Mary is invoked for assistance or thanked for the autumn harvest of grains. This period lasts from Assumption Day until September 15, the Feast of the Seven custom of Our Lady's Thirty Days (Frauendreissiger), during which Sorrow of the Blessed Virgin. Legend states that nature is particularly benign during this time: snakes do not bite, wild animals do not attack, and food picked within the thirty days is especially wholesome. Finally, parts of England and Ireland observe Our Lady's Health Bathing, where bathing in rivers, lakes, the ocean, or any natural body of water is considered particularly good for one's health.

Be generous and plan a trip with friends and family for a little of our Lady’s Health Bathing.

[1] F. J. Sheed, Map of Life, 1954.
[2] Pope Francis, Encyclical on Love.

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