Tuesday, August 15, 2017

This just in: Please pray for child with cancer via the intercession of Mary

We are heartbroken for Sean and Michelle. Her name is Carmella age 7, they just found out Friday night. She hasn't been herself the past couple months brought her in to doctors last month, they missed it, diagnosed at one point w/walking pneumonia, blood came out ok, brought her back on Friday, chest swollen, doctor sent her for ct scan, thought had cat scratch fever maybe and called them back in that night oncologist and radiologist came in and told them she has cancer, found tumor. Admitted her to Albany med ran more scans and found out today two rumors in chest-armpits/nodes and one in pelvis but doing more scans to see if more. Can't remove because intertwined w/soft tissue, appears aggressive still need biopsy and results but they are pretty sure Stage 4, malignant and moving. Putting port in tomorrow, told them 12 months chemo and radiation right off the bat and a lot of prayer and hope. Will know type when biopsy results come back.


Holy Day of Obligation-Must attend Mass
ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation.

Job, Chapter 32, Verse 6
So Elihu, son of Barachel the Buzite, answered and said: I am young and you are very old; therefore I held back and was afraid to declare to you my knowledge.

A person’s age does not bring wisdom-but wisdom does come to those who are open to the workings of the spirit of God.

Elihu. Eliwho?[1]

·         Elihu comes out of nowhere. 
·         He's only mentioned in these passages, but his speech adds a new layer to Job's friends' words, so pay attention.
·         He starts by stating that he is younger than the other three, and that he is only speaking out of concern for Job. Fair enough.
·         Elihu then tells Job that he (Job) isn't necessarily a sinner, but that his misfortunes are just part of a cycle of divine power that cannot be questioned or understood. It just is. 
·         This guy is clearly very chill. He basically tells Job that he's not necessarily a sinner just because he is being punished, but his reaction to that punishment is an expression of foolishness. 
·         So, yeah…he's calling Job a fool.


Assumption of Mary[2] The day that the Mother of God was assumed body and soul into heaven and crowned Queen

Traditionally Roman Catholics believe Mary, the Virgin mother of Jesus, never physically died and instead ascended into heaven. Mary, as the mother of God, is believed by some Christian faiths to have lived a life without sin. Some early-church theologians believed that since she and Christ were both without sin that Mary must have raised bodily to heaven just as Christ was.  This belief began the feast of the Assumption of Mary.
Assumption of Mary Facts

·         The Assumption of Mary isn't in the Bible.  The theology it is based upon is from several early church documents and sermons.  The Orthodox Church continued the tradition, but it didn't become doctrine in the Roman Catholic Church until 1950 when Pope Pius XII declared the belief infallible.
·         Thomas was the only disciple who purportedly saw Mary's ascension into heaven.  In a reversal of his story in scripture, the other disciples didn't believe him at first.  Mary dropped her girdle when she reached heaven, and Thomas caught it.
·         The Feast of the Assumption of Mary is a high feast Day in the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.  The day venerates the assumption into heaven of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  It is held on August 15.  In the Orthodox tradition, the feast, called the Dormition of the Theotokos, is held the same date, although the day may be later for churches that follow the Gregorian calendar.
·         Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, and guide us on the way that leads to Heaven. - Pope Francis on the Feast of the Assumption via twitter on Aug 15, 2013.


Assumption of Mary Top Events and Things to Do

·         Attend an Orthodox Church during the Feast of the Assumption to see the blessing of flowers.
·         Historically, both flowers and herbs are brought to church as offerings or to be blessed during the Feast of the Assumption.
·          Start an herb garden or plant some bulbs to bloom in spring in honor of Mary.
·         The Assumption of Mary is a popular subject in Christian art.  One of the most famous is The Assumption of the Virgin, by El Greco and available for viewing in the Art Institute of Chicago.  See if your local art museum has paintings of the Assumption.
·         Sing or Listen to a rendition of "Ave Maria".  One of the more popular renditions is by Luciano Pavarotti.
·         Many faithful in the Orthodox Church will also be breaking a two-week fast after the service honoring the Assumption of Mary.  If you are fasting attend a community meal offered by many Orthodox Churches.

Processions[3]

Most likely the oldest and certainly the highest annual feast day of Mary, the Feast of the Assumption is held in both east and west as a day of great solemnity. Processions would wind their way either through cities and towns in order to publicly honor Mary or through fields in order to pray for God's blessing upon the harvest. Marian hymns would be sung and statues of the Blessed Virgin carried. In some places there would even be a dramatic representation of the mystery of the assumption. The statue of Mary would be carried through town to an elaborate arch of flowers symbolizing the gate of Heaven. From here another statue, a statue of Christ, would greet "her" and conduct her to the church as a symbol of her entrance into eternal glory. The procession would then conclude with Benediction.

Blessing of Herbs and Fruits[4]

The Church "baptized" an old pre-Christian belief in the great healing power of herbs picked in August by instituting a ritual for the blessing of herbs and fruits on the Feast of the Assumption. Since that time, Christians from both East and West have blessed herbs and fruit on the Feast of the Assumption in the belief that these sacramentals provide protection against harm and danger. But this custom also hearkens back to the Hebrew observance of the harvest, and more importantly, it teaches us something about our Lady's role in the economy of salvation. Eve foolishly used herbs (fig leaves) to hide and aggravate her sin, thereby bringing about a disorder of body and soul (Gen. 3.7). By contrast, Mary, the new Eve whose soul and body are untouched by sin or the decay of death (as we celebrate on this day), foreshadows a healing of our corporeal frailties, a healing represented by herbs. Likewise, fruits are an appropriate symbol for the new Eve because she never ate of the forbidden fruit but brought forth only the fruit of good works and, most importantly, the Fruit of her womb, Jesus Christ. The blessed fruit thus betokens the fruit of a holy and generous life which we are called to enjoy from our Lord through the patronage of His mother. In any case the solemn blessing of herbs and fruits on this day became so popular that in central Europe August 15 was simply called Our Lady's Herb Day. Usually these blessings would take place before Mass and would involve whatever was brought by the congregation to the church. Afterwards the herbs would be kept for medicinal use while the fruit would be served at dinner. The following is one of the special blessings from the Roman ritual that is used for herbs and fruits on Assumption Day:

O God, who by Moses Thy servant didst command the children of Israel to carry their sheaves of new fruits to the priests for a blessing, to take the finest fruits of the orchards, and to make merry before Thee, the Lord their God: Kindly hear our supplications, and pour forth the abundance of Thy blessing upon us and upon these sheaves of new grain, new herbs, and assortment of fruits, which we gratefully present to Thee and which we bless on this feast in Thy name. And grant that men, cattle, sheep, and beasts of burden may find in them a remedy against sickness, pestilence, sores, injuries, spells, the poison of snakes, and the bites of other venomous and nonvenomous creatures. And may they bring protection against diabolical illusions, machinations, and deceptions wherever they are kept or carried, or with whatever arrangement is made of them: that with sheaves of good works and through the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary whose Feast of the Assumption we celebrate, we may deserve to be lifted up to heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God unto endless ages. Amen.

The blessing of herbs and fruits has also led to the lovely custom of giving and receiving baskets of fruit on the Feast of the Assumption, a custom which was especially popular in Sicily.

Blessing of Nature[5]

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.

In an age of sensuality and materialism the Assumption points out the dignity and destiny of our human body, extols the dignity of womanhood, and turns our eyes to the true life beyond the grave. At Mass today ask Mary for the grace to keep your mind fixed on things above and to aspire continually to be united with her and to be brought to the glory of the Resurrection.[6]

Our Lady’s 30 Days[7]

In pre-Christian times the season from the middle of August to the middle of September was observed as a period of rejoicing and thanksgiving for the successful harvest of grains. Many symbolic rites were aimed toward assuring man of prosperous weather for the reaping of the fall fruits and for winter planting. Some elements of these ancient cults are now connected with the feast and season of the Assumption. All through the Middle Ages the days from August 15 to September 15 were called "Our Lady's Thirty Days" (Frauendreissiger) in the German-speaking sections of Europe. Many Assumption shrines even today show Mary clothed in a robe covered with ears of grain. These images (Maria im Gerteidekleid, Our Lady of Grains) are favored goals of pilgrimages during August. Popular legends ascribe a character of blessing and goodness to Our Lady's Thirty Days. Both animals and plants are said to lose their harmful traits. Poisonous snakes do not strike, poison plants are harmless, wild animals refrain from attacking humans. All food produced during this period is especially wholesome and good, and will remain fresh much longer than at other times of the year. The fact that herbs picked in August were considered of great power in healing occasioned the medieval practice of the "Blessing of Herbs" on Assumption Day. The Church thus elevated a popular belief of pre-Christian times into an observance of religious import and gave it the character of a Christian rite of deep and appropriate meaning. In central Europe the feast itself was called "Our Lady's Herb Day" (Kräutertag in German, Matka Boska Zielna in Polish). In the Alpine provinces the blessing of herbs is still bestowed before the solemn service of the Assumption. The city of Wurzburg in Bavaria used to be a favored center of these blessings, and from this fact it seems to have received its very name in the twelfth century (Würz: spice herb). The Roman Ritual still provides an official blessing of herbs on Assumption Day which, among other prayers, contains the petition that God may bless the medicinal powers of these herbs and make them mercifully efficient against diseases and poisons in humans and domestic animals. The Eastern Rites have similar blessings. In fact, the Syrians celebrate a special feast of "Our Lady of Herbs" on May 15. Among the Armenians, the faithful bring the first grapes from their vineyards to church on Assumption Day to have them solemnly blessed by the priest. Before breakfast the father distributes them to his family. No one would dream of tasting the new harvest before consuming the first blessed grapes on Our Lady's Day.

Daily Devotions/Prayers
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood

·         National 54 day Rosary

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