The Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary concludes beautifully this year with the intense themes of the Sacred Liturgy for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost. The Collect of the Mass confesses before Almighty God the weakness of man and his need for God’s grace: “…because the frailty of man without You cannot but fall, keep us ever by Your help from all harmful things, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation.” The drama of our human freedom is here indicated, as the Epistle and the Gospel speak to us of the two kingdoms – of God and of Satan – between which we must choose on our way to salvation.
In the Epistle, St. Paul speaks to us frankly about the spiritual warfare into which we must enter in order to be saved. “The flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, for these are contrary to one another,” he tells us. And Jesus, in our Gospel, makes this warfare even more explicit, teaching us that we cannot serve both God and Mammon, which is the pleasure and happiness and success of this world.
We were fortunate to attend a Theology on Tap gathering at Zio Fraedo’s (Vallejo, CA) last Thursday (Aug. 27, 2015), where the speaker was Fr. Zachary Akers, F.S.S.P., Parochial Vicar of St. Stephen the First Martyr Parish in Sacramento, CA. The topic was titled “Mass Confusion: Understanding What Happens at Mass” where Fr. Akers gave a general overview of the Mass, in particular, the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. Fr. Akers is a member of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, a community of priests with a particular charism of celebrating the Tridentine or Traditional Latin Mass. We were also blessed to have the presence of another priest, Fr. Brian Soliven, parochial vicar of St. Joseph’s Parish in Vacaville, CA. We hope to share with you the video of the talk soon, but in the meantime, some pictures of the event can now be viewed by clicking on the above photo. Many thanks to the Solano Deanery Young Adults of the Diocese of Sacramento for organizing this Theology on Tap, a Catholic speaker series geared toward young adults.
On Saturday, the Church celebrates the Beheading of John the Baptist. This is a most poignant feast for our time, in which God’s law concerning marriage is so often broken and ignored. St. John the Baptist was martyred for defending God’s law concerning marriage and this makes him a great example and help to all in our time who undertake the same joyful task.
The story of John’s beheading begins with the sinful and invalid marriage of Herod the Tetrarch with Herodias, the lawful wife of Herod’s brother, Philip. Herod had divorced his own wife, whose name was Phasaelis. Herod, therefore, had committed adultery in entering into “marriage” with Herodias; neither he nor Herodias were free to marry. How many Catholics and non-Catholics in our time have committed this same sin and live in this same situation!
The Octave of the Assumption, which we are celebrating now, culminates on Saturday with the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It’s beautiful that the Church honors our Mother’s glory by venerating especially her Heart. This veneration is the reason why August is traditionally called the Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This feast of Mary’s Heart is the octave feast of the feast of her Assumption into Heaven, which means the two feasts are connected in the logic of the Sacred Liturgy.
The truth of Mary’s Assumption means that her physical Heart is in Heaven, glorified in its resurrection and ascension in her Son. Mary is the first to share in her Son’s Resurrection and Ascension. She followed where He went first. Her Heart, which was always in Heaven by faith, hope, and love, is now in Heaven by glory. As we saw last week, she had first suffered and died with Him in her Heart. We celebrate on August 22 that she has also risen with Him!
His Eminence, Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, arriving at Libreville (Gabon, Africa) for the blessing of the facade of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish (an apostolate parish of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest), that will take place on the Feast of Our Lady’s Assumption this Saturday, August 15, 2015. The facade was recently installed with azulejos stones, glazed colored tiles with a depiction of the Nativity of Christ the Infant King, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and the three patrons of the Institute (St. Francis de Sales, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Benedict). Photo credits: ICRSP Gabon Facebook page
On Saturday, the Church celebrates the great feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This celebration marks the day on which our Blessed Mother was raised from the dead and taken up in her glorified body into Heaven. This is a historical feast (meaning it happened on this day). The Church of Jerusalem commemorates her death on August 13 and celebrates a Marian Triduum leading up to the celebration of her resurrection on August 15. With this feast, we joyfully proclaim the truth of our Catholic faith that there are two glorified bodies in Heaven, that of Jesus and that of Mary!
The feast of the Assumption, then, is a kind of Marian Easter. It is a celebration of Blessed Mary’s office as the true disciple of Jesus Christ, the one who kept His Word perfectly and did His Will always. She is our great model and example in her discipleship and she receives the reward of her fidelity in her glorious resurrection and assumption into Heaven. In her glory, she is also an example to us, for we hope to follow her in receiving our own resurrection unto glory on the Last Day.
It was exactly a year ago, on August 5, 2014, when His Eminence, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, had ordained Canons Francis Altiere, Benjamin Coggeshall, Joel Estrada, and Andrew Todd to the Sacred Priesthood for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest at the St. Francis de Sales Oratory, St. Louis, MO. Kindly remember them in your prayers today!
15th Annual Celebration in honor of
Virgin and Martyr
Five Wounds Portuguese National Church
1375 East Santa Clara St. San Jose, CA 95116-1251
Saturday, August 8, 2015 at 7:00PM
Celebrant: Rev. Fr. William J. Stout, SJ
High Mass in the Extraordinary Form (Latin Mass)
Litany of St. Philomena
Candlelight Rosary procession
Veneration of Her 1st class relic.
Potluck finger foods to follow in Cristo Rey school cafeteria.
The St. Philomena devotees sincerely thank Rev. Fr. Antonio A. Silveira, Pastor, and parishioners of the Five Wounds Portuguese National Church.