Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

8/15/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Lord desires to take up residence within us and be borne into a world that hungers for His love. Mary shows us the way.

On August 15 we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This event is the natural progression in the life of the Blessed Virgin of Nazareth. Her "Yes", her "Fiat" of surrendered love, brought heaven to earth and opened earth to the heaven which received her. She is thus the sign of the Church's future and provides the pattern of every Christian vocation. All who say "Yes" to her beloved Son - and live their lives in surrendered love - bear Jesus Christ for the world and will join with her in the fullness of the communion of love for all eternity.

Feast of the Assumption of Mary

Feast of the Assumption of Mary

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/15/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Mary, Marian, mystery, sacraments, Assumption, Immaculate Conception, Dormition, discipleship, Catholic Online


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - 'What came about in bodily form in Mary, the fullness of the godhead shining through Christ in the Blessed Virgin, takes place in a similar way in every soul' (Gregory of Nyssa)

On August 15 we celebrate the great Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Most of our Eastern Christian brethren acknowledge the same great event on this Feast, calling it the "Dormition of the Mother of God." Some join us in the celebration today and others, following another Calendar, commemorate in just a few days.

This event is the natural progression in the life of the Blessed Virgin of Nazareth. Her "Yes", her "Fiat" of surrendered love, brought heaven to earth and opened earth to the heaven which received her. She is thus the sign of the Church's future and provides the pattern of every Christian vocation. All who say "Yes" to her beloved Son - and live their lives in surrendered love - bear Jesus Christ for the world and will join with her in the fullness of the communion of love for all eternity.

"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." In those few words, all of human history was forever changed. As we make them our own, our histories begin to change as well. The Angel proclaimed that Mary was "full of grace", filled with the very life and presence of God. She walked in a deep, abiding and intimate relationship with God. He was with her before she even responded to His invitation. God chose Mary even before Mary chose God. This order is vitally important.

Mary's Prayer, her "Fiat" (Medieval Latin, let it be done) was a response to the visitation from the messenger of heaven, the angel. It provides a pattern of prayer for every Christian. It unfolds into a life of praise, her 'Magnificat.' This canticle begins with the words in Latin 'Magnificat anima mea Dominum' ('My soul doth magnify the Lord') and is the Gospel text for the Liturgy during the day on this Feast. (Luke 1:46-55).

The 'Fiat' is more than a prayer and the 'Magnificat' more than a hymn of praise. Together they constitute a lesson book, a guide, for our own lives. This lesson book is desperately needed by Christians, indeed all people of good will, in an age characterized by pride and arrogance.
The pattern of the life of Mary, the first disciple of the Lord, reveals a trajectory of surrendered love. If we embrace the mystery of Mary, we will find the meaning of our own lives.

We were created out of Love, in Love and for Love. As the beloved disciple John, who stood with her at the Tree of the Cross, reminds us in his first letter, "God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him." (1 Jn 4:16)

Mary said "Yes" to the invitation to participate in the communion of God's love. She confronted her own fears and entered into a new way of living; so must we. Christians use the word "mystery" in a manner quite different than the contemporary west perceives the word. Christian 'mysteries' are not puzzles to be solved, but gifts to be received, in faith.

The Greek word "mysterion" (later translated "sacramentum" in Latin) is the word used for the Sacraments in the Eastern Church. They are "mysteries" of our faith. It is in that light that Mary is viewed as a "mystery"; she reveals the very heart of that faith. She also teaches us the meaning of our own lives. Like her, we are invited into communion with the Trinitarian God, in and through Jesus Christ.She shows us the way.

Mary lived a life of receiving and giving and giving and receiving. She has been called from the early centuries the "God-bearer" or "Mother of God" (which in Greek is Theo-tokos). She brought forth the Word of God. Her "Fiat", her humble surrender, led to her "Magnificat." Thus she becomes a prototype, showing us the vocation of every human person.

Her response reveals the meaning of life itself. We were made to give ourselves away to the Lord who has given Himself to us in a Holy exchange. He comes and abides within us. Through Baptism we enter into a new way of living in His Body, the Church. Living in that Church we are called to continue His redemptive mission by giving ourselves in Him for the world. An early father of the undivided Christian Church, Gregory of Nyssa, once wrote:

"What came about in bodily form in Mary, the fullness of the godhead shining through Christ in the Blessed Virgin, takes place in a similar way in every soul that has been made pure. The Lord does not come in bodily form, for 'we no longer know Christ according to the flesh', but He dwells in us spiritually and the father takes up His abode with Him, the Gospel tells us. In this way the child Jesus is born in each of us."

When Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, she bore within her the Incarnate Word of God as a living tabernacle of love. (Luke 1:38-45) Jesus, the Redeemer in the womb, was already saving the world and Mary, his chosen mother, was already His first disciple. This little Virgin from Nazareth not only experienced the great miracle but became herself a vehicle of grace for others.

Is it any wonder that the early Christians painted her image in the catacombs during their moments of fear, persecution and doubt? They found great inspiration from this little woman of great faith. In her "yes" they came to understand that ordinary people can change human history. They were inspired to add their own "yes", their own "fiat" to hers.

Justin Martyr and many other early Christian apologists found in her "fiat", her obedient "yes" to the angel, the undoing of the "no - I will not serve" given by the first woman Eve. They called Mary "The Second Eve", the mother of a new creation. In her womb was carried the One whom the biblical authors would call the "New Adam". He was born from her as the first born of a new race of men and women who would find a new birth and a new of living and dying through His Incarnation, Nativity, Life, Death and Resurrection.

That same Redeemer now resides within - and lives through - all those who respond to the invitation of Love like she did. Mary's choice, her response to the invitation of a God who always respects human freedom, is a singularly extraordinary event in all of human history because it changed history forever. However, it is more.

It is an invitation to each one of us to explore our own personal histories and to write them anew in Jesus Christ. Mary is a mirror, a reflection, of "Some- One", Jesus Christ, her Beloved Son,the Eternal Word from the Father who became the Incarnate Word within her. The Savior whom she was privileged to bear for the sake of the world filled her with His grace.

Each of us, now baptized into Him, are also called to become full of grace. The Lord desires to take up residence within us and be borne into a world that hungers for His love. Mary shows us the way. She heard the promise, believed, was filled with grace, and conceived the Lord who is Love incarnate. We can do likewise if we learn to pray, to listen, to hear, and to respond with our own "Yes", living our lives in surrendered love.

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, Teach us the meaning of Life.

-----
 
You may want to visit "Mary: Mother of God", a virtual pilgrimage channel offered by Catholic Online to reflect more upon the meaning and mystery of Mary.You may also want to purchase Deacon Keith Fournier's Book "The Prayer of Mary: Living the Surrendered Life" here.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Living Faith

Worldwide Christian persecution among four vital issues behind Pope and Russian patriarch's visit Watch

Image of Both the Catholic Church and Russian Orthodox Church have spoken out clearly to stop the

By Andrea Gagliarducci, CNA/EWTN News

The first, historic meeting between a Pope and a Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church does not come from nowhere. Both the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate and the Holy See have been working on such an event for decades. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - In at ... continue reading


Can we set aside our differences?: Catholics and Russian Orthodox Patriarch unite for the first time in 1,000 years Watch

Image of Patriarch Kirill will meet Pope Francis on this historic day (AP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Vatican recently announced the historic meeting between Pope Francis and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The meeting is set for Friday and will be the first time the heads of the Catholic and Russian ... continue reading


Oldest copy of Old Testament recognized as world treasure Watch

Image of The oldest surviving copy of the Hebrew Bible has been officially recognized.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The oldest surviving copy of the Old Testament was officially recognized as a world treasure by the United Nations Educations, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Aleppo Codex is the oldest surviving copy of the Hebrew ... continue reading


More than a thousand 'super confessors' released by Pope Francis to tackle 'reserved sins' Watch

Image of One of the Pope's

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Those who commit "reserved sins," transgressions that are deemed especially egregious by the Catholic Church, will have another chance this Jubilee Year. Those who have committed such sins previously only pardonable by the Pope may now seek out the 1,142 ... continue reading


'What could happen if every church would rise up in prayer': Christians join before U.S. Supreme Court to call for prayer Watch

Image of Texas Loves Life stands to protect the unborn (bound4life).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Christians stand together outside the U.S. Supreme Court to call other believers to pray the pro-life law passes. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While the Supreme Court considers a Texas pro-life law, Texas Loves Life calls for Christians to pray for the fates of ... continue reading


If 'Jubilee doesn't arrive to the pockets, it's not a true Jubilee,' Pope Francis says Watch

Image of In his continued catechesis on mercy as seen in Scripture, the Pope noted how the Jubilee year is an

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

For Pope Francis, mercy is not just spiritual, but is something that ought to be expressed in concrete acts of service and in sharing one's goods with the poor, which was a key tradition during Jubilee years throughout Scripture. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - ... continue reading


'You can't have Jesus': NASA accused of censoring use of Christ's name Watch

Image of NASA announces the use of Jesus' name in e-communications is a violation of the First Amendment (SacredHeart).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Members of the Praise and Worship Club, composed of NASA employees, were shocked to receive a notice from NASA ordering they cease to include Jesus' name in their religious e-mails. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The use of Jesus' name came up in May 2015, when ... continue reading


MAKE YOURSELF COUNT! Complete this quick Ash Wednesday survey

Image of Take the Ash Wednesday survey so we can better serve your needs.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online is conducting a global survey on Ash Wednesday practices. Each reader is asked to participate once. The survey will take less than a minute to complete. The results of the survey will help Catholic Online determine how best to serve your needs in the ... continue reading


Santa Muerte gains popularity throughout Mexico - Will Pope Francis react during his visit? Watch

Image of Santa Muerte's popularity has spread throughout South America (Pinterest).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Despite the Catholic Church openly saying Santa Muerte is not recognized as a saint, the death saint continues to spread in popularity among Mexican citizens. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Santa Muerte is an absurdity," Cardinal Norberto Rivera, Mexico's ... continue reading


Bible-themed luxury resort to be built in San Diego? Watch

Image of Televangelist seeks to build Bible-themed resort (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Televangelist Morris Cerullo has been attempting to build a Bible-themed luxury resort for the past few years - and now there is only one more hurdle to jump. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - After purchasing a foreclosed Mission Valley hotel, Cerullo's plans for ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 58:1-9
1 Shout for all you are worth, do not hold back, raise your voice like a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 18-19
3 For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is constantly in ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:14-15
14 Then John's disciples came to him and said, 'Why is it that we and the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 12th, 2016 Image

St. Buonfiglio Monaldo
February 12: He was one of seven Florentines who had joined ... Read More