Friday, July 28, 2023

Mary, our Mother; Jesus, our Brother - August 2023


Feast of the Assumption, 2023

August has several special days, for example, the Feast of the Transfiguration and the Feast of the Assumption.

At the Transfiguration, Peter, James and John saw the glorified Jesus. Perhaps it was a sort of “pep” talk prior to Jesus’ Passion. Has Jesus ever given you a special moment, an uplifting of your spirit when you were feeling overwhelmed?


The Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven

“And when I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” John 14:3

“And the dead in Christ will rise first and so we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.

Mother Katharine urges us that: “During this Octave of the Assumption often think of the joys of heaven and that these are to be yours. Make it yours by corresponding with every grace.”

         Clearly Jesus did not want His Mother to be left alone on earth; He brought her home to Him in heaven.  This privilege can be ours, if we are faithful to our prayers and to the graces God sends us.  Jesus honored Mary as His Mother on earth. On their return from Jerusalem, we learned that Jesus went home with Mary and Joseph and was subject to them.  At the wedding feast at Cana, Mary told Jesus that they had no wine. He basically said, “So what? It’s not my turn, yet.” We don’t know what happened between Mary and Jesus next. Did she give Him the “Mother” look? We do know she spoke to the waiters and then Jesus turned the water into wine. Do we think Jesus will ignore any request from His Mother now that she is with Him in heaven?


In saying the “Hail Mary” we end the prayer by saying: “pray for us now and at the hour of our death.” Mary is our mother; she will not leave our side if we call out to her.


Stephanie Morris, Ph.D., A.S.B.S.

*** Stephanie Morris, Ph.D., A.S.B.S. is the sole contributor to this blog as of June of 2023 ***

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

July 2023, Happy Feast Day!

July 14 is the feast day of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680), the Lily of the Mohawks. Her mother was Algonguin and her father a Mohawk chief. Her parents had died from small pox when she was a child; Kateri’s face was scarred by small pox. Her uncle’s family adopted her. Kateri was baptized by Jesuit missionaries when she was about twenty years old. Her uncle did not approve of her becoming a Christian. Kateri went about her duties, praying while she was working in the fields. When she would not work on a Sunday, she was told she could not eat that day. Kateri escaped to Canada where she could live as a Christian. Shortly after her death in 1680, Kateri’s face, pockmarked by small pox scars, became clear and luminous. In 1904, Mother Katharine visited Caughnawaga, Quebec, near Montreal, where Kateri had lived, visiting Kateri’s shrine. In 1937, Mother Katharine wrote that the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha would show that there is no distinction with God as to persons and that no race had a monopoly on sanctity. Mother Katharine hoped that at that time all would be truly seen as the children of God. Pope Benedict XVI canonized Saint Kateri on October 21, 2012, the first Native American saint in the United States and Canada.

         July 16 is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. On that day in 1891 Archbishop Patrick J. Ryan of Philadelphia blessed the cornerstone of the Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. The inscription on the cornerstone read: “and it shall be in the place where it was said unto them, you are not my people; there they shall be called the sons of the living God” (Romans 9:26).

         On that day but in an earlier, private ceremony, the Archbishop blessed the new habits of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. They had been wearing the habit of the Sisters of Mercy while in Pittsburgh; now they wore their own habit.

         July 26 is the feast day of Saints Ann and Joachim, the parents of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Their efforts to raise Mary in a faith-filled environment led to her “Fiat,” Mary’s acceptance of her role as the mother of Jesus.

         Family life was important to Jesus; He spent thirty years as a member of the Holy Family, hidden from public view. Mother Katharine called Jesus’ home “His first apostolate.” By living the life of an ordinary family member, Jesus sanctified “the ordinary way of family life.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls the family the “original cell of social life” (#2207). As children we first learn how to interact with others within our family. Education in the faith begins when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life (#2226). We begin to learn how to be Christian within our family.

         This summer may our families continue to cultivate the seed of a deep faith and confidence in God. May we truly see all people as children of God.

Stephanie Morris, ASBS