August is the month of the Blessed Sacrament and dedicated to The Immaculate Heart of Mary.
We know, as Catholics, that we encounter Jesus whenever we go to Mass and experience the Consecration. When wine and bread are transformed into Body and Blood, and we receive Him, we are transformed. It grants a special grace to handle the trials of Christian living. Consecrated hosts are kept in a sacred container called a ciborum that is housed inside the tabernacle. The tabernacle is what we are to face when we genuflect at Mass. Some parishes have designated times where the prayerful contemplation called Eucharistic Adoration take place. This is a wonderful exercise for our spiritual muscle. Take a devotional, your Bible, or simply a blank notebook with a pen and sit in quiet contemplation and take notes on what comes to you as you sit and pray. The Blessed Sacrament can teach you plenty.
It is a month named for a human being (Caesar Augustus) who deemed himself divine. And so it is providential that this month dedicated to renewed reverence for our truly Divine Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament.Make August a month of renewal. Stop before the Blessed Sacrament prior to and/or after Mass. Stop in for visit to our Lord on the way to or from work, before a test, or major decision, like a knight in vigil before a battle. If you pass a Catholic (or Orthodox) church, bow your head, bless yourself in recognizing reverence. It is not a accident that there is no saint who did not revere the Blessed Sacrament. It is not possible that those who do likewise will not become just like them in sanctity. Good Morning August!
Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The month of August is traditionally dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The physical heart of Mary is venerated (and not adored as the Sacred Heart of Jesus is) because it is united to her person and is the seat of her love (especially for her divine Son), virtue, and inner life. Such devotion is an incentive to a similar love and virtue.
This devotion has received new emphasis in this century from the visions given to Lucy Dos Santos, oldest of the visionaries of Fatima, in her convent in Tuy, in Spain, in 1925 and 1926. In the visions Our Lady asked for the practice of the Five First Saturdays to help make amends for the offences committed against her heart by the blasphemies and ingratitude of men. The practice parallels the devotion of the Nine First Fridays in honour of the Sacred Heart. On October 31, 1942, Pope Pius XII made a solemn Act of Consecration of the Church and the whole world to the Immaculate Heart. Let us remember this devotion year-round, but particularly through the month of August. The entire month falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical colour green. This symbol of hope is the colour of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection. It is used in the offices and Masses of Ordinary Time. The last portion of the liturgical year represents the time of our pilgrimage to heaven during which we hope for reward.
Excerpted from The Prayer Book by Reverend John P. O’Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A.
Consecration to the Immaculate Heart
Pope Paul VI,, on the floor of the Vatican Council at the close of the third session, renewed publicly the consecration of the Church and the world to Mary’s Immaculate Heart. He said that his thoughts turned to the whole world “which our venerated predecessor Pius XII . . . not without inspiration from on high, solemnly consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. . . . O Virgin Mary, Mother of the Council, to you we recommend the entire Church.” When he visited Fatima on May 13, 1967, the same Pope recalled this”consecration which we ourselves have renewed on November 21, 1964 — we exhort all the sons of the Church to renew personally their consecration to the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of the Church and to bring alive this most noble act of veneration through a life ever more in accord with the divine will and in a spirit of filial service and of devout imitation of their heavenly Queen.”
Before making a consecration it is most desirable to make a careful preparation extending over some period of time. One good way to make that preparation is described in the last part of St. Louis de Montfort‘s True Devotion book. The most essential thing is not making an act of consecration, with or without some solemnity, though that is important. The essential thing is to live that consecration. Living a consecration could be described as following three attitudes or spirits:
||Imitation of Jesus and Mary, so as to become like them, and trying to develop as constant as possible a realization of His and her presence.|
||Give to Jesus and Mary the right to dispose of everything we have, temporal and spiritual.|
||Jesus and Mary have the right to ask us to do anything at all, even without reward. In consecration, we recognize that right, give it on a basis of love, and plan to carry it out with fullest generosity.|
liked to speak of the relation of consecration to our baptismal promises, in which we promised to renounce satan and all his works, and to follow Jesus, by whom we are “sealed” in baptism as His property. Consecration is the fullest kind of response to and carrying out of these promises. Mary, in view of her Immaculate Conception, was most fitted to respond most fully, and that she did, with a fullness and perfection beyond our ability to visualize — for we recall that Pius IX told us that even at the start of her existence, her holiness was so great that “none greater under God can be thought of, and no one but God can comprehend it.”
Excerpted from Our Father’s Plan, Fr. William G. Most
Our very consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary calls upon us to make reparation for the offences that we and others have committed against her. The Church, in inviting us to consecrate ourselves to her Immaculate Heart, implicitly calls upon us for this reparation. But more explicitly, and even before Fatima, Saint Pius X offered a plenary indulgence to all who on the first Saturday of the month would observe special devotions in honour of the Immaculate Virgin in a spirit of reparation for the blasphemies uttered against her.
There is, however, an even more basic reason why each one of us owes reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: every sin of ours caused grief and suffering to her in union with her divine Son. For sin was the cause of that terrible day on Calvary when she, as the New Eve, shared in the torment of the great sacrifice, and, amidst indescribable pain, brought forth spiritually all the members of the Mystical Body of her divine Son. God willed that Mary should be intimately associated with His Son in bearing the burden of all sin; surely then, her Immaculate Heart, in union with His divine Heart, should receive reparation from us who have caused them such pain. If anyone causes hurt to even a very ordinary human being, he does not overlook the need to make amends. How much more do we owe to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!
Excerpted Mary In Our Life, Fr. William G. Most