August 15 marks the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This solemnity celebrates the end of Mary’s earthly life and the beginning of her heavenly life, in keeping with the Catholic dogma that Mary was assumed, body and soul, into heaven. Though belief in the Assumption dates back to the early days of the Church, it was not declared dogma until 1950.
Whether you feel like you are in a rut or filled with zeal, there are always new ways to strengthen your spiritual life. The rich and continuing history of Catholicism has centuries of wisdom and traditions to uncover. Take a look at these tips for ideas about how to improve your spiritual life and, as a result, your relationship with God.
1. Go to Daily Mass
When we hear the word discernment, we tend to think about the discernment of vocations. You might discern the religious life; you might discern marriage; you might discern a different vocation entirely. This process is important, and it is infinitely helpful to spend time in prayer and discernment before making any big life decision.
But what about the little decisions that we face every day? Should we discern those, too?
Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for July 2016 is that "That indigenous peoples, whose identity and very existence are threatened, will be shown due respect."
Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for May 2016 is that "women may be honored and respected" around the world.
Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for April 2016 is that "small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor."
Below is the full text of Pope Francis' Easter Blessing (thanks to Vatican News):
Dear Brothers and Sisters, a Happy and Holy Easter!