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.
November is Black Catholic History Month, during which we give special recognition to the contributions of Catholics of African descent. Northern Africa had great importance of the early Church, and some of our most well-known saints, including St. Augustine, St. Monica, St. Martin de Porres, St. Felicity, and St. Perpetua, were African or of African descent. Despite the importance of black Catholics throughout Church history, however, African American Catholics have faced discrimination and hardship.
The Rosary is a powerful prayer that invites us to meditate on the mysteries of our faith. Reciting this prayer earnestly and often is a popular devotion among the faithful. Our Lady herself has reminded us to pray the Rosary frequently: Our Lady of Fatima told Sister Lucia de Jesus dos Santos, “Continue to pray the Rosary every day.”
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
Here at CatholicTV, we are eagerly preparing for the August 24 Mass of Ordination for Bishop-elect Mark O’Connell and our own Bishop-elect Robert Reed as Auxiliary Bishops of Boston. The Archdiocese of Boston will be blessed to have these two devoted servants of God assisting Cardinal Seán O’Malley in their new roles as Auxiliary Bishops. Those roles are certain to be busy ones, but fortunately, for Bishop-elect Reed, that will include staying on at CatholicTV.
As our tumultuous election cycle in the United States draws to a close, we have a special responsibility as Catholics to promote peace, understanding, and tolerance in response to whatever results the election gives us. In this spirit, we invite you to pray a novena for tolerance with us, beginning today, Election Day, and ending on the International Day for Tolerance, November 16.
Our duty of educating ourselves is one that has no end. There is no definable goal we are trying to reach; we do not stop learning when we think we know enough, or when we feel comfortable. There is always more for us to learn.
Despite all the doomsday warnings we received about this year’s election, the world did not end when the polls closed. We continue on today, and our communities survive.
Community, in fact, can be a great source of strength and healing for us. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether we voted the same way our neighbors voted—they are still our neighbors, and we are knit together in a community that must work in harmony in order to function.