the last 4 things

Mary was taken to heaven, body and soul.  

Good morning and happy feast of St. Lawrence! We’re just finishing a wonderful week in the Church year- the Dedication of Mary Major this past Monday, Transfiguration on Tuesday, St. Dominic on Thursday, and just yesterday was the feast of Edith Stein (also called St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.) Phew! So many incredible days of celebration! 

As we were reading and praying with tomorrow’s readings, we found that this week and last week are very similar. Last week the Gospel focused on setting our eyes on the things of Heaven, not the things of Earth. This week we are told to be on guard because at an hour we don’t expect, our life will be required of us! 

The Cause of Our Joy will take a closer look at this gospel reading from Luke as well as talk about some of the exciting feast days coming this week. As usual we’ll have some fun ideas for families and kids, too! 

So, without further ado, let’s get into this! 

Be On Guard
As this Sunday’s gospel warns, we must be prepared because we do not know the day or the hour when we will stand before the Lord at the end of our life. Dr. Brant Pitre has a great video called Almsgiving and the Return of the Master. It’s a fantastic reflection in preparation for tomorrow’s liturgy! 

Last 4 Things
It is a healthy thing to ponder death! “Memento mori” (remembering your death) has a variety of benefits! If we keep our eyes on Christ and the Fatherland (as St. Therese of Lisieux called it) the struggles and setbacks of this world take a lesser importance and can be avenues of Grace and growth! It’s certainly not a popular thing to discuss this day in age, but we can all rest assured that death comes for us all. 

With that in mind, we found this article from The National Catholic Register that discusses The Last Four Things and we thought you might like to use it to deepen your prayer. 

The Real Presence
Recently, the Pew Research Center released a new study which found that a majority of Catholics in the U.S. do not believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. For the full report and a commentary by Bishop Barron, follow this link.   

How can we counter this lack of belief and understanding of the Eucharist? Through education and catechesis. That’s why the Exhibit on the Eucharistic Miracles has been so very important. It’s a great tool to use to teach people about that Jesus is truly present – body, blood, soul and divinity in the Eucharist. Stop by sometime soon, as the Exhibit will only be here through the end of August. 

Noteworthy News
Mont St. Michel, a medieval abbey built on an island off the shore of France’s northwestern coast, has served as a monastery since it was built in the 8th century. This video taken from a drone shows its breath-taking beauty and makes us think of Heavenly things. 

This next piece comes from an unlikely source- ESPN sports news! It’s the touching and inspiring story of a All-American Villanova basketball star who felt God’s call to the religious life. She joined the Poor Clares and has been there for 28 years! ESPN did a piece about her on the 25th anniversary of her solemn profession and the renewal of her vows. It’s a fantastic and powerful read! 

Marian Minute
As you are probably aware, this coming Thursday, August 15th is the Solemnity of the Assumption- a holy day of obligation. (Don’t forget to check your parish bulletin for Mass times!) It is the day we celebrate Our Lady being assumed into Heaven. To learn more about the solemnity and its history, check out this piece by Catholic News Agency

On a personal note, this day is special for both the Moe and the Mercer families. Lori and Katie both consecrated themselves to Jesus through Mary on this date in 1997. Additionally, Josh and Lori had their first date on August 15, exactly 15 years ago. And on this day in 2015, Katie and Andy were married! We also both have daughters named in the Blessed Mother’s honor (Margaret Mary and Marian Anastasia!) Our Lady has been so good to us! 

Saint Spotlight
One of our MOST FAVORITE saints celebrates his feast day this coming week! You guessed it- St. Maximilian Kolbe! His feast day is August 14. How fitting that he would meet his eternal reward on the vigil of such a great day dedicated to Our Lady. He was cremated by Nazi camp officials on the Feast of the Assumption. He is quoted as saying years earlier: “I would like to be reduced to ashes for the cause of the Immaculata, and may this dust be carried all over the whole world, so that nothing would remain.” To find out more about him, check out this bio of his life

St. Maximilian had an incredible devotion to Our Lady and spent his life trying to consecrate the whole world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary! If you want to know some interesting facts about him, check out Word on Fire’s 9 Things to Know about St. Maximilian Kolbe

For Families and Kids!
If you are hoping to celebrate the Assumption with your children or grandchildren but need ideas, look no further! Catholic Icing to the rescue! This Catholic mom has fantastic ideas and even inserts a little humor into her explanations. Check it out!

Processions are a lovely and interactive way to honor Our Lady on her feast days. Kendra Tierney from Catholic All Year has a blogpost about how to do an easy Marian procession at home!

Marian Center Update
The Marian Center is hosting the Eucharistic Miracles of the World exhibit until Saturday, August 31. Don’t miss it! Find out more here.

SAVE THE DATE: Marian Center Kids Camp will be held Aug 20-22 from 9 to Noon each day. K-5. More details to come! 

September 28 – Mass and celebration of the Archangels along with dedication of St. Juan Diego 

To Christ Through Mary, 

Katie Moe and Lori Mercer

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