August: The month dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

08-01-2018Monthly Reflection© 2018 Trinity Communications

The month of August is dedicated to The Immaculate Heart of Mary. The entire month falls within the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color 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.

A Time to Persevere

The days of summer have provided a welcome change of pace. However, while vacations afford us the time to relax and refresh, the change of habits and routines can also have a negative impact on our spiritual lives. As if to re-ignite us, the Church offers us in the plethora of August feasts vivid examples of the virtue of perseverance: six martyrs — two who are named in Canon I of the Mass and two who were martyred during World War II; seven founders of religious congregations, as well as three popes and two kings; the apostle, St. Bartholomew; the great Doctor of the Church, St. Augustine and St. Monica, his mother; the humble patron saint of parish priests, St. John Vianney, and the patron of deacons, St. Lawrence, who joked with his executioners while being roasted alive.

The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of August 2018

Universal – The Treasure of Families: That any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians may protect the family as one of the treasures of humanity. (See also Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network)

Feasts for August

The feasts on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of August are:

1. Alphonsus LiguoriMemorial
2. Eusebius of Vercelli; Peter Julian EymardOpt. Mem.
4. John VianneyMemorial
5. Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary TimeSunday
6. TransfigurationFeast
7. Sixtus II and companions; CajetanOpt. Mem.
8. DominicMemorial
9. Teresa Benedicta of the CrossOpt. Mem.
10. LawrenceFeast
11. ClareMemorial
12. Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary TimeSunday
13. Pontian and HippolytusOpt. Mem.
14. Maximilian KolbeMemorial
15. AssumptionSolemnity
16. Stephen of HungaryOpt. Mem.
19. Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary TimeSunday
20. BernardMemorial
21. Pius XSunday
22. Queenship of MaryMemorial
23. Rose of LimaOpt. Mem.
24. BartholomewFeast
25. Louis of France; Joseph CalasanzOpt. Mem.
26. Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary TimeSunday
27. MonicaMemorial
28. AugustineMemorial
29. Passion of Saint John the Baptist Memorial

Focus of the Liturgy

The Gospel readings for the Sundays in August 2018 are taken from St. John and are from Year B, Cycle 2.

Date Theme
August 5th - 18th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Jesus said, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst."

August 12th - 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time

"I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."

August 19th - 20th Sunday of Ordinary Time

"Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day."

August 26th - 21st Sunday of Ordinary Time

In this Gospel, Peter tells Jesus, "You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God."

Highlights of the Month

August is often considered the transitional month in our seasonal calendar. It is the time of the year we begin to wind-down from our summer travels and vacations and prepare for Autumn — back to school, fall festivals, harvest time, etc. The Church in her holy wisdom has provided a cycle of events in its liturgical year which allow the faithful to celebrate the major feasts in the life of Christ and Mary. Most notably, during August, we celebrate the feast of the Transfiguration (August 6) and the feast of the Assumption (August 15).

The feasts of Dedication of St. Mary Major (August 5) and St. Jane Frances de Chantal (August 12) fall on a Sunday so they are superseded by the Sunday Liturgy.

A Time to Persevere

The days of summer have provided a welcome change of pace. However, while vacations afford us the time to relax and refresh, the change of habits and routines can also have a negative impact on our spiritual lives. As if to re-ignite us, the Church offers us in the plethora of August feasts vivid examples of the virtue of perseverance: six martyrs — two who are named in Canon I of the Mass and two who were martyred during World War II; seven founders of religious congregations, as well as three popes and two kings; the apostle, St. Bartholomew; the great Doctor of the Church, St. Augustine and St. Monica, his mother; the humble patron saint of parish priests, St. John Vianney, and the patron of deacons, St. Lawrence, who joked with his executioners while being roasted alive.

It is never too late to begin — as the life of the reformed sinner, St. Augustine teaches us — nor too difficult to begin again, as demonstrated by the conversion of the martyr, St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein). We present-day members of the Mystical Body are certain of the reward to which we are called, for Christ's Transfigured body (August 6) is a preview of that glory. Moreover, in the Assumption of his Mother (August 15), Our Lord has demonstrated his fidelity to his promise. Her privilege is "the highest fruit of the Redemption" and "our consoling assurance of the coming of our final hope — the glorification which is Christ's" (Enchiridion on Indulgences).

The Blessed Virgin Mary is the most perfect example of Christian perseverance, but she is also our advocate in heaven where she is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth (August 22). Mary is the "Mother of Perpetual Help", the patroness of the Congregation founded by St. Alphonsus Liguori (August 1). "No one who has fled to her protection is left unaided" is the claim of the Memorare of St. Bernard (August 20). Heretics have returned to the faith by the prayers of her Rosary, first preached by St. Dominic (August 8) in the twelfth Century, and hearts have been converted by the graces received while wearing her Miraculous Medal, promoted by St. Maximillian Kolbe (August 14) and adopted as the "badge" for the Pious Union he founded. Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope!

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