Monday, August 5, 2013

August: The Immaculate Heart of Mary

Today marks the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Our Lady of Snows (Santa Maria Maggiore), as Tradition says that it snowed on this August day in Rome when this major basilica was consecrated. Upon writing this post, despite being a sunny day, it is a chilly August New England day, and I am wearing a sweatshirt because it is so cold! (But there is no snow in the forecast.)

The month of August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for the titular feast is observed as the octave of Our Lady's Assumption (August 22nd). The actual feast of the Assumption is August 15th, a holy day of obligation. 

During the summer months of June, July, and August, the Church dedicates these months to parts of arguably the most important organ in the human body: the cardiovascular system. However, the hearts commemorated are not that of any ordinary human beings. June is the Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. July is the Month of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord. And August commemorates Our Lady's Immaculate Heart. While these hearts have never sinned and ever needed contrition, everyone else's hearts need contrition through fasting and the Sacrament of Penance. 

At the end of the month, many schoolchildren will return to the classroom to begin the next academic year. Every morning, the pupils will rise and place their right hands across their hearts, and they will pledge to God to be morally true to their country. They will do this every day throughout the year. The simple reason of covering the heart for the Pledge, National Anthem, moments of silence, Taps, at the flagpole, and at parades is a belief in God, as God comes from the heart.

Once I graduated from high school, I never recited the Pledge of Allegiance on any regular basis (i.e. daily). I would like this to become part of my daily routine with my future wife, along with Morning and Evening prayers. 

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