A Catholic Monthly Magazine

On family life and on the Assumption

On family life

There is no perfect family. We do not have perfect parents, we are not perfect, we do not marry a perfect person or have perfect children. We have complaints from each other. We  disappoint each other. So there is no healthy marriage or healthy family without the exercise of forgiveness. Forgiveness is vital to our emotional health and spiritual survival. Without forgiveness the family becomes an arena of conflict and a stronghold of hurt.

Without forgiveness, the family becomes ill. Forgiveness is the asepsis of the soul, the cleansing of the mind and the liberation of the heart. Whoever does not forgive does not have peace in the soul nor communion with God. Hurt is a poison that intoxicates and kills. Keeping heartache in the heart is a self destructive gesture. Those who do not forgive are physically, emotionally and spiritually ill.

That is why the family must be a place of life, not of death; territory of cure, not of illness; stage of forgiveness and not guilt. Forgiveness brings joy where sorrow has produced sadness; healing where sorrow has caused diseases.

Source: Couples for Christ

On the Assumption of Mary

When man set foot on the moon, he said a phrase that became famous: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” In essence, humanity had reached an historical goal. But today, in Mary’s Assumption into heaven, we celebrate an infinitely greater conquest. The Madonna has set foot in paradise. She went there not only in spirit, but with her body as well, with all of herself. This step of the lowly Virgin of Nazareth was the huge leap forward for humanity.

Going to the moon serves us little if we do not live as brothers and sisters on earth. But that one of us dwells in the flesh in heaven gives us hope because we understand that we are precious, destined to rise again. God does not allow our bodies to vanish into nothing. With God, nothing is lost!

In Mary, the goal has been reached and we have before our eyes the reasons why we journey: not to gain the things here below, which vanish, but to achieve the homeland above, which is forever. And Our Lady is the star that guides us. She went there first. She, as the Council teaches, shines “as a sign of sure hope and solace to the People of God during its sojourn on earth” (Lumen gentium, 68).

What does our Mother advise us? Today in the Gospel the first thing she says is: “My soul magnifies the Lord” (Lk 1:46). Accustomed to hearing these words, perhaps we no longer pay attention to their meaning. To ‘magnify’ literally means ‘to make great’, to enlarge. Mary “magnifies the Lord” – not problems, which she did not lack at the time, but the Lord.

How often, instead, we let ourselves be overwhelmed by difficulties and absorbed by fears! Our Lady does not, because she puts God as the first greatness of life. From here the Magnificat springs forth, from here joy is born, not from the absence of problems, which come sooner or later, but joy is born from the presence of God who helps us, who is near us. Because God is great. And, above all, God looks on the lowly ones. We are his weakness of love –God looks on and loves the lowly.

The Lord works wonders with those who are lowly, with those who do not believe that they are great but who give ample space to God in their life. He enlarges His mercy to those who trust in him, and raises up the humble. Mary praises God for this.

And we - we might ask ourselves - do we remember to praise God? Do we thank him for the great things he does for us? For every day that he gives us, because he always loves us and forgives us, for his tenderness? As well, for having given us his Mother, for the brothers and sisters he puts on our path, and because he opened heaven to us? Do we thank God, praise God for these things?

If we forget the good, our hearts shrink. But if, like Mary, we remember the great things that the Lord does, if at least once a day we were to ‘magnify’ him, then we would take a great step forward. One time during the day to say, “I praise the Lord,” to say, “Blessed be the Lord,” which is a short prayer of praise. With this short prayer, our hearts will expand, joy will increase.

Let us ask Our Lady, the Gate of Heaven, for the grace to begin each day by raising our eyes to Heaven, towards God, to say to him, "Thank you!” as the lowly ones say to the great ones. “Thank you.”  

Source: Vatican.va, 15 August 2020

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