As we look to the first half of August there are some great saints that we can learn from. This Sunday is the Transfiguration. One of my favorite Gospel stories and places in the Holy Land. God’s divinity breaks through and the voice of the Father is heard. So much going on and this moment solidifies for us that Jesus in the flesh is the infinite God who comes to us. But the three apostles have to come away (go up the mountain) for this moment to happen.

The saints we can look to are all different in the way that they lived and proclaimed Jesus. Aug 8th is St. Dominic, and the order he founded began in the universities to go out to the world and correctly reveal Jesus. Aug 10th is St. Lawrence, a deacon and servant of the Gospel suffering great torture and death for our Lord. Aug 11th is St. Clare and her work with St. Francis brought new life to the church. Aug 14th is the feast of St. Maximillian Kolbe, a modern-day communicator and martyr for whom our church hall was named.

August 15th is the Holy Day of the Assumption of Mary into heaven. We have the vigil Mass at St. Casimir at 5:15 pm on Monday. Tuesday, the feast day itself, Mass is at 8 am and 5:15 pm.

I have been so encouraged by the number of people who take part in our Eucharistic Adoration, whether on Wednesdays each week or for First Friday. I encourage you to encounter Christ in this quiet time and let Him speak to you.

Also, looking ahead, I will have my classmate from Kansas up visiting this week and we will spend a few days together at my brother’s cabin.

As mentioned in last week’s bulletin, we will be looking more deeply at the Mass with the help of Denis McNamara’s article “In the Form of a Sacrificial Meal” (Catechetical Review April 2023).

“The English word sacrifice comes from two Latin roots, sacra, meaning”holy ” or”sacred “, and facere, meaning to “to make” or “to do”. So, the goal of any sacrifice is to do the sacred action with the intent of making things holy. The Mass is indeed a sacrifice:it re-presents and makes real the sacrifice of Christ in order to make creation holy again after the Fall. By immolating a victim, literally “grinding” it up (from Latin molere, “to grind”), two ends were hoped for: reconciliation, which means being friendly again after a division, and propitiation, gaining or regaining the favor of another. In Christ’s case, his perfect self-offering did both: it healed the relationship between God and man perfectly, then made it possible to receive God’s sanctifying grace. In Eden, logically, humans had no need to offer sacrifice since the relationship between God and man had not yet been wounded by the Fall. And so…’man quite naturally made that gift to God which is the obligatory response of the creature to the Creator, an absolutely pure gift, entirely spiritual:the gift of the heart’. After the Fall, however, humans no longer had the capacity for perfect spiritual giving.”

Perhaps some of the article seems a little ‘heady’, yet it explains why we need to focus and concentrate when we are at Mass. After the Fall, it is not so easy. It is a great reason why we need to bring our young children to Mass, and we, as adults, need to be there each Sunday so we can truly be “practicing” Catholics, working on joyfully giving to God from the heart.