From The Seminarian’s Desk
– Ave, Regina Caelorum! –
“Welcome, O Queen of Heaven!” Dear Assumption Parish, This Sunday we celebrate our patronal feast day: the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It also happens to be my last Sunday here at the parish before I return to my studies in Philadelphia. My time spent here this summer has been both rewarding and challenging, affirming my decision to enter the seminary while also calling me to grow humanly, pastorally, and spiritually. God has blessed me with the opportunity to serve you these last few months. I pray that I have been able to assist you even a fraction of the amount that you all have assisted me, especially through your kindness, generosity, and prayers. Before I go, I would like to briefly reflect on the significance of today’s great festival. The Cate-chism of the Catholic Church states that Mary, “preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.” (CCC 966). It is important to remember that Mary’s Assumption into Heaven (and our own hope of entering heavenly glory) is not an “eternal vacation,” but a complete incorporation into the divine life. In Heaven, we will experience the fullness of joy and the fulfillment of all desire for we shall see God in all His glory and, to quote St. Irenaeus, “the glory of God is the human being fully alive!” Nevertheless, we do not need to wait for the end of our earthly lives in order to partake, at least in part, in the divine life and the glorious splendor of Heaven. In fact, our hope for eternal glory is de-pendent upon the way we live on earth. Therefore, as these months of summer end, I would like to leave with you with a poem written by Gerard Manley Hopkins, a Jesuit priest who lived in Victorian England. May we seek God’s glory in all that we do, and may we never fail to recognize the people, places, and circumstances which sur-round us as evidence and reminders of that same glory. Let us remember each other in prayer! Sincerely yours in Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Sal Orosz
“God’s Grandeur” by Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod. And for all this, nature is never spent; There lives the dearest freshness deep down things; And though the last lights off the black West went Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs — Because the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.