Saturday, August 14, 2010

What Would YOU Preach about Tomorrow on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary?

I expect that you might hope for one or both of the following to be included in the Homily:

1. A clear explanation of the Assumption. Many Catholics do not even know the basics about this Dogma.

2. A clear explanation about the significance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to our Catholic Faith, not only with regard to her Assumption, but in general. A combination of weak catechesis regarding Mary inside the Church, and a lingering – and sometimes still rabid -- antipathy among non-Catholics towards Mary and her crucial place in Christ's salvific work, requires fervent and focused preaching about Our Lady on a regular basis from the pulpit.

I will include both of these elements in my Homily, but I will also consider two reasons why many Catholics seem so unmoved by Mary's Assumption. Please check in again tomorrow and listen to the audio of my Homily. (A couple of advance hints: Most people today don’t get close to dead bodies a’mouldering anymore, and most people today consider themselves sufficiently free from the taint of any original or actual sin that might keep them from leaping directly into the bosom of Abraham.)


  1. I look forward to this weekend's homily.

    Only after the Last Judgment will Mary get any rest; from now until then, she is much too busy with her children. - St John Vianney

  2. First off I want to say that I'm really happy to see another priest blog and that I enjoyed your previous posts. It makes me wonder if Fr. Bear is a little Aristotelian! Anyways many of the insight are well taken.

    Looking at point one: "Many Catholics do not even know the basics about this Dogma". I wonder if many Catholics today have a deeper, more fundamental issue of not understanding what dogma or doctrine even means.

  3. Thanks, "Thomas." Yes, you are right: many Catholics do not understand what were traditionally called the "theological notes." (For example, what is the relationship between dogma and doctrine, or between doctrine and theological opinion, along with the more specific categories of "de fide," "de fide definitiva", etc.?) And we in Church leadership have not done a very good job of explaining these matters.

    Some years ago, at my previous parish, I offered a 6-part series called "'The Church Teaches': What Does That Mean?" I taught on topics such as magisterium, dissent, conscience, obsequy of the will, "sensus fidelium," and so on. If we do not get these overall matters clear, then every specific topic that we teach will elicit the response of "Oh yeah? Well, I don't care what the Church teaches, I don't believe it!"