Monday, 15 August 2011

Feast of the Assumption

Icon, The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2008

Both icons shown in this posting are older ones that were posted previously.  The Assumption was posted in November, 2008 while The Dormition was posted in January, 2009.  This was back when I was completing the icons of the mysteries of the Rosary for my first book "Rosary Icons" still available through Blurb.  At any rate, since today's posting fell on the Feast of the Assumption, I chose to use these two icons again.  Hope you don't mind!  Now for a little information on them both.
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life is a defined dogma of the Catholic Church. The Feast of the Assumption, celebrated every year on August 15, is a very old feast of the Church, celebrated universally by the sixth century. It commemorates the death of Mary and her bodily assumption into Heaven, before her body could begin to decay -- a foretaste of our own bodily resurrection at the end of time. Because it signifies the Blessed Virgin's passing into eternal life, it is the most important of all Marian feasts.

Icon, Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2009

The feast was first celebrated in the East, where it is known as the Feast of the Dormition, a word which means "the falling asleep." The earliest printed reference to the belief that Mary's body was assumed into Heaven dates from the fourth century, in a document entitled "The Falling Asleep of the Holy Mother of God." The document recounts, in the words of the Apostle John, to whom Christ on the Cross had entrusted the care of His mother, the death, laying in the tomb, and assumption of the Blessed Virgin. Tradition places Mary's death at Jerusalem or at Ephesus where John was living.

However, the earliest traditions all locate the end of Mary's life in Jerusalem. By the 7th century a variation emerged, according to which one of the apostles, often identified as St Thomas, was not present at the death of Mary, but his late arrival precipitates a reopening of Mary's tomb, which is found to be empty except for her grave clothes while the place where she had lain was filled with beautiful flowers.

The Assumption is important to many Catholic (both Latin and Eastern Rite) and Orthodox Christians as the Virgin Mary's heavenly birthday (the day that Mary was received into Heaven). Her acceptance into the glory of Heaven is seen by them as the symbol of the promise made by Jesus to all enduring Christians that they too will be received into paradise.

In his August 15, 2004, homily given at Lourdes, Pope John Paul II quoted John 14:3 as one of the scriptural bases for understanding the dogma of the Assumption of Mary. In this verse, Jesus tells his disciples at the Last Supper, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also." According to Catholic theology, Mary is the pledge of the fulfillment of Christ's promise.

To see more details combined with a lot of conjecture and speculation go to:


Now let me show you a few more of my huge collection of cat and dog photos.  I keep telling myself that I will not add anymore pictures to this folder unless I see something that is really spectacular.  However, I see a new photo and it is just so cute or sweet or whatever and I just cannot resist.  I predict that if my hard drive ever gets totally full it will be because of all of these photos!

Drinking at the Tap
 So many cats love to drink from a dripping tap.  I have never really understood why -- especially if they have a full bowl of fresh water nearby.  At any rate, anyone who has spent time around cats know that the majority of them will take a dripping tap over a bowl of fresh water any day!  Of course, there are also cats like my Suki.  She loves to drink from a dripping tap but she is not content to just drink.  She also must play with the dripping water as thought it each drip was some sort of moving challenge.  The only problem with this is that unless I catch her in time. she will jump down from the bathroom counter (she isn't allowed on the kitchen one), leaving a trail of wet paw marks all across the hardwood floor.  Eventually I see them and have to clean them up.  I have offered to teach her how to dry her paws before getting down from the counter, but so far she seems uninterested!

Stop and Smell the Flowers -- or is this just a prelude to Eating the flowers?!
I don't think I have ever seen a cat simply smell a flower and then pass by.  I have seen them sniff and then begin to either play with the flower or try to eat it.  This can lead to a vase being knocked over and all the water spilled or, worse, it can lead to a very sick cat if the flowers are dangerous to animals!

Hoping to dream of mice by resting on a mouse!

I don't know if someone snuck the mouse under the cat's head while it was sleeping soundly for the sake of the photo or if the cat actually went to sleep lying on it.  I must admit, I have seen cats sleeping on top of some very odd things -- things that I would think would be terribly uncomfortable.  Yet, there the cat is, obviously asleep.  Maybe it is because they are able to totally relax their muscles even though they can spring up, fully functional, at a moment's notice.  If I could relax my muscles that way I am sure this chiropractor I am seeing would have a lot less trouble trying to work on my neck and spine!

"Yes, but my mama already washed me good.  Honest!"

What a tiny kitten and what a big dog and yet you can sense the gentleness involved in the clean-up.  I think this is a lovely photo -- I only wish it was sharper, more in focus.  Anyway, it just goes to show that just as most people are moved by the sight of a little kitten -- so are many dogs.

Heart to Heart -- BFF
So, let me end this section by showing you two beautiful cats who ended up sleeping in such a way that it looks to me as though their tails are almost forming a heart shape,  Cats and cats, people and people, people and cats, people and dogs, dogs and dogs and cats and dogs -- all can form real friendships that last a lifetime.  Thank goodness for all the kindness in the world that we see expressed between creatures.  The sweetest of all, of course, is that eternal friendship between each one of us and Our Lord.  It will never end.


Electronically created silk
There is really not much to say about me or Suki this time.  We continue to do our usual stuff and enjoy ourselves. 

The chiropractor seems to be working out well and I am more hopeful than I have been in quite a while regarding my neck.  It will probably never be as good as it once was, but I do think I am beginning to see just a tiny bit of progress in my ability to hold my neck straighter.  So, please keep praying!

I came across a series of photographs like the one above where the artist had been able to electronically create something that looks like flowing silk in the breeze.  I wish I had the 'know how' so that I could show you what it looks like when it is moving, but I have to learn some more stuff first.  Anyway, even sitting still, it looks lovely.  Another beautiful creation by an artist whose skill and ability all originated with the Creator and Ultimate Artist!

 May the peace of God be with us all.

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