A MONTH OF AUGUST AND ITS SPIRITUAL FRUITS.
BY FR. JOHN MAENDELEO, C.S.Sp.
DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS FOR RADIO MARIA TANZANIA.
Dear Friends of Radio Maria Tanzania and all God’s people. May I greet you all in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ and in the name of Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Savior and the Patroness of Radio Maria; your only Radio, the Christian voice in your homes.
I thank God so much for all that He has been to us for all this period; 21 years of the existence of Radio Maria Tanzania, which we have just celebrated (Mbeya Diocese from 27/06/2017 to 02/07/2017).
As we start this month of August, I feel it is my duty to encourage you to continue strengthening your faith and all that makes you grow strong to it (sacraments of the church, sacramentals, various devotions, Church teachingsetc.).
I welcome you to start this Month of August with great enthusiasm. We can describe a month of August in different ways depending which angle one stands. However, there are some other facts, which are so much appealing and can be of great help for our spiritual growth. For instance; the Catholic Church is calling all of us during this Month of August to celebrate either memorialor feast of people like us who have lived their lives well when it this planet and now are in communion of saints in heaven.
Here we have people like: St. Alphonsus Ligouri (August 1),St. Eusebius Vercelli (August 02), St. Petro Eymardi (August 03), St. John Mary Vianney (August 4), Dedication of the Basilica Church of Mary Major and St. Nona (August 5), Transfiguration of the Lord (August 6), St. Sixtus II and Companions, St. Cajetan (August 7), St. Dominic (August 8),St Oswald of North Umbria,St. Teresa Benedicta (August 9), St. Lawrence the Deacon (August 10), St. Clare of Assisi(August 11), St. Eupilio Martyr, Jane Frances de Chantal (August 12), St. Ponsiano, St. Hypolito martyrs(August 13). St. Maximilian Kolbe (August 14), St. Stephen of Hungary (August 16), St Hysinta of Cracau (August 17), St Helene (August 18). St.John Eudes (August 19), St. Bernardo of Clervo (August 20), St. Pius X (August 21), the Queenship of Mother Mary (August 22), St. Rose of Lima (August 23), St. Bartholomew the apostle (August 24), St. Louis of France (August 25),St. Elizabeth of Bishiye (August 26), St. Augustine (August 28). Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist (August 29).St. Pamakiyo (August 30), St Raymond Nonnati (August 31). Also it is good to note that the feasts of Sts. Pontian and Hippolytus (August 13), St. Bernard (August 20),and St. Monica (August 27), mentioned above will; during this month of August will fall on Sunday, and therefore, Sunday Liturgy takes the priority.
On 15th of August, we celebrate the solemnity of Assumption of our Mother Mary, the patroness of Radio Maria. This brings back to our memory on November 1, 1950, when Pope Pius XII defined the dogma of the Assumption. He solemnly proclaimed the belief whereby the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the end of her life on earth, was taken up body and soul, into the glory of heaven. This till today has become our faith, trusting that one day we shall be in the same union with all apostles and saints of God.
The Church also has dedicated the entire Month of August to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. On the other hand the entire Month of August falls with the ordinary time of the year. It goes therefore without saying that, the Vestments of celebration are green in color. We all know what this green color symbolizes. Liturgically, green is a symbol of hope. It is the color of the sprouting seed. Therefore I believe and pray that green arouses in all of us the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven when our time comes, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection.
We can describe also the Month of August as already knocking the door towards the end of year. This shuttles down in a way those who have not achieved according to what they had planned from the start of the year. My advice for people who find themselves in this group, is that; it is never too late to begin. Let’s start again afresh with great enthusiasm as I have noted above.
It is during this Month of August when we celebrate the famous teacher of the Church Saint Augustine, whom earlier was known as the lost case. We have to learn a lot from Augustine’s extravagant life. We can rename him as a reformed sinner. In Augustine’s struggleto sainthood, conclusion is obvious that always there is room for improvement, hence start afresh and thus nothing too difficult to begin again. On the other side stands our goodLord who does not count the past but the Present and reward accordingly.
Humanly speaking, it is true that the Month of August, indicates that we have lived a good part of the year and yet here I am with great hope for the remaining months ahead before the end of the year. Should I give up for all that I had hoped and not yet achieved to this point? The answer is no. We have The Blessed Virgin Mary who is our most perfect example of Christian perseverance. She is also our advocate in heaven where she is crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth (August 22). Mary is the “Mother of Perpetual Help”, the patroness of the Congregation founded by St. Alphonsus Ligouri (August 1), whom we celebrated the beginning of the Month of August. Also Mother Mary is the patroness of Radio Maria, which is a Christian voice in your homes. The Radio which brings hope to millions of its listeners.
The feast of transfiguration of Christ (August 06) is another living sign that all can be transfigured if we collaborate with God’s plan. Let’s start the Month of August with great hope and live it fully. Remember that the ultimate end prepared for us all is heaven. Thus the feast of Assumption of our Mother Mary (15 August) should add in us that great desire of heaven.
My dear friends of Radio Maria Tanzania and those in diaspora, may I remind you that “No one who has fled to Mary’s protection is left unaided” is the claim of the Memorare of St. Bernard (August 20). We thank God that many Listeners of Radio Maria Tanzania who did not believe and chanced to persevere in following our Liturgical and Religiousprograms have returned to faith. We are grateful for all those who have prayed the prayers of Holy Rosary. Remember the Holy Rosary was first preached by St. Dominic (August 8) in the twelfth Century, and many hearts were converted and till today many more are being converted by the graces received by this simple prayer of the Holy Rosary. Till next Month. May God bless you.
Fr John Maendeleo, C.S.Sp