31 Aug 2015


Br Roger of Taize
(1915 - 2005)

 "Those who surrender themselves to you with a trusting heart, O God, are happy. You sustain us in joy, in simplicity, in mercy."

World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation - September 1st

Pope Francis announced his decision in early August to set up a “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” to be marked by the Catholic Church which will be celebrated on September 1st annually. Speaking at last weeks general audience, Pope Francis noted that following in the footsteps of the Orthodox Church, Catholics are encouraged to organize prayer and practical initiatives to combat the environmental crisis facing our planet. Noting that local Churches around the world are planning events to reflect on the ways our lifestyles impact the environment, the Pope said he will be joining bishops, priests, religious and lay people from 5pm in St Peter's Basilica on September 1st for a special Liturgy of the Word, which local people and visiting pilgrims are warmly invited to attend.
The Pope made the announcement about the "World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation"  in a letter released on 6 August in which he said:
Sharing with my beloved brother the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew his concerns for the future of creation (cfr Encylical Letter. Laudato Si, 7-9) and taking up the suggestion by his representative, the Metropolitan Ioannis of Pergamum who took part in the presentation of the Encyclical Laudato Si on the care of our common home, I wish to inform you that I have decided to set up also in the Catholic Church, the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” which, beginning this year, will be celebrated on the 1st of September, as the Orthodox Church has done for some time now. 
As Christians we wish to offer our contribution towards overcoming the ecological crisis which humanity is living through.  Therefore, first of all we must draw from our rich spiritual heritage the reasons which feed our passion for the care of creation, always remembering that for believers in Jesus Christ, the Word of God who became man for us, “the life of the spirit is not dissociated from the body or from nature or from worldly realities, but lived in and with them, in communion with all that surrounds us.” (ibid., 216).   The ecological crisis therefore calls us to a profound spiritual conversion: Christians are called to “an ecological conversion whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them.” (ibid., 217).  Thus, “living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”(ibid). 
The annual World Day of prayer for the Care of Creation offers to individual believers and to the community a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of creation, raising to God our thanks for the marvellous works that He has entrusted to our care, invoking his help for the protection of creation and his mercy for the sins committed against the world in which we live.  The celebration of the Day on the same date as the Orthodox Church will be a valuable opportunity to bear witness to our growing communion with our orthodox brothers.   We live in a time where all Christians are faced with identical and important challenges and we must give common replies to these in order to appear more credible and effective.  Therefore it is my hope that this Day can involve, in some way, other Churches and ecclesial Communities and be celebrated in union with the initiatives that the World Council of Churches is promoting on this issue. 
Whilst I look forward to the widest possible cooperation for the best start and development of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, I invoke the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God and of St. Francis of Assisi, whose Canticle of the Creatures inspires so many men and women of goodwill to live in praise of the Creator and with respect for creation.  I support this pledge along with my Apostolic Blessing which I impart with all my heart to you, my dear Cardinals, and to all those who collaborate in your ministry.

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in the Vatican has invited churches and parishes to host a prayer service for the World Day of Prayer for Creation and they have provided a text for use which can be downloaded HERE. The text suggested is for a one-hour Eucharistic Adoration using themes from Laudato Si – the Pope’s Encyclical Letter.

30 Aug 2015

National Eucharistic Congress 2015 - 26th-27th September 2015 at Knock Shrine, Co Mayo

"Christ, our Hope"
It has been a while since the above logo from IEC2012 was used on SS102fm but we are delighted to dig it out of the photo album as it is the logo being used to promote the National Eucharistic Congress which is being held in Knock the weekend of the 26th - 27th September.
So what is it all about?

Over at the website for NEC 2015, Bishop Kevin Doran explains what NEC 2015 is about:
The Irish Church will celebrate a National Eucharistic Congress on the weekend of 26th-27th September 2015 at Knock Shrine, Co Mayo. The Congress will serve both as a spiritual preparation for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress 2016 in Cebu next January, and as an opportunity to focus in the light of our Eucharistic communion, on some of the important pastoral questions in the life of the Church at the present time. In many countries, in the year before the next International Eucharistic Congress, a National Congress is held, to provide an opportunity for the whole Church to participate in the preparatory journey of the host country.

The theme for the National Congress, echoing the theme of IEC2016, is
“Christ, our Hope” (Col 1:27)
. It is our intention that, in so far as possible, this theme would be reflected in all homilies and presentations given at the National Eucharistic Congress.

The National Eucharistic Congress, which is free of charge, will have a particular focus on Marriage and the Family as well as the Year of Consecrated Life and the upcoming Jubilee of Mercy.

We look forward to welcoming you to Knock on 26th and 27th September. Through the intercession of Our Lady of Knock, we pray that the National Eucharistic Congress will be a time of great joy and hope for all and one that will lead each of us into a deeper relationship with Christ, our Hope.
What is actually happening over the weekend?

The programme of events can be seen at the NEC2015 website and may be subject to some small changes HERE.

So what kind of preparation can be done before the Congress?

The weeks that lead into the celebration of ‘Christ our Hope’ at the National Eucharistic Congress are paved with the Sunday readings. They call us to renewed reflection on the place of the Eucharist in our lives, on the centrality of God’s Word in daily Christian living, the impact of Baptism and the Ephphatha prayer throughout our lives, and the relationship between our good deeds and our faith. In the joys and challenges of daily life Christ is our hope, and nowhere is this more clearly seen than in the ultimate challenge – death.  Jesus embodies hope, secures hope for us and is the reason we can live hope-filled lives in every circumstance.  This is the Good News we celebrate weekly, but over the course of the weeks leading up to the National Congress, all are invited to a renewal, or recovery or perhaps even a first personal encounter with the Hope that Christ is, celebrated in the Eucharist.

You can find out more from the website of the NEC2015 HERE.

You can also delve back into the posts from SS102fm for IEC2012 by checking our links here.

29 Aug 2015

30th August 2015 - Knock: Witness to Hope - Interview with Fr Richard Gibbons - 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

On this weeks programme John and Shane are joined by Fr Richard Gibbons, parish priest of Knock and rector of Knock Shrine telling us about the on going renewal at Knock. We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as other liturgical odds and ends.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks programme HERE.

Witness to Hope - Interview with Fr. Richard Gibbons

The SS102fm team is joined this week by Fr. Richard Gibbons to talk about the renewal being undertaken at the National Shrine at Knock under the title "Witness to Hope". We have a lively and enjoyable interview with Fr. Richard discussing the various approaches being taken to re-invigorating the shrine and contributing to the on going renewal of the church in Ireland.

The renewal at Knock is focused around faith formation and renewal; promotion of the Shrine and refurbishment of the basilica (the first major one since it was built in 1976) and Fr. Richard fills us in on what has been accomplished to date and the plans for the future including up coming events such as the National Grandparents Pilgrimage (Sept 13th) and the National Eucharistic Congress (September 26th) plus the re-dedication of the basilica in 2016 (date tbc).

You can listen to the interview with Fr Richard extracted from the main programme HERE.

We previously posted an interview/article with Fr Richard from the Irish Catholic about the "Witness to Hope" programme HERE.

You can visit the Knock Shrine website here to see up and coming events, to find out more about the "Witness to Hope" programme and to join in the ceremonies at the shrine online HERE.

You can follow Knock Shrine online at their Facebook page and also their Twitter Account (@knockshrine)

Gospel - Mark 7:1-8,14-15,21-23

Tissot - Insidious questions of the Pharisees and Herodians

"Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,

‘This people honors me with their lips,but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’
You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”
Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.” For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Sunday Reflections
Centre for Liturgy
Word on Fire

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours - psalter week 2; 22nd week in ordinary time

Saints of the Week

August 31st - St Aidan of Lindisfarne also St Joseph of Arimathea & Nicodemus
September 1st - St Giles
September 2nd - Blessed John Francis Burté and Companions
September 3rd - St Gregory the Great
September 4th - St Rose of Viterbo
September 5th - Bl Teresa of Calcutta

24 Aug 2015

Irish Times Interview with the papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown

The papal nuncio on Catholic challenges

In his first Irish interview, the nuncio talks about the Catholic Church’s response to sexual abuse allegations and other challenges, past and present.

While I disagree with the Irish Times description of this interview being the "first Irish interview" (for example SS102fm has already interviewed the papal nuncio  here as has the Irish Catholic!) you can read the summary of the interview and watch the video HERE.

23 Aug 2015

Some web browsing........

Some web browsing to have with that morning cup of coffee.......


PP warns only catholic parents can choose to divest 

Papal nuncio warns Catholics against becoming ‘caricatures

School Patronage: Give or Take? 

Archbishop to bless & dedicate room to Frank Duff

Pope joins faithful at altar of St. Pius X - Yesterday morning Francis kneeled down to pray before the tomb of his Venetian predecessor, remembered for his catechism and his promotion of communion for children. “I am a devotee of St. Pius X”, Francis recalled. The Pope previously had the nativity scene in St. Peter’s Basilica moved so that it would not conceal the tomb of the saint

Onward Christian soldiers - Seventy years on, it may be hard to imagine the Second World War as a religious conflict. Yet at the time it was defined as the ultimate struggle for the Church’s survival

‘Families ministering to families’ could be new model for evangelisation in Ireland

Why Bother Praying?

Finding God in Amsterdam - A recent endeavour saw 100 Jesuits sent out in small groups on ‘experiments’ across North West Europe to engage in different aspects of the Society of Jesus’s ministry. Jim Corkery and three of his Jesuit brothers found themselves in Amsterdam, where they experienced the graces of community life in a new way and found God at work everywhere, from a Jesuit church to the red light district!

Made for Joy - "We are made for joy. But this joy can never be fully experienced here on earth. God’s joy is ultimately realized in eternity. To be a Christian is to understand that the cross, and the suffering of the cross, has meaning, and that suffering is part of our state on this earth. Don’t expect Paradise on earth. Don’t. But there is meaning, and this meaning is the love of God and gratitude for life on this earth. Whatever your state, whatever your situation, whatever your purpose, always remember that you are made for joy."

Overcoming the fear of commitment 

Is there a difference between “suicide” and “assisted dying”?

CNA - The rise of millennial Catholic artists – and here's a chat with one of them

CNS - Through the Holy Door: Vatican to have pilgrim reservation system

BBC - Islamic State in Syria demolishes ancient Mar Elian monastery

OSV - A culture of lost souls Two stories illustrate how millennials’ thirst for authenticity all too often painfully comes up short

22 Aug 2015

23rd August 2015 - Interview with Fr Richard Keane about his vocation story

On this weeks programme John and the team are joined by Fr Richard Keane currently curate in Newcastle West who shares his vocation journey with as ahead of his new project to study as a canon lawyer for the diocese. We have some short thoughts on this weeks gospel as well as other liturgical odds and ends.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks programme HERE.

Fr Richard Keane - A Vocational Journey

SS102fm has asked various priests and members of religious life to share their vocational stories over the years and this week we were delighted to welcome Fr Richard Keane (curate in Newcastle West) to the "Come & See" Studio in Ardagh to share his vocational journey with us.

Fr Richard originally from Limerick city and ordained for the diocese in 2002 is undertaking a new ministry for the diocese in the next few weeks as he undertakes studies in canon  law for the diocese at the University of St Paul in Canada.

You can listen to the interview with Fr Richard excerpted from the main programme HERE.

Gospel - John 6: 60 - 69

When many of his disciples heard it, they said, ‘This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?’ But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, ‘Does this offend you? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But among you there are some who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. And he said, ‘For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.’ Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, ‘Do you also wish to go away?’  
Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.’

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Sunday Reflections
Centre for Liturgy

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours -

Saints of the Week

August 24th - St Bartholomew (Apostle)
August 25th - St Louis of France
August 26th - Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified
August 27th - St Monica
August 28th - St Augustine of Hippo
August 29th - Beheading of St John the Baptist

19 Aug 2015

Nada te turbe - Taize - Let nothing disturb you

Nada te turbe, nada te espante,
quien a dios tiene nada le falta
Nada te turbe, nada te espante
solo Dios basta
Nothing disturb you, nothing frighten you,
  God who lacks nothing
  Nothing disturb you, nothing frighten you
  God alone is sufficient

Quote of the Day

Liturgy of the Hours: What it is, Why You Want It.

Ever wonder what the Liturgy of the Hours (LOTH) is?

Daria Sockey blogs over at Coffee and Canticles about praying with scripture using the Liturgy of the Hours. She recently did a short 20 minute video presentation about the Liturgy of the Hours (which cant be embedded at the moment) which gives a very simple introduction to this glorious prayer of the Christian community.

The blog link - Coffee and Canticles : Liturgy of the Hours:What it is, Why You Want It.#links
The video link - Daria Sockey "The Liturgy of the Hours: Sanctifying your Day in His Name and in His Word"

Some web browsing...........

Some web browsing to have with that cup of tea..............


It is a Great Gift to Carry the Cross of Someone You Love - Mama slipped through my hands.
It was as if her bones were strands of boiled spaghetti, as if she was liquid rather than solid.
I fought the fall all the way down. She landed in a sprawl against the oxygen machine, her head wedged between it and the portable potty. “Ohhhhh,” she moaned. I tried to lift her, but those spaghetti bones and her little bit of weight were too much for me.

UN Development Goals for ‘Reproductive Health’ Would Increase Abortions Globally  

Mam picked her day to meet up again with Dad, it didn't pick her - Billy Keane

A spirituality for busy people - All of us are pushed in a thousand directions over the course of a single day. Spouses, children, parents, work, friends—it can be hard to find the time for daily maintenance, much less the mental space to practice any kind of spirituality. Having any kind of deepened spiritual life can often seem impossible. But Sister Joyce Rupp, O.S.M., an award-winning author and retreat leader, says that in fact, quite the opposite is true.

Burning Churches in Israel 

17 Aug 2015

An oasis of peace and prayer where people see that they’re not alone in their faith - The Irish Catholic

The Irish Catholic this week had a special edition dedicated to the national shrine at Knock and the current reforms and updating happening around the shrine. There is a very informative and summary article/interview with Fr Richard Gibbons who is Rector of the Shrine about the "Witness to Hope" programme being run from Knock at the moment and the upcoming National Eucharistic Congress to be held in September. 
Fr Richard Gibbons might be the driving force behind the dramatic changes taking place at Knock Shrine, but he’s quick to stress that even before he became parish priest in 2012 there was talk that things would have to change.

“The shrine just kind of basically ploughed along as it was doing for a good few years,” he says, explaining that towards the end of his nine years there as curate he and then parish priest Msgr Joseph Quinn took to discussing the future of the shrine.

Following Msgr Quinn’s sudden death from a heart attack at the age of 65, Fr Richard was given the job as parish priest and rector. “We decided to look at the whole place, because we needed to restructure. The financial crisis had caused us problems – we were financially a basket case, with no money and running at a loss. So, we just restructured the whole place from top to bottom, set up committees, got expertise and all that.

“This brought us to look at the whole situation of Knock – what we’re doing, what we’re offering, and where we need to be in terms of the renewal of the Church in the country,” he says.

The first step in this was a wide information-gathering exercise. “We decided then to interview everybody that came here and consult and all the rest of it – every pilgrim, every bishop, priest, religious, parishioner, visitor, everybody! We conducted roughly a year and a half of consultation with everybody,” he says, asking what they thought Knock was and wasn’t doing well, what it could improve on, what more it could do for pilgrims, and in general what it should be doing.

Continue reading what is a very interesting and informative article about the changes at Knock HERE.

16 Aug 2015

Taize - Music of Unity & Peace

The disk Taizé – Music of Unity and Peace is the result of an unprecedented collaboration between the Community and the international staff of Deutsche Grammophon / Universal Music. The latter offered their experience and expertise to produce this album. The Community welcomed this project with a view to making its songs known to a wider audience. Those who have already taken part in the international meetings in Taizé will meet once again the atmosphere that touched them. Many others will discover a reflection of that contemplative prayer.

After the bells, familiar with visitors to Taizé, we are led into songs interpreted by a choir of young adults and musicians from different countries, some recordings made during the community prayers in July 2014, and also some psalms and responses sung just by the brothers. You will therefore hear on some tracks the choral singing of more than two and a half thousand people, whereas other pieces give a taste of the intimacy which envelops prayer in Taizé. The song “Let all who are thirsty come” is included for the first time in a recording.

“So many situations in the world need peace” says Brother Alois, prior of Taizé, in the booklet accompanying the CD. “But this peace has to come in our hearts. Peace does not mean we will always have an easy life, but it does mean we believe that peace is possible.”

Mark Wilkinson, President of Deutsche Grammophon, is pleased with this recording: “This special, emotional, touching music deserves to find a wide audience. Music can be an agent for change, and for dissolving barriers, and the unique qualities of Taizé chant are a testament to that.”




The CD is available in the shop in Taizé and in record stores in many countries. You can also buy it on-line.

15 Aug 2015

16th August 2015 - A News Round up - 20th Sunday in Ordinary time (Year B)

On this weeks programme John, Anne and Shane take a spin around the globe discussing some news items from different parts of the Christian world. We have also have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as other liturgical odds and ends

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks programme HERE.

Knock Novena

We gave a reminder about story of Knock and the events during the novena in Knock.

You can find out more about the novena and see what is being streamed during the novena HERE.

Our Lady of Knock , Queen of Ireland, you gave hope to your people in a time of distress and comforted them in sorrow. You have inspired countless pilgrims to pray with confidence to your divine Son, remembering His promise, “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find”. Help me to remember that we are all pilgrims on the road to Heaven. Fill me with love and concern for my brothers and sisters in Christ, especially those who live with me. Comfort me when I am sick, lonely or depressed. Teach me how to take part ever more reverently in the Holy Mass. Give me a greater love of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Pray for me now and at the end of my death. Amen.

SS102fm has broadcast a number of previous programmes about Knock and the understanding of the apparition there as well as a number of blog posts about the devotion to Our Lady as Queen of Ireland. You can access them under the tag Knock.
Some News from around the World

On the blog on a regular basis we post links to news items that catch our eye from time to time on the www! So this week we decided to share it with our regular listeners who may not have regular internet access. You can find links to the topics discussed during the programme under our Some web browsing articles which can be accessed here.

Topics covered during the programme including New York to Knock; life for Christians in China; the Pope's summer plans; the announcement of the World Day for Prayer for the Care of Creation on September 1st; update on the Jubilee Year of Mercy; the reminder from Pope Francis to keep Sundays as days of rest; the last Catholic priest in the Antarctic.

Gospel - John 6: 51-58

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.”

Reflections on this weeks gospel:

Word on Fire
Centre for Liturgy
Sunday Reflections

Liturgical odds & ends

Liturgy of the Hours: psalter week 4; 20th week in ordinary time

Saints of the Week

17th August - Our Lady of Knock
18th August - St. Louis of Toulouse
19th August - St John Eudes
20th August - St Bernard
21st August - St Pius X
22nd August - The Queenship of Mary

Remembering the Martyrs of Algeria (1994-1996) - iCatholic

14 Aug 2015

15th August 2015 - Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give You thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.
For today the Virgin Mother of God
was assumed into heaven
as the beginning and image
of Your Church’s coming to perfection
and a sign of sure hope and comfort to Your pilgrim people;
rightly You would not allow her
to see the corruption of the tomb
since from her own body she marvellously brought forth
Your incarnate Son, the Author of all life.
(The 1973 version of the Preface for the Mass of the Solemnity)
August 15th is the solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, commemorated by the Orthodox churches as the Dormition (of Falling asleep) of the Virgin Mary.

 The dogma was officially declared by Pope Pius XII in 1950 in the apostolic constitution  Munificentissimus Deus. The apostolic constitution traces out the ancient understanding of the dogma going back through the centuries and emphasises that its official declaration by Pope Pius XII was seen as only the official confirmation of a belief long held in the Tradition of the church rather than as something new. Rather than something imposed by Pius XII, consultation was made with the bishops and on May 1, 1946, a letter "Deiparae Virginis Mariae," was issued which asked "Do you, venerable brethren, in your outstanding wisdom and prudence, judge that the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin can be proposed and defined as a dogma of faith? Do you, with your clergy and people, desire it?" with a response very much in the affirmative.
So, Pius XII declared that:
"Hence the revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination,(47) immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, the noble associate of the divine Redeemer who has won a complete triumph over sin and its consequences, finally obtained, as the supreme culmination of her privileges, that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb and that, like her own Son, having overcome death, she might be taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages.......after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory......

The following reading on the Assumption (known by eastern Christians as the Dormition) of Mary is taken from the first homily of St. John Damascene on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 
“But even though, according to nature, your most holy and happy soul is separated from your most blessed and stainless body and the body as usual is delivered to the tomb, it will not remain in the power of death and is not subject to decay. For just as her virginity remained inviolate while giving birth, when she departed her body was preserved from destruction and only taken to a better and more divine tabernacle, which is not subject to any death . . . Hence I will call her holy passing not death, but falling asleep or departure, or better still, arrival. . . .

"Your stainless and wholly immaculate body has not been left on earth; the Queen, the Mistress, the Mother of God who has truly given birth to God has been translated to the royal palaces of heaven. .

 "Angels and archangels have borne you upwards, the impure spirits of the air have trembled at your ascension. The air is purified, the ether sanctified by your passing through them. . . the powers meet you with sacred hymns and much solemnity, saying something like this: Who is she that comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, elect like the sun? [cf. Cant 6:9] How you have blossomed forth, how sweet you have become! You are the flower of the field, a lily among the thorns [Cant 2.1] . . . Not like Elijah have you entered heaven, not like Paul have you been rapt to the third heaven; no, you have penetrated even to the royal throne of your Son himself . . . a blessing for the world, a sanctification of the universe, refreshment for those who are tired, comfort for the sorrowing, healing for the sick, a port for those in danger, pardon for sinners, soothing balm for the oppressed, quick help for all who pray to you. . .

“Good Mistress, graciously look down on us; direct and guide our destinies wheresoever you will. Pacify the storm of our wicked passions, guide us into the quiet port of the divine will and grant us the blessedness to come.”

The gospel reading for the Mass of the day is taken from Luke 1:39-56
Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’ 
And Mary said: 
‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit exults in God my saviour;
because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.
Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name,
and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.
He has shown the power of his arm,
he has routed the proud of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.
He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy
– according to the promise he made to our ancestors –
of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’
Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home.