"You aim at a devout life, dear Philothea, because as a Christian you know that such devotion is most acceptable to God's Divine Majesty," says St. Francis de Sales in his book "Introduction to the Devout Life".
And we can all be Philotheas, as St. Francis notes: "I have made use of a name suitable to all who seek the devout life, Philothea meaning one who loves God."
I'm taking a rest from blogging for the next couple of days in order to focus on
The Feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven!
Here are Readings 4, 5, and 6 from the Office of Matins for
the Feast of the Assumption:
From the Sermons of St John
of Damascus. 2nd on the Falling-on-sleep of Blessed Mary.
This day the holy and animated Ark of the living God, which had held within it
its own Maker, is borne to rest in that Temple of the Lord, which is not made
with hands. David, whence it sprang, leapeth before it, and in company with him
the Angels dance, the Archangels sing aloud, the Virtues ascribe glory, the
Princedoms shout for joy, the Powers make merry, the Lordships rejoice, the
Thrones keep holiday, the Cherubim utter praise, and the Seraphim proclaim its
glory. This day the Eden of the new Adam receiveth the living garden of
delight, wherein the condemnation was annulled, wherein the Tree of Life was
planted, wherein our nakedness was covered.
This day the stainless maiden, who had been defiled by no
earthly lust, but ermobled by heavenly desires, returned not to dust, but,
being herself a living heaven, took her place among the heavenly mansions. From
her true life had flowed for all men, and how should she taste of death? But
she yielded obedience to the law established by Him to Whom she had given
birth, and, as the daughter of the old Adam, underwent the old sentence, which
even her Son, Who is the very Life Itself, had not refused; but, as the Mother
of the living God, she was worthily taken by Him unto Himself.
In the Eastern Church,
The Dormition of Mary
Eve, who had said yea to the proposals of the serpent, was
condemned to the pains of travail and the punishment of death, and found her
place in the bowels of the Netherworld. But this truly blessed being who had
inclined her ears to the word of God, whose womb had been filled by the action
of the Holy Ghost, who, as soon as she heard the spiritual salutation of the
archangel, had conceived the Son of God without any sexual pleasure or carnal
knowledge by a man, who had brought forth her Offspring without any the least
pang, who had hallowed herself altogether for the service of God how was death
ever to feed upon her? how was the grave ever to eat her up? how was corruption
to break into that body into which Life had been welcomed? For her there was a
straight, smooth, and easy way to heaven. For if Christ, Who is the Life and
the Truth, hath said Where I am, there shall also My servant be how much more
shall not rather His mother be with Him?