On the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, many coastal communities around the world keep the tradition of invoking God's blessing on the oceans. The tradition started centuries ago when a ship encountered rough waters on our Lady's feast day. A bishop on board invoked God's blessings through Mary's intercession and threw his pastoral ring into the ocean. His act of faith calmed the waters. Today, many Catholic communities throw a ring of flowers into the ocean in memory of his act of faith.

The story of the bishop reminds us that God is always with us and hears our prayers, even throughout the stormy seas of life. All of us experience these rough waters, maybe with our physical health, or within our family, our career, or in our friendships. It is in these turbulent seas that we need to turn to our Mother and ask for her intercession knowing she, too, traveled over the same rough waters. We pray that our faith will be strong and that the calming presence of Christ will bring peace to our minds and hearts. We may not be close to the ocean today, but we can still mark this feast by asking the Lord to bless us with a spirit of gratitude for His many blessings, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

God is always with us and hears our prayers, even throughout the stormy seas of life.

—Rev. Jude DeAngelo, OFM Conv.

With Mary, our Mother, we hold fast to the love that God has for us. We are steadfast in our knowledge that God will never leave us — not even when we find ourselves in the roughest of seas!

May the closing days of summer be filled with many blessings, for all of us.