He is a former news editor at GoLocalProv.com and was a correspondent for the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he covered the 2008 presidential primary. To be human is to live in relation to another. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/StephenBeale1, Fulton Sheen’s Advice for the End of 2020, Former Swiss Guard Serves a Feast for the Imagination in The Vatican Christmas Cookbook. This is beautifully depicted in Isaiah’s vision. All rights reserved. But they didn’t necessarily view heaven as a destination for saints. Pope Pius XII speaks to this in the apostolic constitution in which he defined this teaching as an infallible dogma: It is to be hoped that all the faithful will be stirred up to a stronger piety toward their heavenly Mother, and that the souls of all those who glory in the Christian name may be moved by the desire of sharing in the unity of Jesus Christ’s Mystical Body and of increasing their love for her who shows her motherly heart to all the members of this august body. It is a vitally important teaching with deep roots in Scripture and direct relevance to our daily lives. She is not a disembodied soul. One of the peculiarities of the Old Testament—at least from our perspective—is that it did not have a well-defined concept of heaven. This is one reason that the Church venerates Mary above all other saints. Catholic Exchange is a project of Sophia Institute Press. And so we may hope that those who meditate upon the glorious example Mary offers us may be more and more convinced of the value of a human life entirely devoted to carrying out the heavenly Father’s will and to bringing good to others. His areas of interest include Eastern Christianity, Marian and Eucharistic theology, medieval history, and the saints. Mary’s assumption means that there are no bones or tombs of Our Lady to venerate. One further implication of what has just been stated above is that Mary’s beauty in heaven is perfected. © Copyright 2020 Catholic Exchange. Arguing that Mary’s soul went to heaven at the end of her earthly life is to claim nothing different than what happens to every other person who died in a state of grace. (Pope Pius XII makes this argument in his definition of the dogma.). Rather, He points the way forward to a greater, more glorious future in which we are all invited to share. This is based upon her role as the New Eve to His New Adam, which is evident in Simeon’s prophecy and her presence at the crucifixion. Assumption of Mary, But what does it mean for our personal faith journeys? Enoch, Elijah, and Moses were exceptions to the rule. The final reversal of the Fall. Thanks to the assumption, it is impossible to think of her without thinking of her being in the fullness of Christ’s heavenly presence. Thus, while the illusory teachings of materialism and the corruption of morals that follows from these teachings threaten to extinguish the light of virtue and to ruin the lives of men by exciting discord among them, in this magnificent way all may see clearly to what a lofty goal our bodies and souls are destined. In His humanity he reigns from heaven with his Mother. He doesn’t just pluck the soul out of the husk of a sinful body. This means that, contrary to the Protestant accusations, Marian veneration is particularly Christo-centric. Mary was conceived full of grace and she spent her entire earthly life in total obedience to the will of God. The Church teaches that Mary shares in Christ’s lot. Having her body is particularly crucial for her given that it is a source of so much of her power: in the Incarnation God took flesh from Mary and it was through her body that He was born. He has appeared on Fox News, C-SPAN and the Today Show and his writing has been published in the Washington Times, Providence Journal, the National Catholic Register and on MSNBC.com and ABCNews.com. A native of Topsfield, Massachusetts, he graduated from Brown University in 2004 with a degree in classics and history. He welcomes tips, suggestions, and any other feedback at bealenews at gmail dot com. Christ wasn’t the exception for the human race in this sense. The upshot of this is that Mary has everything she needs to see our problems—as well as our potential for holiness—and to help us grow into little Christs. (Of course, those who aren’t saints would have to stop in purgatory before entering into the fullness of heaven, but still the overall point holds. God does not just save half of us. In the Garden of Eden Adam was in paradise, presumably lacking for nothing, including the company of fellow creatures, yet it was ‘not good’ for him to be ‘alone.’ So God created Eve. In other words, the Assumption offers us additional assurance that we too, who have been baptized into Christ’s death and shared in His Body through the Eucharist, also will experience a resurrection of our bodies. Even the beatific vision is affected in a way. Although God is seeing through the eye of the intellect, souls need bodies in order to see His glory reflected in other creatures, according to Aquinas. This is one of the first things Scripture teaches about man. catholicism, Stephen Beale is a freelance writer based in Providence, Rhode Island. © Copyright 2020 Catholic Exchange. The Assumption of Mary is important for many reasons—for the glorification of God, the completion of His redemptive work, the theology of the Incarnation, to name a few. When people died, even the righteous, they ended up in Sheol, the shadowy underworld that is the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek Hades. A native of Topsfield, Massachusetts, he graduated from Brown University in 2004 with a degree in classics and history. This is based upon … Christ’s peace. This is reinforced by the truth that already another one from the human race has already followed Him into Heaven—Mary. Tagged as: The Assumption of Mary ensures that she has none of these limitations. She is not a spirit flitting about in paradise. At that moment in our future, we will follow Mary in a perfect way. The Assumption of Mary clarifies and confirms that the heaven of the New Testament is a place where the saints experience the presence of God. The Assumption of Mary anticipates the general resurrection from the dead at the end of time; that sublime day on which Christ will return in glory and raise the just to the resurrection of life. Former Swiss Guard Serves a Feast for the Imagination in, The Lost Riches of Catholic Catechisms with Aaron Seng of Tradivox, The Catholic Faith in Public Life After the 2020 Election with Derek Rotty, We Can Spiritually Grow Together While Social Distancing | Simone Rizkallah. The Church teaches that Mary shares in Christ’s lot. Other than inspiring further devotion to the Mother of God, there’s an additional reason that the Assumption is important, a reason that I think is sometimes overlooked. All rights reserved. Best of Blogs, The ancient Israelites did understand that there was a heavenly temple from which God reigned. Catholic Exchange is a project of Sophia Institute Press. Raised as an evangelical Protestant, he is a convert to Catholicism. Otherwise there would be no need for it. The beauty that became espoused to the Holy Spirit lives in her fullness in heaven, as the vision of Revelation 12 shows us so well. image: By Miguel Hermoso Cuesta [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons, Tagged as: At the core of our faith is the belief, based on the biblical accounts, that Christ experienced a bodily resurrection from the dead and ascended, while still bodily form, to heaven. The Assumption of Mary is important for many reasons—for the glorification of God, the completion of His redemptive work, the theology of the Incarnation, to name a few. He is a former news editor at GoLocalProv.com and was a correspondent for the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he covered the 2008 presidential primary. The Assumption of Mary, which we celebrate on August 15, is not just a Catholic extra or add-on to the fundamentals of the faith. Christ, who was perfectly human, ‘needs’ the perfect companionship of another human, especially in paradise, as theologian Matthew Levering points out in his book on the assumption. Raised as an evangelical Protestant, he is a convert to Catholicism. In His divinity he enjoys the communion of the Trinity. ), Mary’s assumption reminds us that salvation is holistic. The Assumption of Mary, which we celebrate on August 15, is not just a Catholic extra or add-on to the fundamentals of the faith. The Assumption of Mary into Heaven (often shortened to the Assumption) is, according to the beliefs of the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Churches, Oriental Orthodoxy, Church of the East, and some Anglo-Catholic Churches, among others, the bodily taking up of Mary, the mother of Jesus, into Heaven at the end of her earthly life.
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