Not everything was clear for the Blessed Virgin Mary. Just as in any manifestation of the divine, there is often a profound moment of light followed by long and trying times of darkness. Mary was enveloped in the light of God's presence during the Annunciation. However this brilliance of clarity was followed by the night of faith. She fulfilled her unconditional yes within the many trials and difficulties of her journey towards eternity.True devotion to Mary gives us the answer to all of the challenges of our times: fidelity to God's will.
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Mary is that perfect disciple. As the ever-virgin Mother, she gave birth to the Incarnate Word, but as the perfect disciple, she gave birth to all of the sons and daughters of Jesus Christ.
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - Mary is a young, beautiful, pure and humble woman chosen before the beginning of time to be the Mother of the Incarnate Word. This calling is announced to her by the Angel Gabriel who appears to her. Mary, although she has been chosen, could have said no to God's will; however, it is her profound love of God that allows her to say yes unconditionally. "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word" (Luke 1: 38).
It is clear that the mysteries of the Annunciation and the Incarnation indicate man's relationship with God. God is our creator and our relationship with him is through our response of loving obedience to his will. The Blessed Virgin Mary is the most perfect embodiment of this relationship between God and man. Through faith, she listens to the voice of God and freely submits her entire being to the plan of God over her life.
The word obey comes from the Latin ob-audire which means to hear or listen to. It is Mary's faith, humility and simplicity that allow her to listen to God and to put his plan into practice.
Today we celebrate the Assumption of Mary into heaven. What exactly does this mystery of our faith mean? In order to answer this question, let us turn to the solemn infallible proclamation made on November 1, 1950 by Pope Pius XII.
"In their homilies and sermons on this feast the holy fathers and great doctors spoke of the assumption of the Mother of God as something already familiar and accepted by the faithful. They gave it greater clarity in their preaching and used more profound arguments in setting out its nature and meaning. Above all, they brought out more clearly the fact that what is commemorated in this feast is not simply the total absence of corruption from the dead body of the Blessed Virgin Mary but also her triumph over death and her glorification in heaven, after the pattern set by her only Son, Jesus Christ.
Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more full conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death."
Sometimes people get confused when they do not understand the difference between the assumption of Mary and the ascension of Jesus. Jesus ascended into heaven by his own divine power because he is true God and true man. Mary is human and not divine. Therefore, she is assumed into heaven by God's power.
The dogma of the Assumption is directly linked to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. The Immaculate Conception means that Mary was conceived without Original Sin. Since Mary, through a special privilege of grace did not have any sin, including Original Sin, her body did not suffer the normal consequences of death that we do. The Tradition, both of the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church maintain that Mary died in the presence of the Apostles. Thomas was not present. When he did join them a few days later, they took him to her tomb. When the Apostles opened her tomb, her body was not present. Moreover, in the subsequent years of Church history, no relics of Mary's body were ever venerated. However, it is recorded that at one time the veil and the belt of the Virgin Mary were venerated in Constantinople.
The Immaculate Conception of Mary in the womb of her mother was defined as a dogma of our Catholic Faith by Blessed Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854. In the solemn proclamation, the Pope said: "We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful."
As we contemplate the mystery of the Assumption, we also contemplate the tremendous number of challenges in our own country and throughout the world. More and more people tell me that they have stopped reading the news, fearing what they will read next.
True devotion to Mary gives us the answer to all of the challenges of our times: fidelity to God's will.There will be no solutions to the unraveling and disintegration of everything around us until we all become good disciples of the One who came to save us. Mary is that perfect disciple. As the ever-virgin Mother, she gave ... CONTINUED