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Why do we believe in the Assumption?

Because the Church, an authority we can trust wholeheartedly, tells us we ought to

By on Friday, 13 August 2010

Mary is shown being taken up to heaven in a painting inside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore (CNS file photo/Nancy Wiechec)

Mary is shown being taken up to heaven in a painting inside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore (CNS file photo/Nancy Wiechec)

The definition of the Assumption in 1950 caused some dismay. As I recall, Protestants were angry because it wasn’t in Scripture. The Archbishop of York, standing beneath his cathedral’s 600 year old Assumption roof-boss, deplored it as an innovation. The position of the Orthodox was more nuanced: they believed it, of course, but were furious that the Pope had defined it.

Decades later, earnest Catholics were wont to lament it as the regrettable climax of a sad period of outdated and retrograde Mariology (they didn’t know JPII was coming soon).

So what do we believe? “The Immaculate Mother of God, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul to heavenly glory.”

Why do we believe it? Briefly, because the Church tells us, and what the Church teaches from revelation. God teaches. (“O my God I believe in you and all your Church teaches, because you have said it and your word is true”.) What the Church teaches, notice; not the best guess of every theologian. If you have a New Testament handy, look up Mt 16:17-19 and Mt 28:18-20.

But what about Scripture? Briefly, the Church thinks that Scripture, rightly understood, teaches that Mary was immaculately conceived, and that the Assumption would follow. That totally sinless body would not be allowed by her Son to be undeservedly disfigured by decay or any touch of Satan’s work.

Notice in passing that the only reason we believe Scripture tells the truth is because the Church says so. It is the Church which is the “pillar and foundation upon which the truth rests” (1 Tim 3 15); it is the Church which wrote the New Testament, selected the contents, edited it and tells us how to handle it.

Problems from science? We say a “body” (matter) is “in” (a place) “heaven”. Are we not involved in insoluble mysteries? Well, yes, we are. These are the same puzzles we have about the Resurrection – and still more about the Blessed Sacrament. But the puzzles are because we do not understand matter, not because we believe in fairy stories.

Finally, what does the Assumption mean? It means joy, beauty, reward, bounty, the masterpiece of creation… For Jesus, it means that His human love is able to be given totally; for Our Lady, that she can humanly and totally respond to Him. (In heaven there is adoration for our Lord not just by spirits – angels and the saints – but by a real human being with a body). Mary has the reward so richly deserved by her total love. We’re glad for Jesus’s sake, for Mary’s, for the angels and saints who rejoice in their good. And we’re glad for our sake, too: what she has we will have one day – she is our Mother.

More: God salutes a human body. Our own treatment of the human body – Dachau, Dresden, gulags, Hiroshima, abortion, pornography, sex abuse – is not the end of the story.

  • RidersontheStorm

    Alleluia, tomorrow Sunday 15th August is the Feastday of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven, Alleluia

  • Mamasnookems

    why? the worship of Mary started in431 A.D by the council of Ephesus, the Immaculate Conception of Mary was proclaimed by pope pius IX was in 1834, the assumption of Mary was proclaimed by pope pius XII in 1950, in 1931, pope pius XI reaffirmed that Mary is the mother of God, this doctrine was first invented by the council of Ephesus in the year 431 AD, as you can see, they are all man made dogmas, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, Mary didn't make Him sinless, Jesus is God, He is already holy.

    Mary was blessed by God, but she was born just like anyone else, with Adam's sin. Mary had other children by Joseph, so she wasn't ever-virgin. We should be worshipping Jesus and giving glory to God.

    John 7:5 ” For even His brothers did not believe in Him.” they were not cousins and Mark3:33 “But He answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?”

    I hope you open your heart to the truth, but I just want to let you know, that there is only one mediator between us and God, and that is Jesus.

  • Mamasnookems

    Messages from Heaven?

    A few months ago I did an article on Fatima, and how non-Christian the apparitions are in reality. On the surface the thought that Jesus’s mother Mary was actually appearing to humans to lead the world away from sin and to follow Jesus sounds so holy and proper until you examine it with God’s word. The end result shows that this apparition always tells us things like that she wants us to pray for peace, she will be there to guide us and to do penance for the souls both living and dead. All three go against the Word of God. The real Mary was never bowed down to or treated as a new “Eve” when she was alive. She simply told us to “Do as He says.”

    I write this article today because although I haven’t seen any, I’ve been told that there are a number of billboards along our state highways telling people about Medjugorje. Once again I will address any and/or all of the supposed apparitions around the world, not just in Medjugorie but including those wherever they happen, in France, Mexico, Portugal or the United States. Here are some of the Biblical facts that people should consider when it involves these apparitions.

    In John 14:6 we see that, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” When He died on the cross He said, ”It is finished.” John 19:30. We see that both Paul and Peter state what Jesus had done. Paul told us in 2 Corinthians 5:21 that, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Peter had this to say, “knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Hebrews 1:3 adds, “when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.“ Hebrews 4:16 tells us that, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.“

    God has declared what is or isn’t right in the Bible, His word not man’s. Can we pray to Jesus through Mary? No because 1 Timothy 2:5 tells us, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,” Jesus Himself has stated in Isaiah 44:6, “I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.” 1 John 2:1 says, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

    At the time when Mary lived with Jesus, He made clear that the only helper He’d send would be the Holy Spirit in John 14:26,” But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (see also John 15:26 and 16:7.) He even made it clear that although she was His earthly mother that this fact would not make much difference regarding blessed and Heavenly benefits in Luke 11:27, 28, “And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!” But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

    So who am I saying this apparition is? Again, look at God’s word. Remember when I said at the beginning that Jesus is light? Paul tells us that, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” ( 2 Corinthians 11:13, 14) Yes, I am saying that these apparitions are Satanic. We should ignore our good feelings and remember that miraculous as it is, that in Job the first two chapters show that Satan can do miracles. Jesus tells us that Satan is the father of lies and this, Satan masquerading as an apparition of Mary, is another one of his master pieces.

    What about her prayer requests? Notice she is always telling people to pray the rosary, pray for peace and she is there to save the lost and build statues of her and that she is a co-redemptory and Queen of Heaven. Many of these things are just a repeat of the errors of men from Jeremiah’s days: “The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger.” (Jeremiah 7:18) Think about it. What ever happened to Acts 4:12, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved?”

    In closing I just want to say a few more points. Paul told us that “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come … But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived..” (2 Timothy 3:1, 13) Jude 3 tells us that we are to, “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” We have everything we need in Scriptures in which Jesus said, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.” (Matthew 22:29) Don’t fall for the false teachings of these apparitions and new visions like the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses have done. Both of them were started after someone saw visions. Rather learn to “Test all things; hold fast what is good.” (1 Thess. 5:21) And when you do this, studying with Scriptures, you will, “know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.“ (John 8:32) Remember Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” It’s all in the Word. Any questions, just call or write to Gospel Light Ministries.

  • SusanSFO

    I am so glad to have been helped so much by the Blessed Mother. The early Church loved relics from the very beginning. Relics of all the saints have abounded from the beginning but there has never been proclaimed, ever, a relic of Mary. Of course not. Everyone knew she was assumed to Heaven. Where does the Bible use the word Trinity? But it is the foundational concept of our Faith. Mary comes to earth in apparitions to help her children. This is a gift from our Trinity God, not an insult to our God. And at Fatima, the First Saturday devotions were asked by Jesus Himself and by Mary to be offered for those who insult our Lady, including by denying her Immaculate Conception. Please help by offering the First Saturday devotions. I love you Mary! I adore my Trinity God!