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Mary is listening to our prayers in heaven, says Pope on feast of Assumption

By on Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leads the Angelus (Photo: CNS)

Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leads the Angelus (Photo: CNS)

Assumed into heaven, Mary is with God and is ready to listen and respond to cries for help, Pope Benedict XVI has said.

Joining God in heaven, Mary “does not draw away from us, does not go to an unknown galaxy”, but becomes “even closer to each one of us”, the Pope said during his homily today at Mass for the feast of the Assumption.

With his 88-year-old brother, Mgr Georg Ratzinger, seated in the front pew, the Pope celebrated an early morning Mass in the Church of St Thomas. Using a white-handled cane, the Pope walked to the church across the square from the main entrance to the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo.

Mary’s assumption, he said, gives believers “a sure hope: God expects us, he awaits us. We are not moving toward a void.”

“And going to that other world, we will find the goodness of the Mother [Mary], we will find our loved ones, we will find eternal love,” the Pope said.

Pope Benedict, who set aside his prepared text for much of his homily, said that Mary’s closeness to God ensures her closeness to all God’s creatures.

“Mary, totally united with God, has a heart that is so big that all creation can find a place there,” a fact illustrated by the votive offerings people around the world leave at Marian shrines and statues when their prayers are answered, he said.

Mary’s presence in heaven shows that “in God there is room for man”, he said.

At the same time, he said, she demonstrates that “in man there is room for God,” and when God is present within individuals and they allow God to influence the way they act in the world, the world becomes a better place.

Many people today speak of their hopes for a better world, he said.

“If and when this better world will come, we do not know. But one thing is certain: a world that moves away from God will not become better, but worse. Only the presence of God can guarantee a better world.”

The Christian hope for a better world and for finding a place with God for eternity “is not just yearning for heaven”, but allowing one’s desire for God to “make us untiring pilgrims, increasing our courage and strength of faith, which is at the same time the courage and strength of love”, he said.

Later, Pope Benedict recited the Angelus with visitors crowded into the courtyard of the papal summer villa.

Continuing his reflection on the meaning of the Assumption, he said that “it shows us, in a brilliant way, our destiny and that of humanity and of history. In Mary, in fact, we contemplate that reality of glory to which each one of us and the entire Church is called.”

  • karlf

    How does the Pope know all these things? If he doesn’t, it is very wrong that he should pretend to know.
    I would also very much like to know how Mary actually responds to the cries for help.

  • rjt1

    He knows it by faith.

  • karlf

    How? It sounds to me like he’s making it all up.

  • Jdeoreo

    Since Mary is now with God, that no longer restricts her to a certain time or place, so in that way, she is now eternally present to all of us.  In terms of our knowing that she was assumed into heaven, this is based on the witness of the disciples and of Sacred Tradition passed down through the ages.  Also, since all things were created through Christ, the eternal Word, and Mary is the mother of Christ, in a special way she is a mother to all, especially human kind insofar as Mary’s yes to God to be Christ’s mother enabled the greatest act of redemption.  Lastly, in terms of her responding to cries for help, at the wedding feast of Cana, before Christ was to be made manifest to the world, when the wine had run out, Mary asked of Jesus to miraculously assist.  In obedience, Christ did this, even though he was God.  This simple story shows that asking Mary is special in that she can ask Christ in a special way to help us, and since she is His mother, Christ will provide whatever she asks.  Although Christ’s justice is perfect, and ultimately all of our petitions of pray are to Christ, if we ask our mother to intercede on our behalf, Christ’s mercy is made manifest, superseding His perfect justice.

  • karlf

    Then the the Pope is just guessing, and pretending that he knows.
    But why don’t Christ and God actually help the people who so desperately need their help?

  • Jdeoreo

    Well, I wouldn’t necessarily say guessing.  He is just echoing the same things the saints have taught about Mary for years.  Is it 100 percent certain?  Of course not, but like all things in history, we rely on the historians of the time and the people of the time to document and hand everything down.  As for the question of God helping those who so desperately need their help, there is a simple answer and a complex answer.  The simple answer is that God gave us free will in order that we may be able to love him.  This means that we can choose to do evil, just as we have the ability to choose good.  If God prevented all evil from happening, we simply wouldn’t have free will and would be unable to love Him, since love and free will are intimately tied together.  The complex answer is that sometimes an evil is permitted in order to bring about a greater good.  Christ dying on the Cross is the greatest tragedy that man has ever inflicted upon God; killing His Son.  However, it is through the means of the Cross that Christ saved all mankind, enabling them to be with Him in heaven.  Furthermore, Chirst then taught us how to unite our suffering with His on the Cross in order to sanctify ourselves and others, meaning that we can offer our suffering as payment for our sins and the sins of others.  Although Christ enabled all of us to reach heaven, there must still be reparation for the damage that sin causes.  This reparation can be effected by our suffering that we give to God as a humble offering and sacrifice.  Lastly, the greatest tragedy, from a supernatural perspective, is not the suffering on earth, but the eternal suffering after death, and since human  suffering can be offered as a sacrifice out of love to prevent this, suffering can be used as something good.  However, this does not take away from the tragedy that is sin, and each man must do what he can to alleviate the suffering of others.  

  • Dmcinnes6

    Well, that is just silly.

  • Jdeoreo

    I would suggest reading GK Chesterton’s book called Orthodoxy;  I think you would enjoy it, especially if you like considering first principles.

  • karlf

    Thank you very much for your reply.
    So to follow on what you are saying, the Pope is talking with an unjustified and unjustifiable conviction about these matters, which are beyond his knowledge.
    As for the question of God not helping those who so desperately need their help, I really think the free will theory is a cop out. Firstly, God must already know when someone chooses to do a terrible thing, but then allows them to carry out the atrocity unnecessarily. In any such situation the victims are never rescued by God, even if the abuse continues for years in situations unknown to anyone but the victim and the perpetrator. God allows natural disasters and diseases to cause unimaginable affliction, and just looks on as his children suffer so terribly.
    This isn’t about complex answers, but just to accept that God does nothing to help.
    “Christ dying on the Cross is the greatest tragedy that man has ever inflicted upon God” – no it’s not. Worse things are happening right now around the world, to a lot more people. At least Christ knew he had a great future ahead (not that I intend to underestimate his extreme suffering on the cross).

  • rjt1

    Most of what we rightly refer to as knowledge in ordinary life is not something we have verified or could verify for ourselves: we accept it on the word of others whom we trust: i.e. we believe them = have faith in them. This applies to most of what we learn in school, from books, from friends. How do I know the date of the Battle of Waterloo: I read it in a book. How do I know that water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen: I learnt it in school. How do I know what a friend had for breakfast: he told me.

    If you have trustworthy witnesses, you can believe them.

  • karlf

    ??

  • Daclamat

    The infallible doctrine of the assumption is the infallble proof  that infallibility isn’t. Grow up.The eucharist is more than enough. The globe trotting virgin is a scandal, feeding religiosity, nothing to do with faith.

  • Jdeoreo

    I see where you are coming from and you raise some good points.  In my own life sometimes it is difficult to see where God is in all of the tragedies and disasters and I didn’t mean for my explanation to just be an answer to all of the problems in the world.  I will say that often times, it feels like God is absent, but later I sometimes realize how actually present he was to me, without me knowing.  I do not mean that there is no evil in the world, just that God helps us more than we know, and that when people do evil things to other people, it hurts God and he suffers along side the victims.  I understand that this does not answer all of your questions, but I also know that I am limited and God’s thoughts are above my thoughts and his ways above my ways.  That is where faith comes in.  As a child, I trusted my mom when she asked me to do things without me knowing the reason, and now that I am older I know these same things on my own.  However, there are many things that are still above me, and some supernatural things that I will never know, but I trust in God and pray that I may do His will and one day be with Him in heaven.  

    As for the pope, I believe that the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit in matters of faith like this.  Just as some matters like the Trinity are know only by faith by Christ revealing it, there are some matters that are known by both faith and reason, some only by faith.  Insofar as I believe divine revelation comes from God, one can be more certain in that than in some matters of reason where the human intellect may err.  I realize that this explanation may be  unsatisfying since some matters of faith are beyond human reason, but I choose to give assent to these precepts of faith by the promise that Christ gave of always leading the Church and setting Peter, the first pope, as the head of the church on earth.

  • a follower of God not mary

    This is nothing but Mary Worship for Gods sake stop worshiping the Whore of Babylon

  • Pastizzi56

    No one is obliged in any way to believe all the apparitions, visions etc.
    The Pope is not giving to Mary what is rightly due to God and God alone.
    Marian devotion has a place in the liturgy and in personal spirituality and prayers.
    Catholics adore only God and it is only through ignorance that some think that His Holiness is putting her above God.

    I strongly protest against the comment posted by ‘a follower of God not mary’ 
    Christians praise Mary but they do not worship Her in the same way as they worship God.
    True lovers of Jesus would certainly love his Mother.

  • Parasum

    Just a thought: what is the relation of the intercession of the BVM, “in Heaven” (whatever that may mean), to time, to knowledge of each of us, and above all, to the action of Christ ?

    If God is a single Eternal Act, are her prayers for us a single timeless prayer, or are they a series of separate acts of intercession ? Or are we reduced to talking of these things only in analogies, without being able to say “what actually happens” ?

    This is all tied up with the popular objections Evangelical Protestants often make, so some answers would be helpful – if there any available.

  • Parasum

    Marian devotion is – or should be – part of worship of God. We honour her, in order to appreciate her God Who is ours too. And we do this by His grace, not from superstition or self-will, even if these bad things contaminate what is otherwise His gift to us of love for her. Love of Mary has – it seems safe to say – grown up in the Church by the action of the Holy Spirit, just as the New Testament did, just as all holiness does.

    Devotion to her cannot go wrong in “temperature”, in its warmth; it can go wrong if she is paid honour that forgets that she is a created Saint saved and transformed by grace, rather than the Creator to Whom Alone she owes all she has, and is, and does. She can be loved by illegitimate methods – but she cannot be loved too strongly, too much. To love her too much, far from being possible, is a way of loving God. Love given to her and love given to God, are not rivals – they are the same love. So the Rosary (for example) is primarily worship of God – only secondarily is it a devotion to Mary.  The greater love contains, and is the source & life of, the lesser. So all love of Mary is love of God; but not all love of God is love of Mary. In Heaven, where idolatry is no danger whatever, such distinctions are (presumably) irrelevant – we on earth make them, because on earth the sin of idolatry is not impossible to commit. If our worship of God is like a great river, the love we give Mary is one of its tributaries – except that this tributary is impossible without the River of which it is part.
     Mary is a constant reminder that we are nothing without God, nothing without Christ, nothing without the Holy Spirit. The helpfulness of this reminder in the world we live in can hardly be exaggerated – she is in every way God’s gift to us, to keep us from forgetting Christ. If love of neighbour, instead of being forbidden as a sin that obscures the duty of loving God with all our heart, soul, & might, is commanded in both Testaments, by Jesus especially: what makes love of Mary wrong ? Is she not our neighbour ?  Of her above all it is true that she has received nothing that God has not given her – there is nothing in her that does not attract to God. So the love people have for her is a response to God’s Love poured out in and through her – they are responding to God, Who works in her & through & her for the salvation of the human race and the Glory of Christ.

  • Parasum

    “So to follow on what you are saying, the Pope is talking with an unjustified and unjustifiable conviction about these matters, which are beyond his knowledge.”

    ## Wrong LOL  – the Assumption is more certain than any knowledge of the natural world, not less. It is reason that is uncertain & weak & unreliable: the knowledge we have of Divine things, by the supernatural gift of Divine faith, is to reason what the heart of the sun is to an electric torch, only more so. The Pope can be sure of the Assumption – earthly reality,which is constantly changing, even on a sub-atomic level, is what is doubtful and unsure and shifting and vague.

  • karlf

    To pretend to know things that you don’t know is a reasoned position??! I think the LOL belongs to me.

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    ASK SIMPLE CATHOLIC CHRISTIANS WHETHER MOTHER MARY HAS ANY TIME INTERVENED IN THEIR LIVES WITH PRACTICAL CONSEQUENCES. THEY ARE THE RIGHT PEOPLE TO ANSWER DOUBTERS.

    WHEN TRUE HUMAN NEED AROSE AT CANA DURING THE MARRIAGE FEAST, MOTHER MARY BROUGHT IN JESUS, AND HE ACTED. THIS IS THE POWER OF INTERCESSION AND IT CONTINUES THROUGHOUT HISTORY.

    FOR SOME TIME ESPECIALLY WHEN I REMAINED A MERE INTELLECTUAL I HAD ALL THE PROBLEMS WITH MOTHER MARY.

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    “He knows it by faith.”  MAY BE ALSO BY EXPERIENCE.

    WHY DON’T PEOPLE ASK HIM DIRECTLY? THE POPE IS ON TWITTER.

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

     WHY NOT ASSOCIATE YOURSELF WITH THE WORD PROCLAIMERS IN THE CHURCH. YOU WILL COME TO KNOW BY EXPERIENCE.

    ASKING QUESTIONS TO OTHERS AND GETTING ANSWERS CAN END UP IN MERE WORDS. WORDS ARE NOT NECESSARILY  PROOFS OR FACTS AND INCIDENTS IN PERSONAL LIFE.

  • Fr Thomas Poovathinkal

    ” But why don’t Christ and God actually help the people who so desperately need their help?”

    GO TO ANY PLACE WHERE THE WORD OF GOD  IS LIVED, OBEYED AND PROCLAIMED, YOU WILL SEE CHRIST, GOD HIMSELF IN PERSON HELPS PEOPLE IN NEED OR NOT.

  • karlf

    I don’t think so

  • Euthebass

    Thank you yet again, your Holiness, for your wisdom and encouragement.  Mary is indeed a pointer to Her Son’s holiness and a faithful friend.   Thank God for the gift of the Memorare.