Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon F. K. Bartels

8/15/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

What God intends for those he loves, he as accomplished in the sweet Virgin Mary

What God has promised on the last day for those he loves, he has already accomplished in the Virgin Mary. Let us turn to Mary and love her as our spiritual Mother in the order of grace; let us open our hearts to her Immaculate Heart, that she may illuminate her Son all the more in our lives, guiding us toward orthodoxy and unity, and instilling through her intercession a lively and burning faith within our hearts.

Highlights

By Deacon F. K. Bartels

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/15/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Assumption of Mary, assumption, dogma of the assumption, mary is assumed into heavenly glory, Deacon F. K. Bartels


GLADE PARK, CO (Catholic Online) -- On 1 November, 1950, Pope Pius XII issued the Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus, in which he proclaimed the dogma of the Assumption: "Mary, the immaculate perpetually Virgin Mother of God, after the completion of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into the glory of heaven."

Some say the Catholic Church "invented" the dogma of the Assumption; however, the Church does not invent dogma, rather she defines and proclaims God's revelation as it is contained in the depositum fidei, the original deposit of faith which is guarded and cherished in the living community of the Church, and which comprises both Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture. Simply, the belief in the Assumption is not new, but old. In fact, we find evidence for it in the writings of the Church Fathers.

For instance, St. Gregory of Tours wrote of the Assumption in about 590 A.D.: "The course of this life having been completed by the Blessed Mary, . . . [The Lord] commanded that [her holy body] be taken in a cloud into paradise."

St. John Damascene wrote in the eighth century: The Word of God "was pleased even after [Mary's] departure from life to honor her immaculate and undefiled body with incorruption and with translation [Assumption] prior to the common and universal resurrection."

Scripture does not prohibit Mary's Assumption. Although St. Paul teaches that the bodies of the just will be glorified at the general resurrection, Matthew 27:52-53 allows for an exception: After Jesus gave up his spirit on the cross, the "tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many."

Buy why is it important for Christians to understand and believe in the Assumption? First of all, since Mary's bodily assumption into heaven is dogma, it is therefore a matter of Christian faith. Also, contemporary Christians ought to find great joy in embracing that same faith which their brethren held in the patristic era, that faith which is today transmitted in its entirety by the holy Catholic Church.

Second, the "Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians" (CCC 966). "In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death" (Byzantine Liturgy, Feast of the Dormition).

The logical question is, if Christians of today fail to accept that our Lord Jesus assumed his most precious and holy Mother into heaven, the sweet and sinless Virgin who gave birth to God in the flesh and raised him to manhood, do they truly believe that they themselves will one day be resurrected?

In then Cardinal Ratzinger's book, God Is Near Us, he points out that, according to statistics, many Christians and churchgoers have given up on the belief in eternal life. There is, too, a difficulty in imagining that God is himself an active agent in history. Consequently, there is often a tendency to dismiss God's ability to intervene in biological and physical processes (130 ff.).

How much more we find a great sea of doubt concerning the general resurrection. Is part of this problem due to the carelessness which is often shown toward Theotokos, the God-bearer, who brought salvation into the world by giving birth to her Son, and who gave her entire being over to the Father in cooperation with the Holy Spirit?

The general resurrection is certainly a gift of God's grace. Mary is our mother in the order of grace, since she cooperated in a wholly singular way with the Savior's redemptive work through her unwavering obedience, faith, hope and burning charity (see CCC 968 ff.; Lumen Gentium 61). Mary walks the path of grace and life before us, and thus proceeds the journey of the Church toward eternal beatitude.

"This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. . . . Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix" (CCC 969).

As we reflect on the Assumption of Mary, we are led into the deeply beautiful truths of God's love for humankind. In the Virgin Mary, we have the exemplar of our purpose and destiny. Mary, the Mother of God and the Mother of the Church, leads us by her supreme example toward a life of true Christian discipleship. She has forged ahead the path of final beatitude; she beckons us; prays for us; and, as our sweet Virgin Mother, unceasingly guides us with delicate and beautiful hands toward that place where she herself resides: eternal, unending joy in the face-to-face vision of God.

What God has promised on the last day for those he loves, he has already accomplished in the Virgin Mary. Let us turn to Mary and love her as our spiritual Mother in the order of grace; let us open our hearts to her Immaculate Heart, that she may illuminate her Son all the more in our lives, guiding us toward orthodoxy and unity, and instilling through her intercession a lively and burning faith within our hearts.

-----

Deacon F. K. Bartels is a Catholic Deacon and writer who knows his Catholic Faith is one of the greatest gifts a man could ever receive. He is a contributing writer for Catholic Online.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Living Faith

MAKE YOURSELF COUNT! Complete this quick Ash Wednesday survey

Image of Take the Ash Wednesday survey so we can better serve your needs.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online is conducting a global survey on Ash Wednesday practices. Each reader is asked to participate once. The survey will take less than a minute to complete. The results of the survey will help Catholic Online determine how best to serve your needs in the ... continue reading


Santa Muerte gains popularity throughout Mexico - Will Pope Francis react during his visit? Watch

Image of Santa Muerte's popularity has spread throughout South America (Pinterest).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Despite the Catholic Church openly saying Santa Muerte is not recognized as a saint, the death saint continues to spread in popularity among Mexican citizens. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Santa Muerte is an absurdity," Cardinal Norberto Rivera, Mexico's ... continue reading


Bible-themed luxury resort to be built in San Diego? Watch

Image of Televangelist seeks to build Bible-themed resort (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Televangelist Morris Cerullo has been attempting to build a Bible-themed luxury resort for the past few years - and now there is only one more hurdle to jump. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - After purchasing a foreclosed Mission Valley hotel, Cerullo's plans for ... continue reading


What the Catholic Church should do about this new serious problem among the young Watch

Image of Deacon Flanigan confirmed that the recent surge in overdoses among young whites have been linked to controversial medical guidelines that called for a more aggressive approach to treating both acute and chronic pain.

By Joan Frawley Desmond, National Catholic Register

When recent headlines marked a spike in drug overdoses for white, middle-class Americans, the news saddened but did not surprise Deacon Timothy Flanigan, an HIV specialist at Brown University medical school in Providence, R.I. Providence, R.I. (National ... continue reading


Pope Francis gives priests advice on being good confessors Watch

Image of

By CNA/EWTN News

Priests who are good confessors must recognize their own sins in order to forgive and comfort penitents, Pope Francis said one day before the start of the Lenten season. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - "I speak to you as a brother, and through you I would like to ... continue reading


POPE FRANCIS GENERAL AUDIENCE: Ash Wednesday (FULL TEXT: English) Watch

Image of

By Pope Francis, Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning and good path of Lent!It is beautiful and also significant to have this hearing at this Ash Wednesday. We begin the journey of Lent, and we are reflecting today on the ancient institution of the "jubilee"; It is an ancient thing, ... continue reading


Pope Francis' message for Lent (FULL TEXT: ENGLISH) Watch

Image of

By Pope Franics, Vatican Radio

"I desire mercy, and not sacrifice" (Mt 9:13).The works of mercy on the road of the Jubilee 1. Mary, the image of a Church which evangelizes because she is evangelizedIn the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, I asked that "the season of Lent in ... continue reading


'There is nowhere else for us to go': Nuns who feed homeless face eviction after rent nearly doubles Watch

Image of Nuns who feed homeless were told to pay or leave (AP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The cost of living in San Francisco has skyrocketed to the point that and new reports indicate Bay Area housing has reached such heights that the area's average income can no longer support it. Unfortunately, this means everyone is downsizing or moving - including ... continue reading


The 'Martyred Country': Pope Francis' powerful words on Syria Watch

Image of Pope Francis led the crowds in praying the Hail Mary

By Ann Schneible, CNA/EWTN News

The plight of Syrian civilians involved in the nation's ongoing conflict was at the heart of Pope Francis' appeal to the international community on Sunday, in an address where he also called for a renewed commitment to the protection of life at all stages. ... continue reading


POPE FRANCIS ANGELUS: February 7, 2016 (FULL TEXT: ENGLISH) Watch

Image of

By Pope Francis

Dear brothers and sisters, Goodmorning!The Gospel of this Sunday says - in the drafting of St. Luke - the call of the first disciples of Jesus ( Lk 5,1-11). The fact takes place in a context of everyday life: there are some fishermen on the shore of Lake Galilee, who, ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Deuteronomy 30:15-20
15 'Look, today I am offering you life and prosperity, death and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6
1 How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the wicked and does not ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:22-25
22 He said, 'The Son of man is destined to suffer grievously, to be ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 11th, 2016 Image

St. Paschal
February 11: Paschal was the son of Bonosus, a Roman. He ... Read More