Today we celebrate the Assumption of Mary into heaven. What exactly does this mystery of our faith mean? 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.
The sixth beatitude proclaims, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (see Mt 5:8). The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that "'Pure in heart' refers to those who have attuned their intellects and wills to the demands of God's holiness, chiefly in three areas: charity; chastity or sexual rectitude; love of truth and orthodoxy of faith" (No. 2518).
The baptized must "struggle against concupiscence of the flesh and disordered desires" (CCC No. 2520), yet with God's grace we will prevail. When we meditate upon the meaning of "pure in heart," we can find no better example of these Christian virtues than our Virgin Mother who was assumed body and soul into heaven.
The Mother of God lived charity in its fullness, from her nourishing care of the Christ child in Bethlehem, to the wound of love she experienced deep within her heart which, pierced by that terrible sword of sorrow as she stood at the base of the cross, held firm in trust. As for love of truth and orthodoxy of faith, the Virgin Mary, as the Mother of God, is a most perfect example of these virtues, for her Son is Truth, and she loves him and all that he is with maternal devotion.
During St. Bonaventure's Fourth sermon on Annunciation, he described Mary as a "tabernacle" in which the Lord rested. He encourages the faithful to turn toward the Blessed Mother for help: "Let us go to the Virgin with great confidence, and we will tranquilly find her in our necessities. Therefore this tabernacle is rightly to be honored, and to this tabernacle flight should be made, in which the Lord rested so familiarly, so that the Blessed Virgin herself could say truly and literally, "Who made me rested in my tabernacle" (IX, 673).
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary: A Reflection On Purity
Posted by Joe Reciniello at 10:13 AM
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I also found an interesting article about the Dormition/Assumption providing a broad perspective on the feast’s history and the various ways it is observed. Worth checking out: http://dstp.cba.pl/?p=2399