Mary's Assumption into Heaven

A Meditation for the Solemnity of the Assumption
August 15, 2008

The mystery of Mary being Assumed body and soul into heaven is not one that is found explicitly in Sacred Scripture, yet it is one that has been held by the followers of Christ from the time of Mary's "falling asleep in the Lord" as seen in the living Tradition of the Church.

The centuries-long belief that Mary is the "highly favored daughter" of the Father, the one who "... put the plan of his providence into effect in such a way that all the privileges and prerogatives he had granted to her in his sovereign generosity were to shine forth in her in a kind of perfect harmony" recognized in the role Mary fulfills as Mother of mankind. [cf.1952 Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus of Pope Pius XII] The "perfect harmony" — between God and man — calls for reflection as we observe the world and view confusion and questions about life, its purpose and meaning. The "privileges and prerogatives" of Mary need to be viewed as the "preternatural gifts" — immortality, impassibility, freedom from concupiscence, ignorance, and sin, and lordship over the earth, together with the supernatural gift of sanctifying grace — lost by the disobedience of Adam and Eve. They eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge in the middle of the Garden, Satan lied to them, tempted them and declared that God did not want them to "know as God knows." This disobedience caused Original Sin, Mary's obedience won forgiveness.

The "privilege" of Mary being conceived without sin from the very moment of her conception – was "solemnly proclaimed the dogma of the loving Mother of God's Immaculate Conception" by Pius IX – as a basic privilege it foresees the "prerogative" of being taken into heaven. Jesus, Who rose from the dead as He had foretold, returned to the Father to prepare a place for all who would believe in Him. Mary completely believed Gabriel the Archangel as she said: "let it be done to me according to Your word" and gave flesh to the Word by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. Point four of the Apostolic Constitution states that "Christ overcame sin and death by his own death, and [every]one who through Baptism has been born again in a supernatural way has conquered sin and death through the same Christ." We know that the general rule is that all are to die and await final victory over sin and death at the end of time, but Mary was exempt from this rule because; "She, by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body."[#5]

The Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven is a feast of great hope for all mankind, particularly for those who accept and live by the Revelation of God. Take time to reflect on the essence of these mysteries of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption, as well as the Queenship of Mary, and realize that the Promise made to our First Parents in the Book of Genesis chapter 3 is fulfilled through the faith of Mary. Her faith gives all honor and glory to the Most Blessed Trinity, to which she is singularly bound and raises all who believe to a deeper piety so that; "the souls of all those who glory in the Christian name may be moved by the desire of sharing in the unity of Jesus Christ's Mystical Body and of increasing their love for her who shows her motherly heart to all the members of this august body. And so we may hope that those who meditate upon the glorious example Mary offers us may be more and more convinced of the value of a human life entirely devoted to carrying out the heavenly Father's will and to bringing good to others. Thus, while the illusory teachings of materialism and the corruption of morals that follows from these teachings threaten to extinguish the light of virtue and to ruin the lives of men by exciting discord among them, in this magnificent way all may see clearly to what a lofty goal our bodies and souls are destined. Finally it is our hope that belief in Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven will make our belief in our own resurrection stronger and render it more effective."[#42] Let us strive to live holy lives in imitation of Mary and under her reign, so that the end of our earthly life will be crowned in her company with heavenly Glory.