Please God, more Scriptural and Patristic sources will be added to the present “rant style” meditations when circumstances at Holy Souls Hermitage aren’t quite so utterly barbaric.
The purpose of this first run through these mysteries is to note especially the goodness and kindness of Jesus amidst the violence and chaos back in the day… and today. Hang on, it might be a bit of a rough ride, as rough and tumble as we focus on, in this post, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Soul and Body, into Heaven.
There are some non-Catholics or falsely ecumenical catholics, or dismissively liberal catholics, who think that the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, soul and body into heaven is not Scriptural. This is simply not to understand who Mary is, who Jesus is, what Sacred Scripture in view of Sacred Tradition is, and what the Magisterium is. There are a multitude of Scripture citatations. Let’s take one which is oft cited, without losing site of the others.
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.
It is often said that this is a reference to the Church as the Church. O.K.! Good! But, what – or better – Who is the Church? Mary’s Son, Jesus, that is, Head and members, the entire Mystical Body of Christ. That’s the Church.
Some will complain with great ferocity that this couldn’t possibly be Mary in the Book of Revelation, for Mary is the Immaculate Conception, and wouldn’t be in such terrible labor pains, which were a pedagogical punishment consequent to original sin. No, no, they insist, this is the Church which is suffering the sufferings of the martyrs throughout the ages. Good! But, both…
Look at it this way:
- As we know from Luke 1,28 and, indeed, Genesis 3,15, Mary is without the stain or original sin. She has clarity of vision. She can see the goodness of her Son for what it is. She can also see our sin for what it is. She sees all this intensely under the cross, all the sin of all mankind throughout the ages vomited upon her Son on the Cross. As she sees Him, innocent, being tortured to death, hanging is bleeding shreds of flesh, she sees our need perfectly and intercedes for us perfectly. This is the fulfillment of the oh-so-Scriptural prophesy that her heart would be pierced through with a sword of sorrow. Her intercession, perfectly mirroring what our Lord does for us in the Redemption, are her labor pains, which provide for the labor pains of the Church.
- Remember that Mary is ever Virgin in her vocation to be the Mother of Jesus, that is, the entire Jesus, Head and members, the Mystical Body of Christ spoken of by Saint Paul. Her labor pains bring about the birth of the rest of the Mystical Body of Christ throughout the ages by way of intercession. Her virginity is also sign that she has not yet given birth to Christ completely. This sign could not be lost to the corruption of death. Instead, the Mother must live as her Son, soul and body in heaven with Him.
- On the point of Mary’s death — a point perhaps not decided by the Magisterium — many protest that she couldn’t possibly have died, since this is an effect of original sin, and she is Immaculate. Instead, it is because of her purity, her clarity of vision, her agility of soul, that her body — ever so willingly on her part — felt the ravages of the crucifixion of her son, that is, in her spirit, but this but her body under enormous strain, similar to that of Jesus in the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is not a stain that Mary would have died for a moment, but rather a glory of her Immaculate Conception, of her Motherhood of Jesus and all of us.
When, at wakes, we would recite the rosary for the repose of the soul of the faithful departed, I would recite the glorious mysteries, with a meditation for each mystery. I would put special emphasis on the fourth glorious mystery, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, soul and body, into heaven, calling this mystery, in particular, a family mystery, so that we who are on this earth, are looking to join in heaven those who have gone before us.