Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mary, Assumed into Heaven, Show us How to Elevate our Minds to Christ

Listen to my homily for the Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady into heaven:

If you have trouble listening, click here.

Mass Readings for the day

Why do we celebrate this day?

Certainty - we are grateful God is perfect intelligibility who can neither deceive nor be deceived, that he clearly makes manifest those doctrines which ought to be believed in a more definite manner, which we call dogmas - aside from which we cannot claim to call ourselves Christian.  For the revelation of Christ is more certain even than the ground we stand on.  "Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words shall never pass away" (Mt 23:35).

For Pope Pius XII in 1950 declared this a dogma of the Christian faith, which all must hold with a divine and catholic faith:
"For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory."  Apostolic Constitution defining the Dogma of the Assumption, Munificentissimus Deus
Why did the Holy Spirit wait until 1950 to make this Christian belief a dogma formally declared by the Vicar of Christ?  Perhaps because it wasn't needed to be made this clear until the 1950's.  Although such great Fathers of the Church as St John of Damascus clearly held that she was assumed body and soul into heaven, this doctrine was kept by the Holy Spirit to be a gift for modern times.  In the year 6957 A.D.  St John said:
It was fitting that the she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles. It was fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live in the divine mansions. It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which she had escaped when giving birth to him, should look upon him as he sits with the Father, It was fitting that God's Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God (Dormition of Mary
Why did the modern times need this dogma to be proclaimed?

Holiness and Purity -  As the first reading and second reading testify, Mary's assumption tell us that Christ's victory of the world, the flesh, the devil, sin, and even death, is a victory which will be realized in our very bodies, and that although our bodies may present us with unruly passions and base desires in this valley of sin here below, these passions and emotions were made not for the earth, but for our Eternal Father, for eternal worship of his divine Majesty in heaven.  Mary's assumption shows us how to offer our sufferings in the flesh boldly and happily to God, knowing confidently that we belong ultimately to him.

How do we live the grace of the Assumption of Our Lady?

By letting our minds be elevated with her in Christ in the heavenly places.  A very quick and easy way to see if your mind is truly elevated in Christ through Mary is asking the following questions:
-How easily do I esteem God's goodness in all creatures, persons, events, and life events?
-Am I fundamentally in a posture of gratitude when anything happens in my life?
-Do I praise and adore God in my heart of hearts in every moment throughout the day?
Theses are the interior dispositions of the Immaculate Virgin Mary.  Let us ask her to intercede for us that we too may follow her example.

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