Monday, August 15, 2011

Sleeping Beauty: Dormition of the "Woman"


Okay, class.  We'll keep this simple and throw in one or two advanced points.

Jesus is the New Adam.  Mary is the New Eve.

In John's Gospel, Jesus calls Mary "Woman".

Today, we celebrate the Dogma of the Assumption.  It's also called the Dormition of Mary.

(It is one of 4 important Marian dogmas of the Catholic Faith.  The other three are Mary as Mother of God, Mary's perpetual virginity, and the Immaculate Conception. )

Back to the Assumption of Mary.

Simply put, Mary was taken up to heaven body and soul at the end of her earthly life.

It's not just her soul in heaven, but her body, too.

This is ALWAYS connected to Jesus's bodily Resurrection.  It is also connected to our own resurrection as well.

"The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians..." (Catechism 966).


I've heard it explained this way, too:

Jesus kept the 10 Commandments perfectly, didn't He?  (Umm, yes....)

Isn't one of the 10 Commandments "Honor your father and mother"?  (Umm, yes...)

Well, then, wouldn't Jesus have honored His mother perfectly?  (Umm, yes....)

Another ancient term for "honor" is "glorify".  (Okay, and...)

Well, then, Jesus would have glorified his mother, too.  Who wouldn't honor their own mother?

Mary is glorified in this dogma.

We, the Church, are an icon of Mary.  We, too, will share in the Resurrection of Christ.


Also, see Rev. 12, which is the Roman Catholic Church's choice for the First Reading at Holy Mass.

This image above is an 11th Century image of the Dormition.  For image credit, click here.

As you can see, Mary's body is surrounded by the Apostles (Thomas, I think, is missing, according to an old tradition he was in India at the time).  Jesus is holding an image of a baby which represents Mary being taken up to heaven.

Here's another icon called the Dormition of the Theotokos.  Theotokos is Greek for "Mother of God".  The English word "dormitory" comes from the word "to sleep".

What man alive would not want to be a knight for this Sleeping Beauty?  She, too, can be the Queen for whom you fight and give your life.

And here's a beautiful prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours.  The Liturgy of the Hours is also called the Divine Office.  It is the official public prayer of the Church all over the world outside of Holy Mass.

"All powerful and ever-living God,
you raised the sinless Virgin Mary,
mother of your Son,
body and soul to the glory of heaven.
May we see heaven as our final goal
and come to share her glory.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever."

You can also check out Pope Pius XII's letter Munificentissimus Deus (1950) on the topic.

And, to close, here's a very beautiful Byzantine Catholic Church prayer:

"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."

HW: Learn the "Hail Mary".

Our Lady of the Assumption, pray for us!

Class dismissed.

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