The Assumption of Mary

Today is the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary and it is a beautiful and important feast in our liturgical calendar. It is also relatively new in that the Assumption of Mary was declared a dogma of the Church in 1950.

What is the Assumption of Mary?Assumption of Mary

The Assumption of Mary is where God in His awesome mercy “assumed” Mary into heaven body and soul.

Some “camps” believe that Mary was given the grace of not having to die and was assumed without dying. Some “camps” believe that that in imitation of Christ that Mary did die but was assumed into heaven shortly after. According to my understanding, it doesn’t matter whether one believes Mary died or not first, what matters is the belief that Mary was brought to heaven and lives in heaven body and soul.

The Assumption is NOT the Ascension.

Some people get the Assumption of Mary and the Ascension of Jesus confused. That’s understandable given that both feasts celebrate Jesus and Mary’s “entrance” into heaven. Here is the difference: In the Ascension, 40 days after His Resurrection, Jesus ascends back to heaven through HIS OWN POWER. You can read about Jesus’ ascension at the end of the gospels. In the assumption, Mary is brought to heaven through the mercy and power of God. Mary did NOT take herself to heaven, nor is she capable of doing so. It is a gift and a grace that God has granted her.

And why not? From a human perspective, it seems only fair that since Mary had a share in Jesus’ suffering and death that get gets to have a share of His glory. 🙂

The significance of the Assumption.

This solemnity of the Assumption should give us great joy and hope. Mary is in heaven, body and soul, in her glorified body. Her Assumption is a peek into our future destiny. When we die, we know that souls are separated from our bodies. But, when Jesus returns again are souls and bodies will be reunited in our glorified bodies.

The Assumption reminds us that our life on earth isn’t all there is, we have a destiny. Jesus is our destiny. Heaven is real and is our destiny. One day we will be with the Blessed Trinity, all the Saints and Angels in heaven, FOREVER. How awesome is that?!

Resources to deepen your understanding  of this great Solemnity:

New Advent

About.com

AssumptionMary.com

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Significance of the Assumption of Mary

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Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Today is one of my favorite feast days: the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We know that the heart represents love and so this feast is yet another reminder of God’s great love for us, of the love that Jesus has for all of us; a love which compelled Him to become man, to spend 33 years on earth, to suffer horribly and die for us and to rise for us!

So for this week’s 7 Quick Takes I’d like to share some links about the Sacred Heart for you to pray over and think about:

1. EWTN devotionals.

2. SacredHeart.com.

3. SacredHeartDevotion.com.

4. Women for Faith and Family. (Page about the Sacred Heart.)

5. New Advent. (Doctrinal explanation of the feast.)

6. About.com. (History of the feast.)

7. Wikipedia. (Not a terrible explanation of the feast. 🙂 )

A blessed Solemnity, everyone!

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What do you know about the Sacred Heart of Jesus? Some links…

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

7QT: Devotion to the Sacred Heart

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7 Quick Takes: Scripture and the Eucharist Edition

Bible Heart

In yesterday’s Theological Thursday post I talked about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. In today’s 7 Quick Takes I want to share just a few Scripture readings about the Eucharist for you to pray over.

1. Psalm 110:4 (Foreshadowing the Eucharist)

2. Exodus 29:38-39 (Foreshadowing the Eucharist)

3. John 6:22-69 (“Bread of Life Discourse”)

4. Matthew 26:26-30 (The Last Supper)

5. 1 Corinthians 10:16 (Is not the cup we share…)

6. Acts 2:42 (They devoted themselves…to the breaking of the bread…)

7. Hebrews 12:22-24 (Jesus and mediator)

For more scripture verses related to the Eucharist, I highly recommend ScriptureCatholic. It has done an amazing job laying out and explaining all the various scriptures that foreshadow the Eucharist, the institution of the Eucharist and the relation between the Cross and the Eucharist. Under the long list of scripture verses there are also a ton of quotes and explanations from Tradition and Church Fathers that are worth reading and praying over, too.

Also, catholicbible101 also has a page dedicated to explaining the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist that you can check out.

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Scripture and the Eucharist

7 QT: Scripture and the Eucharist Edition

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Theological Thursday: Receiving the Precious Blood

chalice

Reader Dolores contacted me with the following question:

“Is it a sin to NOT [emphasis mine] partake of drinking wine ( blood of Christ) when taking the sacraments?”

In short, the answer is no. Receiving the Precious Blood is optional and many churches do not offer communion under both species.

Longer Answer:

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s directive, Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America, gives a brief history of why the custom of not partaking of the Precious Blood at Mass feel out of practice. It states,

“The practice of Holy Communion under both kinds at Mass continued until the late eleventh century, when the custom of distributing the Eucharist to the faithful under the form of bread alone began to grow. By the twelfth century theologians such as Peter Cantor speak of Communion under one kind as a “custom” of the Church.28 This practice spread until the Council of Constance in 1415 decreed that Holy Communion under the form of bread alone would be distributed to the faithful.”

After Vatican II, the practice of receiving communion under both species was restored. The Norms explains,

“Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it takes place under both kinds. For in this form the sign of the Eucharistic banquet is more clearly evident and clearer expression is given to the divine will by which the new and eternal Covenant is ratified in the Blood of the Lord, as also the connection between the Eucharistic banquet and the eschatological banquet in the Kingdom of the Father.”

It is always wonderful to receive the Precious Blood but do keep something in mind: whether you receive communion under just one species (“just” the Body of Christ or “just” the Blood of Christ) you are receiving Jesus whole and entire, body, blood soul and divinity. A person isn’t “missing something” if he or she only receives the Eucharist or if he or she only receives the Precious Blood. 🙂

I encourage everyone to read Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America. It is a beautiful and easy-to-read document that gives a spiritual and practical summary of the mystery of the Eucharist.

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Have a question about the Catholic faith? Are you curious about a particular Catholic practice, such as the rosary or other devotion? If so, I’d love to answer it a future Theological post. Send your questions to carol (at) simplecatholicliving (dot) com or fill out my contact form.

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