Assumption of the Blessed Mother

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

Assumption of Mary

Image by Peter Paul Rubens (1626) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

What is the Assumption of Mary?

The Assumption of Mary is the event in which God to Mary to heaven – body and soul. When you and I die, our soul will go to heaven, purgatory or hell and our bodies will decay as it waits for the final Resurrection at the end of times. Mary, however, didn’t have to wait. Right now, Mary is in heaven with her soul and body already united.

Some theologians and thinkers believe that Mary was given the grace of not having to die and was assumed into heaven without dying first. Others believe that Mary did die, in imitation of Christ who died for us, but was assumed into heaven shortly after her death. Honestly, though, it doesn’t matter whether you believe Mary died before she was assumed or not. We are required to believe that Mary was, in fact, brought to heaven with her body and soul, not how it happened.

The Assumption is NOT the Ascension.

Many people get the Assumption of Mary and the Ascension of Jesus confused. That’s completely  understandable given that both feasts celebrate Jesus and Mary’s “entrance” into heaven body and soul. Here is the difference: In the Ascension of Jesus, 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 bible. In the assumption, Mary is taken to heaven by POWER of GOD. Mary did NOT take herself to heaven, nor was she capable of doing so. The assumption is a gift and a grace of God that was granted to Mary.

Why was Mary Assumed into Heaven? 

During her life, Mary had a unique share in the suffering and death of Jesus. She carried him in her womb, she raised Him, and she followed Him in the most perfect way. Therefore, it seems fitting that she gets to have a unique 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, in her glorified body just like we will be when the time comes. Thus, her Assumption is a peek of our future destiny. When we die, we know that our souls are separated from our bodies. But, this is temporary. When Jesus returns at the second coming, our souls and bodies will be reunited again in our own 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 it is our destiny. We live in hope that we will be with the Blessed Trinity, all the Saints and Angels in heaven, FOREVER. How awesome is that?!

How can we celebrate this special Solemnity?

1. The first thing you should do is go to Mass. As a matter of fact, the feast of the Assumption is a Holy Day of Obligation, so technically you “have” to go. Of course, we don’t celebrate the Eucharist just because we have to, right? We go to Mass because we want to. 😉

2. Pray the glorious mysteries of the rosary. The glorious mysteries include the Assumption of Mary. “Bonus points” if you pray as a family!

3. In times past, most parishes would have a procession in Our Lady’s honor on this day. It’s not that common anymore, however, your (or a  nearby) parish is doing a procession, consider participating in it. If there aren’t any local processions available, you can put do a small procession for yourself and your family.

4. If you have time, you can do some crafts with your kids like this one at crafolic.com or this one at catholicmom.com.

5. You can also make an Assumption themed meal or treat like I found here and here (scroll down to the Assumption) on catholiccuisine.com.

These are just a few ideas. I’m sure with a little thought you will be able to come up with your own way of honoring Our Lady. May your day be blessed!

Resources to deepen your understanding  of this great Solemnity:

New Advent

About.com

AssumptionMary.com

Why do Catholics Worship Mary?

(I have had a few emails and questions about Mary and the rosary recently; thus, I am reposting this series.)

Mary

photo credit: Qfamily via photopin cc

May is the month traditionally dedicated to Mary, so I thought it would be good to talk about our Catholic devotion to her. A lot of non-Catholics, and sadly some Catholics, believe that Catholics worship Mary and that is simply not true.

Catholics HONOR Mary as the mother of Jesus. They DO NOT worship Mary. If they do, they are completely wrong and mislead. Worship belongs to God and God alone.

According to dictionary.com, to honor someone is to show “high respect, as for worth, merit, or rank: to be held in honor” and to worship someone means  “reverent honor and homage paid” or “the object of adoring reverence or regard.”  See the difference? We give our worship to God but we honor Mary as the mother of Jesus.

You see, Mary is who she is BECAUSE of who Jesus is. She was given signal graces because she was chosen to be the mother of GOD. That is why we honor her and love her.

You can also think about it this way: usually, especially those of us who have a good relationship with our mothers, of course we would want others to respect our mothers. How much more would Jesus? Of course he would expect us to honor her and respect her, and so we Catholics do.

Our devotion to Mary is centered on Jesus, and ALL true devotion to Mary leads to Jesus – ALWAYS. If not, then there is something wrong with the devotion. 🙂  Speaking of devotions, if are looking for devotions to honor Mary this month, here are 7 Ways to Honor Mary.

—————

Have a question about the Catholic faith or confused about some Catholic doctrine or devotion? Contact me and I will do my best to answer your question in a future post. You can email me at carol (at ) simplecatholicliving (dot) com or use my contact page.

photo credit: Qfamily via photopin cc

31 Days With Mary: Day 31

Mother Mary(Photo Credit)

Mary: The Visitation

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, ‘Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the infant in my womb leaped for joy.” –Luke 1:41-45

Offering: Praying the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary with devotion and love.

Thank you for praying this month-long devotion with me. I hope you have been blessed and graced during this time with Mary!

31 Days With Mary: Day 30

Mother Mary(Photo Credit)

Mary: Channel of Grace

“Since the fullness of the Divine Nature dwelt in Mary’s womb, the Blessed Virgin thereby, acquired a kind of jurisdiction over all graces, for the all the streams of Divine grace flow from her womb as from the ocean of Divinity which was within her.” –St. Bonaventure

Offering: A prayer, such as the Hail Mary, for someone in need of prayer.

Want this devotional sent to your inbox? Sign up here.

31 Days With Mary: Day 27

Mother Mary(Photo Credit)

Mary: Mother of Fair Love

“Mary, my dearest mother, give me your heart so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate, so full of love and humility, that I may receive Jesus as you did–and go in haste to give him to others.” –Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Offering: Beginning the practice of saying three Hail Marys before going to sleep each night.

Want this devotional sent to your inbox? Sign up here.

31 Days With Mary: Day 20

Mother Mary(Photo Credit)

Mary: Our Hope

“The King of Heaven, being infinite Goodness, desires in the highest degree to enrich us with His graces. But because confidence is a necessary condition for being heard, and because He wants to increase our confidence, He has given us His own Mother as our Mother and intercessor, and has granted her all power to help us. So it is that He wishes us to place our hope for salvation and every blessing in her.” –St. Alphonse Liguori

Offering: A smile for those we love, even when we don’t feel like it.

Want this devotional sent to your inbox? Sign up here.

(P.S. The third day of the Novena to the Holy Spirit for Pentecost is today. Don’t have a prayer? Follow the novena here.)

31 Days With Mary: Day 14

Mother Mary(Photo Credit)

Mary: Losing and Finding the child Jesus

“The Mother of God, who looked for her Son so anxiously when he was lost (through no fault of her own) and experienced such great joy in finding him, will help us retrace our steps and put right whatever may be necessary when, because of our carelessness or our sins, we have been unable to recognize Christ. With her help, we willl know the happiness of holding him in our arms once more and telling him we will never lose him again.” –St. Jose Maria Escriva

Offering: A thorough, sincere confession of our sins and faults in the Sacrament of Reconcilliation.

Want this devotional sent to to your inbox? Sign up here.

31 Days With Mary: Day 10

Mother Mary(Photo Credit)

Mary: Presenting Jesus in the temple

“When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord.” Luke 2: 22-23

Offering: A pilgrimage to one of Our Lady’s shrines.

Want this devotional sent to your inbox? Sign up here.

31 Days With Mary: Day 9

Mother Mary(Photo Credit)

Mary: Welcoming the Shepherds

“When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ so they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.” Luke 2: 15-17

Offering: An encouraging word to someone in need.

 

31 Days With Mary: Day 7

Mother Mary(Photo Credit)

Mary: Our model in everyday life

“We can’t forget that Mary spent nearly every day of her life just like millions of other women who look after their families, bring up their children, and take care of their houses.” – St. Jose Maria Escriva

Offering: Completing the daily tasks of our state in life with attention and love.