Beyond the tacky trinkets and cheap pictures, though: Mary is a remarkable woman. There's that incident at Cana, for example. (John 2:1-5) I think it's a good exercise to read that as the transcript of a conversation. And then remember Who Mary was talking to.
Even before I converted to Catholicism, I had a soft spot in my heart for Mary. It helped that I'd paid attention in Sunday school, and knew about the conversation she had with Gabriel. Volunteering for that assignment took guts. (Luke 1:26-38)
Feast of the Assumption: It's Not About Making AssumptionsAn assumption is "a statement that is assumed to be true and from which a conclusion can be drawn." (Princeton's WordNet) I knew that: and was mildly puzzled about the name of tomorrow's feast day: the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
It's not about assumptions that Catholics are expected to have about Mary. In the context of tomorrow's celebration, the Catholic Church uses the word "assumption" a bit like another of its definitions: "the act of taking possession of or power over something." (Princeton's WordNet)
Here's what the Catechism has to say about it:
" 'Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.'508 The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians:Do I understand, in any sort of detail, how Mary was taken - soul and body - "into heavenly glory?""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.509"(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 966)
No. And I don't expect to. I'm not God, and I'm nowhere near as smart as He is.
- "May: Mary's Month"
(May 17, 2010)
- "Mary, Mother of God, Mother of the Church: Yeah, She's Pretty Important"
(August 11, 2009)
- "Mother's Day: A Nice Cultural Tradition, and a Quite Catholic Celebration"
(May 10, 2009)