Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mary, Mother of Jesus: Reading Glasses for Catholics

Today is when Catholics celebrate the Assumption of Mary. It doesn't have anything in particular to do about making assumptions, but it does point us toward Mary, mother of Jesus. Who, in turn, points us toward Jesus.

After Mass at Our Lady of the Angels Church, Sauk Centre. One of the altar servers is about to put the Gospel book away. August 15, 2010

I wrote about the Assumption yesterday. More to the point, the Holy See wrote about the Assumption about 60 years ago.

The idea that Mary was assumed into Heaven - soul and body - is something I have to believe, if I'm going to be a Catholic. I suppose that sounds dogmatic: which it is. Literally.

Which gets me into what a dogma is:
"DOCTRINE/DOGMA: The revealed teachings of Christ which are proclaimed by the fullest extent of the exercise of the authority of the Church's Magisterium. The faithful are obliged to believe the truths or dogmas contained in divine Revelation and defined by the Magisterium (88)."
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, Glossary D)
"The Church's Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes, in a form obliging the Christian people to an irrevocable adherence of faith, truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes, in a definitive way, truths having a necessary connection with these."
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 88)

Back to Mary, Back to Jesus

As I've written before, I had a soft spot in my heart for Mary long before I converted to the Catholic Church. She never seemed to be a barrier between me and my Lord - possibly because I'd read what she said to the servers at that wedding: " 'Do whatever he tells you.' " (John 2:5)

Father Statz has used the same metaphor, I'm told, on every celebration of the Assumption of Mary. He's said that Mary is like glasses - spectacles. For many of us, we're able to read the Word of God more easily, more clearly, if we have our glasses on.

It's the same way with Mary: she doesn't get in the way. She helps us focus on the Living Word of God: Jesus.

As for my relationship with Jesus: what? I'm going to impress Him by ignoring His mother?

Related post:More, about the Assumption:


Cammie Novara said...

"It doesn't have anything in particular to do about making assumptions, but it does point us toward Mary, mother of Jesus. Who, in turn, points us toward Jesus." I really have to let my Facebook group know about that! There's a really animated debate that I thought would be of interest on evolution vs. intelligent design going on at

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Cammie Novara,

Thanks for the good words. The debate sounds interesting - but I'll decline - again, with thanks.

Partly, because I don't see the evolution issue as either/or. Bottom line: God's a lot more patient than I am, and can do as He pleases with His creation.

Besides, I don't see shoveling through a 19th-century brouhaha's fallout as a worthwhile pursuit.

One of my takes, for what it's worth, on how the birds of the air and the beasts of the field got to be the way they are: "Dinosaurs, Mutant Chickens, Evolution, and Faith in God ."

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.