Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Celebrating Another Empty Grave

I don't generally go to Mass during the week, but today's special. It's the Feast of the Assumption. It's a very 'Catholic' celebration, as most Marian observances are.

Mother's Day is an exception - and that's another topic. (May 10, 2009)

Mary, Elvis, and Getting a Grip

I think Mary's very special, but I don't worship her. I worship God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Worshiping anyone or anything else is a very bad idea.

Maybe some of the billion or so Catholics alive today worship Mary, or Elvis, or physical fitness: but the Church says that's idolatry, and that it's strictly against the rules. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2097, 2112-2114) Which doesn't mean that we have to hate music or ignore our health: and those are still more topics.

Who Says Mary's Special?

I figure it's okay to see Mary as an outstanding person, since God seems to have that opinion:
"10 In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,

"to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary.

"And coming to her, he said, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you." "
(Luke 1:26-28)

Another Empty Grave

Mary shows up in the account of my Lord's first miracle. (John 2:5) Later, she's one of the very few folks who stayed with Jesus on Golgotha. (John 19:25) My Lord seems to have had a close relationship with His mother - another reason why I see no problem with thinking she's special.

The Feast of the Assumption is when we celebrate Mary's being taken to Heaven - soul and body. When the folks caring for her came back for her body, tradition tells us that all they found was a mass of roses.

Nice touch, I think. Mary seems to like roses. There's that incident with Juan Diego's tilma, and that's yet again another topic.

Body, Soul, and Coming Events

We call Mary's death her "dormition," or "sleep." When she died, my Lord promoted her to "Queen over all things," as it says in the Catechism:
" '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:
"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)
Mary's fully human, like me, except that God excluded or protected her from the original sin that's made life so interesting for the rest of us. And that's even more topics. (Catechism, 396-409, 490-493)

Being human, Mary was created as a composite creature: a rational being with an immortal soul - and a physical body. (Catechism, 362-368)

When I die, my body will start breaking down. It's not something I look forward to, but it comes with the package. On a strictly human level, I can see why Jesus didn't want His mother's body to go through that. My opinion.

Meanwhile, I'm not a soul locked inside a body: I'm a creature that's designed to be a unified soul and body. My body will die, leaving my soul waiting for that big closing ceremony we call the Last Judgment. (Catechism, 1038)

Following My Lord

I don't see a problem with admiring Mary and worshiping my Lord. Whenever I encounter Mary in Catholic traditions, she's doing pretty much the same thing she did at Cana: telling us to "do whatever he tells you." (John 2:5)

As for the tradition about roses being where her body should have been? I'm inclined to believe it. Not so much because it 'feels right,' but because of where I heard it.

It's easier for me to believe that Mary was assumed body and soul into Heaven, than it is to believe that an outfit could endure for two millennia: without help. And that's - another topic or two. (January 13, 2011)

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

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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.