DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN through FRI-SAT-SUN     August 13-22, 1999     vol. 10, no. 152-157

GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

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    INTRODUCTION
      "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns.

      Today Sister writes about the Solemnity of the glorious Feast of the Assumption and explains what "assumed" means for Mary, like us, was human. She is not divine and not to be worshipped. But she remains God's most precious of His creation and He has assigned her as the "chief intercessor" to all His children. Sister points out that she strongly believes Mary did die and not just fall asleep because Jesus died and it would stand to reason she would follow her Divine Son. That mystery of whether she truly died incorrupt or was only in a state of dormition will never be truly known until we reach Heaven. The fact we have today saints such as Saint Bernadette whose body is still incorrupt lends credence to Sister's assumption on the Assumption as she points out in her column She was assumed into Heaven.

      Her column provides effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www .heartofmaryministry. com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy @aol.com by e-mail.

SHE WAS ASSUMED INTO HEAVEN

        On Sunday, August 15th, we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Our Blessed Mother into Heaven.

        There is a difference between the ASCENSION and the ASSUMPTION. “Ascension” means that Jesus ascended into Heaven. That is, He did so by His Own power. “Assumption” means that Our Lady was ASSUMED into Heaven. That is, she was taken up into Heaven. She was brought there by the power of God. She did not ASCEND by her own power, but was ASSUMED there by the power of God.

        Catholic theology teaches us that Mary comes after God in holiness and greatness. She is greater than all of the saints and angels. She is above the angels by a special grace given to her by God. But Mary is not God or equal to God. She cannot work any miracle by her own power. God Alone works every miracle that has ever taken place or will take place. Because God gave Mary so many extraordinary graces and privileges, she is especially beloved by Him and her every wish is granted by the Almighty.

        In paragraph 966 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read what Pope Pius XII wrote in Munificentissimus Deus (1950) “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." The Catechism continues: “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 the Byzantine Liturgy for the Feast of the Assumption, August 15th, we read: “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.”

        One may ask: “Did Our Blessed Mother actually die before being taken to Heaven or did she just fall asleep?”

        Having had an excellent Catholic education, I can say that I was taught that we really do not know for sure if Our Lady did actually die or not. I have a personal opinion about that. I think Our Lady did die, though her body never suffered any corruption. Why do I think that? Because Our Lord died. And I think that Our Blessed Mother would have wanted to go through those “gates” since her Son did.

        We do know, however, that at a certain moment, Our Blessed Mother’s body and soul were taken into Heaven. They were ASSUMED into Heaven where they are now.

        The corruption of the human body is the result of original sin. As Our Blessed Mother was preserved from all stain of sin throughout her life, it would follow that her pure and sinless body would be free of any of the side effects of sin.

        Have a Happy Feast of the Assumption and God bless you!

August 13-22, 1999       volume 10, no. 152-157
GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Sister Mary Lucy Astuto

DAILY CATHOLIC

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