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!