The Feast of the Assumption and Marian Theological Hurdles

statue-1465250_960_720Over at The Coming Home Network this week, our latest weekly community question has to do with the feast that kicks off this week; namely, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, body and soul into heaven.  And if you’re a protestant, you probably just coughed something incredulous and unrepeatable into your elbow.

I get it, really, I do; I always like to share my personal story of visiting the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption on an art appreciation field trip when I was in college, and, smart aleck that I was, remarking that it was an awfully big building to erect based on an assumption.  Bible verses or it didn’t happen.

Of course, years later, the wheels began to turn, and I thought to myself- if Enoch and Elijah were assumed into heaven, couldn’t Jesus’ mom have been, too?  And hey, if Christians were obsessed with keeping the bodily relics of even the martyrs who’d been torn to pieces by wild beasts in the arena, forgetting to keep any bodily remains of the one woman on the planet with biological ties to Jesus was a pretty glaring oversight, don’t you think?

At any rate, all of the Catholic theological stuff about Mary makes perfect sense to me, even if some of the devotional stuff out there- especially the French devotional stuff about her- I find a little off-putting.  But the devotional stuff isn’t necessary for salvation.  The dogmatic stuff is, and on that, I’m all in.

That being said, I invite you to weigh in on the latest CHNetwork community question:

As you began to study Catholicism, what uniquely Catholic teaching about Mary was the first to make sense to you?

I’m sure my fellow Conspirators will have a thought or two- share either in the comments on this post or the one at the link, and I’ll try to include them in the roundup article that comes out this Friday !

About Matt Swaim

Matt Swaim is the Communications Coordinator for the Coming Home Network and the former host of the Son Rise Morning Show on EWTN Radio. His books include "Prayer in the Digital Age" and "The Eucharist and the Rosary." His shorter hot takes on the state of the cosmos can be found on Twitter: @mattswaim
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3 Responses to The Feast of the Assumption and Marian Theological Hurdles

  1. Cynthia Schrage says:

    Could you give examples of the weird French devotions that you find off-putting?

    • Matt Swaim says:

      Sure- I think mostly I’m just a little intimidated by stuff like the more extreme devotional forms of Louis de Montfort. I feel like I have a better chance of convincing my wary protestant friends of the importance of Catholic dogmas about Mary if they don’t run across stuff like this out of the gates:

      “Finally, wearing this chain recalls to us once more that we are dependent on Jesus and Mary as their slaves. Eminent people who had become slaves of Jesus and Mary valued these little chains so much that they were unhappy at not being allowed to trail them publicly like the slaves of the Muslims. These chains of love are more valuable and more glorious than the necklaces of gold and precious stones worn by emperors, because they are the illustrious insignia of Jesus and Mary, and signify the bonds uniting us to them. It should be noted that if the chains are not of silver, they should for convenience’ sake at least be made of iron. They should never be laid aside at any time, so that they may be with us even to the day of judgment. Great will be the joy , glory and triumph of the faithful slave on that day when, at the sound of the trumpet, his bones rise from the earth still bound by the chain of holy bondage, which to all appearance has not decayed. This thought alone should convince a devout slave never to take off his chain, however inconvenient it may be.”

      I can certainly see the value in such devotional practices; they’re just not my thing. Of course, knowing how my own spiritual journey has taken shape over the years, I’ll probably be an evangelist for such practices a few years from now 🙂

  2. Larry D says:

    As a cradle Catholic, this doesn’t exactly apply to me. But as I’ve been studying more and more about my faith, to me the Immaculate Conception made sense first, to use that term.

    God is not confined by time, so it makes perfect sense to me that He could save Mary from the effects and stain of Original Sin at the moment of her conception, through the graces gained at the moment Christ died on the cross.

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