A theologian once explained the assumption of Mary into Heaven by using the concept of love. He said that love is like fire, it burns upward. And since love is basically desire. Love seeks to become more and more united with the object that is loved. Now we all understand the law of gravity. Gravity is what keeps us firmly planted on the ground. But there’s also a law of spiritual gravity and that Law of Spiritual gravity is the pull on our heart by God and the closer we get to God the greater the pull. This divine pull on our hearts is always present, and it’s only our refusal and the weakness of our bodies due to sin that keeps us earth-bound.
Now Mary knows how to love. She’s free of original sin and she never committed sin. Her body didn’t wage war with her soul; there was no opposition between body and soul. Her heart and soul were totally directed to God and His will. Now given the intense love of our Lord for His Blessed Mother and the intense love of Mary for our Lord, the saints will say that this love is at such an advanced stage it would be great enough to “pull the body with it.” Mary’s love for God was so great that her body followed her soul. Do I understand all the mechanics of the Assumption, no? But I do believe it. And I think that one reason the Church gives us the Dogma of the Assumption of Mary is to proclaim loudly to the world the sacredness of the human body. Each human body is made to be a temple of the Holy Spirit more beautiful, in God’s eyes, than the grandest cathedral. Fr. Delbee would say that each of us is a marvel of creation made in the image of God, a masterpiece of his love. And even though we were wounded and disfigured by sin, we have been remade by the Redeemer, more beautiful than before.
By proclaiming the dogma of the Assumption the Church shows us what God thinks of human flesh; human flesh is worthy of eternal glory and of union with the Most Blessed Trinity. Not only does Jesus bring his human body to heaven, but he wills that his Mother Mary should be with him as well, in both her body and soul. The two of them, Jesus and Mary together, await all of us when we will one day join them too, body and soul.
Our world today is in need of a constant reminder of the Assumption. The world of 2018 tells us that human flesh has seemingly no value, no sacredness. Our world profits in human trafficking, it glamorizes pornography, relations outside of marriage, it contracepts, experiments on human embryos, kills the unborn and then harvests their organs. We are in need of the constant reminder of the Virgin Mary’s Assumption. We are in need of a reminder of the value and sacredness of the human body. And that’s our job to be the reminder to the world of the Assumption and we do this by monitoring the language we use, the music we listen to, the shows we watch, the businesses we support, the websites we visit, the magazines we buy, and ultimately the politicians we elect. In all we do we preach the assumption using words because what happened to Mary will one day happen to each of us. Although we wait, we believe in the glorification of our body and soul together in heaven. First Christ, then Mary, then the entire church, or as St. Paul says; “all those who belong to him.” And this gives us great hope.
Pax et Bonum,
Fr. Christopher J. Ankley