Why is the Assumption of Mary Important?
With the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary coming up on August 15, you’re probably wondering: Why is the Assumption of Mary so important?
Well, here are 21 reasons why…
1. It Affirms Her Immaculate Conception and Sinless Nature
According to Catholic teaching, death is a consequence of original sin. Therefore, Mary’s direct assumption into heavenly glory without undergoing bodily corruption indicates that she was exempted from sin’s dominion.
Just as her Son ascended into heaven in glory, so too was Mary’s body assumed, befitting her unique grace and sinlessness from the first moment of her conception. Her incorruptible assumption witnesses to an incorruptible beginning and life lived in perfect accord with God’s will.
2. It Highlights Her Special Role as Mother of God
By conceiving Christ through the Holy Spirit and giving human flesh to the Word made flesh, Mary has an unparalleled maternal bond to the Son of God. Her Assumption manifests the theological reality that the woman who bore God Incarnate in her womb is most perfectly united to Him in the glory of heaven.
Because she gave human life and flesh to the Savior, it is fitting that Mary’s life should end in assumption into divine life just as her Son’s earthly mission did. The Assumption thus magnifies Mary’s absolutely unique role in salvation history as Theotokos, the God-bearer.
3. It Shows the Honor and Grace Given to the Woman Who Bore the Son of God
By being assumed directly into heavenly glory, Mary receives the highest possible privilege and exaltation of her body and soul. This confirms that the young woman of Nazareth who conceived the Word through the power of the Spirit is now enthroned as Queen of Heaven.
Mary’s preservation from bodily decay and triumph over death is a testament to the immense favor shown by God to the humble handmaiden who cooperated with His plan for human salvation by bearing His only Son. Her glorious Assumption is a sign of the honor and reward given to the Mother of the Lord.
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4. It Reveals Her Perfect Unity and Closeness with Christ’s Resurrection
Having bore within her own body God Incarnate, having spiritually suffered with Jesus to the foot of the Cross, and having faithfully endured the sorrow of His earthly mission, Mary is perfectly united to Christ in all things. Therefore, it is supremely fitting that her life should culminate in assumption into the glory, honor, and reign of the resurrected Christ.
As His bodily resurrection was the definitive sign of Christ’s victory over sin and death, Mary’s bodily assumption signifies her complete conformity and subjection to the triumph of her Son and Lord in the work of human salvation.
5. It Flows From Her Perpetual Virginity Before, During and After Christ’s Birth
The dogma of the Assumption coheres with Mary’s perpetual virginity, which holds that she remained physically virginal through her conception of Christ, during His birth, and after in her marriage with Joseph. This indicates that her body was reserved solely for divine purposes, remaining intact and preserving its sanctity apart from the fleshly experience of sexual union and childbirth.
Having preserved her virginity on earth, it is thus fitting that Mary’s virginal body, which bore and came from the flesh of the Word Incarnate, should not undergo bodily corruption and decay after death, as this would be unbecoming of her spiritual virginity. Rather, the perfect integrity of her body is elevated by assumption into heaven, paralleling the incorruptible integrity of her soul.
6. It Emphasizes Her Active Spiritual Motherhood and Care for All Christians
Having been assumed directly into heavenly glory, Mary serves as Mother and Queen in the order of grace. She intercedes for all those spiritually united to her Son, continuing to exercise her motherly mediation and guidance of the Church.
Her exalted place in heaven allows Mary to more fully nourish the faithful, defend them from harm, and draw them closer to Christ. The Assumption confirms her abiding concern for the members of Christ’s mystical body as their Mother.
7. It Allows Her to More Fully Intercede for Humanity as Queen of Heaven
Reigning as Queen at the right hand of Christ the King, Mary can mediate more powerfully between God and humanity by interceding for those in need. Her intercessory role continues on a higher plane in heaven, where she brings the petitions of the faithful before her Son as only a mother can.
The Assumption enables Mary to act fully as a motherly advocate and channel of divine grace from heaven. It equips her to better dispense mercy, aid, and redemption to all those devoted to her as Queen.
8. It Defeats the Sin of the World and Fulfills God’s Original Intention for Human Beings
Her assumption body and soul into heavenly glory represents the defeat of sin and the fulfillment of God’s original intention for humanity to share in the Divine Life. Mary’s triumph over death and bodily corruption demonstrates the eschatological victory won by Christ and gives hope that one day all the effects of sin will be erased.
As the “New Eve,” Mary’s Assumption conveys that holiness and obedience to God’s will allow us to transcend sin and reach our ultimate destiny of union with the Divine.
9. It Anticipates the Bodily Resurrection of All Members of Christ’s Mystical Body
As Mary was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory, so too will those incorporated into Christ’s mystical body one day share in the resurrection of the body. Mary’s assumption prefigures the raising of the dead when Christ returns again, giving hope that even our physical bodies will have a share in eternal life.
Just as Jesus’ resurrection was a preview of redeemed humanity’s future, so too does Mary’s assumption point ahead to the resurrection of all the faithful who persevere in Christ. Her triumph over bodily decay exemplifies the eschatological victory over death itself.
10. It Recalls Eve’s Pre-Fallen State and Reconnects Humanity with the Divine Life
Whereas Eve’s sin brought death into the world, Mary’s obedience to God undoes this damage. Her assumption body and soul into heavenly life recalls humanity’s original state of holiness and communion with the Creator before the Fall.
Just as Eve was meant for paradise with God before sin, Mary’s Assumption reconnects the human race with the divine life through Christ. As the “New Eve,” Mary models perfect submission to God’s will, enabling grace to triumph over sin so that humanity can recover its intended destiny of eternal glory.
11. It Manifests Eschatological Glory and the Coming of God’s Kingdom
Mary’s assumption signals the future transformation of the world when Christ returns and God’s kingdom is definitively established. Her triumph over bodily decay and direct heavenly assumption indicate that death and sin will one day be totally conquered.
The eschaton brings not just spiritual redemption but bodily glorification. Mary’s assumption body and soul thus serves as a prophetic preview and foretaste of the coming exaltation and incorruptibility of redeemed creation at history’s end. It points ahead to the cosmic restoration of all things in Christ.
12. It Brings Joy, Hope and Devotion to the Hearts of the Faithful
Believers take courage knowing that one of their own, a lowly human virgin, reached such divine exaltation by God’s grace. This gives hope that they too may share in Christ’s victory over sin and death.
Mary’s Assumption inspires devotion because it reveals her ongoing active care and maternal mediation as an advocate for humanity. The faithful are drawn to greater love, emulation, and reliance upon the Virgin Mother assumed into heaven, where she intercedes on their behalf and leads them closer to Christ.
13. It Inspires the Faithful to Grow in Love for Christ through Mary
Mary’s entire life was oriented toward union with her Son Jesus Christ through humble obedience, devotion, and service. Her assumption into heavenly glory represents the fulfillment of this loving orientation as she joins Christ in the triumph of his resurrection and reign. This inspires the faithful to also grow in Christlike virtue by looking to Mary’s example of perfect discipleship.
By emulating her profound love for God and others, her sacrificial cooperation with Christ’s mission, and her steadfast fidelity even through suffering, believers can deepen their own intimacy with the Lord. Mary’s Assumption beckons all to draw nearer to Christ by the same path of unwavering faith, hope, and charity that she perfectly modeled.
14. It Serves as a Miraculous Confirmation of Authentic Christian Doctrine
The Dogma of the Assumption encapsulates key tenets of the faith, including the possibility of overcoming death, the redemptive power of Christ, the dignity of the body, and eternal life with God. Mary’s assumption validates beliefs in the Incarnation and resurrection of Jesus. It also verifies the Catholic Church’s teachings on grace, redemption, and the efficacy of meritorious action through faith.
The event itself serves as a miracle testifying to doctrines on the divine and the supernatural. And lastly, Mary’s glorified assumption substantiates creedal claims about the meaning of salvation and the ultimate destiny of human life in communion with the Trinity.
15. It Affirms the Value of the Human Body as Integral to the Human Person
By being assumed into heaven body and soul, Mary attests to the body’s enduring worth as an essential component of human nature. Her bodily assumption contradicts dualistic views that regard the body as inferior or disposable. Rather, the body is an integral part of the human person destined for eternity.
Like the soul, it is a noble creation of God that will share in final glorification. The Assumption affirms that redemption involves not just the spirit, but the total person including the bodily dimension. Man is not complete without the body, and so Mary’s assumption encompasses the whole person.
16. It Emphasizes the Paschal Mystery and Christ’s Definitive Victory Over Death
Mary’s share in Christ’s victory over death is exemplified by her assumption into heavenly glory. Her Son’s resurrection definitively conquers death, and Mary’s assumption affirms that conquest as she is united to Christ’s glorified state.
The Assumption proclaims Christ’s absolute triumph over death and how the paschal mystery of His suffering, death, and resurrection brings life and immortality. Mary’s glorified assumption encapsulates the mystery that through the Cross comes the crown and through death comes eternal life.
17. It Reminds Us of the Power of God Over Natural Conditions and Limitations
Mary’s assumption, through God’s grace, overcomes the limitations of bodily decay that await all those who die. Her glorified and incorruptible state in heaven reminds us that the omnipotent Creator has mastery over the natural conditions of death and bodily dissolution.
The Assumption points to the hope of resurrection and victory over death for all believers, as it anticipates the final resurrection of the body for those united to Christ. Mary’s assumption gloriously manifests God’s supernatural power over the natural law of bodily corruption after death.
18. It Points Towards the Teleological Goal and Ultimate Purpose of Human Life
Mary’s assumption, by God’s grace, exemplifies the final teleological aim of human life: bodily resurrection and glorification with Christ. Her glorified state in heaven points towards the eschatological hope and definitive purpose for redeemed humanity: participation in the divine life through the beatific vision.
The Assumption reminds us that the final cause and intrinsic orientation of human nature is oriented towards resurrected life with God beyond this world. Mary’s glorified assumption encapsulates the teleological trajectory of mortal existence toward its immortal consummation.
19. It Magnifies God’s Infinite Power, Glory and Splendor
This miraculous privilege of Our Lady affirms that God’s power is without limit, able to transform lowly human nature to reflect divine splendor. In Mary’s Assumption, the omnipotent Creator manifests divine dominion over mortality through her incorruptible glorification.
God’s infinite power and majesty shine forth in this singular grace bestowed on Mary, as she is assumed into participatory union in Christ’s heavenly exaltation. Her glorious Assumption gives witness to the triumph of God’s redeeming grace, magnifying the splendor of divine love and mercy toward humanity.
20. It Continues the Incarnational Logic of Matter Sanctified By Eternal Glory
The dogma of the Assumption affirms that Mary’s body was glorified and united to the blessed state of her soul at the end of her earthly life. This continues the Incarnational logic that matter is capable of sharing in divine glory through God’s grace.
In the Incarnation, Christ’s humanity was perfectly united to his divine nature. Similarly, in her Assumption, Mary’s bodily being is elevated by grace to share in her soul’s glorification. This reveals an incarnational universe, where the material realm can share in the divine life according to God’s will.
Mary’s glorified assumption encapsulates the underlying sacramental logic of the Incarnation – that our embodied existence is integral to attaining eternal communion with God. Her assumption is the perfect realization of matter transformed and divinized by eternal glory.
21. It Amplifies and Elevates the Dignity of Motherhood in the Divine Economy
Mary’s Assumption affirms that her sublime role as Mother of God is gloriously amplified in her heavenly exaltation. Her assumption reveals that motherhood, exemplified perfectly in Mary, has an integral part in God’s economy of salvation. As the mother of the Redeemer, Mary shares intimately in the fruits of Christ’s redemptive work through her assumption.
Her exemplary exercise of maternal love and devotion is rewarded and magnified in her glorified state with her Son. Mary’s exalted place in heaven affirms the profound dignity conferred on motherhood through her singular vocation to bear and raise the Son of God.
Now that you see the many reasons why the assumption of Mary is important, let’s review the dogma itself…
The Dogma of the Assumption of Mary
After much prayer, discussion, and debate amongst the bishops of the universal Church, on November 1st, 1950 Pope Pius XII promulgated and solemnly defined the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary through the Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus:
“For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.
Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.”
Though the dogma of the Assumption of Mary affirms that she was assumed into the glory of heaven at the end of her earthly life, without having to wait for the general resurrection of the dead, it does not define the exact mode or moment of her assumption.
Meaning, the dogma does not bind Catholics to any particular belief regarding how Our Lady’s assumption occurred or when exactly it happened. But the dogma does bind Catholics to believe in the reality that Our Lady was truly assumed body and soul into Heaven at the end of her earthly life.
Prayer to Our Lady of the Assumption
Mary, Queen assumed into heaven, I rejoice that after years of heroic martyrdom on earth, you have at last been taken to the throne prepared for you in heaven by the Holy Trinity.
Lift my heart with you in the glory of your Assumption above the dreadful touch of sin and impurity. Teach me how small earth becomes when viewed from heaven. Make me realize that death is the triumphant gate through which I shall pass to your Son, and that someday my body shall rejoin my soul in the unending bliss of heaven.
From this earth, over which I tread as a pilgrim, I look to you for help. I ask for this favor: (Mention your request).
When my hour of death has come, lead me safely to the presence of Jesus to enjoy the vision of my God for all eternity together with you.
Which of the above reasons do you resonate with most?
Let me know in the comment box below!
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