Assumption of Our Lady – August 15, 2020

No one  witnessed the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven. It is not recorded in Scripture, nor is it a theological conclusion of a reasoning process. It is rather the consciousness of the Church resulting from the faith-experience of Jesus Christ

1). The feast is a great celebration in its own right:

 “The truth of the Assumption, defined by Pius XII, is reaffirmed by the Second Vatican Council, which thus expresses the Church’s faith: “Preserved free from all guilt of original sin, the Immaculate Virgin was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory upon the completion of her earthly sojourn. She was exalted by the Lord as Queen of the Universe, in order that she might be the more thoroughly conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords (cf. Rev. 19:16) and the conqueror of sin and death.”108 In this teaching Pius XII was in continuity with Tradition, which has found many different expressions in the history of the Church, both in the East and in the West.

“By the mystery of the Assumption into heaven there were definitively accomplished in Mary all the effects of the one mediation of Christ the Redeemer of the world and Risen Lord: “In Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ” (1 Cor. 15:22-23). In the mystery of the Assumption is expressed the faith of the Church, according to which Mary is “united by a close and indissoluble bond” to Christ, for, if as Virgin and Mother she was singularly united with him in his first coming, so through her continued collaboration with him she will also be united with him in expectation of the second; “redeemed in an especially sublime manner by reason of the merits of her Son,”109 she also has that specifically maternal role of mediatrix of mercy at his final coming, when all those who belong to Christ “shall be made alive,” when “the last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Cor. 15:26).”[1]

An important addition must be made here. Let me quote John Paul II:

[THE FOLLOWING SHOULD BE STUDIED – to escape from the fear of  the “I” as locus of subjectivism and relativism where it is the opening of a new metaphysic]

“We know, in fact, that man not only knows colors, and forms; he also knows objects globally – for example not only all the parts that comprise the object ‘man’ but also man in himself (yes, man as a person). He knows, therefore, extrasensory truths, or,in other words, the transempirical. In addition, it is not possible to affirm that when something is transempirical it ceases to be empirctal

It is therefore possible to speak from a solid foundation about human experience, moral experience, or religious experience. And if it is possible to speak of such experiences, it is difficult to deny that, in the realm of human experience, one also finds good and evil, truth and beauty, and God. God Himself certainly is not an object of human empiricism;l the Sacred Scripture, in its own way, emphasizes this: ‘No one has ever seen God (cf. Jn. 1, 18). If God is a knowalbe object – as both the Book of Wisdom and the Letter to the Romans teach – He is such on the basis of man’s experience both of the visible world and o hi interior world… Man recognizeds himself as an ethical being, capable of acting acording to critria of good and evil, and not only those of profit and pleasure.  He also recognizes himself as a religious being, capable o f puttinghimself in contact sith God. Prayer … is in a certain sensee the virst verificatin of such a reality

In gaining some distance frmo positivistic convictions, contemporary thought has made notable advances toward the ever more complete discovery of man, recognizing  among other things the value of metaphorical   and symbolic language …

Inasmuch as positivism distances us  – and, in a certain sense,  excludes us – form a more global understanding, hermeneutics, which explores the meaning of symbolic language, permits us to rediscover that more globa understanding, and even, in some sense, to deepen it. This is said, obviously, witout intending to deny the capacity  of reason to form trur, conceptual proposiions about God and the truths of faith. We are witnesses of a symptomatic return to metaphyusics (the philosopohy of being) through an integral anthropology. One cannot think  adequately about man without reference, which for man is constitutive, to God. Saint Thomas defined this as actus essendi (essential act?????) in the language of the philophy of existence. The Philosophy of religioun expresses this with the categories of anthopological experience.

The philosophers of dialogue such as Martin Buber and aforementioned Levinas, have contributed greatly to this experience. And we find ourselves by now very close to Saint Thomas, but the path passes not so much through being adn existence as through people and their meeting each other, through the “I” and the “Thou.” This is a fundamental dimension of man’s existence, which is always a coecistence.  

Where did the philosophers of dialogue learn this? Foremost, they learned it from their experience of the Bible. In the sphere of the everday man’s entire life is one of ‘coexistence’ – ‘thou’ and ‘I’ – and also in the sphere of the absolute and definitive: ‘I’ and ‘THOU.’ The biblical tradition revolves areound this ‘THOU,’ who is first the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of the Fathers, and then the God of Jesus Christ and the apostles, the God of our faith

Our faith is profoundly  anthropological, rooted constitutively in coexistence, in the community of God’s people, and in communion with this  eternal ‘THOU.’ Such coexistence is essenitial to our Judeo-Christian tradition and comes from God’s initiaitve. This initiative is connected with and leads to creation, and is at the same time – Saint Paul teaches – ‘the eternal election of man in the Word who is the Son’ (cf. Eph 1, 4). [John Paul II; “Crossing the Threshold of Hope” Knopf 1994]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No one has e

 

2) For Opus Dei, the feast in 1951 is particularly significant.

Why? The feast of the Assumption of Our Lady is not a revelation of our Lord, nor a theological conclusion from Revelation nor attested to explicitly in Sacred Scripture. The dogma of the Assumption is not about an historical fact. The dogma of the Assumption is about the consciousness in the Church that did not appear until the 6th c. and grew in the Church until proclaimed by the Magisterium in 1950. Hence the proclamation of the dogma is an act of veneration in the West as a liturgical act as in the East.

The theological bases for the Assumption has two scriptural refrences: 1) “Behold, from henceforth all generations will call me blessed,” (Lk. 1, 48); 2) “Blessed are you who believed” spoken by Elizabeth at the moment of the Visitations (Lk. 1, 45). The Virgin is blessed  because she gave herself totally in the “fiat” as the divine Persons are totally out of themselves and are “Blessed.” She said, take all that I am. This is blessedness, and we –as she – , with the Love that is grace, are capable of it.

Re: Opus Dei. Consciousness grows with experience, and experience grows in suffering. I copy from the  previous post: “St. Josemaria made this consecration to Our Lady for the first time in 1951. It was a time when the Work was suffering the onslaught of a harsh and hidden attack. I was denied any dialogue, Escriva wrote in one of his letter. I was not even granted the opportunity to explain and clarify matters. I suffered bitterly. They spread falsehoods  … It was in the midst of these sufferings that the Work obtained all the solemn approvals of the apostolic Magisterium … Even after  the approval had been given, the slander did not stop.

               “Not knowing to whom I could turn here on earth, I turned, as always, to heaven. On 15 August 1 951, after a trip that was penitential (why not admit it?), there at Loreto I consecrated the Work to the most Sweet Heart or Mary.”

               St. Josemaria often mentioned that trip to the Holy House of Nazareth, expressing deep gratitude to our Lady. Those were difficult times. Weighed down by strong external difficulties, St. Josemaria placed all his trust in our Lady. He returned from the trip with peace in his heart with the certainty that he had left his concerns in good hands. “When I returned to Rome, I received a letter from my sons in Milan. In it they told me, with great emotion that the venerable Cardinal Schuster had asked them to inform me that I should be on guard, because a great tribulation was about to break out against the Word and against me.” During those trying moments the Blessed Virgin gave St. Josemaria the strength he needed to defend the Work. He and all of his children constantly repeated the words, Cor Mariae Dulcissimum, iter para tutum.

   The point is that there was a growth in the experience of the power and intervention of the Virgin – from Heaven. This is not a theological conclusion, but a lived experience. This is how faith grows in reality, not by conceptual study and conclusions. I have understood that the threat forged in the Vatican consisted in splitting the two branches of Opus Dei apart in order to safeguard against temptations of impurity, and to that end removing Escriva as president general who held the Work together in his persona as president general. Such an act would have destroyed Opus Dei decapitating it and breaking down its internal unity. Our Lady intervened. It did not happen. And as always, because of the suffering and the experience of going to the Virgin [assumed into Heaven], the Work increased in holiness and effectiveness in the apostolate.

[1] John Paul II, “Mother of the Redeemer” #41,

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