Thursday, August 15, 2013


A classic piece of rhetoric. Tight shorts and moustaches also make an ass out of
"u" and "me" too.

Today is the great Feast of the Assumption of Mary. Although this Feast has much to do with Mary's "assumption" into Heaven, there is some very overt messaging concerning the sacredness of the body as well as the soul.

Yes. Body. And. Soul. Our religion teaches we are ALL GOOD! Two great flavors, one great taste! Bring it in, you two, hug it out...

Body and Soul unite less awkwardly.
One quote from the early Church father, Gregory of Nazianzen picked at my brain. I found it in context of a homily given by Emeritus Pope, BXVI:

Therefore, Gregory says further, in line with St Paul (1 Cor 8: 6): “For us there is one God, the Father, from whom is all; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom is all; and one Holy Spirit, in whom is all”.
Gregory gave great prominence to Christ’s full humanity: to redeem man in the totality of his body, soul and spirit, Christ assumed all the elements of human nature, otherwise man would not have been saved.

St. Gregory Nazianzen was a master apologist
and could trim his beard into a rectangle
Disputing the heresy of Apollinaris, who held that Jesus Christ had not assumed a rational mind, Gregory tackled the problem in the light of the mystery of salvation:
What has not been assumed has not been healed”, and if Christ had not been “endowed with a rational mind, how could he have been a man?”

I highlighted the quote, of course, because it included a reference to "assumption". Gregory is speaking of Christ having taken on the fullness of humanity in order that the FULL human may be saved ie: "healed".

I would imagine the same can be said of Mary as far as her salvation is concerned. We Catholics part ways with many of our Protestant friends in our dogged determination to uphold the particular specialness of Mary. We believe that not only was she Jesus' mother, but she herself was HOLY from the beginning of her conception.

The Church teaches that she was assumed into Heaven: body and soul-

 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.

I like the language there, too. There is no mention of death...but you can believe (not assume...haha) that she died but the Church simply states that when her "earthly life" was "completed", she was assumed into Heaven.
Mary's dormition (falling asleep)...dead? not dead? No one says.
It is worth reflecting that all of us is made by God and therefore made for GOOD. The body isn't the "bad" part and the soul the "good". There is a synthesis of the two and as Christ saved us by dying...really the flesh, Mary also reaffirms this in that she was totally claimed by God from beginning to end.

Deep huh?

What has not been assumed, has not been healed.
I suggest praying a bit about how the use of our bodies, our talents, our strengths are put to God's service. Are we able to put before the divine healer our aches, pains and sinful inclinations in order to be healed?

Mary's example is encouraging as she asks us to return to the Father, who is great and worthy of rejoicing.