Defending the Assumption


#1

Since there is no scriptural reference regarding the assumption, and it is a matter of faith for Catholics, how do we best defend this uniquely Catholic position? What do we say to other religions who think that the assumption means that Catholics *assume * Mary to be in heaven? :rolleyes:

I am familiar with a few defenses, like the fact that her relics were never recovered, and certainly would have been kept and venerated, and also with the biblical reference to Elijah being taken up to heaven in a chariot (Kings). Can anyone give me others?


#2

You may want to read the definition itself. It can be found here:

ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P12MUNIF.HTM


#3

Thanks for the link, mosher. Here is a quote from it.

  1. Among the holy writers who at that time employed statements and various images and analogies of Sacred Scripture to Illustrate and to confirm the doctrine of the Assumption, which was piously believed, the Evangelical Doctor, St. Anthony of Padua, holds a special place. On the feast day of the Assumption, while explaining the prophet’s words: **“I will glorify the place of my feet,”**27] he stated it as certain that the divine Redeemer had bedecked with supreme glory his most beloved Mother from whom he had received human flesh. He asserts that "you have here a clear statement that the Blessed Virgin has been assumed in her body, where was the place of the Lord’s feet. Hence it is that the holy Psalmist writes: 'Arise, O Lord, into your resting place: you and the ark which you have sanctified."’ And he asserts that, just as Jesus Christ has risen from the death over which he triumphed and has ascended to the right hand of the Father, so likewise the ark of his sanctification “has risen up, since on this day the Virgin Mother has been taken up to her heavenly dwelling.”[28]

These quotes aren’t referenced from the bible, but what psalms are they taken from?


#4

Psalm 131:8. Arise, O Lord, into thy resting place: thou and the ark, which thou hast sanctified.

Isaias 60:13. The glory of Libanus shall come to thee, the fir tree, and the box tree, and the pine tree together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary: and I will glorify the place of my feet.


#5

From Scripturecatholic:

Mary’s Assumption into Heaven
Gen. 5:24, Heb. 11:5 - Enoch was bodily assumed into heaven without dying. Would God do any less for Mary the Ark of the New Covenant?

2 Kings 2:11-12; 1 Mac 2:58 - Elijah was assumed into heaven in fiery chariot. Jesus would not do any less for His Blessed Mother.

Psalm 132:8 - Arise, O Lord, and go to thy resting place, thou and the Ark (Mary) of thy might. Both Jesus and Mary were taken up to their eternal resting place in heaven.

2 Cor. 12:2 - Paul speaks of a man in Christ who was caught up to the third heaven. Mary was also brought up into heaven by God.

Matt. 27:52-53 - when Jesus died and rose, the bodies of the saints were raised. Nothing in Scripture precludes Mary’s assumption into heaven.

1 Thess. 4:17 - we shall be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we shall always be with the Lord.

Rev. 12:1 - we see Mary, the “woman,” clothed with the sun. While in Rev. 6:9 we only see the souls of the martyrs in heaven, in Rev. 12:1 we see Mary, both body and soul.

2 Thess. 2:15 - Paul instructs us to hold fast to oral (not just written) tradition. Apostolic tradition says Mary was assumed into heaven. While claiming the bones of the saints was a common practice during these times (and would have been especially important to obtain Mary’s bones as she was the Mother of God), Mary’s bones were never claimed. This is because they were not available. Mary was taken up body and soul into heaven.


#6

[quote=thistle]From Scripturecatholic:

Matt. 27:52-53 - when Jesus died and rose, the bodies of the saints were raised. Nothing in Scripture precludes Mary’s assumption into heaven.

.
[/quote]

What happened to these bodies, did they go to heaven or back to the grave?


#7

Isaias 60:13. The glory of Libanus shall come to thee, the fir tree, and the box tree, and the pine tree together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary: and I will glorify the place of my feet.

I’m not quite sure that I understand this one. Could anyone explain?


#8

I like Fr. Malachi Martins (Eternal memory) explanation best. It made a believer out of me, before I converted.

“The Hands that held Him. The breasts that nursed Him, The womb that nurtured Him,giving Him flesh of her flesh. Not to be descecrated by worms and rats. But in the end taken up into the glorification of Her Divine Son.”


#9

You could just show them the historical evidence outside the bible during the earily church period.

Also, ask them to show you the grave of Mary.


#10

[quote=paramedicgirl]Since there is no scriptural reference regarding the assumption, and it is a matter of faith for Catholics, how do we best defend this uniquely Catholic position? What do we say to other religions who think that the assumption means that Catholics *assume *Mary to be in heaven? :rolleyes:

I am familiar with a few defenses, like the fact that her relics were never recovered, and certainly would have been kept and venerated, and also with the biblical reference to Elijah being taken up to heaven in a chariot (Kings). Can anyone give me others?
[/quote]

Here is an actual defense of the Assumption by a Pro against a Pro:
catholicintl.com/epologetics/dialogs/marysaints/bodily-assumption.htm

Phil


#11

Phil,

Thanks for the link. I have intended to look up the Sungenis/White exchange but never got around to it. It is certainly worth the read.


#12

Avoiding the “Ark of the New Covenenant” problem; as one who is struggling to come into some sort of reconciliation with the Assumption, I have to point out that the “Wold God do any less for…” type of argument is very wanting, and lacks any form of persuasion.

Sure, if God were of the Grecio-Roman Pagan type, consumed with an overabundance of human Passions, then such an argument would have some, minor, weight of persuasion.

Further, such an argument has no “positive” evidence, simply a rhetorical pressure; this argument does not present any actual real evidence of action.

Afterall, as the argument goes, are we not all His sons and Daughters? Were you God, would you (under the assumptions of this train of argument), really consign your precious children, who you have already reconciled to yourself through the blood of Christ, to rot in the grave; or would you, as this argument suggests, out of Love be utterly repulsed by such an idea, to the point of not leaving them here in such a condition? I don’t know about you, but I am far more emotionally attatched to my Children, than the mother I, scripturally, must have left in order to produce them. Or is it that God is more of a “Son” than he is a “Father”?

As, I presume, we are all Trinitarians, I would not seriously suggest that any Marianist would suggest such a disparity of persons within the Divine Economy, an yet, sometime the exuberance used to express this Dogma (the Assumption, as well as its companion, the IC) leads down very heretical paths.

Frankly, the “lack of relics for veneration” argument is far more persuasive, even if it is likewise logically found wanting (as there are several counter arguments to counter it with equal validity; never fun trying to defend from the absence of evidence).

But anyway, I am not trying to be contentious, just pointing out holes in an area of inquiry of importance to me as a former Prot trying to become a Catholic. I realize that most marianists (as I have seen in these forums) are very emotional about these matters; I must insist, conversationally, that just because I am questioning, I am not trying to dishonor Mary. I am trying to embrace something that I have been given no adequet reason to support such (meaning something that is consistent with the entirety of the known gospel as taught by the Church). So, please take it for what it is intended for; as one who is serching for this answer, please provide something else than rhetorical answers that don’t in actuality address the issue. Though it is an old argument, it is no less specious for it.

Thanks


#13

Hi Paramedicgirl:

BTW… I’m a firefighter.

The doctrine regarding her bodily assumption does not say Mary died. However, the overwhelming tradition of the Church and the Church Fathers is that she did.

After Mary completed her earthly life, she was taken into heaven, where both her body an soul were glorified. Mary’s body did not undergo corruption.

Now please note that her body was assumed, not ascended like Jesus did under His own power.

Protestants love to state that the Assumption has no scriptural basis. They also love to try and throw 1 Corinthians 15 at us stating that glorification ONLY takes place at the end of time. However, St Paul also states that our bodies cannot enter into heaven until they are glorified. On the other hand the Bible also states that Enoch and Elijah were Assumed into heaven.

Also, Matthew 27:53 states that after Jesus died and opened the gates of heaven the bodies of many OT saints were resurrected. If God assumes the bodies of righteous people like Elijah and Enoch, why is it so unbelievable that he would Assume His own mother?

Peace be to you and stay safe!


#14

[quote=BJRumph]Avoiding the “Ark of the New Covenenant” problem; as one who is struggling to come into some sort of reconciliation with the Assumption, I have to point out that the “Wold God do any less for…” type of argument is very wanting, and lacks any form of persuasion.

Sure, if God were of the Grecio-Roman Pagan type, consumed with an overabundance of human Passions, then such an argument would have some, minor, weight of persuasion.

Further, such an argument has no “positive” evidence, simply a rhetorical pressure; this argument does not present any actual real evidence of action.

Afterall, as the argument goes, are we not all His sons and Daughters? Were you God, would you (under the assumptions of this train of argument), really consign your precious children, who you have already reconciled to yourself through the blood of Christ, to rot in the grave; or would you, as this argument suggests, out of Love be utterly repulsed by such an idea, to the point of not leaving them here in such a condition? I don’t know about you, but I am far more emotionally attatched to my Children, than the mother I, scripturally, must have left in order to produce them. Or is it that God is more of a “Son” than he is a “Father”?

As, I presume, we are all Trinitarians, I would not seriously suggest that any Marianist would suggest such a disparity of persons within the Divine Economy, an yet, sometime the exuberance used to express this Dogma (the Assumption, as well as its companion, the IC) leads down very heretical paths.

Frankly, the “lack of relics for veneration” argument is far more persuasive, even if it is likewise logically found wanting (as there are several counter arguments to counter it with equal validity; never fun trying to defend from the absence of evidence).

But anyway, I am not trying to be contentious, just pointing out holes in an area of inquiry of importance to me as a former Prot trying to become a Catholic. I realize that most marianists (as I have seen in these forums) are very emotional about these matters; I must insist, conversationally, that just because I am questioning, I am not trying to dishonor Mary. I am trying to embrace something that I have been given no adequet reason to support such (meaning something that is consistent with the entirety of the known gospel as taught by the Church). So, please take it for what it is intended for; as one who is serching for this answer, please provide something else than rhetorical answers that don’t in actuality address the issue. Though it is an old argument, it is no less specious for it.

Thanks
[/quote]

God is not overwhelmed with human passions. God, however, has a love for man that goes beyond the ability of man to comprehend. The fact that the Father sent his divine son Jesus to die for our redemption begins to give us a glimpse of how much He loves us. Likewise, Jesus has the capacity for both perfect human love and divine love because He is both God and man. Jesus had a mother, and his love for her would be perfect. Jesus honors his mother and his Father perfectly. To love someone is to wish the best for them in all things.

We believe that Mary would likely receive such a gift from her son in a way that honors her above the rest of mankind.

Please do not misunderstand the teaching of the Assumption. Like many other doctrines, we have no absolute proofs. In some cases our evidence for beliefs that are held by “all Christians” are simply thought of as mere fluff by non-Christians. There is an element of faith that comes into play. The evidence and logic, however, do favor and encourage the belief. The Church in her wisdom and tradition holds that Mary has been assumed into heaven body and soul. This is not something that the Church would hold as a dogma without it having its roots and foundations in the early understandings of the faith.


#15

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