Let us follow Our Mother to Heaven…

The Virgin Mary was taken up to the heavenly bridal chamber where the King of kings is seated on a starry throne.  (Antiphon 2, Evening prayer for the Solemnity of the Assumption)

maryassumed1

Today at Mass, on the Feast of Our Lady’s Glorious Assumption, one of the topics Father spoke about was the value God places on our bodies.

God loves our bodies.  In fact, He esteems them so much that He did not hesitate to take upon Himself human flesh, in the Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

I recently heard a mystic describe an experience of God’s Love overwhelming him.  He said that it was as though every cell in his body knew and responded to its Creator, and that although the experience lasted but a few moments, he cried out, “Jesus, stop, or I will die for I cannot contain anymore of Your Love for me.”

This is almost exactly the description St. Therese gave of her mystical encounter where she was “burning up” with love. One moment more and I would have died.  St. Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross and many other mystics relate similar experiences of God invading their entire being with His Love.

Most of us don’t often think about God’s love for our physical being.  We tend to focus mostly on our souls, which of course are made in the image and likeness of God.  But our souls and bodies dwell in a mysterious union.  What we think about is simultaneously transmitted to our bodies, which react with fear, joy, peace, tears, laughter and many other emotions and sensations.

Perhaps the most frightening thing about death is the awareness that our being will be rent in two… our soul and our body separated for the first time in our existence.  We cannot imagine what that will be like.

Nor do we know how long this separation will endure.

But in the gospels, Our Lord assures us that our bodies will live again.  We know that for those who die in God’s Grace, they will be glorious, resplendent bodies, free of pain and suffering, and in complete accord with our will, which will then be perfectly united to God’s Will.

Our bodies then should be holy, as Father said this morning, since they are tabernacles of the Most Holy Trinity.  We should keep them clean, modestly dressed, and borne with the dignity of a child of God.  Moreover, we should treat the bodies of others with respect at every stage of life.

Our Lady, in her Church approved apparitions is always described as “beautiful,” a word usually stammered out in desperation, in a feeble attempt to capture what is beyond human comprehension…..the glorified appearance of our Heavenly Mother.  What is seen by these chosen visionaries is no doubt vastly inferior to the true, radiant beauty and glory which the Mother of God possesses in Heaven.

How different that heavenly beauty is from what we admire on earth, where outward appearance attracts so much attention.  In heaven, it is the holiness of the soul which will communicate its splendor to our glorified body.  Earthly beauty will have passed away.

Today we celebrate with joy, Our Lady’s bodily assumption into Heaven.  It is a day to rejoice that Our Lord and Savior has promised to all of us that if we have died in Christ, we shall also rise with Him.

At the signal given by the voice of the Archangel and the trumpet of God, the Lord Himself will come down from heaven; those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and only after that shall we who remain alive be taken up in the clouds, together with them, to meet the Lord in the air.  This is the way we shall be with the Lord for ever    I Thessalonians 4: 16-17  (NJB)

 

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4 thoughts on “Let us follow Our Mother to Heaven…

    • Hi Saintly Sages, I truly apprciate your comment, and because of it, I have removed the paragraph in question. The last thing I would want to do is to confuse or mislead anyone regarding Our Lord’s final coming, and the resurrection of our bodies…or any aspect of our Catholic Faith.

      The discussions I have heard have not questioned the Church’s teaching on what will happen here, in time, on earth….the sequence of events regarding Our Lord’s triumphant return, and the resurrection of the dead and the final judgment. What is apparently open for discussion, is exactly how the soul experiences these events after leaving earth and time as we know it. Are the souls in Heaven subject to time on earth, and therefore must remain disembodied for thousands, perhaps millions of years, until the events of the last day occur in earth time? Or, is it not possible that God, to Whom all things are always present, could permit a soul who has paased from the earth, to experience the end of the world in some kind of eternal moment? Obviously, this is a topic for much wiser minds than my own! 😉

      Throughout the years, I have heard several very orthodox priests on EWTN, Catholic radio, etc., mention this concept. I have found their thoughts fascinating, but I realize it can be confusing, especially when I am the one presenting it!!! Thank you again for taking the time leave your comment which made me realize that I could unknowingly be confusing others with what are merely theories, musings, suppositions, etc., at best. God bless you for your wisdom.

      PS I did a quick Google search, and our beloved Pope Emeritus holds the traditional view.

  1. Patricia, I love the way St Paul put it…”absent from the body – present with the Lord”. That’ll do me fine, thank you very much…the details, I’ll leave to Him! Your priest gave a lovely message for this wonderful feast day. Of course God loves our body..even has our very hairs numbered and collects our tears. What a loving Creator we have..a true Father! A God Who can remove whoever He wants from the earth, body and soul together..or one before the other. No matter which way He chooses..it’s all good…as long as we all end up together with Him! Mary and Elijah are perfect prophetic icons of what awaits us – how exciting!! 🙂 xox

    • Trish, beautiful comment as always 🙂 Yes, “present with the Lord” sounds glorious to me! That too is a great mystery. Have been reading a lot lately about the union of the soul with God in Heaven….totally takes ones breath away!

      I think all of the mysteries of our Faith are fascinating, and there is so much we cannot comprehend in this life. I remember in grade school when time in Purgatory was expressed in “years.” It sounded like a scary place. But, our recent Holy Fathers have referred to it as a “state of being.”

      Saint John Paul II said in an Aug.4, 1999 general audience that purgatory was a state of being: “The term does not indicate a place, but a condition of existence.” Pope Benedict XVI said in a Jan. 12, 2011 general audience, “This is purgatory, an interior fire.”

      Now, that leave a lot to ponder!

      I think my priest was making an excellent observation too: that we are not complete without our bodies, for God made us both body and spirit, unlike the angels. Our Lady’s Assumption is a beautiful reminder or “icon” as you said, of what awaits us.

      How that all works once we leave time and enter eternity can only be a mystery for us, but God’s “timing” will surely be perfeect! Forever be He praised!

      Hugs, dear friend!

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