Posted by: Joe of St. Thérèse | August 15, 2008

The Transfiguration, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

I purposely didn’t write anything on the Transfiguration as I wanted to save it for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin into heaven.

The dogma states: Hence the revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination, immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, the noble associate of the divine Redeemer who has won a complete triumph over sin and its consequences, finally obtained, as the supreme culmination of her privileges, that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb and that, like her own Son, having overcome death, she might be taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages.

To translate into a little less formal language: Mary by the Power of God (not by her own power or merits as she has none without God) was Assumed Body/Soul into heaven, as a result of the Immaculate Conception.

The dogma does not state by what means the Assumption took place. The Eastern Churches call this feast the Dormation of Our Lady. In the East it is believed that Mary as Assumed into heaven during her sleep (which I’ll give an argument for it later on why I actually like the Eastern understanding a bit better). Where as in the West it is understood that Mary died and then as Assumed into heaven.

I must explain the differences between the Ascension and the Assumption. Many people confused these 2 dogmatic teachings of the Church.

To make it simple: Jesus being the 2nd person of the Blessed Trinity raised himself from the dead. Mary by the power of God was Assumed into heaven. In other words, Mary NEEDED God, where as Jesus is God 🙂

So, it is asked, how is it possible to understand the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary?

My answer to them is you must understand the Immaculate Conception, and in order to understand the Immaculate Conception you must understand the Cross and how God functions outside of time.

So, let me go back and explain the Immaculate Conception (and within this context, I will explain why I like the Dormation a bit better than the Western understanding of how the Assumption)

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception States: The Most Blessed Virgin Mary was from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.

(If my scanner was working, I’d have a picture that explains this much better than I can write it, so you’ll have to bear with this explanation.)

The merits of the Cross are outside of time. God is the alpha and the omega (ref: Rev 1, 8). Meaning that the merits of the Cross can be applied AFTER, or BEFORE the event. St. John the Baptist says: Behold the Lamb of God, Behold him who takes away the sins of the world” (Ref 1, 29). This statement is in ANTICIPATION of the Cross. (Ref Ps 22, 31). That is to say this is BEFORE the crucifixion. Hence we can say the merits of the Cross can be applied before. This is how the Immaculate Conception is possible. Now since Mary did NOT have original sin. She could not possibly have Concupiscence (the tendency or desire to sin). By the grace of God and Him alone is this possible. This is why death isn’t possible (in theory) since she had no sin whatsoever; it makes absolute sense that Mary was dormant at the time of the Assumption. (Hence Dormation)

As you know on Aug 6th we celebrated the feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus. So, some of you are asking, what does the Transfiguration have to do with the Assumption? Remember that understanding Mary is a key to understanding Jesus…Any Marian Dogma or teaching will ALWAYS point to her son Jesus Christ.

The Transfiguration reveals not only Christ’s Divinity, but also foreshadows the heavenly Jerusalem at the Resurrection of our Bodies at the Last Judgement.

At the Last Judgement, our bodies will be raised to meet with our souls. (ref: 1 Tess 4, 13-18). Our bodies will be glorified. (think of the Transfiguration) at the last judgement. White as we all know is the color of purity. We know from the Bible that we’ll have white robes (the verse escapes me, i’ll add it later). Hence many Marian Apparitions have the Blessed Virgin in white. Mary being perfect by God’s grace alone, is our hope (hence in the Salve Regina we say our Life, our sweetness and our hope, not because Mary is God, but rather because by God’s grace she was perfected and we aspire to be like her since she was a creature. (That is to say Jesus is God, and we can’t be God, but we can be human, and we can aspire to be perfect). “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect”

There are 2 people Body/Soul in heaven. Jesus and Mary, that’s it. Everyone else is a soul awaiting their bodily resurrection at the Last Judgment.

We pray that we may have the grace from God through the intercession of Mary that we are able to better live our lives, not committing mortal sins, and aspiring to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. Amen!


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