Thursday, August 15, 2013

Assumptions about the Assumption being an assumption.

Today is the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady. In Catholicism, it is one of six specific holy days of obligation (in addition to Sundays).

Now, many protestants view the Assumption as something that Catholics just dreamed up and that we did it in 1950, when the doctrine was formally defined.

Let's deal with the second premise first. A Doctrine is defined as infallible only after a formal challenge. The doctrine of the Assumption was believed by Christians from the very start of the church and ancient artwork proves this.

That the writings of the early church prove the Assumption many centuries before 1950 is a matter quite beyond dispute;

If therefore it might come to pass by the power of your grace, it has appeared right to us your servants that, as you, having overcome death, do reign in glory, so you should raise up the body of your Mother and take her with you, rejoicing, into heaven. Then said the Savior [Jesus]: "Be it done according to your will" (The Passing of the Virgin 16:2-17 [A.D. 300]).
Timothy of Jerusalem

Therefore the Virgin is immortal to this day, seeing that he who had dwelt in her transported her to the regions of her assumption (Homily on Simeon and Anna [A.D. 400]).
John the Theologian

The Lord said to his Mother, "Let your heart rejoice and be glad. For every favor and every gift has been given to you from my Father in heaven and from me and from the Holy Spirit. Every soul that calls upon your name shall not be ashamed, but shall find mercy and comfort and support and confidence, both in the world that now is and in that which is to come, in the presence of my Father in the heavens". . . And from that time forth all knew that the spotless and precious body had been transferred to paradise (The Dormition of Mary [A.D. 400]).
Gregory of Tours

[T]he Apostles took up her body on a bier and placed it in a tomb; and they guarded it, expecting the Lord to come. And behold, again the Lord stood by them; and the holy body having been received, He commanded that it be taken in a cloud into paradise: where now, rejoined to the soul, [Mary] rejoices with the Lord's chosen ones. . . (Eight Books of Miracles 1:4 [A.D. 575]).
Theoteknos of Livias

It was fitting ... that the most holy-body of Mary, God-bearing body, receptacle of God, divinised, incorruptible, illuminated by divine grace and full glory ... should be entrusted to the earth for a little while and raised up to heaven in glory, with her soul pleasing to God (Homily on the Assumption [ca. A.D. 600]).
Modestus of Jerusalem

As the most glorious Mother of Christ, our Savior and God and the giver of life and immortality, has been endowed with life by him, she has received an eternal incorruptibility of the body together with him who has raised her up from the tomb and has taken her up to himself in a way known only to him (Encomium in dormitionnem Sanctissimae Dominae nostrae Deiparae semperque Virginis Mariae [ante A.D. 634]).
Germanus of Constantinople

You are she who, as it is written, appears in beauty, and your virginal body is all holy, all chaste, entirely the dwelling place of God, so that it is henceforth completely exempt from dissolution into dust. Though still human, it is changed into the heavenly life of incorruptibility, truly living and glorious, undamaged and sharing in perfect life (Sermon I [A.D. 683]).
John Damascene

It was fitting that the she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles. It was fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live in the divine mansions. It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which she had escaped when giving birth to him, should look upon him as he sits with the Father, It was fitting that God's Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God (Dormition of Mary [A.D. 697])
Gregorian Sacramentary

Venerable to us, O Lord, is the festivity of this day on which the holy Mother of God suffered temporal death, but still could not be kept down by the bonds of death, who has begotten Thy Son our Lord incarnate from herself (Gregorian Sacramentary, Veneranda [ante A.D. 795]).

     So much for the notion that it was invented in the 20th century.

     As for the contention that it is dreamed up, that is utter nonsense. It is based on historical fact and Biblical fact and both are pretty irrefutable.

     First, the historical. The remains of every single one of the original Apostles, as well as the actual nails, burial shroud and pieces of the Cross of Christ are in the possession of Catholic churches in various parts of the world. These are facts and the have the historical documentation to prove it.

     In addition to the Apostles, figures such as Mary Magdalene are present as well. In fact, virtually every New Testament figure of prominence has a body or part of a body in a sacred tomb at some location. This continues the Biblical tradition. For example, Joseph's bones being carried out during the Exodus.

     There are two notable exceptions- Jesus and Mary.

      Now, onto the Biblical evidence. Virtually all who are called Christians agree that Jesus, of His own power, Ascended into heaven about 40 days after His Resurrection. Protestants will offer that we know this because the Bible shows it. They are right.

      For the same reason, we know that Mary was Assumed into heaven, that is taken Body and Soul, like Enoch and Elijah. We can know this with absolute certainty because the Bible says so if we only have the courage to believe the plain and unambiguous words of Scripture from Revelation 11 & 12.

Revelation 11:19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.

John looked up and saw the Ark of the Covenant in the heavenly temple. You mean the box that carried the 10 Commandments? No. That was just a model. What John saw was the actual Ark that carried the actual Word of God inside Her.

All you have to do is read the very next verses. It is absolutely inescapable.

Revelation 12:1 A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth. Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule[a] all the nations with a rod of iron. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne;

The child, obviously is Jesus.

Those who suggest the woman is Israel speak nonsense. There is a very simple logical syllogism at work here.

A) The Woman of Revelation 11:19-12:17 is shown as;
  • The Ark of the Covenant.
  • A Queen (crowned with stars)
  • The Mother of God
  • The Mother of all Christians.
  • The enemy of the dragon.
  • In heaven with a body (head and feet)
B) The child of the Woman of Revelation 11:19-12:17 is clearly Jesus.

Thus, C), Jesus Mother, Mary is;

  • The Ark of the Covenant.
  • A Queen (crowned with stars)
  • The Mother of God
  • The Mother of all Christians.
  • The enemy of the dragon.
  • In heaven with a body (head and feet)

  • To argue against this is an exercise in futility.

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