Growing up as a young Methodist I heard very little about the Blessed Virgin Mary. After discovering the Catholic Church I began to hear about her a lot. But I didn’t know what to make of all the things I was hearing, and I made the not uncommon mistake of thinking that I didn’t need to pay much attention to all of that because all that mattered was the truly important stuff. This is an understandable mistake for a newcomer to Catholicism to make, but over the years I’ve heard plenty of Catholics mistake the Marian doctrines of the Church for lower level unnecessary (even optional) doctrines, too. I’ve heard people say, “as long as we agree on the essential things we’re all okay,” but that’s just it: we do not agree on the essentials. We don’t even agree on what the essentials are. (Links at the end of this post.)Continue reading
Updated, June 14, 2019: For Catholics August 15th is a Holy Day of Obligation in honor of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven. No, she’s not an Ascended Master. She also did not rise by her own power. And, no, she is NOT a goddess. We look to Tradition to learn about Mary, but we also look to Scripture. If you’d like to know more, and especially about how to explain the Assumption (and Marian teachings in general) to non-Catholic friends and family, I’d like to recommend some easy to read, easy to understand resources for you.
First up, Dr. Robert Stackpole has written an excellent article, The Case for the Assumption of Mary, drawing on the Fathers of the Church, the work of Scott Hahn, and Karl Keating.
“[T]here is, indeed, an allusion to the mystery of the Assumption right in the very place we would most expect to find it if the doctrine were true: namely, in the writings of the Apostle St. John, the one into whose care our Lord placed His Mother at the hour of His death on the Cross, and especially in what may be the last of the New Testament books to be written, a book almost certainly written after Mary’s earthly life was over, the Book of Revelation.” — Dr Robert Stackpole, The Case for the Assumption of Mary
That should be enough to whet your appetite. You’ll have to read the rest at the Divine Mercy site.
Next I want to recommend one of the many excellent Bible studies from Scott Hahn and the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology: Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God, based upon Hahn’s equally excellent book, Hail, Holy Queen.
Hail, Holy Queen is also available in Logos/Verbum format or as part of a two-book bundle that includes the Lamb’s Supper, for those using Logos/Verbum applications. (There’s a learning curve but it’s very much worth it.)
Thanks for reading. I hope you found this helpful. God bless you and peace be with you.
Image credits: The Assumption of the Virgin Mary, by Guido Reni, and Coronation of the Virgin, by Diego Velázquez, both from Wikimedia and in the public domain.
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