Monday, May 12, 2008
On the Assumption of Mary; an explanation
It is one thing to say we will reject all that contradicts scripture and quite another to say one must reject anything not explicit in scripture. Even Luther would submit to those arguments which appealed to logic or reason. The Assumption of Mary for instance while not found explicitly in scripture is not without precedent. Furthermore, one can argue that her assumption is described allegorically in Revelation. I will grant that we Catholics tend to over use allegory in as much as Reformed and Evangelicals avoid it, but it must follow that if the genre uses allegory then one must interpret using allegory. And Revelation uses allegory. Nonetheless, the point is that while the dogma is not explicit, it is implicit. Moreover, everything the Church believes about Mary is based on the logic that to not hold to it diminishes Christ. Does that make sense? Or put another way everything the Church believes about Mary follows from a particular belief about Christ. Christ is without sin so Mary was made to be without sin at conception, through no merit of her own but by the grace of God in order to prepare a dwelling for Himself. Conversely if we were to argue that Mary was an ordinary child and woman, sinful and bent, how does it follow that her son is the sinless son of God. Would he not instead be half God half son of Adam? No! The Immaculate Conception is necessary for the incarnation. Likewise in the assumption of Mary we see the fulfillment of Christ’s work. The hope that if we die with him we will also live with him if we persevere we will reign with him. Mary is the very real proof of that hope. Just as the virgin birth was a very real proof of the Messiah. If the dogmas concerning Mary are removed one is left with convincing but hollow arguments. Paul asked the Corinthians if they wanted wisdom or the power of God. I propose that Marian dogma is all about the power of God. Marian theology is also strongly tied to the Church and to the individual believer. Every dogma that is believed about Mary is true by extension to the Church and to each of the faithful. This is what we believe and why. Hopefully this helps to show some of the reasons behind our belief and will begin to nibble away the new barriers.