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By Fr. Larry Dunn, MIC

We have reason to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with great joy. She who is the model of the entire Church in its perfection was assumed body and soul into glory. Now, when we reflect on what has happened to her, we can anticipate our own glory.

The Assumption reminds us that our death is not an end, but rather the next stage of our eternal life — the life that began the moment that we were conceived in our mother's womb.

Our Blessed Mother is now glorified body and soul in heaven. This should remind us of the fact that our bodies, as well as our souls, will also be glorified at the Resurrection of the Dead.

What are the characteristics of a glorified body? First of all, our glorified bodies, and our souls, will live in total spiritual union with God. Our bodies will be agile beyond our imagination — able to move at the speed of thought. Our minds will be incredibly sharp and brilliant beyond our current imagination. Our bodies will never experience suffering again; and, of course, they will live forever. This sounds wonderful to me. How does it sound to you?

When we think about the great dignity God will give to our bodies in heaven, it should encourage us to treat them with honor while we live here on earth.

How do you treat your body? I think that it is safe to say that there are times when all of us could do better.

I remember some years ago a doctor told me that I should put some skin ointment on every day through the year. I didn't want to do it. (I didn't want that sticky stuff on me!) Now that I have had my first (and hopefully my last) skin cancer removed, I make sure that I put that ointment on every day!

Our bodies are already temples of the Holy Spirit. They are God's gift to us. Let's recognize that fact and treat them accordingly!

As we care for our physical bodies and look forward to seeing them glorified, we can also count on the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She occupies a special place in heaven, sharing fully in God's glory, body and soul. From heaven, she is not only the Mother of the Divine Son of God, but our spiritual mother as well!

In fact, next to Jesus Himself, she is our greatest intercessor before the Father's throne. So, whatever our problems — whatever our aches and pains in this life — we can ask our Heavenly Mother to intercede for us.

Let us persevere in faith. Let us place our trust in Jesus through our Mother Mary. If we do, then the hope of glory is ours.

Father Larry Dunn, MIC, lives in Washington, D.C.

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Ileana - Aug 13, 2009

Thank you, Fr. Larry. It is very inspiring (and exciting) to imagine what our glorified bodies will be like. I think that if I remember my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, it will help me take care of myself a lot more. I will pray that you never again have to have any other cancer treatment. God bless you and all of the Marians!

Barbara - Aug 14, 2009

Thnk you for this beautiful meditation on our bodies. It is always so much better when we think of our body as a temple for Our Lord, Jesus Christ. I am so sorry that you have had these skin cancers agian. I just finished my treatments for stage 3, breast cancer and by the Grace of God am doing fine. This September I will be having a knee relacement and again with His Grace I will come through this also. You always remain in my prayers.
Your friend in Christ,
Barbara

Edie - Aug 14, 2009

Thank you Father Larry for this beautiful article.
It came to me at at just the right moment. My mother will be intered to her earthly resting place on Saturday August 15,2009 and I have been thinking what can I do to commerate this on the feast of Our Lady. God is so good!! In the wee small hours of the morning I opened up this email and there was your article. What a gift! What a comfort! I plan on giving copies of it to everyone attending. My wonderful mother had been devoted to the Marians in Stockbridge for many,many years. We had a beautiful visit to the Shrine.What a fitting tribute to my earthly and spiritual Mother.
May God Bless you in your work and give continual you good health.

sima - Aug 14, 2009

This is a wounderful inspiration to our faith. May our heavenly mother contiune to intercede for us. God bless you

Florante August 15, 2009 4:00 a.m. - Aug 15, 2009

Thank you Fr. Larry for a super explaination of the Living Blessed Virgin Mary, the Living Mother of God. I am a Roman Catholic and am looking forward to being in heaven with my living mother(BVM). Fr. Larry( and those of the faithful), please say a prayer for a relative... recently committed sucide. Thank you and the Living God bless you and all of the Marians. Amen

Michael - Aug 15, 2009

Thank you Father Larry. I have not always taken care of my body as I should have. I am more aware now that it is a temple, given to me by God. I wish I had this thought process when I was younger. But thankfully I am aware of it now. It's obvious most Americans do not think like this by looking at the obesity problem. I hope all who read this and all Catholics at least start taking care of their temples.

Harry - Aug 15, 2009

My wife is from Jilotepec Veracruz and our parish there is Our Lady of the Assumption. Each year the entire community celebrates with a huge fiesta culminating with Mananitas and Holy Mass. There is an air of happiness and joy. This year we are in San Jose but our hearts are in Jilotepec

Lauren - Aug 15, 2009

Dear Father Larry,
Thank you for your loving words about Our Blessed Mother. It warms my heart to know that so many adore her. God bless you as you never have cancer affect you again. Please pray for my husband, Patrick..he has been out of work for a yr. and a half and we now stand to lose our home. Thank you. Sincerely, Lauren

Lauren - Aug 15, 2009

Dear Father Larry,
In absorbing all you graciously pointed to in your article, I ask you to pray for my daughter, Kara and my nephew, Christopher.....that they stop smoking for good reasons. It worried me so that they are poisioning their precious bodies. Again thank you,Sincerely, Lauren

Marg Goodwin - Aug 15, 2009

Father, I too developed skin cancer and it's been treated. At least when people see us slapping on sunscreen it is a witness to people for their good. The Blessed Mother is an inspirationg and witness for all 'til the end of time. She is worth of our reverence because of the way she lived her life (first of all loving God and then her neighbour). She immediately offered herself to God as a vessel for His use and He is Mighty and can do all because He is God. Her humility and self sacrifice is comparable only to Our Lord Jesus' own offering to the Father. Just contemplating how she intercedes constantly for us raises my heart.

Marg Goodwin - Aug 15, 2009

Father, I too developed skin cancer and it's been treated. At least when people see us slapping on sunscreen it is a witness to people for their good. The Blessed Mother is an inspirationg and witness for all 'til the end of time. She is worth of our reverence because of the way she lived her life (first of all loving God and then her neighbour). She immediately offered herself to God as a vessel for His use and He is Mighty and can do all because He is God. Her humility and self sacrifice is comparable only to Our Lord Jesus' own offering to the Father. Just contemplating how she intercedes constantly for us raises my heart.

Remy - Aug 16, 2009

Thank you FR Larry,What an inspiration experience and meditation you share with us. Everytime Iam in distress because of loss of job I always call Our Blessed Virgin Mother to cover me with her blue mantel of protection and always say Jesus I Trust In You. I make me feel good and give hope. I also pray to HolySpirit for guidancethat its His Holy Will not my will to do everything for the glory and honor of God.

Sally Jun 16, 2008 - Aug 16, 2009

Fr Larry, Thank you for explaining the importance of the Holy Mother. I pray I take good care of my temple. Please prayer that my son finds employment and my other sons stay employed.
God Bless you and all of the Marians

Vilma S.-Philippines - Aug 18, 2009

Thank you Father Larry for your wonderful explanation about Our Mother Mary .

Kathryn - Sep 28, 2009

I am an obese woman who struggles to eat in moderation. I pray daily for the grace of willpower.

Your paragraph "When we think about the great dignity God will give to our bodies in heaven, it should encourage us to treat them with honor while we live here on earth." really touched me.

I am a cancer survivor who now was diagnosed with heart problems. I do so want to be free of gluttony and the lust for food.

Thank you for your commentary. God bless you.