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Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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By Melanie Williams (Aug 13, 2016)
We celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Monday, Aug. 15 — this fourth Marian dogma, which states, "The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory."

Recently, while in Europe for World Youth Day, I stopped in a church dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As I knelt down before the tabernacle, I looked up and saw a magnificent painting of the Assumption and was struck by the mystery that we hold and believe. Mary's Assumption didn't happen by her own power, like Jesus did in His Ascension. Rather, she was assumed into Heaven by the will of God.

As I looked at the painting, I saw that some disciples were struck down in awe. Some had looks of amazement. Some of fear. Some desperately trying to grab her and pull her back down to earth. Why such different reactions?

As is when anyone loses a loved one, each person experiences it differently. Some are thankful that their loved one's suffering has ended and that he or she is hopefully going home to Heaven. Some cannot process the pain of losing their loved one and desperately wish they could grab him or her and bring them back to earth. I saw these reactions on the faces of the disciples.

The reality is that some disciples rejoiced and were in awe at the majesty and power of God, which deigned that the Blessed Virgin Mary be assumed body and soul into Heaven. Some wished she could stay with them in this valley of tears. They didn't realize she would remain with them, not corporally, but very much spiritually, as their Mother.

Are these not our reactions at the will of God in our life? Sometimes the Lord wills that certain things happen in our lives, or He asks something of us that we do not like. We kick, scream, and get angry. Or we give God the "silent treatment." But I propose another way, a way that some of the disciples chose: to stand in awe and wonder at the will of God, not necessarily understanding why He wills such things, but trusting that He knows what is best for us and that He will work all things for our good — for our salvation (see Proverbs 3:5; Rom 8:28).

Jesus said to St. Faustina, "Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy" (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 300). Why will we not have peace until we turn with trust to God's mercy? Because peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and the fruits of the Holy Spirit are present within those who live in accord with the will of God. You will not have peace if you refuse the will of God and fight against it. You will have peace as you surrender with trust into the loving arms of the Father, who will take care of you.

The Blessed Virgin Mary had that trust in the Father and His will. Because of that, all generations will call her blessed (see Lk 1:48). She is most blessed among woman, and she is the Mother of all nations and peoples. She has been assumed into Heaven by the Father so that she can intercede for us in Heaven and protect us while we are in this valley of tears.

May we turn to our Blessed Mother this day, she who is assumed into Heaven, and trust in the will God as she did. May we allow the Father to raise us up as He wills, for true humility is not found by tearing yourself down; rather, it is found allowing the Father to raise you up, however He wills.

Learn more about the Assumption.

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Jerry Carter - Aug 15, 2016

I haven't seen my daughter, Jessica 19, since last Thursday four days ago. She decided to visit a friend and leave me alone at home. I am very sad and terribly worried that harm may happen to her. I know that I should trust that God will watch over her, but I am so saddened by her absence that all I do is worry. My faith is weakening !

In His will is our peace - Aug 15, 2016

Last week, my uncle passed away. Though there were few tears, I found that I was caught up in the gift of his life and that he was simply taking the next step. In fact, all in attendance seemed to have the same sense. How wonderful it is to be in awe of the will of God and wants the very best for us.

Doris - Aug 14, 2016

My mother was so devoted to our Blessed Mother and she passed on August 15, 1973, 43 yrs ago on the ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED MOTHER.

Bob - Aug 14, 2016

Formerly a Protestant,
I became Roman Catholic
in April 2015.