Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Assumption/Dormition: Mystery of Mary, Meaning of Life

By Deacon Keith Fournier
Catholic Online (

'What came about in bodily form in Mary, the fullness of the godhead shining through Christ in the Blessed Virgin, takes place in a similar way in every soul' (Gregory of Nyssa)

Mary is a mirror, a reflection, of 'Some- One', her Beloved Son,Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word from the Father who became the Incarnate Word within her. The Savior whom she was privileged to bear for the sake of the world filled her with His grace.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) – Today in the Western Church we celebrate the great Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Most of our Eastern Christian brethren acknowledge the same great event on this Feast, calling it the “Dormition of the Mother of God.” Some join us in the celebration today and others, following another Calendar, commemorate in just a few days.

This event is the natural progression in the life of the Blessed Virgin of Nazareth. Her “Yes”, her “Fiat” of surrendered love, brought heaven to earth and opened earth to the heaven which received her. She is thus the sign of the Church’s future and provides the pattern of the Christian vocation. All who say “Yes” to her beloved Son - and live their lives in that surrendered love – bear Christ for the world and will join with her in the fullness of that communion of love.

"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." In those few words, all of human history was forever changed. As we make them our own, our histories begin to change as well. The Angel proclaimed that Mary was “full of grace”, filled with the very life and presence of God. She walked in a deep, abiding and intimate relationship with God. He was with her before she even responded to His invitation. God chose Mary even before Mary chose God. This order is vitally important.

Mary’s Prayer, her “Fiat” (Medieval Latin, let it be done) was a response to the visitation from the messenger of heaven, the angel. It provides a pattern of prayer for every Christian. It unfolds into a life of praise, her “Magnificat.” This canticle begins with the words in Latin “Magnificat anima mea Dominum” (“My soul doth magnify the Lord”) and is the Gospel text for the Liturgy during the day on this Feast. (Luke 1:46-55).


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