Ah, the Assumption. Such a lovely, surprising summer holiday. Here we are humming along in Ordinary Time and then…pwoof! Mary’s fully body is assumed into heaven. Sr. Julie over at A Nun’s Life gives a really nice description of this day in Catholic life.
I’ve always been a little baffled by the whole thing myself. The drama of the Assumption gets me every time. The theological conundrum is tactile: here is this woman who was born without original sin–how can she die in the same way that everyone with original sin? Of course, as all good Catholic dogma goes, centuries and centuries after the question first gets raised, a rather dramatic consensus is reached: Mary’s very body must have been taken to heaven along with her soul.
This is one of the things about Catholicism that keeps me hanging in–this mingling of body & soul, a constant desire to keep both in tandem and balance. The nearly impossible assertions in order to keep theological balances. The leaps of faith required at every left turn. It’s really awe-inspiring. And Assumption is such a reminder of that.
The blogger above urges Catholics to celebrate the Assumption with an orientation to the future–working and praying for the day that all humans will join Mary’s full-bodied unity with God. I think that’s a beautifully tangible way of taking this Holy Day home. How can we live and breath and build relationships in ways that keep our bodies AND souls in communion with the divine? How can the Assumption be a reminder of all that is good about both our souls and our bodies?