Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
August 15, 2021
In the middle of the 20th century, Pius XII wove together strands of belief and tradition handed down by the earliest Christians into the Dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We celebrate that great mystery of our faith today. Simply put, we believe that, at the conclusion of her earthly life, Mary’s body was spared corruption and was taken up into heaven.
Shortly thereafter, Catholic motorists began to “enshrine” little blue plastic statues of the Blessed Mother on the dashboard of their vehicles. I’m uncertain as to whether there was a connection between the newly defined cornerstone of our faith and this very public display of devotion to the Blessed Mother. I do recall, however, that secured in place by a magnet under its base, whether looking ahead, through the windshield, or checking the rear-view mirror, it was hard not to catch a glimpse of Mary.
Critics saw her in plain view as well. We were accused of using the little statue as a “good luck charm.” In fact, some Catholics might well have fallen into that sort of “mindless superstition.” For the informed faithful, however, that tiny blue statue served as a reminder that we are under the constant protection of the Mother of God.
Moreover, this image of a young woman, who was to become a living tabernacle, was or should have been a source of inspiration for us. That momentary glimpse as we drove along had the power to encourage us to try harder to follow the example of The Blessed Mother. Filled with grace, her every thought, word, and deed a brilliant “YES!” to God’s will and God’s ways.
Looking back through the “rear-view mirror” of Scripture, we are reminded of Mary’s silent and committed acceptance of all that God asked of her. Seen as “the new Eve” Mary’s cooperation with God’s plan for salvation initiated a fresh start for our fallen world.
Looking ahead, as creation moves slowly through the centuries of this “fresh start,” The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary offers a view of what is to come. At the completion of God’s plan for us, as individuals, and ultimately as humanity, we will find a mother’s perfect and unconditional love waiting to greet us.
There is great comfort and peace in the knowledge that The Almighty so values our “earthliness” that God has “enthroned” this perfect creature as Queen of Heaven.
And, as we pray…we should also believe that…never was it known that ANYONE who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession WAS LEFT UNAIDED.
Those little blue statues, sadly, have disappeared from our dashboards and even from our memories. Fewer and fewer Catholic families distinguish themselves by “enshrining” an image of Mary in a prominent place in their yard or even within the privacy of their homes. But we should never “assume” that she has disappeared. She is attached to the created world with the most powerful of magnetic forces…LOVE. And her love for us is continually drawing us toward a perfect union with our God.