Help with Assumption

Okay I have to admit I struggle with this one. I have faith that it is true but don’t follow the logic. One of the ways we justify the Assumption of Mary is because we don’t think she was buried and no one “claimed” the body. The same can be said of my grandfather but I can be reasonably certain he is dead and buried. He was no saint after all. Any help here explaining this would be great.:shrug:

Here you go:

Steve Ray’s defense of the Assumption of Mary

The first thing to remember is that it’s happened before, according to the Bible.

Assumption is not the same phenomenon as Ascension. Ascension is rising under one’s own power. Jesus alone “ascended” into heaven by His own power, “No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man,” John 3:13. Assumption is the passive event of being taken by God. Scripture shows that Enoch, Elijah, and Moses were “assumed” or taken bodily into heaven, which is what Catholics believe happened also to Mary.

“Thus all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him,” Gen. 5:23-24.

“And as they still went on and talked, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” 2 Kings 2:11.

“But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a reviling judgment upon him, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you,’” Jude 9.

Notice that Assumption does not mean that the person did not die. Enoch and Elijah were assumed while still alive, but Moses, in contrast, had already died when his body was assumed into heaven. Assumption therefore can be of either a living person or a dead body.

The Catholic Church takes no position on whether or not Mary died. Munificentissimus Deus, Pope Pius XII’s ex cathedra statement made on November 1, 1950 which formally defined the doctrine of Mary’s Assumption, states: “…that 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,” MC 44. Since no position is taken on whether or not Mary died, Catholics may believe that she, like Enoch and Elijah, was assumed without death, or that she died and her body was assumed, like that of Moses. Either way, Biblical precedent shows that Mary was not the first person to have been granted this blessing.

The fact that no one claims her body is not the foundation of the teaching. It is merely circumstantial evidence that supports the rest of the teaching. Most good apologists will admit this is a “negative proof”, and not conclusive by itself, just supportive in explaining.

It’s exactly as MarcoPolo stated. But there is something else to consider - the fact that obtaining the relics of Saints was a NORMATIVE practice of the early Church. St. Mary is easily the most revered Saint in all of Christianity. So it is not a mere “negative proof.” If the appeal was merely to a lack of relics, then it would constitute a negative proof. But the fact that it was commonplace to obtain Saintly relics (and we have none for the most popular Saint) gives the rationale something more of a punch.


<<One of the ways we justify the Assumption of Mary is because we don’t think she was buried and no one “claimed” the body.>>

Yes, she was buried. Her soul was separated from her body, however briefly (traditionally 3 days). In other words, she died. So all the Eastern Churches teach, whether in union with Rome or not.

Furthermore, in the Roman office for the feast promulgated in 1950 when Pius XII dogmatized the Assumption, the fifth Matins lesson, quoting St. John of Damascus, says "But she yielded obedience to the law established by him to whom she had given birth, and, as the daughter of the old Adam, underwent the old sentence, which even her Son, who is the very Life Itself, had not refused." Lex orandi, lex credendi. If it’s in the liturgical formularies of the Church, it’s the teaching of the church.

None of this is to deny her bodily assumption, but merely to get the sequence of events straight.