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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Celebration of the Assumption: An Escort for the Queen

How I love this Rubens' depiction of the Assumption of Mary into heaven escorted by the angels while the apostles and faithful women attend her and witness the taking up after her dormition, literally her "falling asleep." The Assumption was a frequent Rubens theme, but I particularly love this one which perhaps shows her in the last moments before awakening. She is like the fairy tale princess who is revived by her one true love. Oh that we should all awake on the day of our deaths to see Jesus, Who is Love, face to face!

Did Mary die? While the Church doesn't teach dogmatically on the subject, tradition says yes; but her body was incorruptible until it was reunited with her soul and taken up to heaven. Read a lovely description of what the early Church believed here

Would not the Mother of Jesus who watched at the foot of Christ's cross as He suffered and died, not want to share in that final act of humility? Thank you, Mother Mary. You who were free from original sin, nevertheless chose to accept its consequences in reparation for our sins and to save us from spiritual death. O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

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