Thursday, December 13, 2007

Trading spaces

Praying the fourth Glorious Mystery of the rosary yesterday, contemplating the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, body and soul, into heaven, I recalled a point from Pope John Paul II's Mulieris Dignitatem (emphasis mine),

The passage from the Letter to the Ephesians which we have been considering enables us to think of a special kind of "prophetism" that belongs to women in their femininity. The analogy of the Bridegroom and the Bride speaks of the love with which every human being - man and woman - is loved by God in Christ. But in the context of the biblical analogy and the text's interior logic, it is precisely the woman - the bride - who manifests this truth to everyone. This "prophetic" character of women in their femininity finds its highest expression in the Virgin Mother of God. She emphasizes, in the fullest and most direct way, the intimate linking of the order of love - which enters the world of human persons through a Woman - with the Holy Spirit. At the Annunciation Mary hears the words: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you" (Lk 1:35).
It is a beautiful to think that being created a woman enables me to manifest to the world, in a special way, the truth of what it means to be loved by God in Christ.

At the moment I contemplated that passage, the Assumption became in my mind, in the simplest and most elegant way, a symbol of how I am to fully accept God's love — something that is hard for me to do.

I realized that Mary opened up her body and soul to receive the Kingdom of God — which may be taken as being "Christ himself," according to the Catechism — and made a home for it in the depths of her being. And so, likewise, at the end of her earthly life, the Kingdom of God opened up to receive her.

It reminds me of what Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen said, and I'm sure others said it before him, to the effect that the real action that takes place when we receive the Eucharist is not so much that we absorb Jesus, but rather that we are absorbed into Him. But, for Him to receive us, we have to first receive Him fully. That is where I need to contemplate the Blessed Mother's example.