Co-Workers of the Truth 8/15

Benedict XVIThe dogma of the assumption of Mary, body and soul, into the glory of the heavenly Kingdom is more confusing than otherwise for us today. Practically every word of it sounds foreign to our ears and without comprehensible meaning: Mary – heaven – glory. The only word we can really understand is body. What is said here constitutes a recognition of the body and consequently of the earth, a recognition of matter and of the future of all of these.

With this dogma, the Church, which has so often seemed to repudiate matter, sings a new hymn to the body and brings it into contact witht the divine. Perhaps this has so little appeal for us because the declaration of the dogma seems to omit or, at least, take for granted an intermediate step that is, in fact, of the greatest importance for us: the body has to do with heaven because it has to do with the humanness of humanity. That is a statement of great current significance.

The discovery of the body threatens all too often today to become a dehumanization. If we are to take full and unlimited possession of the body, we must cut it off from the sphere of moral responsibility and regard it solely as matter. But it is only when the body is accorded its human dignity that the spirit also continues to be human; only when what is human is seen from the perspective of God’s promises does the body continue to be worthy of respect.

That is why, without spiritualistic dogmatism, it is so important for us that God truly indwells and is active in our world even to the taking of a body: from the Virgin birth to the Lord’s Resurrection and beyond to the time when God’s Yes was able, through the Son, to come in contact again with the body in the Yes of the first believers. Thus all the words of this dogma can now be linked together: first heaven and body, then Mary and glory and body and heaven.

From: Die Hoffnung des Senfkorns, pp. 26-27

Leave a Reply