The Question of the Dormition


The Question of the Dormition

John, at Disputations has a well-reasoned and thoughtful post on the question of whether or not Mary died before her assumption into heaven. Myself, I have not real preference for how one views the events. However, I do take exception to my reading (perhaps misreading) of the quote below.

The arguments against Mary's death are, as I understand them, based on a certain way of understanding her Immaculate Conception, which in turn is based on a certain way of understanding Original Sin. There is a chain of reasoning that leads to the conclusion that Mary's death is unreasonable; if Mary did in fact die -- as centuries of undisputed tradition hold, as all but a handful have always held -- then there is something wrong earlier in the chain, something wrong in the reasoning about the Immaculate Conception or about Original Sin. These errors may well be leading to other false conclusions on matters unrelated to the Assumption; they may also interfere with ecumenical efforts by the Roman Catholic Church to reach out to both the Orthodox and Protestants.

If I were to frame an argument regarding Mary's Assumption, it would have nothing whatsoever to do with any of the above. It would simply take the form of, "If God could choose to do this for His friends (Elijah and Enoch), surely He could do so for His own mother." This has no reflection on the immaculate conception, says nothing whatsoever about original sin. So arguments against the Blessed Mother's death do not have to be framed in those terms, they can be framed in terms of God's Will, without speculating on why He might choose to release His mother from the pangs of death.

On a different point has anyone ever noticed that the woman assumed into heaven is always about 25 years old. At the time of Jesus's death Mary was at least 47, perhaps as old as 49. Tradition has it that she went with John in his exile to Patmos, she must have been 60, 70, or 80 when she died, so why is this youthful virgin seen borne up by angels? Perhaps another good argument for her death and return in the glorified body which is assumed into heaven. But entirely peripheral and speculative. Thanks, John for the great post.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 16, 2002 11:01 AM.

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