Mrs Brady on the Assumption of the BVM

Mrs Brady, Catholic Old Lady is one of our guest bloggers…

Why look who it is! Sylvia! Come in dear! Come in! I am so glad to see you, and little Charlie too!

I was just taking a few minutes to sit here on the porch. Well, I say a few minutes, but I’ve been here with Aloysius on my lap for most of the afternoon. No sense working in the garden in the heat of the day, don’t you agree?

Now Charlie, I bet you’d like a little treat wouldn’t you? I’ve just made some lemon sugar cookies. You both sit here on the porch while I go get some with a glass of lemonade. Don’t worry about Aloysius dear, just shoo him off the rocking chair and sit down.

Here we are. When you’ve finished Charlie, why don’t you go out into the yard and play on the bench swing? Don’t rock too high on it now or you might tip over! I do love the Feast of the Assumption don’t you Sylvia? You say you don’t have much time for it? Oh my dear, how can you say such a thing. I don’t think it’s a fairy tale at all, and to tell you the truth, I rather like the stupendous miracles in our Catholic faith. Who wants a religion without miracles? Father O’Driscoll put it very well. I remember him saying, “People who want a religion without the supernatural don’t want a religion, they want a set of table manners.”

As for it not being in the Bible–there is that passage in Revelation where the Blessed Mother is seen crowned in heaven. I know the Baptists say that doesn’t count, but it doesn’t really bother me dear. In fact, well, I suppose it’s a bit naughty of me, but you know, I’m rather pleased that it’s not in the Bible. After all, it  reminds us that we’re not Bible Christians.

Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m a former Southern Baptist myself and I memorized all those Bible verses from the King James Version, and I do still try to read a chapter of the Bible every night, but in a funny sort of way it reminds me that there are plenty of things in our wonderful Catholic faith that are not in the Bible. But have you ever thought that there are quite a few things in the Evangelical religion that are not in the Bible too?

I’ve always found it rather odd that they blame us Catholics for following late invented, man made doctrines when their whole religion is based on a late invented man made doctrine. What I mean to say dear is that the Protestants based their whole religion on a belief called sola Scriptura–you know the Bible only? But I was reading up on it and the doctrine of sola Scriptura isn’t in the Bible! No indeed! I’ve looked high and low, and I remember when I was exploring the whole matter that it occurred to me that something was a bit fishy.

So I sat down and had a nice talk with Pastor Boden who was my Baptist pastor and I asked him where in the Bible we could find the teaching that our only source of truth was the Bible. He quoted that famous verse in Timothy about the Scriptures being profitable for doctrine and reproof and correction in righteousness, but do you know dear, when I pointed out to him that this was a wonderful verse, but that it didn’t really say the Scriptures were the only authority he got a bit cross with me! That made me think he was on shaky ground.

Well, I looked and looked, but sure enough, there was nothing in the Bible to say that the Bible was the only authority. Then I discovered that the whole thing was invented by the Protestant Reformers! Fancy that! Nobody had heard of such a thing as sola Scriptura before the sixteenth century! My goodness gracious me! What a surprise it was! So here they are blaming us Catholics for following late, un-Biblical, man made doctrines like the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, while their whole system rests on a late, man-made, un-biblical doctrine!

So it doesn’t bother me too much dear. The pope teaches us that it’s true, and when you think it through it makes perfect sense doesn’t it? Jesus and his blessed Mother were connected in every thing. She shared in his sorrow so she must have also shared in his glory. I do hope Father Gibbons uses lots of incense tonight. The clouds of incense remind me of her going up into heaven.

Oh look, there’s Charlie, and he’s crying! Did you tip the swing over Charlie dear? Come on up and we’ll find a Band-Aid for you. There, there. Be a big fellow and turn off those tears. We’ll have you right as rain in no time.

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  • rwarnell

    I find it absolutely incredible that some Catholics and Protestants are still fighting the battles of the Reformation!

    While we’re looking back at the damage from an earthquake that happened 500 years ago, there’s a tsunami breaking right on top of us.

    The Baptists may say “Ain’t so” (indicating that they at least believe), the “nones” are saying “so what?” I will guarantee you that 19th century answers to 16th century questions don’t cut any ice with them.

    Being from the South, my momma taught me to never stop with just saying something negative, so here’s my two bits worth:

    We must ask ourselves “How then shall we live?” Shall we live lives marked by attitudes of justice, mercy, and compassion? Shall we see our lives as channels for God’s kingdom to come “on Earth, as it is in Heaven”? Shall we evaluate our doctrines, dogmas, worship, and religious practices against the fruit they bear and how they help keep those channels of grace open? In your words Fr. L, are we willing to enter the “Beautiful Struggle?”

    A very wise man told me that once you get the part about loving God and your neighbor down, the rest is pretty much details.

    • frdlongenecker

      I’m both-and. Orthodoxy is just as important as orthopraxy. Right belief and right action both matter. If we evaluate our beliefs only according to their results we end up with a utilitarian foundation and anything goes.

      • rwarnell

        I agree with you – the both-and is important. It’s easy to get off into utilitarianism but also very easy to slip into the super-spiritual realm of gnosticism.

        There is a whole bunch of truth packed into doctrines such as the Assumption, not the least of which is the ultimate consequence of the Incarnation. We must always be asking how we can teach them in language and ways that are comprehensible. I also believe we have tended to place orthodoxy above orthopraxy. I think you will agree it’s a whole lot easier to teach “believe this” than it is to demonstrate “live like this”.

        • OneTimothyThreeFifteen

          I think you will agree it’s a whole lot easier to teach “believe this” than it is to demonstrate “live like this”.

          I agree. But we have to be very careful about our (in)-capacities to, ‘live like this’, and using them as a criterion by which to judge truth. ‘Orthopraxy’ is about me and the success of my will to co-operate with grace, Orthodoxy isn’t. Orthodoxy conditions Orthopraxy, or else Orthopraxy has no foundation. It is simply relative.

          Orthodoxy conditions the path between the Scylla and Charybdis of Utilitarianism and Gnosticism.

          So, to reject Christianity because I’m a jerk (a popular argument as to why one shouldn’t be a Christian), is plain silly.

    • OneTimothyThreeFifteen

      Just an observation, but sadly, I can’t tell you how much drivel from ‘very wise men’ I’ve had quoted at me in the past, as if prefacing their comment with it, somehow validates it, or makes it more credible.
      Some think Obama’s wise. As wise as a Sophist. One man’s wise man…

      One of the features of Fr L’s posts is that he rarely relies on quotes from the great and good to prove his point. He simply gives an argument. An argument stands without a supporting cast.

      Fr L isn’t fighting battles of the Reformation, but ones of Reason. To assume the rightness or wrongness of an argument is related to it’s place in history is to commit the historicist/progressive fallacy.

      An error or faulty logic 500 years ago doesn’t attenuate over time. It’s just as fallacious now as it was then. The Reformation’s not alive, but it’s ‘argument’ is alive and kicking as freshly as it was in the 16C, and still needs addressing.


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