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Kay Tham wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • How does one answer the claim of the Protestant who says that the Virgin Mary is dead?
  • [And] that she will be resurrected, with the rest of the dead?
  • Is there some Scripture that supports the Catholic [position|teaching] that I can use?

I don't think I correctly understand who will be resurrected, if indeed people do go to Heaven.

  • I'm sure they do, so who will be resurrected?

Kay

  { How does one answer the claim of Protestants who say the Virgin Mary is dead? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Kay —

Thanks for the question and thanks to my good friend Roger Le Blanc who helped me with this answer.

The Virgin Mary is no less dead than my father who passed away two years ago this year.

If anything, both are more alive and more aware of what's going on then we could ever imagine.  Those in Heaven see everything in time eternally.

You and I can think of abstract concepts, though we have a physical body.

  • What am I talking about?

    • Can you see hope?
    • Can you smell faith?

No, because faith and hope are non-material concepts that are outside our physical being and senses.

Man is limited in this life to a physical body. A body that is not his own. He has been given a body to glorify God with.

You hear pro-abortion women saying:

  • What right does that old man over in Rome have to tell me what I can do with my body?

My reply:

  • Who gave you the crazy idea that your body, is your body?

If it's your body, step in front of oncoming traffic going 70 miles an hour.  If it's your body, you can just bring it back from the dead!

My point: Deep down in their holy gut, they know it's not their body.


Back to the issue. When my father died two years ago, the physical remains of his body remained in the cemetery grave and will remain there until the Second Coming of our Blessed Lord. This is true for all of us.

At his death or passing, his soul was freed from any physical limitations and he was judged by our Lord Jesus Himself.

Like all mankind, our souls will be either eternally in Heaven or eternally in Hell. Period.

If we die with remaining self-love, but in a state of grace, in God's infinite mercy, he created a special section in Heaven, I call the Holy Hospital of Heaven: Purgatory. After our remaining self-love is burned away, we are no different then someone who died with no self-love and who went straight to Heaven.

An important point Roger brought up:

Jesus did not die for our debt to sin. He died for the guilt of our sin.

Our personal debt to sin, our lack of personal holiness, is purified in the Holy Hospital of Purgatory because nothing impure shall enter Heaven. (Revelation 21:27)

  • But what about the Virgin Mary?

Because Our Lord chose to create the Virgin Mary, Immaculate from her conception in the womb of St. Anne, Mary's temporal mother, when she [Mary] died or passed away, unlike the physical remains of my father's body, the remains of Mary's physical body were assumed into Heaven gloriously.

When the tomb was opened for Thomas, who missed the passing of our Blessed Mother, there was only an Easter lily,

No body was present.

Here is an issue that may have led your Protestant friend to ask you this question:

Thinking with an informed Catholic mind involves thinking beyond our earthly life.  Many today who either:

  • have had an uncatechized Catholic upbringing or
  • have never been taught anything about Christ and His Church

can tend to think solely with an earthly view. When we go to a funeral service many times we will hear the priest or minister refer to those who have died or at the offertory the priest will offer up prayers for the dead.

The Catholic Christian has to remember that the priest is making a reference to the dead, in order to make a distinction between:

  • those living on earth: those who make up the Church Militant in the pews, and
  • those who have died [or passed on to their Particular Judgment] from our Earthly viewpoint.

A better reference used a lot in the Church is:

  • the faithful departed or
  • prayers for the faithful departed

Faithful because they died in a state of grace, but who are not necessarily 100% [holy|purified.] The good news: You can help them. Click here to find out how.

Like I said earlier, all the faithful departed [in Heaven] are more alive and more aware of what's going on than we could ever imagine. 

Those in Heaven see everything in time eternally.

RE: Scripture you can use.

There is no direct Scripture passage that talks about Our Lady's Assumption but for Catholic Christians this isn't an important issue.

When we say the Word of God, we don't reduce it to the Written page. We include the
Oral Tradition, for which references can be found in the Written Scriptures. This is Oral Tradition which has been passed on down through previous members in the Church.

The Church came before the Bible, the Bible didn't come before the Church.

What you can show your Protestant friends are foreshadowing and similar analogies from the
Old and New Testament here:

Our Blessed Mother's Assumption.

This Apostolic Teaching was formally declared by Pope Pius XII when he said:

The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into Heavenly glory.

Munificentissimus Deus by Pope Pius XII

Commentary: The Assumption of Our Blessed Mother is something the Church has always believed, though how she was assumed is a matter of theological opinion.

  • Some like the Orthodox and I believe Our Lady gently feel asleep into Eternal Life. The Orthodox celebrate this as the Dormition of Mary.
  • Others, like St. John Paul II believed she died just like anyone of us would have died.
  • An ancient Coptic tradition states that when Mary was old and nearing this falling asleep, Jesus appeared to 72 of the disciples. He was on the chariot of the cherubim accompanied by 1,000 Angels, and he told them
    He was to take his Mother to himself. The disciples wept and asked that Mary should never die, but the Lord said her time was accomplished.

Patrick Madrid from "Where is that in the Bible" states:

Revelation 12:1-8 shows us that Mary, Ark of the New Covenant, is truly the mother of all Christians (even those who refuse to acknowledge her as their mother). This passage also shows us a vision of Mary, queen of Heaven, and hints at her Assumption. This gift of suffering no corruption in the grave and being "caught up" into Heaven while still alive is perfectly in accordance with Scripture. Similar assumptions are described below, and are promised to some Christians in 1 Thessalonians.

    Genesis 5:24
    Enoch walked with God, then was no more, because God took him.
    Hebrews 11:5-6
    It was because of his faith that Enoch was taken up and did not experience death: he was no more, because God took him; because before his assumption he was acknowledged to have pleased God. Now it is impossible to please God without faith, since anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and rewards those who seek him.
    2 Kings 2:11
    Elijah was assumed into heaven in a fiery chariot.
    Matthew 27:52
    Many saints who had fallen asleep were raised.
    1 Corinthians 15:52
    We shall be instantly changed at the last trumpet.
    1 Thessalonians 4:17
    Being caught up to meet the Lord in the air.
    Revelation 11:19 — 12:1
    Ark in Heaven represents the woman clothed with the sun.
    (This woman is Mary.)

    A negative proof from history:

    Historically to this date archaeologists have not found the bones of Mary though they did find the bones of St. Peter.

Hope this helps,

Mike

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