The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven on August 15th has given me an opportunity to reflect on the wonderful intellectual integrity of the Catholic faith. For me, it is one of the most interesting aspects of being Catholic: I receive great consolation knowing that there is nothing that the Catholic faith has not explained or can explain if I look for the answers.
I have often marveled at the wisdom of the teachings of the Church on all issues, but in recent history its ability to anticipate the findings of SCIENCE on every moral issue has been astonishing, even to devout Catholics like myself. I expect the Church’s teachings to be true, but I am awed when I see reflections of these truths in often very surprising places.
For example, in my lifetime the moral playing field shifted drastically, yet the Church foresaw the results of the sexual revolution before it even really got started. The exploding divorce rate, rise of cohabitation (among people of all ages), the institutionalization of abortion as a necessity for modern living, the objectification of women in so many ways (eg modern advertising and TV), and the widespread acceptance of pornography were all part of the Church’s warnings. Now, with the continual advances in science and the continued use of science to degrade the human person with “gender changes,” IVF, surrogate motherhood, and the like, it is comforting to know that I can understand these issues through Church teachings.
While I am so grateful that I am part of the Church and gratefully know that whatever the future brings, the Church will also have answers for any moral confusion, it is hard to be joyful for being “right” when society is suffering so much.
But recently when thinking about the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, I realized there is something so wonderful that science has shown us that ties into the Assumption of Mary — something I can be truly joyful about!
In the past, medical doctors thought that the placenta was a one-way buffer that prevented anything from the baby in the womb from crossing into the mother, that only cells from the mother would cross into the baby to help him grow and develop. Then, in the 19th century, they discovered that an unborn baby’s cells stay in the mother’s body after birth.
But new research is providing an even deeper understanding of this unique connection.
Scientists have found that cells from the fetus in the womb cross the placenta to actually enter into the mother’s body and that they become a permanent part of her body! What a sweet thought that my children are still a part of me!
But–even more amazing: the article reported that “when a woman has a baby, she gets not just a son or daughter, [but] an army of protective cells – gifts from her children that will stay inside her and defend her for the rest of her life.” (My emphasis in italics.) Doctors have found the cells of babies actually rebuilding and healing the cells of their mothers–not just while the baby is in the womb, but they found these cells remain in the mother to serve her body even after the baby is born!
Just read this:
“The cells of an unborn child will stay in the mother for decades… essentially forever,” said a researcher from Thomas Jefferson University. “There’s a lot of evidence now starting to come out that these cells may actually be repairing tissue.” Wow! Here’s the article to read for yourself.
Think what this means: Our Lord left part of Himself with His mother–in order to protect her! So the Blessed Virgin Mary’s body was not only composed of her own cells, but also due to her carrying Him in her womb, thereafter her body always contained the cells of Her Son — who was God!
Our Lord protected His mother’s soul from every taint of sin, and He also acted to protect her body, as well. Both with His Divine Power…as well as with the power He created in nature for every mother to benefit from!
The Bible says that God would not allow His Holy One, His Son to suffer corruption–so He ascended into Heaven instead of decomposing in the grave (see Psalm 16:10 and Acts 2:31). Wouldn’t this apply to ALL OF HIS SON, every last All-Holy and All-Divine cell? Even those parts of Him that were–actually, physically–still on earth…in the body of His Blessed Mother? Yet another reason for her glorious Assumption into Heaven as a fitting gift for bearing the Savior of the world in her womb!
From every perspective, it is a joyful thought! Science is now discovering so much that only confirms what the Church has already taught us by Faith: that the mother of Our Lord, who contained all her life in her body what the Second Person of the Trinity had come down from Heaven to assume–a fully human body united with God Himself! — would out of justice and God’s mercy be taken up into Heaven, too, without suffering the decay of death.
While this is not a theological explanation, it is sweet when we get a scientific perspective to aid our meditations and the pondering in our hearts about what we already know from the Church. Astonishing on the one hand, but not unexpected!
May God bless you and all your little ones, who have left already left their “mark” on you!
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