"Mary said,
‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
   Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
   and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
   from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
   he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
   and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
   and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
   in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
   to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’ "

Luke 46-55 (NRSV)

The Gospels give no account of Mary's death but from the earliest years, the Tradition of the Church said that when she died she was taken body and soul to heaven, often referring to her death as Dormition (falling asleep). It would have been a fitting tribute to the one whose body had nurtured the unborn Jesus, acting as temple to the Son of the Most High.

St Paul refers to our bodies as being temples of the Holy Spirit. In a small way, we share the great dignity bestowed on Mary. From the moment of conception to the last breath of our life, our bodies are infinitely precious. Through them - our senses - voices - actions - God works in the world. As human beings, we have an inalienable right to savour the gift of life using our earthly time to prepare for the joys of eternity.

Pray for the unborn and those whose human dignity is not respected.

     Mary, heavenly Mother of all,
     where you have gone,
     we hope to follow.
     Pray for a renewed sense of our own dignity as temples of the Holy Spirit
     and the protection of those whose lives are not so valued.


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