Monday, August 15, 2011

Clothe Yourself

The reading selected by Magnificat for Morning Prayer on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is from St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians:

That which is corruptible must clothe itself with incorruptibility, and that which is mortal must clothe itself with immortality. And when this which is corruptible clothes itself with incorruptibility and this which is mortal clothes itself with immortality, then the word that is written shall come about: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Cor 15:53-54)

I would like to make two quick observations.

First, this sounds awfully Lutheran, in the snow-covered dung sense. However, we have to note that this passage comes near the end of a fairly long letter. These words can’t just be pulled out and interpreted in isolation from the previous chapters. If I were more energetic, I would read the whole thing, trying to follow Paul’s train of thought (maybe a useful exercise for after dinner).

Second, I often say a prayer to the Blessed Virgin when I am about to receive Communion. I ask her to cover me with her mantle, and make me presentable to her Son. It is an acknowledgement of my unworthiness to receive the gift that I am about to receive, as well as of her intermediary role as the Mother of the Redeemer.