We make all sorts of assumptions every day. Some are trivial, others are potentially devastating. I think if we’re honest a great many of them are faulty. So why do we do this? I think that it’s part of human nature to base our understanding of other people and the world, not just on the facts we observe, but to a greater or lesser extent on what what’s going on inside us, psychologically.
Instead of basing our understanding of people and events on what we observe and what we know for a fact, we often prefer to make judgments based on our emotions, beliefs, expectations and wishes. We can all too easily confuse these psychological mechanisms with reality, and the assumptions that spring from them become the basis of our own version of “reality,” even though it’s not actually real. This is why the great pope and now saint of the family – John Paul II, as the philosopher Karol Wojtila, was so immersed in the philosophy and ethos of the person known as phenomenology. However, the thought of Wojtila/St. John Paul II, which I think I have weaved into all of my blogs since 2014, speaks for itself but we will save phenomenology for another occasion.
But it struck me, as we celebrate the great Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven this weekend [and Monday 15th], that She is the one person who only ever acted in faith on observable facts. Her assumptions were never false or imperfect about anything or anyone because “she pondered all these things and treasured them in her heart” from the get-go and because she lived in the real world, feet firmly on the ground, but always in a constant state of preternatural contemplation [which is how God intended our human experience to be from the beginning]. It is right and fitting that the final experience for her in this world was to be mystically ASSUMED body and soul into heaven.
So if we want to avoid making false assumptions about things and others, let’s stay close to the one whom God assumed into heaven because by imitating her we will, as St. Paul says, stand more of a chance of ‘putting on the mind of Christ.’