Today is the Feast of the Assumption, in which we Catholics celebrate that the Virgin Mary, at the conclusion of her earthly life, was taken up into Heaven, body and soul. For Protestants and even many Catholics, it's a hard doctrine to swallow. Here are five reasons that I believe in it (besides the fact that the Church infallibly teaches it).
When Catholics talk about praying to Mary, a classic Protestant objection is "but I can go directly to Jesus!" To that, I'd say, "True, you could go to Jesus alone... but if you pray to Mary, you and the Virgin Mary can go directly to Jesus!" The "why not just go directly to Jesus" objection points to one of the real differences between Catholics and Protestants on this question: we Catholics believe that some people's prayers are more efficacious than others.
Why does the angel Gabriel tell Joseph not to "be afraid" to take Mary as his wife?
Then-Cardinal Ratzinger said in 2002, "I have often affirmed my conviction that the true apology of Christian faith, the most convincing demonstration of its truth against every denial, are the saints, and the beauty that the faith has generated. Today, for faith to grow, we must lead ourselves and the persons we meet to encounter the saints and to enter into contact with the Beautiful." Here's an example of how the life and death of St. Maximilian Kolbe helped me to believe the Catholic Church's teachings about the Virgin Mary.
The Calvinist theologian Peter Leithart has a fascinating (but incorrect) article on the perpetual virginity over at First Things. There is much to praise about the short piece. First, he's asking the right question. As the article's teaser puts it, "why didn't Joseph have sex with Mary during her pregnancy?" So many Protestants focus on the fact that they believe St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary did have sex after Christmas that they ignore the explicit Biblical evidence that they didn't have sex before (Matthew 1:25). Second, much of Leithart's answer is correct, and points to the radical Biblical truth about the Virgin Mary. Finally, even when Leithart's argument goes off the rails, he shows his work, so it's easy enough to see how he goes wrong.
A toast to the Immaculate Virgin Mary and her special role in the history of the Americas.
Just as the Bible presents Abraham as our father in faith for his radical willingness to trust God, we're also given a mother in faith: the Virgin Mary. Listen to what Scripture says about her role in following God from the Annunciation to Calvary and into glory.
Can the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary be established using Scripture alone, without appealing to Catholic Tradition, the writings of the Church Fathers, or later Church statements?
Both St. Matthew and St. John take pains to specify that Christ's Tomb was never-before used. “Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb where no one had ever been laid” (John 19:41). But why do they both specify this seemingly-mundane detail? Because the Virgin Tomb, like the Virgin Womb, tells us something about Who Jesus Is.
Does Mary's sinlessness eliminate her need for a Savior or for grace? Or is her sinlessness the result of those? Plus, what does Mary's sinlessness mean for the salvation of angels or the Saints in Heaven?