The Latin question “Quid mihi?”, “What’s it to me?", was posed by certain non-Catholic theologians in protest when Pius XII declared in 1950 that the Assumption of Mary was a dogma of the Catholic Church: "Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.”
When I do my daily lectio divina (reflective reading) with sacred scripture, I always ask myself "Quid mihi?": What does this reading mean for me? What is it saying to me? I think it’s a great question to ask as we celebrate the feast of Mary’s Assumption on August 15, not in protest but in an earnest effort to find some answers.
The following selection is from The Water and the Fire by Gerald Vann, O.P. The paragraph headings and any italics or emphases are mine. I hope you enjoy Father Vann’s answer to the question “What’s the Assumption to me?”
The doctrine of the Assumption is of supreme importance not only to Catholics but to all men and women because it means that there is still in the world, there will always be in the world, a voice to affirm and a power to defend the dignity and the ultimate glory of matter, of material things, of human flesh and blood, of the lovely mystery of human love, of the beauty which is the work of men's hands. There is a voice which affirms, there is a power which defends, all the material things which make life worth while; and they bid us be of good heart because we can hope in the end to achieve our own lives, full, rich, deep, unified, free, not by escaping from the flesh and material things, but by the healing and sanctifying of the flesh and material things.
In the greatest of the Church's definitions of doctrine concerning our Lady, the doctrine that she is the Mother of God, it was her Son that the Church was defending. But she is also the mother of all men; and here, in the doctrine of her Assumption, it is all her sons that the Church is defending. Just as the figure of motherhood is at the very center of the earthly history of every human soul, of the earthly history of the human race, so the figure of this Maiden-Mother is at the very center of the eternal history of individuals and of the race. If she is attacked, later on her Son will be attacked, and in the end her other children will be attacked. Men will begin by denying some part of the God-given greatness and glory; they will go on sooner or later to deny the divinity of her Son; and in the end there will be no defense for the greatness of humanity itself. The Church's voice is a challenge because, while it tells us to hope because in Mary the flesh is sanctified and glorified, material things are sanctified and glorified, it also tells us to beware because the dragon, defeated, went elsewhere to make war on the rest of her children. ...And he stood there waiting on the sea shore.