I take a certain (possibly perverse) pride in the fact that my library contains more books by Hugo Rahner SJ than his more famous brother Karl. On this feast day I always draw upon the former's Our Lady and the Church because the feast of the Assumption seems to me the clearest proof of his maxim that 'what is said in the widest sense of the Virgin Mother the Church, is said in a special sense of the Virgin Mary. And what is spoken of the Virgin Mother Mary in a personal way can rightly be applied in a general way to the Virgin Mother the Church.' The Preface of the Feast Day reminds us that by being taken up into Heaven, Mary is the 'beginning and pattern of the Church in its perfection.' It therefore seems apt to post the quotation from Pseudo-Caesarius with which Rahner closes his book:
Let the Church of Christ rejoice, for she like Mary has been graced by the power of the Holy Spirit and has become the mother of a divine child. Let us once more compare these two mothers: each of them through giving birth strengthens our faith in the child of the other.
Upon Mary came in mysterious stillness the shadow of the Holy Spirit, and the Church becomes a mother through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at baptism.
Mary without blemish gave birth to her son, and the Church washes away every blemish in those she brings to birth.
Of Mary was born He who was from the beginning, of the Church is reborn that which from the beginning was nothing."