The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin.
PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.
My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin.
“Arise, my love, and come.”–Cant. ii. 13.
If, to be like her divine Son in all things, Mary must leave this world by submitting to death, she will therefore come forth from the tomb without suffering its corruption. St. Augustine asks: “How could God permit her virginal body to become a prey to the corruption of the tomb?” Mary was not included in the common condemnation spoken against Eve: Thou wilt bring forth children in sorrow. It was certainly most suitable to the glory of Mary’s motherhood that she should also be preserved from that other condemnation, into dust thou shalt return. The immaculate body of Jesus and the immaculate body of Mary are identical in substance. If, therefore, it was suitable to the dignity of the Son of God that His body should not experience the humiliating decomposition of the tomb, the most pure body of His Mother must share in the same privilege. The third day after Mary had been laid in the sepulchre by the apostles she heard the voice which had awakened Lazarus, “Arise, My beloved, and come forth from the tomb.” This was for Mary the signal of her triumph. In meditating on the mystery of Mary’s glorious Assumption, we will find in it a subject of admiration, confidence, and imitation.
1. A subject of admiration.–St. John Damascene speaks as if he had been present at the triumph of Mary in heaven. He says: “The holy temple of the living God, she in whose womb the Creator was conceived, now rests in the temple of the Lord, which has not been constructed by human hands. David, her ancestor, rejoices at Mary’s assumption. The angels sing their songs of joy and gladness, archangels celebrate the festival occasion. Virtues, principalities, and powers glorify her. Dominations and thrones are full of rejoicing, while cherubim and seraphim sing her glory and publish her praises.” To the triumph awarded Mary in heaven we must add all the glory that earth could give. From the rising to the setting of the sun the universe resounds with songs of victory in honor of Mary the Mother of God. The prophetic words are realized: “All generations shall call me blessed,” Never could the world behold a grander spectacle than the glory of Mary on the day of her resurrection and her Assumption. She has for her attendants all the heavenly retinue–the saints, the patriarchs, the prophets, the apostles, the martyrs, the confessors, and the virgins, who with one voice proclaim her their Queen.
The scene of her triumph is not the city which rules the world, but the heavenly Jerusalem. Her triumph is not for time only, but throughout the ages of eternity. The three divine persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, place on her head the royal diadem, and address to her the words of the canticle: “Come, privileged daughter, come, take possession of thy throne and thy crown.”
2. A subject of confidence.–The triumph of Mary is also the reason of our greatest confidence. Mary still preserves in the splendor of her glory all those titles which are the foundation of our hopes. She triumphs as the Mother of God and the Mother of men. As the Mother of God she preserves all her empire over the heart of Jesus. If, at the wedding feast of Cana, by a single word she could obtain from Jesus that He should anticipate the time of His miracles, what could He refuse to His Mother’s love in their eternal festivities? As Mother of men Mary is always full of tenderness and mercy for them. By frequent marvels of grace, obtained through her prayers, Mary manifests her desire to associate her children in her triumph. The most splendid miracles attest the power of Mary with her beloved Son. There is no country which has not experienced the result of her intercession with Jesus, and from the remotest lands come the echoes which proclaim the royal munificence of Mary toward the unfortunate children of earth. In her Assumption she triumphs as queen, and the privilege of a queen is to command. Moreover, all things yield to Mary’s power. The invalid is restored to health and sinners recover the grace which they had lost. Why, then, should we not place our fullest confidence in this omnipotent Queen, in this Mother of all mercy, who appears to be so great and so exalted in heaven only to exercise absolute dominion over earth and to give us the most splendid proofs of her love?
3. A subject of imitation.–The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin presents to us a subject worthy of our imitation. If Mary triumphs as the Immaculate Virgin and the Mother of Jesus, she is also crowned as the servant of God. Her splendid throne, her brilliant crown, her glory, her happiness–all these are the recompense of her virtues and the reward of her merits. She is of all creatures the most exalted in heaven, and precisely because she was the most humble on earth. She is the omnipotent queen because she was the most obedient servant. “Behold the handmaid of the Lord.” Complete dominion over all things has been given her because she renounced everything and lived in direst poverty.
When our blessed Saviour was just ascending to heaven He said to us, “I go to prepare a place for you.” But we cannot forget that this place is a recompense which we must merit by fidelity to the divine commandments and by the practice of all the virtues of which Christ and His blessed Mother have given us the example. Our blessed Saviour has entered into the possession of His glory by carrying His cross. Mary, also, has triumphed by walking the way to Calvary after her divine Son. The glory of her Assumption is measured only by the depth of her humiliations. We must therefore imitate our good mother in her humility, her poverty, and the purity of her life; then we will merit to celebrate her praises and to contemplate her glory throughout eternity.
PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.
My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.
August Devotion: The Most Pure Heart of Mary
Virtue to practice: The sanctification of our actions, diligence, edification, fidelity in little things
O Heart of Mary, Mother of God, and our Mother; Heart most worthy of love, in which the adorable Trinity is ever well pleased, worthy of the veneration and love of all the angels and of all men; Heart most like to the Heart of Jesus, of which thou art the perfect image; Heart full of goodness, ever compassionate toward our miseries; deign to melt our icy hearts and grant that they may be wholly changed into the likeness of the Heart of Jesus, our divine Saviour. Pour into them the love of thy virtues, and kindle in them that divine fire with which thou thyself dost ever burn. In thee let Holy Church find a safe shelter; protect her and be her dearest refuge, her tower of strength, impregnable against every assault of her enemies. Be thou the way which leads to Jesus, and the channel, through which we receive all graces needful for our salvation. Be our refuge in time of trouble, our solace in the midst of trial, our strength against temptation, our haven in persecution, our present help in every danger, and especially at the hour of death, when all hell shall let loose against us its legions to snatch away our souls, at that dread moment, that hour so full of fear, whereon our eternity depends. Ah, then most tender virgin, make us to feel the sweetness of thy motherly heart, and the might of thy intercession with Jesus, and open to us a safe refuge in that very fountain of mercy whence we may come to praise Him with thee in paradise, world without end. Amen.
An indulgence of 7 years once on any day of the month; A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of devotion is repeated daily for entire month (Apostolic Brief Dec. 21, 1901).
Copyright © Holy Cross Publications, 2013 – 2019. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Holy Cross Publications with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.