Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Solemnity of Our Lady's Assumption

In honor of the Solemnity of Our Lady's Assumption, the following is an excerpt from Conversation with God by Fr. Francis Fernandez, Scepter Publishers, New York, 1990:
Let us look at Our Lady, already taken up into heaven. Just as a traveler, gazing out to contemplate a vast panorama, seeks some human figure in his surroundings to bring the distant objects into perspective, so do we look towards God with amazement, but can identify and welcome a purely human figure at the side of his throne. A ship has finished its passage, a destiny has been fulfilled, a human perfection has existed Through her, his masterpiece, we see God's relations with humanity more clearly and with greater insight.

Our Lady's privileges are related to her Motherhood and, as such, with our redemption too. Taken into heaven, Mary is an image and forerunner of the Church, still on the way towards eternal life. From heaven, she shines forth until the day of the Lord shall come, as a sure sign of hope and solace for the people of God during its sojourn on earth. By the mystery of the Assumption into heaven, there were definitively accomplished in Mary all the effects of the one mediation of Christ the Redeemer of the world and Risen Lord.. In the mystery of the Assumption is expressed the faith of the Church, according to which Mary is united by a close and indissoluble bond to Christ: She is the assurance and proof that, as her children, we will one day be in our glorified bodies beside the glorious Christ. Our aspiration to eternal life gains impetus as we meditate on our heavenly Mother above. She sees and watches over us, with a look full of tenderness, with more love the greater our need. She also has the specifically motherly role of mediatrix of mercy at the final coming'.

She is our great advocate before God most High. Truly, life on earth is a valley of tears, we are called to make sacrifices and do endure suffering. Above all though, we are not in heaven yet. At the same time, the Lord gives us many joys, and we have the hope of heaven so that we may look ahead with optimism. Mary is one of our reasons for happiness. She is our life, our sweetness, and our hope: We feel the affection of our Mother in our lives as Christians. We tell her, Turn, then, your eyes of mercy toward us.... Like her Son, she is full of mercy and compassion. She never withholds her helping hand from anyone who turns to her for help: Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection... May we make ever more of an effort to seek the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, Queen of heaven and earth. May we fly to her, Refuge of sinners, and say to her: Show to us Jesus, whom we are in need of above all else.

For those who look to Mary in every circumstance, with the simplicity and confidence of a child before his mother, there is great security and joy. A Father of the Church writes:
Just as the Virgin Mary was a most docile instrument in the hands of the Lord, I desire greatly to be subject to her service. Grant me this request Jesus, God and Son of man, Lord of all creation and Son of your Handmaid Allow me to serve your Mother in such a way that You will acknowledge me as your servant. May she be my sovereign on earth, so that You may be my Lord for all eternity.
We need to examine the quality of our daily dealings with her. If you feel proud to be a Son of Our Lady, ask yourself: How often do I express my devotion to the Virgin Mary during the day, from morning until night? - the Angelus, the Holy Rosary, the three Hail Mary's before going to bed.