My dear Brethren,
As the Blessed Virgin Mary was never far away from Our Lord throughout his earthly life, she is ever with Him as He continues His mission through His Church on earth.
Guarantee of authenticity
The presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary in our religion is a guarantee of authenticity of doctrine and morals. The Protestants think that devotion to her is idolatry – why won’t they understand the distinction between adoration and hyperdulia? Islam sees her as only as the mother of a prophet. The pagans don’t see her at all, save perhaps as a muse. Granted that the schismatics: Russian, Greek, Armenian, Coptic and others, honour Our Lady too, but their doing so is a sign that one day they will return to the Church.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is a golden thread that runs throughout the history of the Redeemer when He was on earth, and the history of His Mystical Body, the Church, now and until the end of time. To her honour, great edifices are erected, great art is commissioned, and great souls are consecrated. To her, we have recourse in our liturgy, in our public devotions and in our private prayers … which are never forsaken. In her, we have our Queen, our model and our mother.
She is as necessary to us in our supernatural life as our earthly mother is in our natural life. Her "fiat" and her co-redemption gave us supernatural life just as our natural mother’s “I do” before the altar and her love and life of sacrifice gave us earthly life.
Assumption Body & Soul
In consideration of this juxtaposition of Our Lady and her Divine Son in their life upon earth, and in their mission for the salvation of souls, and for many more reasons besides (her Immaculate Conception, her plenitude of grace, and her perpetual virginity), the juxtaposition of the blessed Virgin Mary and her Divine Son, body and soul in heaven is entirely fitting as testified by the fathers of the church, great theologians (Ss. Thomas and Bonaventure), and by holy popes. So much so, that the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was declared by Pope Pius XII on 1st November 1950.
Here are his words in the encyclical, Munificentissimus Deus:
42. We, who have placed our pontificate under the special patronage of the most holy Virgin, to whom we have had recourse so often in times of grave trouble, we who have consecrated the entire human race to her Immaculate Heart in public ceremonies, and who have time and time again experienced her powerful protection, are confident that this solemn proclamation and definition of the Assumption will contribute in no small way to the advantage of human society, since it redounds to the glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, to which the Blessed Mother of God is bound by such singular bonds. It is to be hoped that all the faithful will be stirred up to a stronger piety toward their heavenly Mother, and that the souls of all those who glory in the Christian name may be moved by the desire of sharing in the unity of Jesus Christ’s Mystical Body and of increasing their love for her who shows her motherly heart to all the members of this august body. And so we may hope that those who meditate upon the glorious example Mary offers us may be more and more convinced of the value of a human life entirely devoted to carrying out the heavenly Father’s will and to bringing good to others. Thus, while the illusory teachings of materialism and the corruption of morals that follows from these teachings threaten to extinguish the light of virtue and to ruin the lives of men by exciting discord among them, in this magnificent way all may see clearly to what a lofty goal our bodies and souls are destined. Finally it is our hope that belief in Mary’s bodily Assumption into heaven will make our belief in our own resurrection stronger and render it more effective.
43. We rejoice greatly that this solemn event falls, according to the design of God’s providence, during this Holy Year, so that we are able, while the great Jubilee is being observed, to adorn the brow of God’s Virgin Mother with this brilliant gem, and to leave a monument more enduring than bronze of our own most fervent love for the Mother of God.
44. For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.
45. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.
Let us run to her
To honour our heavenly mother on this day, on the feast of the Assumption of her body and soul into heaven, let us give testimony of our attachment to her that we may be:
- sure in doctrine and liturgy, by following that doctrine and liturgy in which she is truly honoured;
- sure in obedience as we follow the direction of that Church whose founding she witnessed and in whose life she has been a golden thread;
- sure in morals, by taking her as our model;
- and sure in salvation by recourse to her as Co-redemptrix and mother.
As the Blessed Virgin Mary was never far away from Our Lord throughout his life on earth, she is never far away from Him as He continues His mission through His Church here below; and, we celebrate on this feast day, that she is ever by His side in heaven.
Let us. therefore, attach ourselves to her today, that we may also be next to her Son one day, body and soul in heaven.
Queen assumed into heaven. Pray for us.