Your duty is to sanctify yourself. Yes, even you. Who thinks that this task is only for priests and religious? To everyone, without exception, our Lord said: Be ye perfect, as my heavenly Father is perfect. St. Josemaria

Friday, August 15, 2008

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

'See the beauty of the daughter of Jerusalem, who ascended to heaven like the rising sun at dawn.'
-- Benedictus antiphon from Daily Office

There is an important difference, of course, between the ascension of Jesus into Heaven after His Resurrection, and the assumption of Mary. To ascend is to rise up under one's own power; while to be assumed means something that is done to one. Jesus, being the Second Person of the Trinity, had no need of assistance; whereas Mary did not have this power. (A pastor once demonstrated this difference in an unusual way. He asked two children to come to the front of the church. He told one child to walk from one side of the sanctuary to the other; and the other child he carried across.)

According to one tradition, Mary was warned of her approaching end by Saint Michael the Archangel, who conducts souls to Heaven, and was surrounded on her death-bed by the apostles, who were miraculously transported to her bedside from their various mission-fields. It was said that Jesus appeared, bore away her soul, and returned three days after her burial, when angels carried her body to Paradise where it was reunited with her soul under the Tree of Life.
The Ark which God has Sanctified
The ark which God has sanctified,Which He has filled with grace,Within the temple of the LordHas found a resting-place.
More glorious than the seraphim,This ark of love divine,Corruption could not blemish herWhom death could not confine.
God-bearing Mother, Virgin chaste,Who shines in heaven's sight;She wears a royal crown of starsWho is the door of Light.
To Father, Son and Spirit blestmay we give endless praiseWith Mary, who is Queen of heaven,Through everlasting days.
(from Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal)

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