|The Assumption- Titian|
In a word, it is certain that no creature can obtain for us miserable sinners so many mercies as this good advocate, who is honored by God with this privilege, not only as his beloved handmaid, but also as his true mother. (St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of Mary)
Over the years I have leaned more and more on the Blessed Mother of God to bring me closer to her son, Jesus. The Rosary has been a daily devotion for many years now and I believe this devotion has brought me great consolation. For example, I believe Our Lady brought me to Poland through this devotion for a spiritually enriching pilgrimage. I personally honor the Blessed Mother under several of her titles including Guadalupe, Fatima, Good Success, Lourdes and Czestochowa to name a few.
Why does the Church put such an emphasis on her Feast of the Assumption? Although the Church has believed and celebrated the Assumption, also known as the Dormition of the Mother of God since the earliest years, it was only solemnly defined in 1950 by Pope Pius XII. "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 to heavenly glory." It is one of the four Marian dogmas of the Church. The first being that she is the Mother of God, second, she is a perpetual virgin, that is before, during, and after the birth of Christ. Third she was immaculately conceived without sin, and finally that she was assumed into heaven. Why is this feast important for us to believe?
For one, it is a foreshadowing of what awaits us in eternal life. Although we do not have a glorified body after we die, Mary does have her glorified body in heaven, like we will someday. Pope Pius XII wrote regarding the general law that we must wait for our bodies n heaven until the final judgement, "God wished that the Blessed Virgin Mary be exempt from this general law. For she, by a completely singular privilege, conquered sin in her Immaculate Conception, and thus was not liable to that law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, nor did she have to wait for the end of time for the redemption of her body." So as we live out our days on earth we hope for the same as Our Mother enjoys now.
Secondly, we know must conquer our own sin with the help of God's grace. What is the best way to accomplish this feat? It is through the Blessed Virgin who awaits us to ask for her help. She being the best of mothers is always waiting and willing to help us. So we learn that she is in a glorified state in heaven waiting as our intercessor. St. Alphonsus Liguori once said, "Whoever asks and wishes to obtain graces without the intercession of Mary, attempts to fly without wings..." Knowing that Our Blessed Mother listens for our petitions in heaven also brings us hope in the promises of Christ. She is the mediatrix of all grace, and so we see great graces coming to us that bring us closer to her son. No one can really call themselves Christian in the true sense without a devotion to our mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her Assumption lets us know how highly God holds her in relation to man's salvation, and also lets us know that we should also regard her as such. Let us honor her day today and ask for her petitions as we participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass today. Happy feast day to Our Lady!
Consecrate yourself to Our Lady today!
Solemn Act of Consecration by St Kolbe
O Immaculate, Queen of heaven and earth, Refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to You, I, an unworthy sinner, cast myself at Your feet, humbly imploring You to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to Yourself as Your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death, and eternity, whatever pleases You. If it pleases You, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what has been said of You: “She will crush your head”, and “You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world.” Let me be a fit instrument in Your immaculate and most merciful hands for introducing and increasing Your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed Kingdom of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For, wherever You enter, You obtain the grace of conversion and sanctification, since it is through Your hands that all graces come to us from the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
V. Allow me to praise You, O most holy Virgin.
R. Give me strength against Your enemies.