Assumption of the Blessed Virgin

As we honour Mary today on this beautiful solemnity of her assumption into heaven, I share with you the Morning and Evening Poem for August 15th, by Thomas E. Burke, C.S.C. (as found in “Hail Mary.  A Marian Book of Hours”, compiled by William G. Storey, D.M.S.):

If flowers are too stainless to remain
Concealed in the dark caverns of the earth,
But must be lifted up by God again
To know a second birth – a glad rebirth!
How could Christ leave her body in the tomb
Who was above all other women blest,
Who gave him refuge in her virgin womb,
And fed him on the lilies of her breast?
Is she not fairer far than any flower?
What bloom could ever boast her loveliness?
What fragrant rose in its sequestered bower
Has ever vied with her in spotlessness?
Truly the Lord, her God, the Holy One,
Has placed his tabernacle in the sun!

Today I celebrate my 5th anniversary of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I can hardly believe it’s been five years already. (Or has it only been five years… mystery of mysteries… I’ll explain in my next post…)

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

At Mass this morning, our pastor mentioned in his short homily that he had heard a talk given once, which he couldn’t go into detail about in such a limited time, but that he wanted to just share with us something he had found very interesting. 

He related how, with Noah, the rainbow signified an ark (arc) of promise; with Moses, the Ark of the Covenant signified God’s presence; and with Mary (and through her), since she herself is the Ark of the New Covenant, we have not only God’s presence but union with Him.

So this is what I’ll be reflecting on as I go about my day, this beautiful feastday of our Lady’s, which is the fourth anniversary of my consecration to Mary.  This 33-day renewal period has been a real challenge for personal reasons at home – I’ve been scattered, distracted, and living with much emotional upheaval, but plodded through with Mary’s encouragement and, I suspect, much help from the Holy Spirit.  I am eternally grateful.

From:  “In the End My Immaculate Heart Will Triumph”, page 79:

“To the souls who are consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary…. She [Mary] will bring all hearts into union and lead them into the embrace of Jesus.  Each one of us will become the sign of unity to all the world.”

Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary

It is impossible to describe here the light, splendor and admirable beauty of her glory; it will suffice to consider that as the divine Mother gave to her most holy Son a human form in her virginal womb, and gave it most pure and spotless for the Redemption of the world, so, in return for this gift, the Lord gave her in this resurrection and new birth a glory and a beauty like to His own. In this mysterious and Divine correspondence, each gave as far as was possible, for the Virgin engendered Jesus Christ like to herself as far as possible, and Jesus Christ, in raising her, communicated to her His glory, as far as a pure creature is capable of receiving it.

The magnificent procession departed from the sepulchre chanting celestial melodies and ascended through the region of the air to the empyreal Heaven….

Vested with this wonderful glory, the Holy Virgin arrived at the throne of the Divinity, and the three Divine Persons received her into Their eternal and indissoluble embrace. She seemed as if absorbed within the three Divine Persons, and as if submerged in that infinite ocean of the abyss of the Divinity.

[Venerable Mary of Agreda, The Divine Life of the Most Holy Virgin]

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today was easily one of the best days of my life.  Yesterday I finished my 33-day preparation for my second annual renewal of my consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  I also took some time to myself to pray the 33 meditations (short prayers to the Immaculate Heart of Mary) all over again, though I had prayed them one at a time for the 33-day period.

Today I attended the five-o’clock Mass at our parish.  I arrived well in advance, and renewed my consecration in the small chapel (which I have mentioned in a few posts over at Contemplative Haven), in front of the Blessed Sacrament and the picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and beside the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Then this evening, for the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we attended the eight-o’clock Mass and candlelight procession at the Notre Dame de Lourdes Grotto in Vanier (Ottawa).  I have been going to pray at this Grotto since I was a little girl, and the evening celebrations on the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary are very beautiful.

The Grotto was filled to overflowing, and my heart was so full of gratitude that so many people had come to celebrate the Assumption and to give honour to Mary.  It is not a day of obligation in Canada.  Everyone was there out of love for Mary, pure and simple.  Pure.  And simple.  After Mass, we lit our candles and processed from our seats up the hill to the Cross, with quiet song interspersed with decades of the Rosary.  (all in French, by the way.)  At the end we sang the Magnificat, and were asked to wave our candles high in the air at each verse.  I held back from going up the hill this year, so I could try to get you some photos.  I’m not very good at night photography (at least, I haven’t figured it out yet…) but there were hundreds of people holding candles, singing and praying.

My heart had been full during the whole Mass and procession, but at the end, as I stood before the statue of Our Lady, my tears really came pouring out.  It was like the veil was lifted for a few moments, out of Mary’s graciousness to me.  I felt her telling me that I was only in one little corner of one little part of the world, and that this had been going on in pockets all over the world today, and that this is what had been taking place all day today in heaven.  As some of us stood in front of Mary, still singing alleluias, holding our candles, gazing up at her with love (some with outstretched arms), I could imagine the love that will be poured out to her when she comes in the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart, to bring in the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  I could imagine all of us all over the world with outstretched arms and faces raised to the heavens.  Yes.  I believe today was really one of the best days of my life.

Lourdes Grotto Ottawa 1

Lourdes Grotto Ottawa 2

Lourdes Grotto Ottawa 3

Lourdes Grotto Ottawa 11

Lourdes Grotto Ottawa 13

Lourdes Grotto Ottawa 16

Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

From:  The Life and Revelations of St. Gertrude the Great

…it was revealed to her that on the day previous to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin she [Mary] had been so absorbed in God, from the hour of None until the moment of her happy departure from this world, as to have nothing human in her, to live only by the Spirit of God, and to taste in anticipation all those celestial joys which she soon experienced perfectly and eternally in the bosom of God; and that at the third hour of the night Our Lord came for and took her to Himself with exceeding joy.

Ave in aeternum   (thanks to:  Nicholas Wilton Sacred Choral Music)

Novena for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

For those of you who may wish to begin a novena today for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15, 2008 here is a prayer which may be used:

Mary, Queen Assumed into Heaven, I rejoice that after years of heroic martyrdom on earth, you have at last been taken to the throne prepared for you in heaven by the Holy Trinity.

Lift my heart with you in the glory of your Assumption above the dreadful touch of sin and impurity. Teach me how small earth becomes when viewed from heaven. Make me realize that death is the triumphant gate through which I shall pass to your Son, and that someday my body shall rejoin my soul in the unending bliss of heaven.

From this earth, over which I tread as a pilgrim, I look to you for help. In honor of your Assumption into heaven I ask for this favor: (Mention your request).

When my hour of death has come, lead me safely to the presence of Jesus to enjoy the vision of my God for all eternity together with you.

[From:  Favorite Novenas to Mary, by Rev. Lawrence G. Lovasik, pg. 32]

The August Month of Mary

“August” – definition:  Marked by majestic dignity or grandeur.

How very appropriate then, that the whole month of August is devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and that within this month we will also celebrate two great feastdays, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary as well as the Queenship of Mary.

A prayer dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

Mary, temple of God,
your Heart is the masterpiece of the Holy Trinity.
The Eternal Father unfolded His omnipotence
in order to form in you
a Heart full of sweetness and obedience to your Creator.
The Divine Son gave you a mother’s Heart,
in which He wished to dwell
as in a sanctuary.
The Holy Spirit gave you
the Heart of a bride,
all burning with a love pure and ardent.

Your Heart is truly a mirror of all the virtues,
a vivid image and faithful copy
of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Keep me always in the love of your Heart,
that I may love you more
and be led to love Jesus
with my whole heart.

[From:  Favorite Prayers to Our Lady, collected by Anthony M. Buono, pg. 153]