|Notre Dame la Grande, Poitiers, France|
I like thinking of Mary as a Warrior. I propose that all of you consider what your image of this Virgin might be – so that again she might excite our imaginations and provide us with an example of what a woman can do. She has done so in the past. Her weapons are always prayer, fasting, and sacrifice. Time and time again these weapons have overcome the mighty and pulled them down from their thrones. I wonder how it is that the evil of an oppressive Communist empire finally collapsed on itself almost without one shot being fired by men. Could it not possibly be that countless prayers in her name were stronger than bombs and sabers, warheads and tanks? Behind all that fluffy lace and golden pillows, their hides the strength of mother, the strength of prayer, and the promise of victory from a loud voice in heaven that says: “Now have salvation and power come, the reign of our God and the authority of his Anointed One.”
This is what we celebrate today: God’s affirmation of a woman, God’s affirmation that there is power in a mother’s love to defeat every evil and right every wrong, to pull down the mighty from their thrones and lift up the lowly. The Assumption is not just God’s exaltation of faithfulness and discipleship, but our own as well.
|St Pierre Church, Caen, France|
By praying both with our voices and our thoughts, we shall experience in ourselves how the Immaculate gradually takes possession of our souls, how we shall belong to her every day more in every aspect of our lives, how our sins shall disappear and our faults weaken, how smoothly and powerfully we shall be drawn always closer to God.
It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.
For today the Virgin Mother of God
was assumed into heaven
as the beginning and image
of your Church’s coming to perfection
and a sign of sure hope and comfort to your pilgrim people;
right you would not allow her
to see the corruption of the tomb
since from her own body she marvelously brought forth your incarnate Son, the Author of all life.
~Communion Preface, Mass for Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
[A]t first I had no idea where the lovely Magnificat we sang every night was from: ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my savior’ [Luke 1:46]. When I eventually found it in the first chapter of Luke’s Gospel, I was startled but glad to see that it was one pregnant woman’s response to a blessing from another…
The song is praise of the God who has blessed two insignificant women in an insignificant region of ancient Judea, and in so doing ‘has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly: [who] has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty’ [Luke 1:52-53]. . They are a poetic rendering of a theme that pervades the entire biblical narrative—when God comes into our midst, it is to upset the status quo.The Magnificat’s message is so subversive that for a period during the 1980s the government of Guatemala banned its public recitation (a sanction that I’m sure the monasteries of that country violated daily)…
I treasure Mary as a biblical interpreter, one who heard and believed what God told her, and who pondered God’s promise in her heart, even when, as the Gospel of Luke describes it, it pierced her soul like a sword.
~Kathleen Norris [Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith]
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Tried to find a video for you, but alas, it was not to be found...