Meditating on the Assumption pushes my brain to its limit – I know the joy in Heaven must have been indescribable but I simply cannot fathom what it was like for Our Lady to first behold the beatific vision. To meet the Father for the first time. To see her Divine Son again, in all of His heavenly majesty. To fully understand her role in the salvation of its world. To see St. Joseph ; that the two of them might wonder in all of their humility and obedience the greatness of God that He bestowed upon them such extraordinary dignity. To have choirs of angels welcoming Our Lady into Paradise. *sigh* Oh, to have been a mouse in the corner. What a glorious day it must have been!
But it was when I learned the Franciscan Crown Rosary, a prayer celebrating the joys of Our Lady, that I found something else to ponder about the Assumption.
According to one Franciscan Order, the Blessed Virgin Mary was seventy-two years old when she was assumed into Heaven. Estimating that she was fourteen when she gave birth to Jesus, she would have been forty-seven when He died. That leaves twenty-five years for her on Earth without her beloved Son. Despite her joy in His victory, the Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven, it must have been incredibly painful for her to be separated from Him.
Certainly she had the company of some of the Apostles, and friends. I am sure she knew that she would see her Divine Son again one day, but we humans often need a tangible presence for comfort.
I would assume that Our Lady may have been given special consolation at times, visits from her Son or the holy angels. But maybe not. Maybe her solitary presence on Earth was part of a bigger plan.
Because she was given twenty-five years to further contemplate the mysteries of God, Our Lady must have prayed often for the salvation of her Son’s beloved children. She knew what was in store for the faithful, and she knew the desolation that befell those who rejected God.
And one tear from the spotless, sinless Virgin means more in Heaven than we can possibly imagine. How often did Our Lady plead lovingly through tears with the Father for mankind, many of whom she saw living sinful lives, oblivious or indifferent to her Son who sacrificed all while she, the Mother of God, remained, sinless, on Earth?
Perhaps those twenty-five years she spent on Earth were yet another facet of her martyrdom. She undoubtedly offered her own agony to the Father as she watched her Son suffer on the Cross. Did she offer the sorrow of being separated from her Son to the Father for the sake of mankind? I suspect so.
And such an offering from the humble Virgin would have made her Assumption into Heaven all the more glorious.
Thank you so much to Our Lord and Our Lady for this beautiful Feast Day. Please check out this prayer in honor of this extraordinary day.
PS A worldwide five-decade rosary will be prayed tomorrow in honor of the Assumption. US Times – 11 a.m. Eastern, 10 a.m. Central, 9 Mountain and 8 a.m. Pacific. More details here.