FIRST GLORIOUS MYSTERYMary was now to live by faith. Her Son was no longer mortal, but the Conqueror of sin, death, and the grave. He would no longer need her care, her sympathy, or service. She was no more, on earth, to receive from Him the daily caresses and solicitude which had made Nazareth like heaven. Her maternal offices He had made over to the "beloved" for whom He died. Mary had consented to take for her child every soul which Jesus loved and longed for. Godlike still in her
conformity of heart, she had been able to promise this because He wished it. Because He loved each soul that should be born into this world with a tender, craving, devouring love, so that to captivate its love He would be fain to die again, she would give herself to every one; her mother's sympathy, her tenderness, her never-failing, sweetest patience, her omnipotence with God. Her life had been a miracle of joy as exquisite as her suffering. Henceforth it would be grayer, more supernatural. Today she could see Him, the Heart of her heart, and for forty days again; and in the ecstasy of those meetings she would get strength for the mission He bequeathed to her.
Life of all life, vouchsafe to hear our prayer.
Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Mary might say to-day, " It is finished." Whilst He came and went, and now and again she could gaze on the divine, beloved face, kiss His dear feet and hands, and see the proof of His humanity in the wounds that had been His death—though all was over she might deceive herself. When the cloud received Him out of her sight, then truly all was finished. Yet Mary did not go back sorrowful. She had not accepted the motherhood of God, and so fulfilled her part, to falter now. Who had the infant Church to look to else? Who but she could tell it of the marvel of the Birth of Christ? Who could so teach it to love Jesus as His mother could? Who else could feed it with His words and deeds? with stories of His Childhood and His Life? Who else could kindle the faint, frightened hearts with love like hers for Him that so loved them, with zeal like His for souls? Who like Mary could persuade them of that love "passing knowledge," " desiring with desire" to be united to them, which had brought God down to take a body from her own? Mary had embraced, with rapturous devotion, the sacrifice of fifteen years of separation, in which she would indeed love Him sacramentally, and by then be never parted from Him, but through which her hand should not touch, nor her eye see, Him whom her soul loved. Anything for Him! What were a few years! hardly enough to satisfy her love.
Jesus, gone to the Father, our Way and our Life, vouchsafe to grant our prayer. . . .
Mary, radiant with the joy of sacrifice, pray for us.
Once more did Mary wait for the coming of the Holy Ghost. Once more is Mary overshadowed by the power of the Most High. She, with the infant Church, waited for the promise of the Father; and, in fire, the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, came down. It was thirty-four years since Mary had received Him that she might conceive the Word of God. Now He came again, and He would consecrate her for all time the Mother of His Bride, the Church. For the work of this day her Son had come. "I came to send fire on the earth, and what will I but that it should be kindled ?" If He had not come, and suffered and ascended, the Holy Ghost had not been sent. But now, the personal Love of the Father and the Son had descended. He was to bring to each soul of man the knowledge of the intense, devouring love of God for it. He was to teach all hearts that what God asks is a return of love; and to enable them to give to Him a love like fire, consuming
"wood, hay, stubble," and purifying self and creature love. O Mary, Bride of God, the fire of love was the very life of all your life. All it could possibly do now was to burn away any mere naturalness in your heart, that from henceforth you should live by faith alone; and that living, as God had done on earth, for souls, you should grow daily dearer to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, till once more " it is finished."
O God the Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, have mercy on us, grant our prayer.
Mary, Queen of the Apostles, pray for us
It is almost past belief that the least shadow of regret should fell on Mary's heart when she knew that she was passing to her God; the days of her separation fulfilled; her sacrifice completed; her Delight about to call her home. Who can imagine the delicious peace, the exquisite contentment, of her whole being! For fifteen years she had lavished her sweetest sympathy on those she would leave behind. And when she saw them weeping that they should see her face no more, there was regret in her dear heart that they would need and long for her in vain.
All else was rapture of exceeding bliss, and no heart could have wished to delay her. The light of heaven was on her loveliness, more than angelic sweetness in her beauty; and as the apostles gazed their last on Mary, in the hush of her completed happiness the awe of an unseen Presence fell upon them, which was taking her away. Her espousals were fulfilled in heaven. She was gone, leaving with them, as they fondly thought, that almost worshipped body from which it had pleased God to prepare His own. They would cherish it as what the world contained most precious. But "My thoughts are not as your thoughts," saith the Lord. He would not let the Immaculate see corruption. His "love," His "dove," His "undefiled," should in her body be with Him in heaven.
While they poured out their tenderest, reverential care on what was left of Mary, her soul had been taken up through the ranks of the blessed and glorious, and was again in the arms of her Son; and while they thought that her body still consecrated the earth they had laid it in, that too had been raised on high, and Mary was all perfect with God.
Jesus, our Life, and Lover of our souls, vouchsafe to grant our prayer.
By the joy of your assumption, Mary, pray for us.
The angels are present at the joy of God. When had the like been seen in heaven! Mary was come. Not only blameless, innocent, immaculate, the Bride of God and His mother, but she who, above all, had heard the word of God and kept it; the "valiant woman;" the Queen of martyrs; Mary all love. She had begrudged God nothing, and in His lavish gratitude He would for ever and for ever enlarge her capacity and increase His reward. Out of union with His love for souls, Mary had sacrificed her heart for them; and her recompense should be that He would never refuse her prayer. She had given Him all her heart, and He would always hear her. The Almighty would deny His Bride and Mother nothing. She should be the benediction of her people. And for herself, she was with Him; her Own, her Child, her Beloved, her Darling. She was with Him now in bliss for ever; beloved, approved, and welcomed by the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. As once she was full of grace, so now she was full of glory, full of peace, of rapture and of joy. Her happiness, her beauty, the delight of God. He looked on Mary, and saw that she was very good. How could a creature hold the consciousness of being the delight of the most Holy Trinity! of knowing that never for one moment had the faintest shadow of fault darkened the sunshine of their approbation. The angels worship her who (created a little lower) has become their Queen. The Blessed thank and praise her. Adam and Eve and all their generations extol the woman,"through whom God was made one with-man. Joseph, her husband, glories in her love; and on her ecstasy is set the crown of life, the crown of life eternal.
O God the Father,
God the Son, and
God the Holy Ghost,
three Persons and one God,
have mercy, grant our prayer.
Mary, love-crowned mother, pray for us.
taken from Three rosaries of our Lady (1880)
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