The Mother Of Christ by Father Vassall-Phillips Part 47.


Regina cœli lætare, alleluia.
quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia.
resurrexit sicut dixit, alleluia.

The measure of our Lady's joy at the Resurrection is the measure of her sorrow during the Passion of her Divine Son. Never for one instant was there a flicker in the light that shone in Mary's soul after the Death of Christ. She knew by faith that Christ would rise again, according to His Word, on the third day. Yet faith, however strong, must essentially differ from sight. At the Resurrection faith passed into sight. Mary saw her Son alive in His glorified Humanity. What unutterable consolation must that sight have caused our Blessed Mother. Once more she gazed upon the Face of her Son. No longer white and bloodless —but now glorious and resplendent. Once again kindness and gentleness shone from His opened Eyes, once again His dear Hands were moved, once again He spoke and Mary heard His beloved Voice —Death no longer had dominion over His Human Nature. Suffering, pain and sorrow could no more come nigh Him. Anticipation for any evil to her  Son could not again wound the heart of the Mother of God. The sword foretold by Simeon, that so long had affrighted her when she thought of what it boded for her Jesus—the sword which had actually pierced her soul as she stood beneath the Cross on Calvary—was gently drawn forth by the Hand of God Himself, as she watched her Child and Lord in His risen Beauty. The prophecy had been fulfilled and belonged to the past. Her sorrows too were past, for they sprang from the sufferings of her Son, and her Son was victorious and triumphant. During the great forty days that supervened upon the Resurrection, Mary's soul was full of joy and thankfulness.

It has been thought by some that our Lord, who had not yet ascended to His Father, during these days, lived once more, as of old, with His Immaculate Mother, and from her house appeared to the Magdalen, to Peter and the other Disciples. 1 However this may be, it is certain that our Lady knew all that was said and done whilst her Son "showed Himself alive after His Passion to His Apostles, for forty days appearing to them and speaking of the Kingdom of God." (Acts i. 3.) She knew that the mighty commission had been given to the Church, by the authority of Christ Himself, to forgive the sins of men ; she knew that the sheep and lambs for whom her Son had shed His Precious Blood had been committed by Him to Blessed Peter's pastoral care; she knew that Thomas had heard the words that should be the comfort of countless generations of believing Christians: " Be cause thou hast seen, Thomas, thou hast believed : blessed are they that have not seen and have believed"; she knew the words of the Divine Promise: " Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world." Mary knew all that passed, and all was as balsam to the heart that once had been pierced and was now healed and renewed unto joy. The great forty days would soon be over, and His Mother must once more lose sight of the Human Features of her Son, but it was only for a little while, and she rejoiced because now He was going to His Father. Her soul was glad, because He was now to enter into the joy that He had with His Father before the world was made ; her soul was glad because He should enter into the Holy of Holies, as our High Priest, to make intercession for her children; her soul was glad because soon He should ascend on high, leading captivity captive, to obtain gifts for men ; her soul was glad because He was going to His Father's House, where there are many mansions, to prepare a place for all that love Him—above all to prepare a resting-place for His Mother—once so weary—where she should reign for ever.

See Dublin Review for April, 1867, pp. 443-445.