The World's First Love by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. Part 50.


The Resurrection

Easter Sunday was not within three days of the Transfiguration, but within three days of Good Friday. Love is not to be measured by the joys and pleasures which it gives, but by the ability to draw joy out of sorrow, a resurrection out of a crucifixion, and life out of death. Unless there is a Cross in our life, there will never be an empty tomb; unless there is the crown of thorns, there will never be the halo of light: "O, Death, where is thy victory? O, grave where is thy sting?"

The Ascension

In Heaven there is now a human nature like our own, the promise of what ours will one day be if we follow His Way. Thanks to this human nature, He will always have a deep sympathy for us, even "making intercession for us." We can ascend to Him, now, only in our minds and hearts; our bodies will follow after the Last Judgment. Until then we approach His Throne with confidence, knowing that "pierced Hands distribute the richest blessings."

The Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles

As the Son of God in the Incarnation took upon Himself a human body from the womb of the Blessed Mother overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, so now on Pentecost He takes from the womb of humanity a Mystical Body, as the Holy Spirit overshadowed the twelve Apostles with "Mary in the midst of them abiding in prayer." The Mystical Body is the Church; He is the Invisible Head; Peter and his successors, the Visible Head; we, the members, and the Holy Spirit its soul. As He once taught, governed, and sanctified through His human nature, so now He teaches, governs, and sanctifies through other human natures compacted into His Mystical Body, the Church. We can never thank God enough for making us members of His One Fold and one Shepherd.

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin into Heaven

Mary was not a rose in which Divinity reposed for a time; she was the canal through which God came to us. Mary could no longer live without the Dream she brought forth, nor could the Dream live without her, body and soul. Her love of God bore her upward; His love of His Mother lifted her upward. Our Lord could not forget the cradle in which He lay. In the Annunciation, the angel said: "The Lord is with Thee." In the Assumption: "Mary is with the Lord." Her Assumption is the guarantee that one's prayers to her will be answered. The Son is on the right Hand of the Father; she is on the right Hand of the Son.

The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin

As Queen of Heaven, Our Lord comes back to us again through Mary, passing His Life and His blessing through her hands as the Mediatrix of all graces. He came through her in Bethlehem; through her, we go back to Him and through her He comes back again to us.

Our Lady went into a strange country
And they crowned her for a queen
For she needed never to be stayed or questioned
But only seen;
And they were broken down under unbearable beauty As we have been.

Our Lady wears a crown in a strange country 
The crown He gave,
But she has not forgotten to call her old companions 
To call and crave;
And to hear her calling a man might arise and thunder 
On the doors of the grave.

(G. K. Chesterton, "Regina Angelorum," from Collected Poems, 1935)