Solemnity of The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
By JENNIFER BURGIN
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth. Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth.
As I prepare to sell my home, it's amazing the amount of "stuff" I've accumulated. Some items haven't been touched since I moved in over 5 years ago. Words from Pope Francis such as "consumerism" and "throw-away culture" come to mind as I fill trash bags full of old clothing, house hold goods, and miscellaneous knick knacks. Hopefully, St. Vincent de Paul Thrift will profit from my donations.
I find my prayer life has been set on "delayed" mode as I scramble to get the house in good sell condition. Replace the dishwasher; install new carpet; fix the fence; paint the walls, etc. etc. So much stress! This is when I should be praying even harder!
Sadly, as part of staging my home, I must remove all of my religious images including pictures of Our Blessed Mother. Her image always gives me peace in the middle of chaos, so storing her away in some old cardboard box doesn't seem right. However, I understand that I could turn away potential buyers who may find my choice of religious art offensive. Fortunately, once I move into my new apartment Our Blessed Mother will regain prominence.
Today the Church celebrates the Feast of Assumption of Mary. Personally, this is one of my favorite Marian feast days. I like to imagine Mary being pulled up into heaven as if carried on an invisible elevator. Angels play their trumpets announcing to everyone in heaven, "The Blessed Mother is coming! Alleluia! Our Queen is here!" The angels drape her in clothing made out of gold as a crown of twelve stars is placed on her head. The gold is brilliant and shiny. Nothing like we see here on earth. As Mary enters heaven, she is greeted by her only Son. They warmly embrace each other as the entire universe celebrates.
Before I became Catholic, I didn't pay much attention to Mary. Then as my love for the Catholic Church grew I finally realized Mary's importance in salvation history. She's definitely not an idol we worship! Her role as the mother of our Lord, and the spiritual mother of each one of us, is something we cannot ignore. It saddens me that so many Protestants have a limited view of Our Blessed Mother. She is so much more than Jesus' mother in a Christmas manager scene.
I encourage Catholics to display an image of Our Blessed Mother in their homes or wear a Miraculous medal around their necks. We should pray the rosary daily and set aside time out of our day to thank Mary for saying "Yes" to life. Maybe consider going through the 33 Days of Consecration of Jesus through Mary or consider registering for a Rosary Confraternity. Give Our Blessed Mother the recognition she deserves.
Saint Pope John Paul II wrote:
"Today the liturgy invites us to contemplate Mary, taken up body and soul into heaven. By a special privilege, she was enriched by divine grace from the moment of her conception, and Christ, who ascended to the right hand of the Father, opened the doors of his kingdom to her, first among human creatures. Now from heaven, where the Queen of the angels and saints is crowned, the Mother of God and of the Church is close to the Christian people before whom she shines as the “new and immaculate woman (who) mediated for the guilt of the first woman.”
Mary, Queen of Heaven, Pray for Us!
This meditation was written by Jennifer Burgin. Please visit her blog: Jennifer's Spectrum of Spirituality