ON THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN
ASSUMPTA EST MARIA IN CAELUM, GAUDENT ANGELI, LAUDANTES BENEDICUNT DOMINUM.
Consider first, in the festival of this day, and contemplate in spirit the glorious entry of the blessed virgin Mary, the mother of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ, into the everlasting kingdom of her Son. See, my soul, with what joy of the whole court of heaven, with what triumphs, with what heavenly hymns, she was escorted thither by legions of angels; see how all the citizens of heaven went forth to meet her: with what affectionate embraces she was welcomed by her divine Son, and presented by him to his eternal father: see how she was placed above all the angels and saints, above all the cherubim and seraphim on a most glorious throne, the highest in heaven next to that of her Son; and crowned by him with a diadem of such supereminent brightness and glory as is not to be expressed nor conceived. Rejoice, O my soul, in this glorious assumption of the mother of our Lord, who as he has been pleased to make us his brethren, has been pleased to make her also our mother. O what a happiness it is for us to have such a mother, (who has so great interest with the king of heaven, and who takes our welfare so much to heart,) so near the throne of all mercy and grace! O blessed Virgin, graciously look down upon us in this our banishment, and always show thyself a mother to us.
Consider 2ndly, what brought this ever-blessed Virgin to this supereminent glory, which we honour in this festival of her assumption? 1. It was her most profound humility – she was exalted above all because she was the most humble of all. For he that humbleth himself the most upon earth shall be the most exalted in heaven. 2. It was her perfect purity of soul and body, mind and heart, from all the defilements of sin. 3. It was principally her supereminent love of God; for the degree of the enjoyment of God in his eternal glory is ever proportioned to the degree of our love of God in this mortal life. If then we hope one day to follow this blessed Virgin to heaven, and to have a share in the glory of her assumption, we must endeavour to imitate her humility, her purity, and her love of God. No soul can ever ascent to heaven by any other way than that of humility, purity, and the love of God.
Consider 3rdly, that this imitation of the virtues of the blessed Virgin is an excellent way of honouring her, and of showing our real esteem, love, and devotion to her. For how can we better testify our affection and veneration for the saints of God than by honouring and loving in them that which made them saints; and that which God himself honours and loves in them, that is their virtues? Or how can we better express our esteem and love for their virtues than by studying to imitate them? This kind of devotion is most pleasing to the saints, and to the queen of the saints, and to the God of the saints; it is most honourable to them and most profitable to ourselves. This will bring us effectually to the eternal society of the saints; which without this no other devotion can secure to us.
Conclude so to rejoice in the exaltation of our blessed Lady, in this day of her glory, and to take up on this day a generous resolution of walking in her footsteps, by a diligent imitation of her life; but more especially by following the great example of her humility, purity, and love of God. This generous resolution of thine will be so agreeable to her as to add a new satisfaction and joy to the immense felicity she possessed before.