The Cross began to torture Jesus Christ before He was nailed upon it; for after He was condemned by Pilate, the Cross on which He was to die was given Him to carry to Calvary, and, without refusing, He took it upon His shoulders. Speaking of this, St. Augustine writes: “If we regard the wickedness of His tormentors, the insult was great; if we regard the love of Jesus, the mystery is great; for in carrying the Cross, our Captain then lifted up the Standard under which His followers upon this earth must be enrolled and fight, in order to be made His companions in the kingdom of Heaven.”
We commemorate with Mary the Mystery of the Incarnation as we live the Resurrection life of the redeemed in the power of the Holy Spirit. Followed by a brief meditation for Christians from Bishop ✠Richard Challoner for everyday of the year.
Carissimi: Today’s Mass; Feria in Assumption Octave
It is said in the Old Testament that God guided His people from Egypt to the Land of Promise, by day in a pillar of a cloud, and by night in a pillar of fire (Exod. xiii. 21). This stupendous pillar, at one time as a cloud, at another as fire, says Richard of St. Laurence, was a figure of Mary fulfilling the double office she constantly exercises for our good: as a cloud she protects us from the ardour of Divine justice; and as fire she protects us from the devils. “Behold the twofold object for which Mary is given to us; as a cloud, to shelter us from the heat of the sun of justice, and, as fire, to protect us all against the devil.
The death of Mary is now at hand. Divine Love, with its vehement and blessed flames, had almost entirely consumed her, and the heavenly phoenix is already losing her life in the midst of this fire. Wrapped in the flames of Divine love, and in the midst of her sighs of love, Mary gave a last sigh of still more ardent love of God, and breathing forth her soul, expired.