What is this aurora before which the brightest constellations pale? Laurence, who has been shining in the August heavens as an incomparable star, is well nigh eclipsed, and becomes but the humble satellite of the Queen of Saints, whose triumph is preparing beyond the clouds. Mary stayed on earth after her Son’s Ascension, in order to give birth to His Church; but she could not remain forever in exile. Yet she was not to take her flight to heaven until this new fruit of her maternity had acquired the growth and strength which it belongs to a mother to give. How sweet to the Church was this dependence! A privilege given to her members by our Lord in imitation of Himself (Carnalia in te Christus libera suxit, ut per te nobis spiritualia flnerent.–RICHARD, a S. VICTORE, in Cant. Cap. xxiii). As we saw, at Christmas time, the God-Man carried first in the arms of his Mother, gathering his strength and nourishing his life at her virginal breast: so the mystical body of the Man-God, the holy Church, received, in its first years, the same care from Mary, as the divine Child our Emmanuel.

As Joseph heretofore at Nazareth, Peter was now ruling the house of God; but our Lady was none the less to the assembly of the faithful the source of life in the spiritual order, as she had been to Jesus in His Humanity. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Ghost and every one of His gifts rested first upon her in all fullness; every grace bestowed on the privileged dwellers in the cenacle was given more eminently and more abundantly to her. The sacred stream of the river maketh the city of God joyful, because first of all the Most High has sanctified His own tabernacle, made her the well of living waters, which run with a strong stream from Libanus.  Continue reading

The Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary 

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The Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Discourse VII: On the Assumption of Mary
by St. Alphonsus de Liguori

On this day the Church proposes to us to celebrate two solemn observances in honor of Mary: one, her happy departure from this earth; the other, her glorious assumption into heaven. In the present discourse we shall speak of her departure from this earth, and in the next of her assumption.

How precious was the death of Mary! 1st, On account of the special graces which attended it; 2d, On account of the manner of it.

Death being the punishment of sin, it would seem that the divine mother, all holy and exempt from every stain, should not be subject to death, nor suffer the same misfortune as the children of Adam, who are infected by the poison of sin. But God, wishing Mary in all things to be like to Jesus, required, as the Son had died, that the mother should also die; and because He wished to give to the just an example of the blessed death prepared for them, He decreed that the Virgin should die, but by a sweet and happy death. Hence we will enter upon the consideration, how precious was the death of Mary. 1st. On account of the special graces by which it was accompanied. 2d. On account of the manner in which it took place. Continue reading