”She will put a crown of grace on your head, giving you a head-dress of glory.” ~ Proverbs 4:9
Today we wrap up this Marian Octave devoted to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary by crowning our Blessed Mother as the Queen of Heaven https://discover.hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Our-Life-Our-Sweetness-Our-Hopeand-Our-Queen . Mary was assumed, body and soul, into God’s eternal kingdom so as to be more fully conformed to her Son, to share in this “lifting up,” this glorification. In the words of Saint John Damascene, “Assuredly, she who played the part of the Creators’ servant and mother is in all strictness and truth, in reality, God’s mother and lady and Queen over all created things.”
Last Monday’s Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary https://discover.hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Solemnity-of-the-Assumption-of-the-Blessed-Virgin-Mary set in motion the final chain of events that would culminate in the reality of Mary’s Queenship. Pope Pius XII moved today’s Memorial to August 22nd so that it would fall within the Octave of the Assumption. In his encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam, the now Venerable Pius XII proclaimed, “We are instituting a feast so that all may recognize more clearly and venerate more devoutly the merciful and maternal sway of the Mother of God.” https://catholicinsight.com/ad-caeli-reginam-encyclical-of-pope-pius-xii-proclaiming-the-queenship-of-mary/
The Gospel chosen for today’s Memorial (Luke 1:26-38), a favorite amongst those of us who share a burgeoning love for our Blessed Mother, takes us back to the beginning, that seminal encounter between Mary and the Angel Gabriel we know as the Annunciation of the Lord https://discover.hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/The-Annunciation-If-Our-Lord . It was here that Mary’s ethereal path to Queenship would begin. From humble origins, humility of course being one of Mary’s trademark virtues, a young Jewish girl would say “yes,” thus triggering the chain of events that would soon re-open the gates of the Heavenly Kingdom of which she would one day be crowned Queen.
It was Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, whose Feast Day fell within this Marian Octave https://discover.hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Saint-Bernard-of-Clairvaux-and-the-Necessary-Christian-Ingredien who pointed out that the heavens paused while awaiting the young virgin’s response to the Angel Gabriel’s greeting. Everything hinged on her reply, most notably the incarnation and our redemption. Everything hinged on this young handmaid of the Lord (Luke 1:38), who was living a largely secluded life, hidden away in the northern region of Israel (Isaiah 9:1-6)
The Devil hates Mary because he cannot trick her. His lies and accusations are all uttered in vain. Mary is obedient and humble. Satan is not. Saint Teresa of Avila was always quick to point out that once one abandoned humility, all else is lost. Nowhere is this reality more evident than with the Evil One, who will soon be left to deal with the eternal fate he has wrought upon himself due to his pride and disobedience. His head shall be crushed by the “lowly Jewish girl.”
Mary is the model and pattern of holiness. She is the destiny of the church, for the church is destined to be glorified in heaven. She is the model of our destiny, as the title of my essay suggests. Let us remember that Heaven is our destiny, our homeland. In the words of Saint Anselm of Canterbury, “No one will have any other desire in heaven than what God wills; and the desire of one will be the desire of all; and the desire of all and of each one will also be the desire of God.” Saint Philip Neri added “If we only got to heaven, what a sweet and easy thing it will be there to be always saying with the angels and the saints, ‘Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus.’”
Take a few moments every day to break away from the incessant noise that envelopes us to reflect upon the Kingdom of Heaven. Reflect upon the notion of eternal union with God in paradise. Bask in Jesus’ promise in John Chapter 14 wherein he says that he is preparing an eternal dwelling place for each one of us. That the holy Eucharist is a foretaste of Heaven, that which fortifies and ultimately leads us to Heaven’s Gate.
As Saint Paul suggests in Romans 8:28–30, God has predestined human beings from all eternity to share the image of his Son. As the glorified Jesus remains with us until the end of time (Matthew 28:20), so too does Mary, who was assumed into heaven and crowned queen of heaven and earth.
“Mary, our sweet loving mother, can my tongue her beauty tell? All the splendor of her glory, raised on high with God to dwell. There is naught on earth to mirror our great Queen, so chaste and fair, yet, the silent voice of nature whispers sweetly everywhere, the name of Mary our Queen”
Mary, Queen of Heaven, pray for us…