On August 15th, the Catholic Church celebrates a great Marian Feast: the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On this occasion, we of the Company of the Daughters of Charity would like to offer you a meditation, suitable for communal or personal use, on this dogma of our faith, which was also a subject of prayer and spirituality of St Louise de Marillac. As her daughters, we find her “Marian soul” in her writings as well as in our Constitutions.
–– Whoever seeks to follow Jesus Christ encounters Mary who received Him from the Father. She was the first disciple and the consecrated Virgin par excellence, present in the life of the Company from the beginning (C. 15a). The Daughters of Charity consider Mary the model and teacher of the spiritual life. (…) They turn to her “in order to make of their lives an act of worship of God as she did, and to make their worship a commitment of their lives (C.23).” [They] celebrate Mary’s feasts with devotion. (S.7)
Let me ask myself: Do I celebrate Mary’s feasts with devotion? Do I really consider her the model and teacher of my spiritual life?
+May you be blessed, Mary, for the choice which God made of you, to unite in your womb the human nature to the divinity. [everyone answer:] May you be blessed
+May you be blessed, Mary, the beginning of the light which the Son of God was to bring to earth.
+May you be blessed, Mary, in your womb was fulfilled the loving union of the Word of God with his creatures.
–– The most bountiful God, who is almighty, the plan of whose providence rests upon wisdom and love, tempers, in the secret purpose of his own mind, the sorrows of peoples and of individual persons by means of joys that he interposes in their lives from time to time, in such a way that, under different conditions and in different ways, all things may work together unto good for those who love him. (Munificentissimus Deus 1)
Thus, while the Blessed Virgin is fulfilling in the most affectionate manner her maternal duties on behalf of those redeemed by the blood of Christ, the minds and the hearts of her children are being vigorously aroused to a more assiduous consideration of her prerogatives. (MD 2)
The feast of the Assumption leads Louise de Marillac to meditate on the beauty of the Mother of God. “The 15th August 1659 during the Holy Mass when I was to receive Holy Communion, I was occupied, thinking of the grandeur of the Blessed Virgin as Mother of the Son of God.” Louise continues her meditation, discovering the nobility of the human nature which Christ came to divinize and which he honors, in welcoming into heaven Mary, in her body and soul.
“I again noticed, that, by this means, the Son of God engendered, in some way, human nature for Eternity, rendering it capable of enjoying God there, according to his designs, which, it seemed to me, were great in heaven.”
Let me ask myself: Do I “read” the events of my life in the light of faith, with belief that, “all things may work together unto good for those who love him”?
+May you be blessed, Mary, behold, you are Mother of God and nevertheless you did not disdain lowliness and poverty. May you be blessed
+May you be blessed, Mary, the channel through which ail the graces of the Incarnation are communicated to us.
+May you be blessed, Mary, masterpiece of the totally divine power in a purely human nature.
–– The Assumption of Mary invites one to discover the dignity of every person whatever may be his misery, his poverty or his distress. To honor Mary, will be, for the Daughter of Charity, to commit herself, with still greater love, to his service. This implies having a profound spiritual life.
It is from Mary, the Mother of God, chosen by Louise de Marillac as Mother of the Company, that the Daughters of Charity will learn to serve in humility, charity and simplicity the poor: those whom Christ loves with a preferential love.
Let me ask myself: in which manner, circumstances, I feel invited to discover the dignity of every person I meet? Do I care about my spiritual life in order to offer a greater love through my everyday service?
+May you be blessed, Mary, your humility continually rendered present to you what God was doing in you and what you were in him. May you be blessed
+May you be blessed, Mary, you are at the same time Mother of a God and Mother of a man.
+May you be blessed, Mary, for your heart is totally filled with love.
–– (…) the revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination, immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, the noble associate of the divine Redeemer who has won a complete triumph over sin and its consequences, finally obtained, as the supreme culmination of her privileges, that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb and that, like her own Son, having overcome death, she might be taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages. (MD 40)
Louise says: “I implore Our Lord that today, you may closely accompany the Blessed Virgin in her death, by the voluntary sacrifice which you may have made, to die to yourself so as to live close to God, carrying out, for the rest of your days, his most holy will!”.
Let me ask myself: In my everyday choices, plans, hopes, do I think about my final destination, God’s loving plan of having me – his child – with Him in Heaven? Do I transmit this Good News to my neighbor?
+May you be blessed, Mary, you who loved so perfectly the effects of the lovable will of God. May you be blessed
+May you be blessed, Mary, for ail the souls ransomed by the blood of the Son of God and by yours.
+May you be blessed, Mary, well-beloved Daughter of the Father, Mother of the Son and worthy Spouse of the Holy Spirit.
The Assumption of Mary is the fulfillment of the prophecy in the Magnificat: “God has lifted up the lowly” and the call of Jesus: “Learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Mt. 11:29). She is our sign of Hope! (Sr. Evelyne Franc, 15.08.2007)