Thursday, 15 August 2013

Otherwise known as...

The Feast of the Assumption 

My soul magnifies the Lord
And my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
Because he has regarded the lowliness of his handmaid;
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed;
Because he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name;
And his mercy is from generation to generation
on those who fear him.
He has shown might with his arm,
He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and has exalted the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has given help to Israel, his servant, mindful of his mercy

Even as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity forever.

The Assumption is one of Mary’s great feasts and celebrates the love and continuing faith of the family that she was asked to care for.

Through prayer, the Early Church decided that, on her death, Mary, a woman they had known as mother, disciple, teacher and friend, had been taken straight to her place in Heaven – a place that had been promised to us all.

And perhaps better than the risk of DNA testing, cloning, archaelogical digs or sharing of bones and hair in reliquaries?  What you might expect from a loving son or a protective parent?

Assumption is not the same as resurrection, Mary did not return to life on earth. But her mortal death had become more of a ‘falling asleep’ that lifted the veil and allowed her to continue her journey to heaven. The Eastern Church has followed this understanding since early times and names it ‘The Dormition’ - the 'falling asleep' and, also interestingly, the Eastern Church does not refer to Mary as Virgin but as Panagia - 'The Most Holy One'.

In the prayer of praise, the Litany to the Blessed Virgin Mary; she is endowed with fifty wonderful titles from 'Ark of the Covenant'. 'Gate of Heaven' and 'Mystical Rose' to 'Virgin most Venerable'. The titles exceed those of her Son, Jesus, in his own Litany and are suggestive of goddesses from past times.

They suggest a being beyond imagining - Someone who can be virgin, mother, queen and holy icon; a perfect being, not only in life but from conception to beyond death. 

A state of grace that causes unease for many women who know they can be virgins or mothers, but not both. And sometimes not either.

Which isn't quite how Mary sees herself.

The example of Mary, Help of Christians is surely no help if we cannot follow in her footsteps.

The Divine Office of the Church reads just one gospel passage each evening, every evening - the Magnificat. 

The 'Song of Mary' that acknowledges the witness of Elizabeth and her child.She prays that others will recognise God's intimate touch in their lives.

What does Mary say?

My soul is a lens; focused on the promise of God's will
My spirit  a celebration of the saving goodness of God's will
My body, of living flesh and blood, holds the fulfilment of God's will -
This is what the world must recognise

That all I am is gift - a gift of God's will

God is all, in all.
And not just for me. 

For all who have opened their hearts; God's power has already been seen.
Whilst those who felt they controlled God; have been shown as fools.
And those who felt they were greater than God; have been denied.

All who know their need of God; are lifted up
All who know their need of God; will be filled with grace

And those who are full of themselves; will remain 'full of themselves'

This is no new message; this is not a song only for me to sing;

This promise is eternal and continues beyond me and forever.

Mary is a woman, a human being; body, mind and spirit...

the one who said 'yes'.

The Most Holy One, 

But, by God's grace, not the only one.



Roberta Desalle said...

Prayerfully beautiful, Word! I appreciated and will keep your expanded translation of the Magnificat . Have a blessed feast day.

Gelli Ma said...

And to you Roberta - thank you

Phil Ewing said...

Splendid Gelli!!
This is a keeper and helps me today :-))Blessings