A blog for Catholic men that seeks to encourage virtue, the pursuit of holiness and the art of true masculinity.
On the Feast of the Assumption: Have Hope, Have Confidence
August 15, 2014
Throughout the course of our lives, we each encounter difficulties, sufferings, and trials. “Great is the anxiety all men are doomed to, heavy the yoke each son of Adam must bear, from the day when he leaves his mother’s womb to the day when he is buried in the earth, that is mother of all” (Sirach 40:1). Perhaps you are struggling with a difficult relationship, financial burdens, emotional pain, a grave temptation or a physical malady. This is the human condition in a world broken by sin and disobedience.
But no matter what difficulty or sorrow you are struggling with today, I have a message for you: Look to Mary and have hope.
Why? Mary is the icon of the Church. In her glorious Assumption, which we celebrate today, we see our destiny—her triumph is our triumph. We too, if we do not fall away, will be assumed into heaven to be with Jesus and the whole family of God. This is our certain hope.
And yet, Mary’s assumption is more than a foretelling of the marriage feast of the Lamb; it is the consummation of her role as the new Eve, the mother of all the living. In the assumption, we see Mary ascend to be our advocate and support, to be our Mother. She does not sit in heaven idly, savoring it’s joys while ignoring her children. No, she daily brings aid to them whom she loves so deeply. Thousands and thousands of stories through the centuries attest to this faithful consolation. She is the great Auxilium Christianorum, the Help of Christians.
Who is she who rises from the emptiness of this world steeped in the delights of Paradise? O Mary, greater than the heavens, you have the world under your feet, and you are seated close to God, on the throne of honor which Jesus gave you. Your mercy which surpasses all mercy draws me to you, for you are ever the aid and consolation of those who suffer.
I have need, O Mother, of being consoled and fortified. More than that, I have need of the grace of your Son because I know that without it I can accomplish nothing.
You are able, O my Mother, if you wish to lift me up and help me with you powerful succor. You can comfort me with your abundant consolation.
I feel myself engulfed by temptation, so I run to you, since I feel that near you, I shall find help as well as pity.
– Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Mary
Men, look to Mary and have confidence. She is a most compassionate mother who understands your every weakness. She loves you far more than you love yourself, and she desires to come to your aid. Trust her, follow her, imitate her. Most of all, through darkness, suffering, and trouble, look to her and have hope.
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
Hail our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry,
Poor banished children of Eve;
To thee do we send forth our sighs,
Mourning and weeping in this vale of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
Thine eyes of mercy toward us;
And after this our exile,
Show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving,
O sweet Virgin Mary.
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