If ever our hearts ought to be above, it should be on the Feast of our Lady's Assumption, when our Queen is taken up for her coronation. We may fancy to ourselves all that is lovely in this world, recall all the barbaric splendor of early times, or the magnificent pageant of modern days, and think of these rejoicings as something like our Mother's homeward going. But we feel in our hearts that it was not so, that our ideas and therefore our language fail altogether when we think and speak of Heavenly things. What we men do upon earth to honor each other is child's play compared to the honor awaiting us above. The fact of Mary's Assmnption is known by tradition only—tradition and common sense. We have the beautiful story of the eleven Apostles at the death-bed of the Immaculate Mother, of her burial at their hands, of the late arrival of St. Thomas, of the re-opened tomb, of the lilies springing from its emptiness to show where the spotless one had lain. No trace of Mary's remains has ever been found. No relics have ever enriched her loving children. And this because her Divine Son did not allow His Mother to see corruption. There was not within her the element of decay, for she had never been defiled by sin. Surely there is no miracle here; the miracle would have been had she followed nature's laws and seen corruption.
"Our nature's solitary boast" Wordsworth, the Protestant poet, calls Mary. And we look up to her and see her in her glory, triumphant over death and all things evil. We see her there body and soul, and hope rises in our hearts. One day we too shall see eternal glory, we poor frail creatures with war in our members and failure in our memories. We have but to fight to the last. Though we fail a hundred times a day we shall win in the end. There is no improvided death for those who fight; it is only for those who give up the warfare. So we look up into our Mother's face and praise her and congratulate her and rejoice with her, as one who has achieved grandly what we are striving after humbly. And we gain strength by the sight.
As the Church year passes we watch our Lord come down from Heaven, live as a little Child playing by His Mother's side; we see Him grow mature and preach to all men in the cornfields and in the streets of the towns; we see Him die a criminal's death. Then we adore Him at His Resurrection, at His glorious Ascension, and kneel with the Apostles and the Blessed Mother for that wonderful blessing that sends us home rejoicing. He died, but He left as a pledge of His love His own Mother to be our comfort and support. But her days of bliss came too. Like her Son, she passed through the portals of death; like Him, she went up body and soul into Heaven—He by His own miraculous power, she assumed by His.
This is why we have our hearts above—our human hearts. God is our only end, and Jesus our Way to the end. Mary by His side shows us our human nature in its perfection and lures us homeward, upward. And so poets have looked upon her and written of her beauty; painters
have imaged her forth, and saints have meditated upon her in wondering delight. It is good for us, too, to see one of our race in finished glory, in happiness complete, and to rejoice with her in her bliss.
Source: Manual of the Holy Catholic Faith, Imprimatur