Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Assumption: Mothers show the way

The Mother's parable by Temple Bailey best shows us the reason for celebrating the Solemnity of the Assumption:

The young mother set her foot on the path of life. "Is the way long?" she asked. And her guide said, "Yes, and the way is hard. And you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning." But the young mother was happy and she would not believe that anything could be better than those years. So she played with her children and gathered flowers for them along the way and bathed them in the clear streams; and the sun shone on them and life was good, and the young mother cried, "Nothing will never be lovelier than this."

Then night came, and storm, and the path was dark and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle and the children said, "Oh Mother, we are not afraid, for you are near, and no harm can come," and the mother said, "This is better than the brightness of day, for I have taught my children courage."

And the morning came, and there was a hill ahead and the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary, but at all times she said to the children, "A little patience and we are there." So the children climbed and when they reached the top, they said, "We could not have done it without you, Mother." And the mother, when she lay down that night, looked up at the stars and said, "This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of hardness. Yesterday I gave them courage, today I have given then strength."

And with the next day came strange clouds which darkened the earth, clouds of war and hate and evil--and the children groped and stumbled, and the mother said, "Look up. Lift your eyes to the light." And the children looked and saw above the clouds an Everlasting Glory, and it guided them and brought them beyond the darkness. And that night the mother said, "This is the best day of all for I have shown my children God."

And the days went on, and the weeks and the months and the years, and the mother grew old, and she was little and bent. And her children were tall and strong and walked with courage. And when the way was rough they lifted her, for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill, and beyond the hill they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide. And the mother said, "I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know that the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone and their children after them." And the children said, "You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates."

And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said, "We cannot see her, but she is with us still. A mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a Living Presence."

Mothers show us the way, to courage, to joy, and to God. The Assumption, a dogma approved by the Church last November 1, 1950 also shows us the Mary's greatness of a mother leading all of God’s children to the Father.

This is the very reason why this day is important for the Catholic Church and for the whole humanity as well. It is the journey of our lives, with Mary leading us. How easy we tend to forget our beginning and our end. We tend to get stuck with the lures of this world. But the Solemnity of the Assumption lights up our paths to see where we are going - directly to the Father.

Meanwhile, let our heart be like Mary's heart as she sang the "Magnificat", "My soul proclaim the greatness of the Lord." Let us offer each day to thank the Lord for the wonders He is doing to us, how he is changing us and how we are learning life's lessons, "the end will be better than the beginning." Indeed, we thank Mary and our mothers for showing us the way.

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