Our life is often adrift; we lack the clear sense of direction that ought to permeate our whole routine and direct all our thoughts, words and deeds toward this overarching goal, like iron filings to a magnet.
After all, the final cause in philosophy, the purpose and destination of a thing, is the “cause of causes” (causa causarum), which comes at the conclusion when it is realized yet shapes and orders the entire existence of a thing as its fundamental intention.
Now, Mary’s Assumption into heaven takes up this place in our lives. Of course, in this regard we should speak first about Christ’s Ascension, but Mary’s Assumption is closer to us, because Christ, being God, is always with the Father and His Ascension constitutes the logical conclusion of His mission in the world.
In Mary’s case, however, this is the final glorification of God’s gift of grace to the world and thus most similar to our goal as the perfection of the gifts of grace.
Therefore, although in this valley of tears we suffer from the consequences of our exile and are often on the brink of being shattered, the beaming figure of the Immaculata stands unceasingly before us, as she enters eternity and thus keeps before our eyes the purpose of our whole pilgrimage.
Fr. Otto Cohausz, a great marian theologian writes: “It must have been a wonderful moment, when Mary arose from the grave with her body glorified by her soul, which was filled with light and grace, and soared aloft to heaven.
“Since God appointed the angels to the service of men, since the Church prays for everyone whom she carries to the grave: ‘May the angels lead you on high with Lazarus to Abraham’s bosom,’ and since angels were at Mary’s side during the major events of her life—the Annunciation and the Birth of her Son in Bethlehem—, we can assume that Christ sent whole choirs of angels to greet His Mother at the crowning conclusion of her life, to welcome her as queen and to escort her in honor.”
Likewise, St. Thomas of Villanova states: “What must the holy angels have felt when they saw Mary from afar in her radiant glory? Did they not cry out in astonishment with the choir of virgins, “Who is she that comes forth like the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in battle array”?
“And what answer was given to them? This is the Temple of God, the Sanctuary of the Holy Ghost, this is the altar of atonement, the Ark of the Covenant, the Mother of God, the Bride of God, the Daughter of God, our mother and yours (sermo in festum assumptionis, cap. 3).”
Father Cohausz concludes: “But do we really believe that Christ sent only a delegation to greet His Mother? If He Himself comes to the deathbed of every believer in Holy Viaticum, in order to lead him home, can we not suppose that He Himself was present now, at the entrance of His Mother, Bride and Companion, hastening with the angels to greet her?
“But who could describe the joy of their encounter, the jubilation of both? What a compensation for the earlier, sorrowful meeting along the way of the cross! Then she was alone and abandoned, immersed in a sea of sufferings, brutally torn from the arms of her Son; now she is coming up from the desert, overflowing with delights, leaning upon her Beloved Son (cf. Canticle of Canticles 8:5): this is how Mary goes up to heaven as Queen.”
The goal of our life is a participation in this triumph of Mary. Keeping this before our eyes gives us hope and joy in this hopeless, joyless world.