Friday, April 20, 2007

Queen of Martyrs VI

Mary's Easter
As we know, after Jesus' death on Good Friday comes His glorious resurrection on Easter. Although not specifically spoken of in sacred scripture, it is a pious tradition that Jesus appeared to His mother first. Yes, the apostles heard first from Mary Magdalene that Jesus had appeared to her, but that does not mean definitively that He did not appear first to His Mother. Anyway, I came across a beautiful story of Mary's Easter which follows. The Lord rewards those who compassionate His Passion with a generosity we cannot fathom, this is certainly true of His Blessed Mother. (And I realize the above picture is St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, but its the best I could do :) If you know of an image of the Virgin Mary with her Risen Son, please kindly leave a link in the comment box!)
"Now, Lord, you have glorified that holy flesh which suffered on the cross. But remember that your flesh is the flesh of your Mother and that she also suffered in seeing you suffer on the cross. She was crucified with you and therefore, it is just that she should rise with you. It is the statement of your apostle, Paul, that those who were your companions in suffering should also be your companions in glory. And since this Lady was your faithful companion in all your sufferings from the crib to the cross, it is fitting that now she should share your joys and glory.
Brighten that darkened sky, reveal that eclipsed moon, disperse that clouds of sorrow from her sorrowful soul, dry the tears of her virginal eyes, and command that the flowers of summer return after the winter of so many rains. Perhaps at that time the Blessed Mother was at prayer in her oratory, waiting for this new light to break forth. She cried forth in the interior of her soul and addressed herself to her beloved Son, now in the third day of his death: "Arise, my glory; return, Victor, to the world. Gather your flock together, Good Shepherd. Hear, my Son, the cries of your afflicted Mother and since these sighs made you come from heaven to earth, let them now raise you from hell to earth."
In the midst of these prayers and petitions her poor little house was suddenly illumined with the light of heaven and the resurrected Son presented himself to the eyes of his Mother. No brighter light had ever risen in the morning and the sun at midday was never so resplendent to the eyes of Mary as that face filled with grace. She sees the body of her risen Son, its former beauty restored and increased. The openings of the wounds, which were swords of sorrow to her, have now become fountains of love. He whom she had seen between two thieves, she sees accompanied by angels and saints. He who had recommended her to his disciple from the cross, now extends his arms to her and imprints the kiss of peace upon her brow. He whom she held dead in her arms, she sees risen before her eyes. She holds him and will not let him go. She embraces him lovingly and asks him never again to depart. When she was overwhelmed with sorrow, she could not speak a word; now she cannot speak for the excess of her joy." ~Venerable Louis of Granada (+1588) was a Spanish Dominican priest and a good friend of St. Charles Borromeo, one of my patron saints!
I have destroyed death, triumphed over the enemy, trampled hell underfoot, bound the strong one, and taken men up to the heights of heaven: I am the Christ. Alleluia! ~Melito of Sardis
In the battle between death and life, Christ is the victor! And the victory is ours! Alleluia!

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