In Fr. Geckle’s announcements yesterday he reminded us that Wednesday is a holy day of obligation and that even though he will not be able to say Mass for us that day, we are bound to keep it holy, just as if it were a Sunday.
One idea that you might like to try for this great feast is to add a 15-minute Rosary meditation to your devotions. Father recommended a meditation booklet recently that may be found online. It’s called “Rosary Meditations for Fatima Saturdays” by Lester Dooley, S.V.D., published in 1950. Here is the archive.org link to it with many download options. And here is a large text version that you can read on the Catholic Harbor website. Fr. Dooley’s meditation for the mystery of the Assumption is copied from Catholic Harbor and pasted below:
Who is this that cometh up from the desert, flowing with delights, leaning upon her be- loved? Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array? (Cant. 8, Verse 6; 6, Verse 9).
In the introit for the Assumption we read:
“Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a feast in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, over whose Assumption the angels rejoice and praise the Son of God.”
Mary, the different woman
Mary is proudly proclaimed in the Catholic world as the different woman.
She is different in her Conception: “Thou art all fair, O Mary, and the stain of original guilt is not in thee.”
She is different in her beautiful life of virtue. No stain of actual sin ever sullied her pure soul. Even the Protestant poet pays beautiful tribute to her Immaculateness: “Our tainted nature’s solitary boast.”
She is different in her sorrows. A seven-fold sorrow lanced her sinless soul. She is different in her death. The Fathers of the Church, especially of the Eastern Church, speak reluctantly of the close of her earthly exile. They avoid the use of the word death. They seek to soften the sting of death in her regard to which she was in no wise subject as far as death is a punishment for sin.
They refer gently to her passing as a “Dormition” or “Sleeping Away.”
Mary is especially and uniquely different in her Assumption which is an anticipated resurrection.
Recall here the honored tradition which says that Mary died out of sheer love of God, and was duly buried. Later St. Thomas, who was absent for the interment, returned and asked to see her holy body. At the opening of the tomb it was found emptied of its treasure. Sweet fragrance filled the air. God had not allowed that sacred body, the tabernacle of the Most High, and Christ’s first ciborium upon earth, to suffer the dank corruption of the grave. With a reverent becomingness that holy body, from whose unsullied blood Christ had taken His own earthly humanity, was assumed bodily into Heaven. Christ, for His Mother, anticipated in her person, the resurrection. We know, further, that no one has been so bold as to claim the possession of a relic of Mary’s holy body. And, now, as we go to press, we are happy to note that the Holy Father has made the announcement that on All Saints Day (1950) he will officially declare the Assumption of Mary’s body into heaven an article of faith.
As the Ascension closed the divine cycle of Christ’s earthly career, so the Assumption is the counterpart for Mary.
Mary’s series of wonders began in eternity when the Blessed Trinity focused their gaze upon this fairest child of earth. They vie with each other in honoring her.
God the Father elects her as His daughter. God the Son chooses her as His Mother. God the Holy Ghost enriches her soul with exquisite adornments and selects her as His Immaculate Spouse.
These wonders, and all that they imply, as far as earth and time are concerned, have their climax in the mystery of the bodily Assumption of Mary into Heaven.
The Assumption a Full Life
In the Assumption Mary enters fully upon that life which is life indeed.
Through the Incarnation Mary had supplied the human elements for the formation of Christ’s physical body. She was responsible for His earthly career, through the Divine agency of the Holy Spirit. We profess this doctrine when we affirm in the Apostles Creed: “Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary.” She was truly the Mother of God.
In the Assumption Christ beautifully reciprocates this gift of life to Mary but in a differ- ent way. In dowering Mary with the life of Heaven through the Assumption, we behold Christ’s unique way of rendering back to His Mother a life that is at once eternal, heavenfy, and unmixed with any limiting earthly alloy. As Mary’s advent prayers and yearnings for the Redeemer may be said to have hastened the coming to earth of Christ, so once more her yearnings and hungering for Christ after His Ascension merited beforehand the resurrection which, in Mary’s case, we call her Assumption. May Mary’s Assumption, which we contemplate in this mystery, help us to treat our bodies in such holiness as to merit for them a like assumption into Heaven with Mary in God’s good time.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, keep our bodies pure like yours.
-End of the Assumption Meditation-
Fr. Dooley explains in the booklet’s Introduction what you gain from the meditation:
Pondering thus on this mystery for 15 minutes, I fulfill the requirements of Our Lady of Fatima and help make reparation to her Immaculate Heart. Should one mystery, as illustrated above, not suffice for my soul, I take another of the 15 mysteries, or as many as I desire, as long as I spend a quarter of an hour meditating upon its fruit- fulness for my soul. Such a meditation will enrich ones soul, will deepen ones appreciation for prayer, and fire ones soul with greater devotion toward Our Lady.
We will thus enter more and more wholeheartedly into the spirit of Fatima around which these meditations revolve. The very word Fatima will cause our soul to dilate and to absorb more and more the rare atmosphere of that holy place so redolent of heavenly and Marian memories. Truly we are privileged to be living today in a Marian age. May we all then imbibe ever deeper the Fatima spirit of prayer, sacrifice and reparation. May these meditations find a ready welcome in the hearts of the laity. May they love the approach of the five First Saturdays and may Mary’s Immaculate Heart be sweetly and bountifully consoled by those who will eagerly apply themselves with zest to this tailor-made opportunity to hasten the reign of Jesus and Mary throughout the world.