Thursday, August 15, 2019

A little and great feast

A reflection by Mother Cecilia for the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God

Many of Mary's feasts are about her littleness, but to me, her Dormition is about her littleness in the most profound way. Her death--her last and complete surrender to the Father--seems like it would be utterly fruitless, just like our daily and final deaths. What could come of such emptying, such removal from life, such removal from others?

When Mary's tomb was opened, it was full of flowers--full of life and beauty. When there is "nothing" left of us, when we are totally drained, exhausted, weak, and we surrender ourselves into God's hands, we become vases of the most exquisite flowers--vessels of the Holy Spirit--the perfume of which is wafted abroad (Song of Songs 4:16). We, then, have no more control over our lives, but we who cannot make flowers grow, become a delightful garden.

This feast, which in my eyes is the Marian feast that is most profoundly about Mary's littleness, in the Church's eyes is the greatest Marian feast, and there is no contradiction between the two!

"Though you have been taken up from earth into the heavens, O Virgin, yet all the earth rejoices with you and glorifies your repose. Though your incorrupt body has been enclosed in the heavens, O Virgin, yet your grace pours forth and fills all the face of the earth" (Second Station of the Burial Service for the Dormition).

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