Thursday, July 05, 2007

Coptic mural of the Death of Mary

Meditation 76


1. The Burial.
Mary's triumph did not finish with Her holy and enviable death. Similar to Her Son in all, She had also to be similar to Him in the glory of the sepulcher and in the triumph of Her resurrection. man on dying falls conquered by the inexorable power of death which brings him down to earth to be changed in a sepulcher into corruption and dust. That is why to us the sepulcher appears so cold, so sad, so humiliating. But it was not so for Mary. Her sepulcher had nothing repulsive about it.

It is not uncommon in the presence of the dead bodies of those persons who have died in the odor of sanctity, to feel comfortable and even experience a mysterious attraction. What then would be experienced in the presence of Mary's body, lifeless, it is true, but ever virgin, ever immaculate.

Try to picture the scene which took place at Her burial. How sorrowful it would be for all to see those most sweet eyes closed. To see those blessed lips which uttered so many words of consolation sealed dumb. To see motionless those virginal hands, which had lavished so many graces and blessings. But at the same time how consoling, how comforting, how delightful it was for all to contemplate that placid calm, that supernatural resplendence of that body, to perceive the perfume exhaled from it. A scent which perfumed all the surroundings.

See the apostles and all those present bending reverently to kiss those hands and those feet, taking leave, accompanying Her to the place of burial, lighting torches, burning perfumes, showering flowers whilst the angels joined in with their celestial canticles; hymns which sounded not as mourning or wailing, but as triumphant songs.

Laid like Her Son in a new sepulcher, the apostles left and the angels of heaven remained there standing on guard. Stay you also there. Accompany that holy body. Join the choirs of angels and sing with them the praises of your Mother. Ask that one day you with the angels may sing the same praises in heaven.

[Excerpted from 'MARIAN MEDITATIONS' Book by Rev. Dr. Ildefonso R. Villar, Salesian Philippine Province, Nihil Obstat; Imprimatur]