29th Day — Mary's Death
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. (Psalm c.w. 15.)
I. During the years which succeeded Our Lord's Ascension Mary had been making a progress in holiness and perfection which surpassed all that had gone before. She had become more and more a partaker of the divine nature, more and more like to the image of her divine Son. What a contrast I am to Mary! Yet at least I can admire her and rejoice in her unspeakable perfections.
2. At length the time came when this soul, so exquisitely beautiful, was too beautiful for earth to detain longer. She had long been languishing with love — yearning after her Beloved. Her death was not like that which we call death. She had no sickness, no pain. She died simply of love, of her insatiate desire for God. Do I long for the presence of God, for the day when I shall behold Him face to face?
3. Why was Mary's death such a triumph, such a scene of peace and joy and heavenly consolation? Because she was sinless. The sting of death is sin. It was also because she had stood by her Son's deathbed of the cross, and shared by her compassion in His agony. In return for this, Jesus Himself came to receive the sacred soul of His dear Mother. All the angels of heaven were present there, singing sweet melodies.
O happy, happy death!
If death indeed could be.
Blest Virgin, that sweet end
Which God bestowed on thee.