Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary serves as a particularly special day for the monks of Conception Abbey. In recent years, the vast majority of the monks made their profession of vows on this Solemnity of Mary. It is a day of great celebration for the monastic community and calling upon Our Lady’s intercession.
When a monk professes vows, he is committing his life to God and to the community, but he is also trusting that God will bring his life to completion. At the outset of any religious vocation, there are countless unanswered questions: Will I be happy in this way of life? What type of ministry and work will I do? Will I be able to persevere and remain committed to what I profess? Will God be with me through all of my challenges and hardships? Am I making the right decision?
At the Annunciation, when the Angel Gabriel visited Mary, he told her that she would bear a son who would be “great and will be called Son of the Most High.” Mary still had her questions and pondered the angel’s words, but she ultimately gives her life entirely to God: “May it be done to me according to your word.”
The Assumption, Mary’s being taken up to heaven, is the completion of the mighty deeds God has worked in Mary’s life, as grace continued to guide and direct Mary throughout her life. It is a clear sign that God is trustworthy in His promises. God provided for Mary in her suffering and sorrow and sustained her throughout her life. Truly, God “looked with favor on his lowly servant.”
Salvation history attests that God is faithful to His promises. The monk relies on God’s grace to sustain him throughout his life and to bring him safely to eternal life. Mary is a model for us all and an example by her complete adherence to the Father’s will, and she is the Church’s model of faith and charity. Whatever our calling, whatever our commitment to God, or our trials and suffering, we can entrust ourselves to the Blessed Virgin Mary who is exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things. She will always intercede for us with a Mother’s care.
Reflection Question: How can I draw strength and hope from the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary?
Reflection by Fr. Paul Sheller, OSB