Second Point.—But let us now see what were the circumstances of her happy death.
After the ascension of Jesus Christ, Mary remained on earth to attend to the propagation of the faith. Hence the disciples of Jesus had recourse to her, and she resolved their doubts, comforted them in their persecutions, and encouraged them to labor for the divine glory and for the salvation of the souls redeemed by her Son.
She, indeed, willingly remained on earth, understanding this to be the will of God for the good of the Church; but she could not but feel the pain of being far from the presence and sight of her beloved Son, who had ascended into heaven.
“Where your treasure is,” said the Redeemer, “there will your heart be also.” Where any one believes his treasure and his happiness to lie, there he always holds the love and desire of his heart fixed. If Mary then loved no other good than Jesus, he being in heaven, in heaven were all her desires.
Taulerus wrote of Mary: The cell of Mary was heaven, for being in heaven, with her affection, she made it her continual abode. Her school was eternity, for she was always detached from temporal possessions. Her teacher, divine truth, for she was always guided in her actions by the divine light. Her mirror, the Divinity, for she looked upon nothing but God, in order to conform always to the divine will. Her ornament, devotion, for she was always ready to fulfil the divine commands. Her repose, union with God, for her peace was only in uniting herself with God. In a word, the place and treasure of her heart was God alone.
The most holy Virgin consoled her loving heart during this cruel separation, by visiting, as it is narrated, the holy places of Palestine, where her Son had been in his lifetime: she often visited now the stable of Bethlehem, where her Son was born; now the workshop at Nazareth, where her Son had lived so many years poor and despised; now the garden of Gethsemane, where her Son commenced His passion: now the hall of Pilate, where he was scourged; the place where he was crowned; but more often she visited Calvary, where her Son had expired; and the holy sepulchre, where she finally had left him. And thus the most loving mother used to soothe the pains of her cruel exile.
But this was not enough to satisfy her heart, which could not find its perfect rest upon this earth; hence her continual sighs were ascending to her Lord, as she exclaimed with David, but with more ardent love: “Who will give me wings like a dove, and I will fly and be at rest.” Who will give me wings like a dove to fly to my God and there to find my rest? “As the hart panteth after the fountains of water, so my soul panteth after thee, oh God.” As the wounded stag pants for the fountain, so my soul, wounded by thy love, oh my God, desires and sighs for thee.
Ah, the sighs of this holy turtle-dove could not but reach the heart of her God, who loved her so much: “The voice of the turtle is heard in our land.” Wherefore not being willing to defer any longer consolation to his beloved, behold, he graciously hears her desire and calls her to his kingdom.