Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Assumption, Rest, and Blessed Geurric of Igny

The Virgin gathers the Cistercians under her mantle .

Tomorrow is the Feast of the Assumption.  As summer draws to an end and life begins to pick up its pace, I was reminded of a passage from the sermons of Blessed Geurric of Igny on Mary, the Assumption, and rest.   

Bl. Guerric, was known for his devotion to the Virgin and died on the Octave of the Assumption in 1157, which Cistercians keep as their principal feast. Here is what he says in his Third Sermon on the Assumption about the rest secured by the Virgin and the model it presents for us:

    Continue, Mary, continue free from anxiety in the good things of your Son; act with all confidence as Queen, the King's Mother and Bride. You sought rest but what is owed to you is of greater glory: queenship and power. He wishes to share his empire with you, he who shared with you in one flesh and one spirit the mystery of love and unity.... He will recall to you amid embraces and kisses, if I am not mistaken, how pleasantly he rested in the tent of your body, how with greater delight he dwelt in the inner chamber of your heart.
     God is not unjust, brethren, so as to forget a good work: the memory of a boon once received is always alive with him. Blessed is he with whom God has found rest if but once, in whose tent he has rested if only for one hour.

    Let us all then together so make a point of being quiet that in our quiet we may always be occupied with meditation on eternal quiet, and for desire of it be found ready for every work. May the blessed Mother of God, whose rest we are celebrating, obtain this for us by her prayers from him who rested in the tabernacle of her body and her heart. He is eternal rest, Christ Jesus, to whom be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.