29 June 2022, The Tablet

The Assumption: Our Lady leaving herself behind

by Gerald Glynn O’Collins SJ



Mary’s assumption does not separate her from us, she is always with us, and Marian shrines are places where we feel her presence in our lives, writes Gerald Glynn O’Collins SJ.

There is a story about a primary school teacher who put the question to her class: ‘When you are going away from people you love, what would you like to leave behind?’ Hands shot up and answers came quickly from the small boys and girls.

‘I would leave behind a bunch of fresh, red tulips.’ ‘I would leave behind a box of Swiss chocolates.’
‘I would leave behind a big thank you card.’

Finally, the teacher heard the reply she was hoping for. ‘I would leave myself behind.’ That was the best reply and reached the heart of the matter. Leaving ourselves behind is the greatest gift we could imagine.
When being taken, body and soul, into the glorious life of heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary did not really go away, but left herself behind for all people. Their most beautiful and caring Mother, she did not separate herself from them but could now be with them all forever.


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