MEDITATION Of The Glorious Death Of The Virgin Our Lady POINT I ~ Venerable Luis de la Puente
DUCCIO di Buoninsegna
Death of the Virgin (panel 6)
Of the glorious death of the Virgin our Lady
THE POINT I
1. The first shall be to consider the lively and inflamed desires of the Blessed Virgin, especially in the later years of her life, to go to see almighty God, and to be joined to her Son: Which did arise, not of the irksomeness which he had of this present life, nor any aversion from the travails she sustained, but only from pure love, which when it is very vehement, doth greatly desire the presence of it beloved, and findeth nowhere rest until it see him. And because she was very skillful in holy Scriptures, she drew from thence the words of her affection; Sometimes speaking to herself she said with David. Woe is me, that my sojourn is prolonged, I have dwelt for a long time with inhabitants of Cedar, my soul hath been a long sojourner in this life: other whiles speaking with almighty God she said. Even as the heart desireth after the fountains of water, so doth my soul desire after thee o God. My soul hath thirsted after God, the strong living, when shall I come and appear before the face of God? Bring my soul forth of the prison of this body, to confess unto thy name, and behold how the just expect until thou give me the crown of justice, which thou hast promised me. Other times speaking with the Angels that did visit her, she said unto them that of the Canticles. I adjure you, o inhabitants of the celestial Jerusalem, if you shall fin my beloved, that you tell him, that I languish with love; Tell him that my spirit faileth, and my flesh fainteth, for the desire I have to see and enjoy him.
2. But withal it is to be believed, that sometimes there was within the heart of the Blessed Virgin, that holy contention of the love of God, and of her neighbor, which Saint Paul also felt when he said. I am straitened of the two, having desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ, a thing much more better: but to abide in the flesh, is necessary for you: for the love of God, did urge the Blessed Virgin to be dissolved, and to be with Christ; but the love of her neighbor, whose necessities she saw, told her that it was necessary to remain as yet in flesh, to do good to them: and for as much as she was most resigned to the divine will, with a most excellent obedience, she sayeth that which saint Martin said. Lord if I be necessary to thy people, I refuse not the labor, thy will be done.
Venerable Luis de la Puente
O ineffable Virgin, who was neither overcome with labor, nor to be overcome with death, who neither feared to die, nor refused to live, only seeking the will of almighty God. O that I might live after such a manner, as to imitate thy fervent desires, with thy holy resignation, desiring death with joy, and sustaining this present life with patience.3. At the last, when the scared Virgin felt, that there now remained but a few days of her mortal life, she began with a new fervor to prepare herself for her departure. Exercising most high and noble acts of virtue, saying that of the Canticles. Stay me up with flowers, compass me about with apples, because I languish with love: as if she had said (speaking to her own faculties) the force of love consumeth my life, let it produce therefore new flowers, and celestial fruits, let it bud forth meditations, affections, and most odoriferous works, which may assuage my sickness, & dispose me to the end thereof. In these three things aforesaid I ought to imitate the sacred Virgin, preparing myself for death, with inflamed desires, of seeing God; with resignation of mine own will unto the divine; and with works more perfect, augmenting fervor, when I presume that I approach towards mine end: for it is no little fault to be lukewarm in the desire of seeing God, and of attaining eternal beatitude: because we read, that there is a certain kind of purgatory in the other life, which is called the purgatory of desire, wherein is purged the lukewarmness of those which had not a fervent desire of seeing God.
Venerable Luis de la Puente