One of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s titles in the Litany of Loreto is the “Gate of heaven.” The newly canonized saint, John Henry Newman tells us that the title Gate of Heaven is given to Mary because “it was through her that our Lord passed from heaven to earth.” And St. Alphonsus Liguori, citing St. Peter Damian, noted that. “by means of Mary, God has descended from heaven to earth, that by the same, or by her, (people) might merit to ascend from earth to heaven.”
So, as Our Lord came to us through Mary, so must we go to Him through Her. Pope Francis reminds us, this is why we invoke her as the “Gate of Heaven”. “There she awaits us, just as a mother waits for her children to come home”. The Pope continued, we are like pilgrims on our way home to Heaven. Seeing that “in paradise, together with Christ, the New Adam, there is also her, Mary, the new Eve, gives us comfort and hope in our pilgrimage down here”.
For those who are afflicted with doubts and sadness, “and live with their eyes turned downwards”, the Feast of the Assumption is a call to “look upwards” and see that “Heaven is open”. It is no longer distant, and we need no longer be afraid: “because on the threshold of Heaven there is a Mother waiting for us”. Mama Mary constantly reminds us that we are precious in the eyes of God, and that we are made for the great joys of Heaven. “Every time we take the Rosary in our hands and pray to her”, the pope Francis said, “we take a step forward towards our life’s great goal”. Thus, because Our Lord Jesus is in Heaven, Mary is the way to Him. For Mary is quite literally, the ‘gate’ through which Christ entered the world, and the gate through which we enter heaven to met Christ.