September 15, 2008
Our Lady of Sorrows. Memorial
Luke 2: 33-35
Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, "This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed--and a sword will pierce your own soul too."
Introductory Prayer: My Mother Mary, my mother of sorrows, I have come to learn from you today and accompany you in your sorrow. Just as St. John stood faithfully by your side as you stood at the foot of the Cross, your heart pierced by a sword, I shall stand by you today and learn to suffer patiently and in silence, as you have taught me.
Petition: Lord Jesus, help me to be always faithful and trust in you, especially in the midst of trials. Help me to bear witness to you even in adverse circumstances.
1. Mary Meets Us at the Cross
Mary persevered in faith, hope and love with her son, our Lord, during his passion and death. Imagine her anguish as she stood at the foot of the cross, unable to relieve the agony of the child she had tenderly cared for from the moment of his birth. Jesus entrusted all mankind to her motherhood when he entrusted John to her care. She meets us now, as our mother, especially as we embrace our sufferings. We should never hesitate to ask her for aid and comfort.
2. Mary Helps Us to Hate Sin
Mary is pure, full of grace, free of original sin. She did not deserve to suffer alongside her son. The merits won for us by her suffering are incalculable. Unlike any other human creature, Mary shares no responsibility for Christ’s suffering. She, more than any other creature, experienced the weight of sin in seeing her son’s agonies. Mary our mother can help us achieve true sorrow and contrition for our sins. She will always help us as we prepare to make a good confession. We need only ask.
3. Mary Demonstrates Obedience
We are called to obey God’s commands, even when our obedience leads to suffering in this life. Mary’s fiat led to much earthly sorrow, as predicted by Simeon. Yet Mary obeyed God perfectly, setting an example for the Church and for the world. Her faith was strong and her actions constant, as she trusted that God knew what he was doing.
Dialogue with Christ: Lord Jesus, in addition to your own amazing example of suffering that you gave us to follow, you offered us the example of your loving mother. As we witness your mother suffering at the foot of the cross, we cannot leave her alone. We will take her into our homes, just as you asked St. John to do. Mother of Sorrows, wherever you’re weeping, I will try to dry your tears, and help you as much as I can.
Resolution: I will pray a rosary today, asking especially for the grace of perseverance in the midst of suffering.
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