Sep 15 – Memorial for Our Lady of Sorrows
Different sorrows of Mary have been honoured in the Church’s history, but since the 14th century, these seven have come to be regarded as the seven ‘dolors’ (sorrows) of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
1. The Prophecy of Simeon
2. The Flight into Egypt
3. The Loss of the Child Jesus for Three Days
4. Meeting Jesus on the Way to Calvary
5. The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus
6. Jesus Taken Down from the Cross
7. Jesus Laid in the Tomb
By commemorating Our Lady of Sorrows, we call to mind the sufferings that Mary endured as part of her vocation as the Mother of the Redeemer. No one is closer to Christ than Mary, consequently no one has participated more intimately in the redemptive suffering of Christ than His Mother Mary.
1 Tim 3:14-16
Great are the works of the Lord
In the book The Brothers Karamazov, Dostoevsky writes these beautifully haunting words of truth:
“For love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams.”
Love in action. For Mary, it was quiet action.
Today is the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. I don’t think any of us can begin to conceive to even imagine the human emotions the mother of Jesus felt. Her heart grateful for the love, devotion and obedience her Son lived; and also her heart painfully broken for the love, devotion and obedience her Son lived. We could all spend an hour a day for the rest of our lives contemplating her heart, and still we wouldn’t be able to comprehend that kind of love and devotion. Our love for her and our love for her son would undoubtedly increase, but I don’t think our minds could make any sense of that degree of love, devotion and sorrow. It truly is a mystery.
So, as we take a moment to breathe in God in this 24th week in ordinary time – recalling that this time last year, the entire world truly was in a Great (self-contained) Pause and it was ‘easier’ to breathe in God – I am praying that we will all pause ourselves, and pray to align ourselves in the way that Mary did/does. A fully human person aligned with God in all things.
What would it be like to live our daily lives in tune, fully in sync, with the will of our Father? What would it be like to make EVERY choice in alignment with God? How different would our days, our weeks look? How many would we bring to God, to Christ, to our faith, if the nature of all our words and all our actions emulated those of Mary?
As today’s gospel reminds us in his last words from the cross, moments before his last breath, Christ gave us His mother, “ Behold, your mother.” His devotion to his (our) Father, his (our) mother and us, guided every word and decision he made. Let us each take this gift and allow it to shape our lives as well.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Gina Ulicny)
Prayer: Father God, we desire to be as close to you as Mary, to be as devoted and obedient to your will as she.
Thanksgiving: We thank you Lord, for the example of Mary. For her YES to you, which gave us her son, our Savior. May we live each day in a way that honours her so that her sorrowful heart will be eased.