Meditation for the Day

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, September 15

May the “Sword” Which Pierced Mary’s Heart Give Us the Strength to Imitate Her Faith, Enabling Us to Endure Whatever Difficulties We May Be Called to Bear in This Life.

“And you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” And we read, “Standing by the cross of Jesus [was] his mother…”

Two quotes, the first from the Gospel of Luke, the second from the Gospel of John. The former – a prophecy of prediction; the latter – an act of fulfillment.

Which of us reading this today can say that we have not endured suffering in some form? Whether that suffering be physical, spiritual or emotional, it is still very real to us who experience it in a very personal way. And our Blessed Mother was no exception, for she was no stranger to the pain which suffering brings.

Today, we celebrate, in a special way, the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows – a most special woman who was chosen by God the Father to give flesh to His Only-Begotten Son. And Mary, in her humility, not fully understanding all that would be asked of her, gave her fiat to God – an unqualified “yes”, trusting completely in His Divine Providence for her.

And as Mary’s journey of life progressed through the Holy Birth of her Divine Son, watching Him grow and mature, being a witness to His teachings and His miracles, and ultimately standing, on that fateful day, at the foot of His Cross on Calvary, watching Her Son endure unbelievable suffering to the point of His own death – she never lost heart, she never lost the faith and love which she held deeply within herself for her God.

And that is what today’s Memorial is all about. The Church offers us this centuries-old tradition of turning to Mary with our misery and grief, and seeing her as someone, like us, who has suffered greatly – yet always remained faithful, believing and trusting in God’s compassionate Love.

Every one of us must deal with this human experience of pain and suffering in our lives at some point, for no one is exempt. We may face the death of a beloved family member, be it a grandparent, parent or spouse.

And it is especially devastating when our pain is due to the loss of a child. And Mary endured each and every one of these losses, and here she was – the chosen Mother of the Son of God.

A realistic part of life is our growing older, and a growing awareness of a diminishment in our physical and mental faculties which goes along with the aging process. Part of life is also worrying about our parents, or our children, our grandchildren and other family members who are close to us.

The profound disappointments that we may experience in life – maybe the state of a marriage having gone sour, the reality of youthful dreams we may have once had and which have never been realized, or perhaps disappointment in the decisions made by our children – are part of the experiences of so many of us.

Sometimes there is the anxiety of waiting for the results of medical tests, and the unknown changes it may have upon us and our family, if the findings or prognosis is disquieting and worrisome.

In spite of all the sadnesses and sufferings which we ultimately endure, there is one certain truth upon which we can rely – that the Mother of God, our Blessed Mother, truly understands this valley of tears through which each one of us must travel, for she once traveled it herself.

Mary watched as her Son was spat upon and tortured and finally endured the agonizing torment of His Crucifixion. While other followers ran, Mary stood there at the foot of the Cross, looking up at her Son as He took His last breath.

And through her own sufferings, undeniably intertwined with the sufferings of her Son, she was given to us to be our spiritual Mother – all for the purpose of helping us to bear the crosses of our own sufferings as we continue our individual journeys through this life.

Mary is a woman who suffered deeply during her period of life here on Earth. And Mary is a very real and a very human person whom we honor today – who truly understands our losses and tragedies, and who stands at our side to hold and support us, as we shed our tears in the personal sufferings we endure.

Mary truly understands our pain, for she feels what we feel. She is our Mother, and there is, undeniably, a most powerful bond between mother and child. And this bond which unites Mary to both you and I is love, a Mother’s love.

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux once said in a sermon he gave on our Sorrowful Mother, “[Jesus] died in body through a Love greater than anyone had known. She died in spirit through a love unlike any other since His.”

May the “sword” which pierced Mary’s heart give us the strength to imitate the faith of our Blessed Mother, enabling us to endure whatever difficulties we may be called upon to bear in this life, always believing, as Mary did, that God’s providential Love will always overcome our deepest sorrows – as He wipes away our every tear, strengthening us with His compassionate Mercy, and filling us with an enduring and lasting hope.

“May it be done unto me according to your word.”

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “Standing by the cross of Jesus [was] his mother…” (John 19:25a)
  • “And you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:35)
  • “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church.” (Colossians 1:24)
  • “Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, together with eternal glory. This saying is trustworthy: If we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him.” (2 Timothy 2:10-12a)
  • “We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8)
  • “We must endure many trials before entering God’s kingdom.” (Acts 14:21)
  • “…Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.” (1 Peter 2:21b)
  • “The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little.” (1 Peter 5:10)
  • “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.” (Romans 8:18)
  • “May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38b)

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Prayer for the Day

“Almighty God, in Your Divine Providence,
You gave Mary strength at the foot of the Cross
and filled her with joy at the Resurrection of Your Son.

“We humbly pray that You may lighten the hardships
of all Your children who are burdened with their own sufferings,
and deepen their sense of hope through the love of the Virgin Mary.

“May all who face trials and misfortunes in life
feel the presence of her Motherly love
as she constantly intercedes for our needs.

“Heavenly Father, through Mary’s example,
and with the help of Your grace, may we find the strength
to bear whatever crosses You may ask of us in this life.

“We humbly ask this in Jesus’ Most Holy Name. Amen.”

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