Our Lady of Sorrows

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The account of Jesus’ passion and death in St. Mark’s gospel has  these interesting lines. There were also women looking on from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and of Joses, and Salome. These women had followed him when he was in Galilee and ministered to him. There were also many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.” (Mark 15,40-41)

John’s gospel brings some of those women closer, and puts Mary, his mother, first among those standing by the cross of Jesus. Mary follows her Son into the mystery of the cross as a disciple.“Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.”

She stands, close by, not at a distance, not afraid to see, not absorbed in her own suffering, not disengaged from him or his sufferings. She enters into the mystery of the cross through compassion, which cannot reproduce or understand another’s suffering exactly, but breaks the isolation suffering causes and bears some of its burden. The sword, the spear, pierces both hearts, but in a different way.

Compassion is a necessary part of the mystery of the cross.

The Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, which we celebrate in the Roman calendar  on September 15th, was placed after the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (September 14) only recently, in the 20th century by Pope Pius X.  He took the feast,  formerly the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of Mary, and placed it on this date which is the octave of Mary’s birth (September 7).

This feast has a special meaning for the Passionists. It tells us who we are.

5 Comments

Filed under art, Inspiration, Motivational, Passionists, spirituality

5 responses to “Our Lady of Sorrows

  1. Gloria

    Your Cross

    When a heavy cross
    anticipated or unexpected
    is thrust upon you
    the One who loves you
    will give you strength
    to bear your burden
    and you will take up your cross
    and walk

    But should you stumble
    on your way
    the One who loves you
    will send a Simon from the crowd
    to take your cross and bear it
    so that you may once again
    stand upright

    And when the splinters
    of your heavy cross
    gouge your flesh
    and rip into your very heart and soul
    the One who loves you
    will send tender hands to bind your wounds

    And you will feel the presence of God

    Gloria Ziemienski
    September 2002

  2. vhoagland

    Always good to hear your wise, experienced words, Gloria. FV

  3. Natalie

    “his cross hers through compassion, which breaks suffering’s isolation and offers to bear its burden”

    Well said !! Compassion a lesson we learn from Mary is the ultimate human emotion. To share another’s pain. To console another in pain. Pain..physical or mental..isolates people from each other. Isolation is devastating. Jesus felt it when the apostles fell asleep while he prayed. It’s all clear now through Jesus and Mary’s passion why God didn’t just create his son. He gave him a mother. A mother’s job is to feel compassion for her child, to comfort her child when he is isolated. It’s a hard job that’s why God have it to mothers!!

  4. A thrill to hear your message, Lynn

  5. Berta Hernandez Orlando Hernandez

    Our Blessed Mother not only takes care of us now, she has done it always! Think of the disciples back in the Upper Room after Jesus’s death. Who do you think brought consolation to them and gave them the incentive to go on? I am positive it was Mary! She knew what it was like to suffer and survive. She taught them ,I’m sure, that if it was God’s will it was meant to be and all must be left in His hands. Thank you Jesus for sharing Your Mother with us! It’s just one more gift that You gave us!

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