“The Cross is suffering viewed in the supernatural light of faith as an instrument of salvation and sanctification, and therefore, as an instrument of love.”
Today, September 15, is the Commemoration of the Seven Sorrows of Mary.
Although Our Lord’s own chosen Apostles fled His Passion, no one could keep Mary away. Unlike the sentimental pictures which sometimes show Mary fainting at the foot of the Cross, Mary stood there, intent on sharing every excruciating detail of the ignominy her beloved Son suffered. Just as she had freely chosen to become His Mother, she freely chose to behold Him tortured from head to foot and torn from her by the cruelest of deaths. She not only accepted this, she offered this; this sharing in His Passion, sharing even in His death, uniting Their hearts forever for the glory of the Most Holy Trinity and in loving reparation for the sins of men, for our sins.
Mary’s heart, like Christ’s whole crushed and bruised being , was transformed with anguish by the sins of mankind…Mary became the Queen of martyrs because, after Jesus, she has endured the greatest martyrdom of heart…her sufferings are fruitful for us in a way that we can scarcely suspect…(from Father Garrigou-Lagrange, Mary, the Model of Reparation).
Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen tells us,
“The sacrifice of Jesus became Mary’s sacrifice not only because Mary offered it together with Jesus, and in Him, offered her own Son, but also because by this offering she completed the most profound holocaust of herself, since Jesus was the center of her affections and of her whole life. God, Who had given her this Divine Son, asked on Calvary for a return of His gift, and Mary offered jesus to the Father with all the love of her Immaculate Heart in complete adherence to the divine will.” …
“Let us contemplate Mary’s sorrows, sympathise with her and ask her for the invaluable grace of sharing with her in the Passion of Jesus. Let us remember that this participation is not meant to be merely sentimental — even though this sentiment is good and holy — but it must lead us to real compassion, that is, to suffering with Jesus and Mary. The sufferings God sends us have no other purpose.
“The sight of Mary at the foot of the Cross makes the lesson of the Cross less hard and less bitter; her maternal example encourages us to suffer (with her) and makes the road to Calvary easier. Let us go then with Mary, to join Jesus on Golgotha; let us go with her to meet our own cross, and sustained by her, let us embrace it willingly, uniting it with her Son’s Cross.” (Divine Intimacy)
From Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity:
“You are there, O Mary, at the foot of the Cross, standing in strength and courage; and my Master says to me, ‘Ecce mater tua’. Behold your Mother. He gives you to me for my Mother! And now that He has returned to His Father, and has put me in His place on the Cross so that I may fill up in my flesh for His Body, which is the Church, you are still there, O Mary, to teach me to suffer as he did, to let me hear the last song of His soul which no one but you, O Mother, could overhear.”
Let us make Blessed Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity’s prayer our own as we stand with our Sorrowful Mother at the crucifixion of the Mystical Body of Christ. We are not here to faint away, overcome with despair! Let us be strong as our Mother is strong. Although on our own, we lack that strength, in her we will find the grace and virtues we need!
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, obtain for us by your loving intercession the grace and courage to persevere in the coming trials of faith.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come!
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!
For more on the Sorrowful Heart of Mary, including the Seven Sorrows Devotion, see Our Lady of Sorrows, 2014.
~ evensong ~