The Sorrows of Mary, September 15

“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. There can be no doubt that we are now enduring the most grievous crisis ever experienced in the Church’s long history.  Indeed, it is the Passion of the Mystical Body of Christ. As always, Mary, the Mother of the Church is here at the foot of the Cross with us. This year, 2017 anno Domini, is by far the most desolate of all the dreary years that ensued in the wake of the Council of Desolation.

At the time of Vatican II, Catholics were loyal, mostly unquestioning and confident that the one certainty in the changing world was the Catholic Faith.  But as of now, September 15, 2017 the Church is in eclipse. It is the darkness of Calvary. In this darkness which is the spiritual chastisement foretold by Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima, the only hope we have been given is the same that was given to us by Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross, “Behold, thy Mother.” (John 19, 27)

We place our immortal souls in danger if we refuse this final offer of Our Lord. The Gospel tells us that, “from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.” But in this dark hour, many who pose as traditional Catholics have decided that Fatima has no interest for them, indeed, some disdain it.  Tragically, many traditional Catholics have slipped into sedevacantism and since they do not believe the Pope is the Pope, or that the Bishops are Bishops, they now conclude that the Consecration of Russia cannot be done.  Thus, they conclude that Our Lady of Fatima asked for something that can not be accomplished. In other words, they pass judgment on the Mother of God, adding yet another sword to her sorrowful heart in this time of crisis.

Devotion to the Seven Sorrows of Mary is an essential aspect of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She is our Mother, and she shares our sorrow, in fact, it is she who calls us to share her sorrows, here at the foot of His Cross. Please do not turn from her into the darkness for only she will bring us through this, to the Light.

Crucifixion by Wilhelm Kotarbinski
“O you who pass by the way, attend and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow.”

Although Our Lord’s own chosen Apostles fled His Passion, no one could keep the Woman 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 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, for my 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.”

It is only when we take His place, accepting the Cross, that we can share the thoughts of her sorrowful heart, and it is only from the Cross that we can see heaven. 

The Tears of Our Sorrowful Mother

O Mother of Sorrows! Merciful Mother! Even as His Precious Blood flowed, so did thy tears, made bitter by the indifference of thy children. 

Hail, countless and bitter tears from thy eyes, O Mary, tears of compassion for thy Son, our Savior crucified! May all thy children revere them, all sinners flee to them for refuge, for they spring from thy Sorrowful Heart.

O Mother of Sorrows! Merciful Mother! Even as His Precious Blood flowed, so did thy tears, made bitter by the indifference of thy children who spurn thy Son and Savior’s precious gift.

O burning tears, beautiful, loving tears, which move the angels to pity and touch the heart of the Eternal Father! Soften my hard heart and move it to true sorrow for my sins which cause thy tears!

Holy Tears, wash me! Bitter tears, purify me! Gentle tears, soften my heart! Burning tears inflame my heart! Merciful tears, rich in grace, heal and strengthen me with grace!

O most gentle, sorrowful Mother, sharing thy Son’s passion, mingling thy tears with His precious blood, I beseech thee, grant me the grace of tears and heartfelt contrition for my sins. Grant that I may shed repentant tears over my sins which cause Him such cruel suffering.

O most merciful Virgin, offer thy bitter tears to the Eternal Father in reparation for my tepidity and hardness of heart. Through their merit, obtain mercy for me and pardon for all my sins.

Grant, O dearest Mother, at the hour of death, just one of thy precious tears to cleanse my soul of sin. Amen.

And now, at this time, in this place, 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! We will be strong as our Mother is strong. Although on our own we lack that strength, in her we find the grace and virtues we need.

For more on the Sorrowful Heart of Mary, including the Seven Sorrows Devotion, see Our Lady of Sorrows, 2014.

For similar posts, we suggest:

The Message of Fatima for the Post-Synodal Church

Mary’s Promise in the Chastisement

On Mother’s Day to Mary

Thank you for reading. I pray for you always!

 †  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.

 Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.

 Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!

 St. Joseph, terror of demons, protect our priests!

 St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

~ by evensong for love of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin, give me strength against thine enemies!

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Our Lady of Sorrows 2014

“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. “Now there stood by the Cross of Jesus, His Mother.” St. John, 19, 35

Father Gabriel reminds us that although Mary’s grief was immeasurable, it was surpassed by her love, “a love so great that it could encompass that vast sea of sorrow.” (Divine Intimacy).

Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.
Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

The Seven Sorrows of Mary
Prophecy of Simeon And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried Him to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Ghost was in him… And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this Child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed. (Luke 2, 25-35)

The Flight Into Egypt
…behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the Child and His mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the Child to destroy Him. Who arose, and took the Child and His mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod:  That it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Out of Egypt have I called My Son. (Matt. 2, 13-15)

The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple
And not finding Him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking Him. And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions….And His mother said to Him: Son, why hast Thou done so to us? Behold Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing. And He said to them: How is it that you sought Me? did you not know, that I must be about My Father’s business? And they understood not the word that He spoke unto them. And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And His mother kept all these words in her heart. (Luke 2, 45-51)

Mary Meets Her Son Jesus, Carrying His Cross
“Consider the meeting of the Son and the Mother which took place on this journey (Via Dolorosa). Jesus and Mary looked at each other, and their looks became as so many arrows to wound those Hearts which loved each other so tenderly.” (St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Way of the Cross).

The Crucifixion of Mary’s  Son, Jesus our Savior
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, His mother … When Jesus therefore had seen His mother and the disciple standing whom He loved, He saith to His mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, He saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother… (John 19, 25-27)

Mary Holds Her Son’s Body at the Foot of the Cross.
Our Lord having expired was taken from the cross by two of His disciples, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, who placed Him in the arms of His sorrowful Mother. (The Way of the Cross)

Jesus is Placed in the Tomb
And Joseph buying fine linen, and taking Him down, wrapped Him up in the fine linen, and laid Him in a sepulchre which was hewed out of a rock. And he rolled a stone to the door of the sepulchre. (Mark 15, 46).

Meditating on these Sorrows is a most fruitful spiritual practice. There is also a Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows, which consists of a rosary containing Seven sets of beads, each containing Seven Hail Marys. It is especially conducive to comforting our Blessed Mother who suffers so greatly from the blasphemies of anti-Catholics, especially the anti-Catholics within the Church, in these troubled times.

 

Was ever a sorrow like unto mine?
Pieta, The Lamentation
El Greco 1575

The beautiful hymn, Stabat Mater was adopted as the Sequence for today’s Mass in 1727. I don’t believe it survived Vatican II, but would be happy if someone corrected me on this. It is one  of the most hauntingly beautiful hymns of our Church,  when chanted in Latin.

Stabat Mater

At the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.

O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One.

 

Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ’s dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother’s pain untold?

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
she beheld her tender Child
All with bloody scourges rent:

For the sins of His own nation,
saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.

O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified:

Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live:

By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of thee to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;

Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
by Thy Mother my defense,
by Thy Cross my victory;

While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
safe in paradise with Thee. Amen.

“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.” (Fr. Gabriel, Divine Intimacy). It is why we call Good Friday good. As He was dying, Our Savior entrusted us to His Mother and entrusted her to us. Mary, the Mother of Sorrows, has so much to teach us as we join her at the foot of her Son’s cross. Mary calls us today, in these dire moments,  to prayer and reparation.

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).

Devotion to the Sorrowful Heart of Mary is a sign of predestination and among the many graces bestowed on those who practice this devotion, are the following:

  • True repentance for our sins before death.
  • The grace of deeper insight into Christ’s sorrowful passion.
  • The grace to become devout children of Mary, close to her in this life and especially in the next.
  • It bestows a permanent awareness of the agony of sin felt by Jesus and Mary in His Passion.
  • It imprints on our hearts the image of the crucified Christ, giving us strength to endure our own sufferings with holy resignation to the will of God.
  • And finally, according to Father Faber, devotion to the Sorrowful Heart of Mary leads us directly into the depths of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with unfailing love.

So, the closer we are to Mary, the closer we are to her Son. But our devotion must be more than superficial,  lukewarm practices that leave the passions unchecked, it must be a sincere effort of imitation of Mary’s Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart. Let us live our devotion to Mary, whom Christ Himself gave us for our Mother, by total consecration to her Immaculate Heart, by the brown scapular and above all, by her rosary.

  Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

 Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.

~ by evensong for love of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary and the most Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.

Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin, give me strength against thine enemies.