The Seven Sorrows of Mary Immaculate

“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, Friday in Passion Week, April 7, 2017, we commemorate  the Seven Sorrows of Mary, which she suffered in union with the Passion of her divine Son.

“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).

The Seven Sorrows of Mary

Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart 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)

From the moment she heard Simeon’s words, she would never again lift the Child’s hands without seeing a shadow of nails on them; every sunset would be a blood-red image of His Passion. Simeon was throwing away the sheath that hid the future from human eyes, and letting the blade of the world’s sorrow flash in front of her eyes. Every pulse that she would feel in the tiny wrist would be like an echo of an oncoming hammer. If He was dedicated to salvation through suffering, so was she. No sooner was this young life launched than Simeon, like an old mariner, talked of shipwreck. No cup of the Father’s bitterness had yet come to the lips of the Babe, and yet a sword was shown to His mother. (Abp. Fulton Sheen, “Life of Christ”, Kindle Edition)

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)

Mary and Joseph, following the Angel’s command, fled in the night taking their Divine Child into a strange and evil land, the historic enemy of their people. In this severe trial, trudging in the dark towards an unknown and threatening future, they foreshadow our own strivings to live amidst strangers who  despise Our Lord, who only use His name to blaspheme and curse. The Holy Family, through the Providence of the Eternal Father, found safe haven in the most dangerous land of their time, and so also we trust in our Father’s providence and await His will in our exile here.
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Our Lady of Sorrows in the Passion of the Church

“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.

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”).

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