By Karen Sheehy
As women, we can identify with Veronica, a woman who longed to comfort, and Mary, a mother who stood by her Son during His passing. The gift of sensitivity helps us notice another’s pain, while the gift of grace inspires us to respond. When we recognize the face of God in others, our sensitive awareness can become a balm for suffering.
I remember feeling Mary’s anguish, seven years earlier, as I stood at the foot of the Cross in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher. At that time, my only son, Joseph, was struggling with rapidly changing mood swings and the inappropriate behaviors which often accompanied early onset bi-polar mental disorder. Despite my best efforts, my twelve-year old son’s life was quickly unraveling. Feeling hopeless, I stood beneath the Cross and pleaded on my son’s behalf. These words, from my mother Mary, followed, “You are living the sorrows of my broken heart. Join your sufferings to the Cross, for there it finds spiritual value.”
Seven years later, I returned to Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Joining me there was my husband, Tom, and son, Joseph. Since my first visit, Joseph had been chemically regulated. As a result, he had made tremendous gains in his spiritual, emotional, social, and academic life. You could say that he and our entire family had experienced our own resurrection of sorts. This time, as I stood beneath the Cross, I recognized Mary grief, but also her simultaneous hope in her Son’s promised Resurrection.
Therefore, my fellow sisters in Christ, be there for one another. Offer up your pain for the sake of another, for there it finds spiritual value. And finally, remain hopeful, knowing all the while that the hope of the Resurrection always follows the Cross.
Karen Sheehy is a devout Catholic, wife and mother, motivational speaker, blogger, president of a not-for-profit, and developer of spiritualsafariguide.com, your passport to a world of spiritual inspiration and understanding. To learn more about Karen Sheehy and her newly released book entitled, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Trinity of Love, please visit http://www.spiritualsafariguide.com