By Alyssa Bormes
Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
“Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel,
and for a sign that is spoken against
(and a sword will pierce through your own soul also),
that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.” ~ Luke 2:25-35
How strange we Catholics must seem; we have a memorial for Our Lady of Sorrows. It seems so counterintuitive. We devote a whole day to remember Mary’s worst days. Shouldn’t we forget them, or at least overlook them, or at the very least, not mention them because they might grieve her?
Mary’s tears certainly hold untold sorrows, but each affliction points to a coming glory.
Through the years, Mary’s first Fiat brought countless tears, unbearable sorrows, yet she didn’t cower in fear; she followed in trust. Even with her tear-stained face, her eyes were still piercing, and her soul continued to magnify the Lord.
How could she bear it? The promises, of course. Mary suffered each sword of sorrow, knowing of the redemption of the world; her Son is the Messiah sent to heal the world, to wipe away every tear—even hers.
Today is not a day to tiptoe around Mary in order not to upset her. Mary wants us to remember her worst days, to ask about them, to not avoid her tears, but to join her, uniting our sufferings with hers. She knows the sorrow of our hearts. She will hold our hands in hers, cry with us, and then after a bit, do what she always does, point us to her Son.
Yes, I suppose we Catholics are strange in memorializing this day, or perhaps we are strangers. This valley of tears will one day, God willing, give way to our true homeland where Our Lady already awaits us; She is right next to her Son. Our tears will be gone, and heaven will be all the more glorious for having endured the sorrows.
The Seven Dolors (Sorrows) of Mary (with accompanying Scriptures) are:
- The prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:25-35)
- The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15)
- Loss of the Child Jesus for three days (Luke 2:41-50)
- Mary meets Jesus on his way to Calvary (Luke 23:27-31; John 19:17)
- Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (John 19:25-30)
- The body of Jesus being taken from the Cross (Psalm 130; Luke 23:50-54; John 19:31-37)
- The burial of Jesus (Isaiah 53:8; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42; Mark 15:40-47)
My dear Lady of Sorrows, allow me to join my sorrows to yours. Please take the sorrows of my friends and family, the country, and the world to your Son. Please beseech your Son to wipe away every tear.
Call to Action
Look back on a previous sorrow and identify any glories that may have come from it.
Make time either today or during the week, to pray the Chaplet of Seven Sorrows.
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