The Sorrowful Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary: A Brief Musing
Yesterday we celebrated the Exaltation of the Most Holy Cross while today we are commemorating the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows – the Sorrowful Heart of our Blessed Virgin Mary. A major portion of the Gospel reading for today reads, as follows:
“Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
and you yourself a sword will pierce
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
These 2 sorrowful consecutive feast days, if we based only on what is being depicted in the pictures published on the web (i.e. Jesus nailed on the cross and the Blessed Mother with swords pierced on her heart), give us a feeling of sadness as well (perhaps a feeling of guilt for all the sins we have committed and which we have contributed to the sins of the world). However, there’s something more beautiful to this than meets the eye, so to speak. These sad feast days, if we dig deeper into it, have some significance in our faith journey. The rationale behind the celebration of Our Lady of Sorrows is to remind us of the Blessed Mother’s grief and suffering particularly during the passion and death of her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. As a mother to Jesus and vice versa, they were both deeply connected with each other – that they shared their sorrows because of their love for each other, and that they endured their sufferings because of their love for mankind.
Similarly in this present world, sad days happen in our daily lives. Parents, especially mothers, are the ones being impacted (they suffer and feel the same pain too) by the suffering of their sons’/daughters’ or even a member of the family (e.g. sickness, failures, death) or even due to their wrongdoings. This is also because parents love their children so much. And they would do everything – e.g., fervently pray to God for their children to be saved in all aspects, be it physical, spiritual, emotional, psychological, etc.
These feast days are being imparted to encourage us to do good and to turn from sin while there is still time to change while still on earth. That’s the kind of perfect and true love that God has for us and the Blessed Mother as well.
St.John Paul II, once reminded us that our Blessed Mother goes on being the “loving consoler of those touched by the many physical and moral sorrows which afflict and torment humanity. She knows our sorrows and our pains. Mary is our Spiritual Mother, and the mother always understands her children and consoles them in their troubles. Then, she has that specific mission to love us, received from Jesus on the Cross, to love us only and always, so as to save us! Mary consoles us above all by pointing out the Crucified One and Paradise to us.” (1980). On the other hand, Pope Francis in one of his homilies, stated that Our Lady of Sorrows is a “model of how to live the faith with compassion and care for the suffering: Mary, Mother of Sorrows, remains at the foot of the Cross. She simply stands there. She does not run away, or try to save herself, or find ways to alleviate her grief,”
Let’s pray to our Lord God that we may be steadfast in our faith in Him and to His commandments. That we may have a deep concern and mercy to those who are in pain and suffering. That we may be able to help them in whatever we can be of help to them.
Our Lady of Sorrows, help us to overcome and withstand any challenges in our lives. Mama Mary, please intercede for us, pray for us that we may be faithful followers of your Son. Amen. Our Lady, we honor you, we venerate you. All this we ask, in Jesus Mighty Name. Amen.
O Holy Mary, our hope, handmaid of the Lord , pray for us.
Jesus, King of Mercy, we trust in You. Amen.