It is appropriate that the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated sometimes in Lent, as it is this year. Our Lady suffered along with Our Blessed Lord and her mystical communion with her Son is a type of fellowship we should strive toward.
Our Lady Mary is closer to God than any other creature. This is because she is Daughter of the Heavenly Father, Mother of the Redeeming Son and Spouse of the Holy Ghost, Three in One. No other being has this relationship to Almighty God! As she is infinitely above us in sanctity because of her position in salvation history and the unmerited grace of Christ upon the Cross of Calvary, so is she infinitely below the Almighty and Ever Living God. She is our sweet advocate with her Divine Son, but she is not a goddess or divine herself. She leads us to the Divine, to her Son, Eternal Word and Creator, Jesus the only Christ.
Let us meditate on her Seven Sorrows as we prepare for Holy Week, where we will ritually enact and enter into the great events of our salvation by the Lord of Love. These are her sorrows:
1. The Prophesy of Simeon, (with the prophetess Saint Anna)- “Behold, thine own soul a sword shall pierce, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed!” Here in the gospels we have definitive proof of the biblical foundation of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary! Protestants do not fulfill this prophesy, only the Catholic Church reveals what this passage means. If there be not devotion to Our Blessed Mother, how can “the thoughts of many hearts be revealed?” Remember this for it is important and ask your protestant friends about this amazing gospel prophesy.
2. The Flight Into Egypt. Fleeing from Herod, the evil one, Our Lady and Our Lord trust God through the intercession and family headship of great Saint Joseph. It is also very interesting that later on Saint Paul calls Our Lord the Chief Cornerstone. What is a chief cornerstone? Do you know? I have learned from architects that there is actually only one type of building that has a chief cornerstone. Do you know what it is? It is a pyramid! A pyramid is the only structure that has a chief cornerstone, which is at its apex and covers all four sides. Fascinating, eh?! Why is Our Lord called the Chief Cornerstone? Because He fulfills ALL VALID REVELATION in and of Himself. The just aspirations of even the pagans are realized in Christ Jesus, Who brings them out of death and into Life through His perfect Life, salvific death and glorious resurrection.
3. The Loss of Jesus in the Temple. As Our Lady and St. Joseph found their dear Son being about His Father’s business, so we will find Our Lord when we begin our search in the holies. We must go to the temple of our hearts where He finds us and brings us into our rightful destiny.
4. The Meeting of Jesus and His Mother On the Way of the Cross. If we do not suffer with Our Lord, we will never reign with Him. Without the Cross there is no Crown. Without the Crown of Thorns there is no halo of light; and if there is never a Good Friday in your life, there will never be an Easter Sunday.
5. The Crucifixion. We are crucified with Our Lord and all that is unworthy of Him and ourselves IN Him, is sacrificed on the altar of Love, where we are forgiven by express command of Jesus from the Cross- ”Father forgive them… It is finished.”
6. The Taking Down From the Cross of the Body of Jesus, which is laid in the arms of the Virgin Mother. Having suffered psychically with Our Lord and joining herself in her Immaculate Heart to the Sufferings of Her Son, she merits the title Sorrowful which is added to that of Immaculate Heart of Mary. We join ourselves with her and those few who were faithful to the end- among whom were His best friend and the former prostitute who was forgiven much. It is another interesting fact that it was mostly women who were faithful to the end! It is always the women, co-creators with God in bringing immortal souls to life, that stay with Our Lord. Thank God for women!
7. The Laying of the Body of Our Lord in the tomb. When all seems lost, just fulfilling our vocation and “being there,” being where we are supposed to be, brings immeasurable rewards. ”He who is faithful to the end; that is the one who will be saved!”
As we enter this profound week, remember that you are all in my thoughts and prayers and you are remembered at the altar.