My friend was shaking when she told me her story: “We got the call in the early morning. My son was on his way to work, riding his motorcycle. He collided with a deer on the highway and skidded on a totally mangled bike for 30 feet. When I heard he was lying there, bloody and sprawled across the road, I felt like Our Lady of Sorrows! God was so merciful, and clearly Mary was there because my son walked away with very few injuries!”
We mothers know what it is like to have those moments when we stop breathing out of fear and pain. We suffer with and for our children. So many times my own children have been hurting and their hurts wound me…maybe even more than them. So when I think about Our Lady of Sorrows, I find comfort, help and guidance. Her pain must have been excruciating. Yet she never wavered in faith, hope or love.
The seven sorrows of Mary are these:
- When Jesus is a tiny baby, Simeon prophesizes that a sword will pierce his mother’s heart.
- Mary and Joseph must flee to Egypt, to avoid the persecution of Herod.
- Mary and Joseph discover that Jesus is missing! For three days they search for him in Jerusalem.
- Mary meets her bloodied son on the way to Calvary.
- She stands at the foot of the Cross in agony.
- Jesus is taken down from the Cross and placed in her arms.
- Her son is buried.
The feast of Our Lady of Sorrows is Sept. 15, the day after the feast of the Holy Cross which is intimately united to her day. Traditionally the entire month of Sept. is dedicated to honoring Mary as the Sorrowful Mother.
There could be no greater load of suffering for a mother than Mary’s. But the fact that sorrow did not destroy her and that she did not run away from it is the message for us. She placed her trust in God. She stayed in the experience–watching, praying and trusting.
As a result of her courage she was rewarded, even while on earth, by seeing Jesus rise from the dead! Her joy in that truth must have been overflowing!
Mary is our heavenly mother ready to intercede for us whenever we are troubled. All we have to do is ask! So do you ask?
There was a time when I was a “strayed Catholic” and caused my mother quite a bit of grief. Yet my mother, whose name is Mary, never stopped praying for me. She never withheld love. I came back into the church as a result of her prayers. Then we decided to go on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. It was Mary, through Mary, who helped me truly return to my faith home!
Since that time I continue to be awestruck by the ways God answers the intercession of Mary. She is the Mother of Mothers, the Mother who is with us always.
It is helpful to remember, during this special month, that no matter what our sorrows may be, there is always hope and help. Mary, our mother is with us!