Today is the Feast of the Sorrowful Mother which is also September 15th - after the Exultation of the Cross. Today is the Friday of Passion week and it falls just before Holy Week ! This is a great mystery to meditate on. Our Lady suffered so much from the time of the Annunciation and it continues until the end of our time - when sin is no more!
Suffering is such a mystery - but good can come from it if we unite it to the sufferings of Jesus. We can offer this suffering for the reparation of the sins of the world and especially the Church. Good can come from this just as the Resurrection came after the Cross! Let us remain hopeful but strong in our conviction that suffering must come before victory! Palm Sunday and Holy Week are before us and we can not publicly participate in this great solemn occasion. This is the most tragic time in all of Christian history. Not even during World War I and World War II were these solemnities not publicly honored. This gives us great cause of alarm. We must wake up to the need to turn back to God and love Him above all things such as Our Lady does. We can turn to Her for guidance and grace to seek Jesus during these Holy Days laid out before us. Let us make the best of it. I will later post an article early next week before Holy Thursday about making our Spiritual Communions in union with Mary as she did during the Last Supper.
Below is taken from an article I had written previous but it is so beautiful that it is worth repeating.....We do not meditate enough on the pains and sorrows of our good Queen and Mother. I never spend Lent without reading of the Passion of Jesus as written by many saints. St. Alphonsus deLiguori, Fr. Frederick Faber, Mary of Agreda and Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich. I will quote from the book "The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ" written by Anne Catherine Emmerich. This is taken from Chapter 51 - The Embalming of the Body of Jesus.
"The Blessed Virgin seated herself upon a large cloth spread on the ground, with her right knee, which was slightly raised, and her back resting against some mantles, rolled together so as to from a species of cushion. No precaution had been neglected which could in any way facilitate to her—the Mother of Sorrows—in her deep affliction of soul, the mournful but most sacred duty which she was about to fulfill in regard to the body of her beloved Son. The adorable head of Jesus rested upon Mary’s knee, and his body was stretched upon a sheet. The Blessed Virgin was overwhelmed with sorrow and love. Once more, and for the last time, did she hold in her arms the body of her most beloved Son, to whom she had been unable to give any testimony of love during the long hours of his martyrdom. And she gazed upon his wounds and fondly embraced his blood-stained cheeks, while Magdalen pressed her face upon his feet.
......Magdalen did not leave the body of Jesus; but John gave continual assistance to the Blessed Virgin, and went to and fro from the men to the women, lending aid to both parties. The women had with them some large leathern bottles and a vase filled with water standing upon a coal fire. They gave the Blessed Virgin and Magdalen, according as they required, vases filled with clear water, and sponges, which they afterwards squeezed in the leathern bottles. (Notice the care of the Precious Blood - it is recounted that the angels took all of this away so that it would not remain to be trampled underfoot - as well as the Precious Blood along the Way of Calvary. Let us ponder on how we have not been allowed to receive Sacramental Communions for all of Lent and possibly Easter. We must offer this sacrifice up for all the sacrileges, blasphemies and indifferences that have occurred toward Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament....and they are many and for many years! This is a horrible chastisement we are suffering but a just one.)
The courage and firmness of Mary remained unshaken even in the midst of her inexpressible anguish It was absolutely impossible for her to leave the body of her Son in the awful state to which it had been reduced by his sufferings, and therefore she began with indefatigable earnestness to wash and purify it from the traces of the outrages to which it had been exposed.
(This account is of His Face and Head - She did this for His entire Body before the Burial and then walked away with the relics of three nails and a crown of thorns). With the utmost care she drew off the crown of thorns, opening it behind, and then cutting off one by one the thorns which had sunk deep into the head of Jesus, in order that she might not widen the wounds. The crown was placed by the side of the nails, and then Mary drew out the thorns which had remained in the skin with a species of rounded pincers, and sorrowfully showed them to her friends. These thorns were placed with the crown, but still some of them must have been preserved separately. The divine face of our Saviour was scarcely recognizable, so disfigured was it by the wounds with which it was covered. The beard and hair were matted together with blood. Mary washed the head and face, and passed damp sponges over the hair to remove the congealed blood. As she proceeded in her pious office, the extent of the awful cruelty which had been exercised upon Jesus became more and more apparent, and caused in her soul emotions of compassion and tenderness which increased as she passed from one wound to another. She washed the wounds of the head, the eyes filled with blood, the nostrils, and the ears, with a sponge and a small piece of linen spread over the fingers of her right hand; and then she purified, in the same manner, the half-opened mouth, the tongue, the teeth, and the lips. She divided what remained of our Lord’s hair into three parts, a part falling over each temple, and the third over the back of his head; and when she had disentangled the front hair and smoothed it, she passed it behind his ears."
COMMENT: This is very precious - the care and love given to Our Lord by Our Lady, Mary Magdalen and the men and women who stayed to help prepare His Sacred Body for burial. I recommend this book to increase your love during this time of Christ's Passion and Death.
Of all the titles given to Our Lady - and there are many - Sorrowful Mother is the one she told St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows that is greatest of her titles. Let us not add to Her sorrows by not loving Jesus first in our lives. Let us offer reparation and offer the suffering that all of us are enduring now to appease the just anger of God for our turning away from Him and embracing sin. Let us ask Our Lady to let us know what sin is and what it is that is offending God. Let us pray that the world return back to Him Who has loved us so much as to die on a Cross and open the gates of Heaven.
Our Lady of Sorrows - pray for us now and at the hour of our death!
Jesus Crucified - we love You and thank You - help us to never offend You again!
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 42 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!