Greetings in Jesus and Mary....
Here we are at Good Friday! The day Jesus offered up His whole being for the sins of the world and to open the gates of Heaven for us to live with Him for all eternity!
My focus today will be on Mary during this great time of suffering in being at the side of Her Son Jesus. The image I chose is to depict Our Lady holding up Her Son to the Eternal Father for us. This is what was in the Heart of Our Dear Blessed Mother....She is His Mother....She suffered His Death in Her Immaculate Heart since the sight of Her Babe in Bethlehem....for She knew what lied ahead for both of them.
At Christmas, we hear the song, "Mary Did You Know". It is a moving song but not accurate. Mary had to have known what was ahead for both of them or Her fiat to being the Mother of God would not have been honest. God allowed Her to know the future in order for Her fiat to be real..to be honest...to be sincere. She knew what was ahead for Jesus and for Herself. Fr. Faber quotes from "City of God' by Mother Mary Agreda which many saints have read from and it is approved. He mentions that Jesus actually went to Her for Her blessing before His Passion commenced because both knew this was the time of His Sacrifice. In all humility, She fell to Her knees to receive His instead. The two knelt in prayer together and each blessed the other. HOW BEAUTIFUL!
In my readings last night, I decided to share Her love with all of you at this time. I went to Mass at a Carmelite Monastery last night. These nuns have no chaplain and are waiting for a chaplain replacement (I pray they get one). Temporarily, they are having diocesan priests fill in until this blessed day happens, if God so wills it. These nuns need so much in the way of spiritual guidance and the Church can not supply that because of the shortages. The homily yesterday was an effort but not even close to what those sisters need to hear. The Carmelite spirituality is all about love and reparation. Holy Thursday is all about love and reparation. I will say no more....but this could have been the focus.
My article today will be thoughts taken from Father Frederick Faber's book..."The Foot of the Cross". I highly recommend all of his books but this one covers all seven of the Blessed Mother's dolors in a very deep and poetic way. Fr. Faber wrote books, hymns and poems and died at a fairly early age....I was astounded that he had accomplished so much before he was called home.
Father Faber explains that with each dolor...there is a distinct grace and love that increases in the soul of Mary. Each dolor as it comes, falls upon greater love, and also upon love that has suffered more, and therefore gives Her a great capacity for suffering because of that increased LOVE.
Because of the many mystical gifts the saints have experienced over the ages, we can be certain that by a miraculous grace Mary assists, in spirit, at the Agony in the Garden, sees our Lord's Heart unveiled throughout, and feels in Herself, and according to Her measure, a corresponding agony throughout His entire Passion.
What does God allow Her to see... physically... spiritually......
She sees the treachery of Judas, in spite of Her intense prayers for him. She hears the voice of Jesus, She hears also the blows given to Her Beloved. She hears the sound of the scourging, She sees Him at the pillar, and the people around Him sprinkled with His Blood. She sees the guards of Herod mock the Everlasting. She has beheld the ruffians in the guard room celebrate the cruel coronation of the Almighty King. She heard Pilate say, "Behold the Man". She heard the wild blasphemies against Jesus by His own people which still rings in our ears and echoes down through the centuries. Fr. Faber beautifully says, "Never had maternal love sat on such a throne as that one in Mary's Heart."
When the moment has come for the meeting on the way to Calvary. Jesus halts for a moment. He lifts the one hand that is free, and clears the blood from His eyes. Is it to see Her? Rather, that She may see Him. His look of sadness, His look of love. She approaches to embrace Him. The soldiers thrust Her rudely back. Oh, misery... and She is His Mother! For a moment She reeled with the push, and then again was still, Her eyes fixed on His, His eyes fixed on Hers; such a link, such an embrace, such an outpouring of love, such an overflow of sorrow. She follows Him all the way to Golgotha and witnesses the falls, the jeers, the kicks, the trampled on Precious Blood, the insults; ALL the pain and suffering of His Way of the Cross.
Fr. Faber ends with a message to all of us. He states the following...."Would it not be an unproductive day in which we did not meet our Lord? For is not that the very meaning of our lives? If the day is meant for the sun to shine, it is but half a day, or rather it is night, if only the material sun shall shine, and the Sun of justice also rise not on us with health upon His wings. We go out to meet Jesus in every action of the day; but we require this fourth dolor to admonish us that we must rarely expect to meet Him except with a Cross, and that a new one. It is always with the Cross that we encounter Him. Why, then, are we so amazed when crosses come??? When it has happened thus so often, do we not see that it is a law, a law of the kingdom of grace, and that not to perceive it is to lose half its blessing, by missing the promptitude of obedience?
What cross we shall meet today we know not and sometimes we cannot guess. But we know that if we meet Jesus we shall meet a cross, and evening will find us with the burden on our backs but with Jesus at our side.
Some men meet Him, and turn away. Some see Him far off, and turn down another road. Some come close up, and leap down the precipice at the side, as if He were a destroying angel blocking up the way. Some pass by, pretending they do not know Him. He has been walking cross-laden in thousands of earth's roads today; but He has had a few honest greetings. Some follow in the sullenness of servile obedience, and drag their cross, and it jolts upon the stones, and hurts them all the more, and they fall, but their falls are not in union with those three of His upon the old Way of the Cross. Few kneel down and kiss His feet, and take the cross off His back and shoulder it and walk by His side, singing Psalms and smiling with the knowledge of mingling their love and reparation with their Lord and Savior. Oh the beauty of that day's sunset to such as these! So let us embrace our cross as Mary, Our Mother did, and follow Jesus to Heaven...our true Home! No one's face is toward Heaven when it is not toward Calvary....but it must be done in union with the Hearts of Jesus and Mary in the spirit of LOVE and REPARATION!
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!