Saturday, September 15, 2018

Our Lady of Sorrows | Mater Dolorosa

Let us adore Christ, the savior of the world, who called his mother to share in his passion.

Our Lady of Seven Sorrows | Mater Dolorosa, ora pro nobis!

Today is the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. This morning as I did my prayers and readings with this in mind, I was struck by the vastness of God’s love and Mercy.
“Some were sick on account of their sins and afflicted on account of their guilt. They had a loathing of every food, they came close to the gates of death. Then they cried out to the Lord in their need and he rescued them from distress. He sent forth his words to heal them and saved their life from the grave.” Psalm 107:17-20

Thoughts of mercy and love came to mind as I read these verses, then a slimy thought slithered in that tried to rob me of peace. It tried to cause me to second guess this act of mercy, the salvation for all people through the death and resurrection of Our Lord.

It said to me. “How unjust it is to share heaven with ones who wasted their life on earth, enjoyed the pleasures this world offered only to cry out at the end and get rescued…” 

It carried on whispering in my ear, but I stopped listening. For in that instant, the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) was on my lips as a rebuke.

Then the proclamation that we should all rejoice and encourage these souls who were once lost and have now been found was leaving my mouth. For the journey before these souls will be difficult, for they have collected many demons that must be extracted, burned away in purgatory before entering heaven.

The idea of not rejoicing tasted bitterly of pride to me; while the love and mercy of Jesus pouring out for us is sweet and refreshing.

Let us all forgive each other and live by the example Jesus commands of us!
“He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39
In scripture, we are told to “do justly” and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8).  Justice isn’t just negative, a matter of dealing out judgment, but also a positive thing, in that we render whatever is owed to God and others.

It is not our job to judge others and to deal out justice. For who is man to put himself on the same level as God to whom justice belongs. We cannot possibly comprehend the vastness of salvation through the infinite love and mercy from which it came.

We must forgive and love one another as God loves us. 
We are to repent and beg forgiveness from God for our sins.
We must "...thank the lord for his love, for the wonder he does for men. Let them offer a sacrifice of thanks and tell of his deeds with rejoicing." Psalm 107:31
I find it most interesting that yesterday we honored and venerated the cross, and today we have the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. 

It was through Mary who stood by the cross, whose heart was pierced as her son died, and his soul was given up to God. The pain and grief her Immaculate heart must have experienced as is was pierced just as Simeon foretold at the presentation in the temple when the side of Jesus was pierced and blood and water flowed out must have been immense.

But by her obedience and faith in God, by the love she shared with Jesus, Mary accepted the call to be Mother for all. In the moment John took Mary into his home, Mary became not only the Mother of Jesus, but to his whole body, the Church. 

So when the members of the Church, the body of Christ, are sick with sin, Our Lady of Sorrows stands by the cross to lift each one up into the love and mercy pouring from the pierced side of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

When we repent, the space in our heart where sin was is cleaned and healed so that when we receive love and mercy from our Lord, we have a greater capacity in our hearts to carry it out in to the world and share it with all we meet when we live our faith.

I urge you all on this memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows to pray with our Holy Mother. Let her lead you to Jesus. Go to confession, and repent. Let her lift you up to the feet of Jesus on the cross to receive the love and mercy pouring out from his pierced side.
Father, as your son was raised on the cross his mother Mary stood by him, sharing his suffering. May your church be united with Christ in his suffering and death and so come to share in his rising to new life where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
(CLICK HERE to pray the devotional to Our Lady of Sorrows)
(CLICK HERE to learn more about the Seven Sorrows of Mary)

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