MEMORIAL OF OUR LADY OF SORROWS
1 Timothy 1:1-2, 12-14
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
To Timothy, my loyal child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 11
Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I keep the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is known as the most highly favored daughter. She had a mission unlike any other and she fulfilled it so successfully that she merited the Queenship of Heaven and Earth. It was not because her life was easy. Her favor took the form of many trials, difficult journeys, and sorrows as well as joys. She was not given riches but lived quietly raising her son in the unlikely town of Nazareth. She was widowed, watched her son begin his public mission while being opposed by the religious leaders and die an ignominious death only three years later.
Mary joined with her son in his suffering to earn her martyrdom at the foot of the cross. Then she was given the task of being mother to the Church and supported the early Christian apostles and disciples while watching many of them go through persecution and death.
As we contemplate the sorrows of Mary, we know that it was sin that caused her the most pain requiring Jesus’ suffering and death. May we enter into her pain and truly grieve sin in our lives and in the world and may we gain access to new depths of love that only a loving mother can know.
Sequence— Stabat Mater
At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.
Through her heart, his sorrow sharing,
All his bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword had passed.
Oh, how sad and sore distressed
Was that Mother highly blessed
Of the sole begotten One!
Christ above in torment hangs,
She beneath beholds the pangs
Of her dying, glorious Son.
Is there one who would not weep,
'Whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold?
Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that mother's pain untold?
Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
She beheld her tender Child,
All with bloody scourges rent.
For the sins of his own nation
Saw him hang in desolation
Till his spirit forth he sent.
O sweet Mother! font of love,
Touch my spirit from above,
Make my heart with yours accord.
Make me feel as you have felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ, my Lord.
Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Savior crucified.
Let me share with you his pain,
Who for all our sins was slain,
Who for me in torments died.
Let me mingle tears with you,
Mourning him who mourned for me,
All the days that I may live.
By the cross with you to stay,
There with you to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of you to give.
Virgin of all virgins blest!
Listen to my fond request:
Let me share your grief divine.
Let me to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death
Of that dying Son of yours.
Wounded with his every wound,
Steep my soul till it has swooned
In his very Blood away.
Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
Lest in flames I burn and die,
In his awful judgment day.
Christ, when you shall call me hence,
Be your Mother my defense,
Be your cross my victory.
While my body here decays,
May my soul your goodness praise,
Safe in heaven eternally.