Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Tradition holds that Simeon's prophecy to Mary, that a sword would pierce her own soul through the mission of Christ (Luke 2:35) was fulfilled seven-fold--first of all in that very pronouncement; secondly in their flight into Egypt; third, when she and Joseph searched for three agonising days for Jesus in Jerusalem as a boy; fourth was at Jesus' scourging and crowning with thorns; fifth, when Jesus was hung on the Cross; the sixth sorrow was as His Sacred Heart was pierced with the lance; and the seventh sorrow was when He was laid in her arms and carried to the tomb. Through all of this, she was willing to suffer and to offer Christ to us for our Salvation.
But it seems to me that there is an eighth sorrow in Our Lady's heart: the sorrow caused by the disunity of her children, "those who keep God's commandments and bear witness to Jesus" (Rev 12:17). This sorrow is further compounded by our sinfulness and rejection of Christ's grace, and compounded again by the fact that many of her children do not (and often refuse to) recognise her as their Mother.
Lately, I've been working nights as a security guard, all alone at the site where I am, for ten hours a night. This has given me time for ample prayer, reading, writing, and reflecting. And one of the results of that time has been an increasing love and admiration for the Mother of God, and our Mother. On my recent vacation out East, I picked up St. Louis Marie de Montfort's little book, "The Secret of the Rosary." I highly recommend it to all and sundry. In it, he describes how the Blessed Virgin appeared to St. Dominic Guzman and instructed him to teach people about the Rosary, and to pray it. She told him that it would be a powerful weapon for the conversion of heretics and other sinners.
Following St. Dominic's example, whereby he preached the Rosary and its mysteries from that time forward, and attempted to inspire devotion to it and thus greater faith and piety in the people of his day, I plan to write a series of posts that are the fruit of my meditations sitting alone in a quiet parking lot, contemplating the mysteries of the Life of Christ and Mary in the Rosary. After that, I'll continue by posting on Mary herself and her role in the Church and in God's economy of salvation.
By way of a prelude, I'll be reposting (and slightly editing) the posts on the Rosary that I had published at Grace for the Wayward Heart, and then proceed from there.
For my Catholic readers, I hope that, through Christ's mercy, I will be able to inspire you to honour His Mother in the same way that He Himself has, and that we'll understand in a greater way how she can uniquely lead us closer to Jesus than anyone else.
For my Protestant readers, I hope that you'll "search the Scriptures" with me, with a fair and open mind, to see and understand just what it is that the Church believes about the Blessed Virgin, and, maybe, that you'll come to believe it, too.
And for my non-Christian readers, I pray that through this series you might come to faith in God and in His Church, through Mary's intercession for you and for us all.
-Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
(Category: Catholic Distinctives: Mary, Mother of God.)
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Posted by Gregory at 11:14 pm