Tomorrow (September 15th), the Church honors the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary in accordance with her Seven Sorrows. Reflecting on these Sorrows encourages us to grow closer to Christ through his Mother. As mothers, we can empathize with Mary as she is wrought with panic after losing her son in the Temple of Jerusalem, we can know the ache of her heart to see her son crucified, we are overwhelmed with grief at his burial. Through these Seven Sorrows of Mary, we can experience Christ's suffering through the heart of his own mother.
"The purpose of the Devotion of the Seven Sorrows is to promote union with the sufferings of Christ through union with the special suffering that Our Lady endured because she was the Mother of God. By uniting ourselves with both the Passion of Christ and His holy Mother, we enter into Jesus' Heart and honor Him greatly; He is more honored because we have so honored His Mother." (CatholicTradition.org)
This tradition and devotion is rooted in scripture and can be a valuable way to draw closer to Christ, even if you aren't Catholic. If you are one of my Protestant brothers or sisters (and if you are, I am so happy you're here!), I hope you'll prayerfully consider getting to know Christ's mother in this new way. I promise, she will never point you to anyone but Jesus.
"Never be afraid of loving Mary too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did."- St. Maximilian Kolbe
The Seven Sorrows of Mary
As we are reflecting on each passage from Sacred Scripture, we experience the Crucifixion through the eyes and the heart of our Blessed Mother. May we grow deeper in our understanding and closer to Christ through this devotion.
Prophecy of Saint Simeon - Luke 2:34-35
"Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”'
The Escape and Flight into Egypt - Matthew 2:13
"Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”
The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem - Luke 2:43–45
"When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him."
The Meeting of Mary and Jesus - Luke 23:27 and John 19:25
"A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him."
The Crucifixion of Jesus on Mount Calvary - John 19:25
"Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene."
The Piercing of the Side of Jesus, and His Descent from the Cross - Matthew 27:57–59
"When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth."
The Burial of Jesus - John 19:40–42
"They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there."
If you have never reflected on these Sorrows before, here are some beautifully written ones by the Marianites of the Holy Cross, and some great practical ideas for celebrating Our Lady of Sorrows on September 15th from Catholic Culture.