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Saturday, September 15, 2007

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Our Lady of Sorrows

Hebrews 5:7-9
Psalm 31
John 19:25-27
or Luke 2:33-35

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at the cross

"Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered." —Hebrews 5:8

"At the cross her station keeping, stood the mournful mother weeping, close to Jesus to the last." Today only, on this feast of the sorrowful mother, we pray these words from the ancient prayer, the Sequence. In this prayer, we ask to suffer. We pray with Mary that we may "understand the meaning" of her sorrow and mourn with her. We pray: "Pierce my heart once and forever with the wounds of your crucified Son. Let me share with you the pain of your Son's wounds...Grant that my tears of love may mingle with yours and that, as long as I live, I may feel the pain of my crucified Lord."

Who would pray such a prayer? It would only be prayed by one who is either in love or insane. We love Jesus so much we want to be with Him in pain rather than apart from Him in pleasure. True love is stronger than self-concern. We seek to bear our "share of the hardship which the gospel entails" (2 Tm 1:8) and fill up in our own bodies "what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ" (Col 1:24). We choose to suffer with Mary "near the cross...close to Jesus to the last."

Prayer:  Jesus, may I love You more than I love myself.

Promise:  "You yourself shall be pierced with a sword — so that the thoughts of many hearts may be laid bare." —Lk 2:35

Praise:  Mary became Our Lady of Sorrows when she accepted her role as mother of the Suffering Servant, Who accepted all of our sin.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Redemptive Suffering on audio AV 75-1 or video V-75.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 14, 2007

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