Today, the Catholic Church celebrates the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. In recognizing this day, we remember and reflect upon the sufferings Mary endured because she was the mother of Christ. We unite our suffering with hers, and with Christ’s, and we recognize the value of her intercession, especially as she understands and empathizes with our own sorrows and sufferings.
- The prophecy of Simeon
- The flight into Egypt
- Losing the child Jesus at the temple
- Meeting Jesus as he carried his cross
- The crucifixion
- The removal of the body of Jesus from the cross
- The burial of Jesus
By meditating upon these sorrows daily, the devout are given seven promises, among them a peaceful home and visible help at the moment of their death. Our Lady also promises to console them in their pains and accompany them in their work.
The Church has so many beautiful devotions, I find myself flowing from one to the other as seasons of my life change. While the Rosary remains the foundation for all my devotions, the Seven Sorrows devotion is one I find particularly beautiful and reasonably easy to work into my days. It takes only a few minutes, and yet gives me valuable time to reflect on Christ’s suffering and death, and the toll that those events must have taken on his mother. I reflect on her Godly response, and how I can respond to suffering in my own life in a manner more like hers. It reminds me to recognize the difficulties in my life as opportunities to unite myself more thoroughly to Christ, to truly take up my cross and follow him.
We are all broken, we are all sinners, and we all face trials and tragedies. There have been countless times when I have responded to those challenges in graceless ways, and there have been some – comparatively, a sad few – where I have responded with love, grace, hope, and even joy. Those times are the result of time spent meditating upon the Rosary and other devotions, such as the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady.
Whether you are facing trials today or not, I hope you will experience this devotion for yourself. As Christians, we are assured of joy, yet we are also most certainly assured of crosses. Without proper preparation, our hearts will not be able to experience the joys hidden in those crosses.
For more information about the Seven Sorrows Devotion, click here.
For a beautiful Bible study on the Seven Sorrows, by my friend, author Beth Leonard, click here.
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