Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

Today, September 15, the Catholic Church recognizes Mary as Our Lady of Sorrows. When I woke up this morning, I thought of this image above. It is one of the few images that I have seen that seems to best depict the pain that Mary experienced, watching her Son die on the Cross for the salvation of the world. Did she know that it would come to this? Did she know that she was going to watch Her Divine Son be tortured, beaten, mocked at, spat on, then nailed on a tree to die? Yes, this is Jesus our Savior. Mary's Savior. But also, Mary's Son. Her Son that was announced to her by St. Gabriel. Her Son that she nursed. Her Son that she bathed. Can there be anything more terrible than to watch your child suffer and die?

There are 7 sorrows of Mary. They are:
  • prophecy of Simeon
  • flight into Egypt
  • losing Jesus in Jerusalem
  • meeting Jesus on His way to Calvary
  • standing at the foot of the Cross
  • Jesus being taken from the Cross
  • at the Burial of Christ.
For this reason, you may encounter images of Mary with 7 daggers piercing her heart, like this one:

...each dagger representing a different sorrow.
As a Protestant looking at the Catholic Church, I used to think and wonder why is there so much emphasis placed on Mary. If I would have come across this blog, I would have thought, "there goes another Catholic taking attention away from Christ and placing it on Mary". That claim, no longer has any weight.

Mary is nothing without Christ. We would not even be talking about her, we wouldn't even know who she was, except for her relationship with Christ. Even look at the seven sorrows. They are all in relationship to Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church did not choose to place so much emphasis on Mary. God made Mary an integral part of the story of our salvation. By giving honor to Mary, we are in fact, giving honor to God.

God bless...

1 comment:

Belteshazzar Mouse said...

Well put my friend.

I think that this is also a valid response to the earlier posts on saints.

There are many more saints than the Church recognizes. We remember those that, through their lives, offer us a model. We use those models as examples for our own lives. "Praying to the saints" is a poor expression for the kind of model they provide for us.

Mary is a great model for us, because she accepted God's plan without hesitation. Imagine if someone you knew said they had conceived a child through the Holy Spirit. I always wondered why that was not the first, eighth sorrow.