When we speak of Mary’s sorrows, we typically focus on seven occasions in her life that brought her untold suffering. But St. Alphonsus points out that Mary’s suffering grew throughout her life as she became increasingly devoted to her Son, knowing what lay ahead for him.
The sufferings of Our Lady as she offered the infant Jesus to God in the temple didn’t end there. No, they only began; for from that time forward, during the whole life of her Son, Mary had constantly before her eyes the death and all the torments that he was to endure. For this reason, the more this Son showed himself beautiful, gracious, and loveable, the more the anguish of her heart increased.
Most sorrowful Mother, had you loved your Son less, or had he been less loveable, or had he loved you less, your sufferings as you offered him to death would certainly have been diminished. But there never was, and never will be, a mother who loved her son more than you loved yours. For there never was, and never will be, a son more loveable, or one who loved his mother more than your Jesus loved you.
O God, had we beheld the beauty, the majesty, of the face of that divine Child, could we have ever found the courage to sacrifice his life for our salvation? Yet you, Mary, who were his mother, and a mother loving him with so tender a love—you were able to offer your innocent Son for the salvation of men, to a death more painful and cruel than ever was endured by the greatest villain on earth!
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Have I ever considered how Mary’s sorrow would have deepened over the years in light of what St. Simeon had told her in the temple? How do I seek her consolation in my sorrows regarding my loved ones?
“The Sorrowful Hail Mary,” approved by Pope Pius IX: Hail, Mary, full of sorrows, the Crucified is with thee; thou art pitiable among women, and pitiable is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of the Crucified, implore for us, the crucifiers of thy Son, tears of contrition, now and at the hour of our death.
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