A thousand flames of love turned to grief, Mary: Day 329

A thousand flames of love turned to grief, Mary: Day 329 June 14, 2016

year_with_mary_alphonsus_3A thousand flames of love turned to grief

St. Alphonsus talks about the intensity of Mary’s love for her Son—and how devastated she would have been to meet him as he carried his cross to Calvary.

St. Bernardine says that to form an idea of the greatness of Mary’s grief in losing her Jesus by death, we must consider the love that this mother bore to her Son. All mothers feel the sufferings of their children as their own. But what mother ever loved her son as Mary loved Jesus? He was her only Son, reared amid so many troubles; a most loveable Son, and tenderly loving his mother; a Son who, at the same time that he was her Son, was also her God, who had come on earth to enkindle in the hearts of all the fire of divine love, as he himself declared: “I have come to cast fire on the earth; and would that it were already kindled!” (Lk 12:49).

We need only imagine what a flame he must have enkindled in that pure heart of his holy mother, empty as it was of every earthly affection. The Blessed Virgin herself told St. Bridget that love had rendered her heart and that of her Son as one. That blending together of Servant and mother with Son and God created in the heart of Mary a fire composed of a thousand flames. But the whole of this flame of love was eventually, at the time of the Passion, changed into a sea of grief. St. Bernardine says of that time: “If all the sorrows of the world were united, they would not equal the sorrow of the glorious Virgin Mary.”

Yes! Because, as Richard of Saint Lawrence writes, “the more tenderly this mother loved, the more deeply she was wounded.” The greater was her love for him, the greater was her grief at the sight of his sufferings—especially when she met her Son, already condemned to death, and bearing his cross to the place of punishment. This was yet another sword of sorrow. —St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of Mary


How has my experience proven that the more tender the love, the more deep the wound when the beloved is suffering? Do I ask Mary to pray for those I love when they suffer, and to pray for me as well?


From a prayer of St. Bonaventure: Most suffering of all mothers, no more bitter grief than yours can be found; for no son more dear than yours can be found.

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