September 15 Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
This beautiful feast falls the day after the Feast of the Exhaultation of the Cross which falls on the heels of the anniversary of the horrific and heroic acts of 9/11.
In my meditation this morning on Our Most Holy Mothers sorrow’s I recalled a deep sorrow that afflicted our family several years ago. My nephew, aged 21 , was brutally stabbed to death while trying to intervene and assist during a presumed robbery. In recalling his mother and his grandmother’s profound grief I see Our Lady sharing in their grief, echoing their wails while she cradles the battered body of Her Son. I see Our Lady standing in tearful solidarity with all those who have lost loved ones in acts of violence and terror. I see a multitude of “pietas” pleading for mercy before the Throne of The Father.
I imagine Our Lady as she stands beneath the cross, trying to be reassuring to Her Son that she is there and to not be afraid just as I heard my daughter tell her son who was frightened in the dark, “not to be afraid, Mommy is here”. I see such courage, Holy Mother, as you keep your steadfast gaze on Jesus offering Him all that you are. But then I hear the heart piercing sob ripped from your Immaculate Heart as He breathes His last, “It is finished”. No more need to keep the grief contained it bursts forth from your very soul.
I imagine that when Your Son is taken from the cross and laid in the darkness of the tomb that you remove the cruel crown of thorns and press it to your own heart in an effort to ,in some part feel the pain it caused to that Dear Sacred Head. Encouraged to leave the place of burial because it is getting dark and is the Sabbath, I can imagine your desire torn between clasping that brutal crown as a part of Him and His passion and rejecting it in horror.
Oh Holy Mother, what a beautiful feast this is and how important for your children of today to reflect on your constant presence and love as we face the issues of a world torn apart by violence, hatred and terror. How comforting to know that as beneath the cross of Christ stood His mother, so beneath our cross you also stand offering peace and encouragement, “do not be afraid, your Mother is here”.