September 15: Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

Today’s Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows is a reminder of what sorrow means and how people of faith ought to face suffering and sorrow. We can have sorrow for something or someone, or with someone. The sorrow Mary experienced at the foot of the Cross was sorrow for sin. It was not her sin, but how sin had ravaged the life of her innocent Son and how sin ravages us all, still, even when we are not responsible for it.

The sorrow Mary experienced at the Cross was the sorrow that stemmed from compassion. Compassion literally means “with suffering” of “suffering with.” Mary’s sorrow came from making her Son’s suffering her own.

The sorrow we share when a loved one is suffering makes a deep connection. It is a spiritual solidarity that helps the afflicted see that they are not alone. The Lord Himself, in John 19, 25-27, entrusted the Blessed Mother to His Beloved Disciple so that she too would not have to suffer alone. She continues this mission of compassion: when we are suffering, she is here to console us and to suffer with us, and we thank her for that today.

The Lord promised there would be trials in the world. Let us thank Our Blessed Mother for suffering those trials with us and, following her example, let us make sure we show compassion toward others who are afflicted.

Let us pray. “O God, who willed that, when your Son was lifted high on the Cross, His Mother should stand close by and share His suffering, grant that your Church, participating with the Virgin Mary in the Passion of Christ, may come to share in His Resurrection. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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