In order for the devotion to the sorrows of Mary to take root in our hearts, let us consider one by one the swords that pierced the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin.
The Prophets had described the life of Jesus in all its details, especially regarding the Passion. Our Lady, who knew the prophecies, by accepting to become Mother of sorrows, knew well how much suffering she would be encountering.
It is providential not to know the crosses that God reserves for us in the course of our life; our weakness is such that we would remain crushed at the thought of all future tribulations. Our Most Holy Mother Mary, so that she may suffer and merit more for us, had a detailed knowledge of the sufferings of Jesus, which would also have been Her own. Throughout Her life She brought in Her heart this great bitterness in peace.
Presenting the Child Jesus to the Temple, you can hear from the old prophet Simeon: “This Child is placed as a sign of contradiction … And a sword will pierce your own soul” (St. Luke, II, 34).
And indeed, the heart of the Virgin always felt the piercing of this sword. She loved without limits Jesus and She regretted that one day He would be persecuted, be called a blasphemer and demoniac, He would be innocently condemned and then killed. From Her maternal heart this painful vision did not go away and She could say: My beloved Jesus is for me a bouquet of myrrh!
Father Engelgrave writes that these sufferings of Mary was revealed to St. Bridget. The Virgin said: “Feeding my Jesus, I thought of the gall and the vinegar that the enemies would have given him on Calvary; wrapping Him in swaddling clothes, my thoughts went to the ropes, with which He would be bound as a criminal; when I contemplated him asleep, I figured him dead; when I gazed at his sacred hands and feet, I thought of the nails that would one day pierced Him and then my eyes were filled with tears and my heart was torn apart by pain.
We too have at the present and will have in the future our tribulations in life; it will not be like the sharp sword of our Lady, but certainly for every soul our own cross is always heavy. Let us imitate the Virgin in suffering and carrying the bitterness of our sorrows in peace.
What good is it to be called devotees of Our Lady, if in sorrow one does not endeavor to resign oneself to the will of God? Never say when you suffer: This suffering is too much; it exceeds my strength! Saying this is a lack of trust in God and an affront to His goodness and His infinite wisdom.
Men know the weights that their beast of burden can take and do not give them a much heavier weight, so as not to aggravate them. The potter knows how long his clay must remain in the oven, to be cooked to the degree of heat that makes it ready for use; he will not leave it there neither more nor less time as needed.
We must never think about daring to say that God, infinite Wisdom and who loves with an infinite love, can load the shoulders of His creatures with a burden that is too heavy and that He will leave the burden longer than it is necessary in the fire of tribulation.
In the Annual Letters of the Society of Jesus, we can read one episode which happened to a young Indian. He had embraced the Catholic Faith and lived as a good Christian. One day he was taken by a strong temptation; he did not pray; did not reflect on the evil he was about to do; the passion had blinded him.
He decided to leave the house to commit a very grave sin. As he went out to the door, he heard these words: “Stop! … Where are you going?”
He turned and saw a prodigy: the image of Our Lady of Sorrows, which was on the wall, came to life. Our Lady took the little sword from Her breast and began to say: “Come on, take this sword and hurt me, rather than my Son, with the sin you want to commit!”
The young man, trembling, prostrated himself on the ground and with real contrition asked forgiveness, weeping abundantly.
A Little Spiritual Flower Offering to our Lady:
– Do not waste your sufferings in life, especially the small ones, because once offered to God for souls, they are very, very precious.
Prayer to Mary:
– O Mary, through your strength in sorrow, help us in our sorrows in life!
Adapted and Translated from:
MARIA REGINA E MADRE DI MISERICORDIA (Mese di Maggio) – by DON GIUSEPPE TOMASELLI