We feel sorrowful feelings on witnessing the death of someone, even a stranger. And what does a mother feel when she is at the bed of her dying son? She would like to be able to alleviate all the pains of agony and would give her life to provide comfort to her dying son.
Let us contemplate our Lady at the foot of the Cross, where Jesus is in agony! The compassionate Mother had witnessed the barbaric scene of the crucifixion; She had gazed the soldiers who took off the garments of Jesus; She had seen the vase of gall and myrrh approaching his lips; She had seen the nails penetrate into the hands and feet of Her beloved Son; and here She is now at the foot of the Cross and watching the last hours of agony!
An innocent son, who agonizes in a sea of torments … the Mother nearby is forbidden to give Him the least relief. The terrible heat made Jesus say: I am thirsty! Anyone would run to look for a drink of water for a dying man; but to our Lady it was forbidden to do this. St. Vincent Ferrer commented: Mary could have said: I have nothing to give you to drink but my tears!
The Lady of Sorrows kept Her gaze fixed on the Son hanging from the Cross and followed his every movement. Seeing the pierced and bleeding hands, contemplating those feet widely wounded of the Son of God, observing the weariness of the limbs, without being able to help Him in any way. Oh, what a terrible sword to the Heart of our Lady! And in the midst of so much pain, She was forced to hear the mockery and blasphemies that the soldiers and the Jews threw at the man on the cross. O Woman, great is your pain! The sword that pierces your Heart is most acute!
Jesus suffered beyond all belief; the presence of His Mother, so immersed in pain, increased the pain of His delicate Heart. The end is approaching. Jesus exclaimed: It is consummated! A tremor pervaded His body, lowered His head and died.
Mary perceived everything; She did not say a word, but suffering to the extreme limit, united Her holocaust of Herself to that of Her Son.
Let us consider, dear pious souls, the reason for the sufferings of Jesus and Mary: In reparation of Divine Justice outraged by our sin.
Only sin was the cause of so much pains. O sinners, who with such ease you commit such grave guilt, remember the evil you do trampling on God’s law! That hatred that you nourish in your heart, those evil satisfactions that you grant to your body, those grave injustices that you do to your fellow man … you return to crucify in your soul the Son of God and pierce with a sword the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
How can you, or sinful soul, after having committed a mortal sin, remain indifferent and joke and rest as if you had done nothing? … Let us cry at the foot of the Cross; plead with the Virgin to wash your impurities with Her tears. Promise, if Satan comes to tempt you, to recall the torment of Our Lady on Calvary. When your corrupt passions would like to drag you to evil, think: If I give in to temptation, I am a unworthy child of Mary and will make all Her pains useless for me! … Death, but not sins!
Father Roviglione of the Society of Jesus narrates that a young man had formed the good habit of visiting every day an image of Our Lady of Sorrows. He did not content himself with praying, but contemplated with compunction the Virgin, depicted with seven swords in Her Heart.
It happened that one night, not resisting the attacks of the passion, he fell into a mortal sin. He knew done something bad and promised himself to go on confession later.
The next morning, as usual, he went to visit the image of Our Lady of Sorrows. To his surprise he saw that eight swords were stuck in our Lady’s chest.
Why, he thought, this novelty? Until yesterday the swords were seven. Then he heard a voice, which certainly came from Our Lady: The grave sin that you have committed tonight, had added a new sword to this Motherly Heart.
The young man was moved to pity, including his poor state of his soul and without delay went to confession. Through the intercession of Our Lady of Sorrows, he regained again the friendship of God.
A Little Spiritual Flower Offering to our Lady:
– Ask often forgiveness to God for our sins, especially the most serious ones.
Prayer to Mary:
– O Virgin of Sorrow, offer Jesus my sins, which I detest with my whole heart!
Adapted and Translated from:
MARIA REGINA E MADRE DI MISERICORDIA (Mese di Maggio) – by DON GIUSEPPE TOMASELLI