By: Allison Ramirez
The month of September in the liturgical calendar is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows. Specifically, the church recognizes seven sorrows of Mary which correspond to the following biblical events: the prophesy of Simeon, the flight into Egypt, losing Jesus in Jerusalem for three days, meeting Jesus on his way to Calvary, standing at the foot of the cross, Jesus being taken down from the Cross, and Jesus’ burial. While “Blessed are you among women,” are the angel Gabriel’s words to Mary, her life of blessing was not devoid from a life of sorrow and suffering.
Why would we devote a month to focusing on the sorrows of Mary? Perhaps because of the universality of sorrow. As Christians, we are never to turn a blind eye to suffering, especially our own, but to recognize and accept it as part of our human experience. Not only did Christ fully embrace suffering head-on, but by experiencing it, used it for a greater redemption.
During this month of September, as we take up our Fall routines once more, let us recall, most especially during our times of trial, the persistent and unrelenting love of Jesus and Mary throughout both their blessings and sufferings. Let us look for little ways to view our suffering as an opportunity to meet Christ and his sorrowful Mother who know, intimately, what it feels like to suffer. We should not pretend that we aren’t hurting but instead, look for the smallest of ways that Christ is drawing us deeper into the mystery of his cross, and thus his resurrection, through our trials.
I hope you find this quote from Saint Josemaria Escriva helpful to you in times of hardship: "So your strength is failing you? Why don't you tell your mother about it?...Mother! Call her with a loud voice. She is listening to you; she sees you in danger, perhaps, and she--your holy mother Mary--offers you, along with the grace of her son, the refuge of her arms, the tenderness of her embrace...and you will find yourself with added strength for the new battle."