The Mother of Sorrows

September 15, 2020

God cannot suffer, let alone die. In order to acquire this right to death and to the pains that are like its announcement or prelude, He, who wanted to suffer and die for the glory of his Father and for our salvation, had to take a body similar to ours.

But where did He take this body of flesh? In the chaste womb of the Virgin Mary. At the same time He wanted to communicate to His Mother the instrument that one day would torture His body until death on the cross: “Your soul too will be pierced by a sword.” From that moment on her life was filled with bitterness and suffering that led her to the summit of her life: “The Son was on the Cross and Mary was by the Cross. The Son was attached to the Cross, and the Cross was attached to the Heart of Mary. There was one Cross, and there were two crucified. There was only one Passion, and there were two who suffered it. The nails pierced the hands of the Son and the Heart of the Mother; the crown tore the adorable head of Jesus and the Sacred Heart of Mary. O the faithful companion! O the precious helper!” (Saint Thomas of Villeneuve).

Longin's spear, which could no longer torture Jesus, reached the Heart of his Mother: “O my Queen, where have You been? Was it not rather on the Cross, beside your Son? Oh, yes, you were crucified with him, with this difference however that while it was His body that was crucified, it was your Heart that was nailed to the Cross. With the same difference the wounds scattered over the body of Jesus were united in your Heart. Thus, O my sovereign, your Heart was pierced with a spear, crowned with thorns, watered with gall and vinegar. O loving Heart, how is it that you have been changed into an abyss of pain? O my Queen, when I consider your Heart in this state, it is no longer that Heart that I see; I see in it more than myrrh, wormwood, and gall ... O astonishing wonder! You are all plunged in the wounds of your divine Son and I see Him crucified in the most intimate part of your Heart” (Saint Bonaventure).

Even more profoundly: not only did Jesus take from the Heart of Mary the human body that allowed his sufferings and death, not only did he contemplate in the Heart of his Mother all her sufferings faithfully reproduced, as in a mirror, but He also took from it a renewal of sufferings: “One of the greatest torments that our Savior suffered on the cross, and which was more sensitive to Him than his bodily pains, was to see His most sacred Mother plunged into a sea of suffering, for whom He had more love than for all creatures together. Oh, what affliction such a mother has, who sees before her eyes such a Son so unjustly tormented and damaged in an ocean of pain, and she can give him no help” (St. John Eudes).

“It seems to me that the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Compassion, Our Co-redemptrix, who is near the Cross, invites each one of us, each one of the human creatures who are born into this world. She takes us by the hand in some way to lead us to Calvary, to make us share in the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ” (Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre).