Week 3, Day 1
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known
that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother;
to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Mary, Mother at the Cross
Scripture Reading from Lamentations 3:22-32– God will not abandon us; He will love us forever.
Scripture reading from the Gospel of John 19:25-30 – Mary at the Foot of the Cross
Mary, Mother of Mercy
If we wish to understand Mary’s suffering, we need only think of how it feels when we watch a loved one suffer. When we see someone we love get sick and maybe even die, we suffer too. Our suffering may be even more intense when we watch our loved ones go through such pain, or see the sorrow of others who mourn the loss of a family member or close friend.
Have you known someone who has suffered greatly due to illness, or someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one? Many times our own pain hurts us less than having to see those we love suffer. They may be suffering just as we are, but it adds to our pain to watch them go through hard times. Have you ever felt this way?
Mary entered into the suffering of Christ. She could have walked away and avoided watching him suffer and die on the Cross, but Mary chose to endure it all. She even consoled others present at the Crucifixion, like John and Mary Magdalene. Surely Mary’s suffering was intense. Her only son was hurt by others, and put to death while she watched. She knew he was the Lord and Savior, and that he was innocent.
When Jesus called Mary, “Woman,” and gave her to John, and John to her, he told the world that she was the new “Woman,” the new Eve. Mary is now the Mother of all of the members of the Church. We should turn to Mary as naturally as we would look to our own mothers. Mary looks at us through the heart of Jesus. She is so close to Him, and loves us as He loves us.
Who is the Church? The Church on Earth (Militant or Pilgrim), the Church in Purgatory (Penitent or Suffering), and the Church in Heaven (Triumphant).
When we experience difficulties, it helps us to talk with people who have suffered in the same way. They can offer prayers and comfort to help us through our difficult time. Mary has experienced every type of suffering, and she is ready and willing to help us through our difficulties. Turn to Mary. She is your Mother: She loves you with a perfect love, and she will help you to love like God does too.
Daily Practice this week
This week we offer up some small sacrifice at least 3 times each day.
Most compassionate Father, fountain of love, the death of your Son on the cross was the ultimate manifestation of your mercy and the source of Mary’s motherhood for John and the whole Church. Grant us the grace to receive the gift of Mary’s motherhood as a gift of love from you, so that her presence may incessantly enkindle your love and mercy in our hearts. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Mary at the Foot of the Cross
Reflection based on Totus Tuus: A Contemplative Approach to Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, edited by Fr. Nathan Cromly.