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Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows

My dear encountered couples:

I’m sure that you are familiar with the anxiety associated with hearing your telephone ring in the middle of the night. You hesitate to answer because your feeling is that it must be “bad news”. One time, our rectory phone rang at 3:10 A.M. Startled from sleep, I went to answer the telephone with hesitation. Before I could even say a word, the voice on the other end was frantically yelling, “Father, you have to come right away. It’s my son.” After calming the mother, I attempted to get more information from her. I found out that her son was found dead in bed. “I’ll be right there.”

Here was a mother overcome with sorrow for her dead son. A woman who was crying out in pain because her 17 year old son, to whom she gave birth, nurtured, loved and raised, was now gone from her embrace. There was deep hurt in her voice and sorrow in her life.

Think of all the sorrowful moments and experiences you have had in your lives in which you have felt lonely, lost, and full of pain. How, you thought, would you ever be able to cope with them and even attempt to be healed from the effects of these terrible experiences?

Often, the only thing that could be helpful in your suffering and sorrow is the support of another who has experienced similar suffering and sorrow in their life. Surely, the listening ear of one of your relatives or friends to whom you can turn and pour out your heartfelt pain and sorrow is appreciated. Yet, there is still another woman to whom you can pray and seek support and consolation. This woman is our Mother Mary, the Mother of God, who is given the title of “Our Lady of Sorrows”. She too in her life experienced deep pain that brought much sorrow into her peaceful life.

As we celebrate this Memorial of Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, we see how Mary, although hurting and confused, met her sorrows with the strength that comes only from faith; a faith that she had as a daughter of God and the Mother of God’s son. Mary’s sorrows were endured as part of her vocation as the Mother of the Redeemer. There is no one closer to Christ than His mother, consequently, no one has ever participated more intimately in the redemptive suffering of Christ than His Mother, Mary. She is indeed a source of encouragement and solace for anyone who unites their sorrow with her sorrow and seeks her loving intercession.

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