Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our Sorrowful Mother

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
She beheld her tender Child,
   All with bloody scourges rent.

For the sins of his own nation
Saw him hang in desolation
   Till his spirit forth he sent.

O sweet Mother! font of love,
Touch my spirit from above,
   Make my heart with yours accord.

Make me feel as you have felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
   With the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
  Of my Savior crucified.

Let me share with you his pain,
Who for all our sins was slain,
   Who for me in torments died.

(from the Stabat Mater)

There is no easy answer for the problem of suffering in the world, especially for the suffering of innocent children. Any attempt to explain it just falls flat and sounds hollow when you, or someone you love, is in the midst of pain.  Preachers of the popular "Prosperity Gospel" would like to do away with the mystery of the Cross altogether. Yet trying to remove pain from our lives doesn't  work either. Yesterday's feast, the Exultation of the Cross, and today's memorial, Our Lady of Sorrows, do add some depth to the mystery of suffering.
God Himself, living in perfect beatitude and incapable of suffering, freely chose to take on our human condition and became one of us.  In his great love for us, he embraced a life of suffering and pain, a death of agony on the cross, in order to set us free.
Our Blessed Mother at the foot of the cross watched her baby boy hanging there, struggling for each breath. She shared in his sufferings, and the sword that pierced the dead body of her Son also rent her soul in two.
Jesus and his sinless Mother experienced the depths of every pain imaginable. Suffering is still incomprehensible, but when we unite our pain to theirs in an offering to the Father, it becomes salvific. May we be united with Christ in his suffering and death and so come to share in his rising to new life.

No comments: