Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows: On the Martyrdom of Mary

"At the Cross her station keeping, stood the mournful Mother weeping, close to Jesus till the last...Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled, she beheld her tender Child, all with bloody scourges rent...Oh how sad and sore distressed, was that Mother highly blessed, of the sole-begotten One!...Can the human heart refrain, from partaking in her pain, in that Mother's pain untold?" (Stabat Mater Dolorosa)

"The martyrdom of the Virgin is set forth both in the prophecy of Simeon and in the actual story of our Lord's passion...[Simeon to Mary:] 'And your own heart will be pierced by a sword.'...

Truly, O blessed Mother, a sword has pierced your heart. For only by passing through your heart could the sword enter the flesh of your Son. Indeed, after your Jesus - who belongs to everyone, but is especially yours - gave up His life, the cruel spear, which was not withheld from His lifeless body, tore open His side. Clearly it did not touch His soul and could not harm Him, but it did pierce your heart. For surely His soul was no longer there, but yours could not be torn away. Thus the violence of the sorrow has cut through your heart, and we rightly call you more than martyr, since the effect of compassion in you has gone beyond the endurance of physical suffering.

...For if He could die in body, could she not die with Him in spirit? He died in body through a love greater than anyone had known. She died in spirit through a love unlike any other since His."

(From a Sermon by St. Bernard)

Related Posts: The Stabat Mater

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