Monday, September 15, 2014
Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows; a day to think about all the Mother of Jesus suffered while on earth. This, coupled with the 10 week retreat, "Consoling the Heart of Jesus", I am presently participating in, has got me thinking....
A few years ago ,while with a group of friends, my (then) 18 year old son was in a bad skateboarding accident The friends immediately sought medical care and took him to a hospital. His accident included a severe concussion/mild head injury also requiring head sutures and an operation to fix a shattered collar bone needing 6 screws to put it back together. All in all we were very thankful that his injuries weren't worse, especially since what they were doing was extremely risky, reckless, and illegal. In the days immediately following the accident, my son rested at home. None of his "friends" called or came by to see him. I noticed my son feeling neglected by them, forgotten, and uncared about. I felt so sad for him as I could see the loneliness in his eyes and that he felt in his heart that he could so easily be pushed aside. By about the third day I was able to get in touch with one guy and asked him why they were not checking up on my son. "We were all so scared you'd be mad at us that we were afraid to come by", was the response I received. I assured him we weren't mad, and truly we weren't. Within an hour a small group had gathered at our house, lifting my son's spirits and offering him consolation. I breathed a sigh of relief mixed with joy, my son was not forgotten.....
It never occurred to me before, but perhaps that was a very small share in the type of sorrow Mary experienced at the foot of the cross. All but one of Jesus' apostles abandoned him in his time of greatest suffering. Did Mary, as she stayed with him the whole time, look around and wonder where all his "friends" were? Why were they not giving him comfort and support? Did her heart ache as she saw her son look down upon the crowd and realize only one of his closest friends had stayed with him? Oh, how a mother's heart weeps when her children are hurting! Instead of standing by Jesus, the apostles hid. Were they afraid to be near his mother? Were they afraid she might rebuke them and say, "How could you let them take him? Why didn't you defend his teachings and works?"
Mary was indeed grieved to stand at the foot of the cross and watch her son suffer, but I"m sure she felt worse only having the arms of one beloved apostle there to hold her up. However, she understands what fear does to people; how we are weak in our humanness and lack fortitude. She didn't leave that dark Friday to go find the men and chew- them- out for abandoning her son. No, she stayed with them, prayed with them, and no doubt soothed their heavy hearts with words of comfort that were balm for their deep sorrowful souls; souls full of cowardice to the point of denying the man they knew was the Savior. She gently and purposely stayed near to her son's friends until he breathed the Holy Spirit, her spouse, into their souls.
It is the same for us in our sinfulness. We are shameful and turn away from Jesus. Instead of running to the Blessed Mother and asking her to help us have the courage to go to Confession, we hide and pretend we aren't stepping away from the cross and casting our gaze upon other "things" of this world. But the Blessed Mother is always there, waiting for us, to hold our hand and gently lead us back to our Lord. She will stand by us and present us to God as one of His own. She speaks on our behalf and never leaves us, as long as we welcome her.
So today, as we honor the Blessed Mother under the title: Our Lady of Sorrows, let's stand at the foot of the cross and tell Jesus we will "Be the One" to give him consolation. We will stand with the one chosen to be his Mother by our side and we should never fear so much to run because we know she's got us wrapped in her mantle and she will only take us in one direction, toward her Son!