Saturday, September 15, 2012

Our Lady of Sorrows

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows or, in the traditional rite, The Seven Sorrows of Our Lady.  This is the title of Our Lady to which I have the greatest devotion, though I certainly hold a special place as well for Our Lady of Ransom, which comes along in nine days. 

This is not the feast of the maid who gave Gabriel her fiat, but of the woman who lived out the pain of its consequences and gained hard-won wisdom from the things she stored in her heart.  This is the woman whose heart was pierced, who sat with the apostles in the upper room following the crucifixion, who leaned on St. John for comfort in her old age. 

It is always pleasant to remember the young girl at the Annunciation, but this is the feast that counts the cost of her yes.  This is the Virgin who understands any sorrow, who has life’s wisdom to give, and whose own wounds intercede before God on behalf of her children.

By the Cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Where He hung, her dying Lord.

For her soul, of joy bereaved,
Torn with anguish, deeply grieved,
Felt the sharp and piercing Sword.

O How sad and sore distressed,
Was that Mother, highly blessed,
Of the Sole- begotten One.

Deep the woe of her affliction,
When she saw the Crucifixion,
Of her ever glorious Son.

Who, on Christ’s dear Mother gazing,
Torn by anguish so amazing,
Born of woman, would not weep?

Who, on Christ’s dear Mother thinking,
Such a cup of sorrow drinking,
Would not share her sorrow deep.

For His people’s sins chastised,
She her Jesus saw despised, torn with nails,
With thorns entwined.

Saw her Son from judgment taken,
And in death by all forsaken,
Till His spirit He resigned.

Mother, fount of all devotion,
Stir in me thy grief’s emotion,
Let my tears be joined with thine.

Let my heart be always burning,
Still for love of Jesus yearning,
Let his will be found in mine. Amen.

Stabat Mater Dolorosa
Hymn of Vigils