"Anyone who has ever received news that brought with it a prediction of future turmoil and pain has been there with Mary when Simeon foretold the heartache she would have. Anyone who has ever made a decision to leave a situation that was harmful and destructive has been there with Mary when she fled into Egypt to save her son's life. Anyone who has ever searched with panic and dismay over the loss of a valued part of their life has been there with Mary when she hunted for her lost child. Anyone who has ever met suffering on a deeper level has been there with Mary when she met her son on his path to Calvary. Anyone who has ever vigiled at the bedside of a dying one has been there with Mary when she stood beneath the cross. Anyone who has ever embraced a part of your life that has died has been there with Mary as she received the dead body of her child in her arms. Anyone who has ever stood at the cemetery with tears clutching at their heart has been there with Mary as she watched her son being laid to rest in the tomb.
As we enter into these sorrows we see how Mary questioned and grappled with what was confusing and unclear, how she needed others to be there with her in her pain, how she reflected on her life experiences in order to find meaning in them. We also see her inner resiliency, how her faith sustained her, and how her deep love for her son gave her strength to enter into and endure her suffering. We see how she never gave up even in her most desolate of times. As we walk with Mary in her sorrows we discover that we are not alone in what is most difficult for us. In Mary we have a mother, a sister, a mentor, a friend."
"Whether or not anyone has any affiliation or devotion to the mother of Jesus, I have come to believe that everyone can find their struggles and sadness hidden in the folds of Mary's robe of sorrows. Whether Mary is approached as a historical or symbolic figure of compassion, the heartaches and sorrows of her life contain a message of strength and encouragement for those who hurt.
I have personally found much hope and inspiration when I have discovered my own struggles reflected in the sorrows of Mary. I have felt comfort and kinship in knowing that Mary has been there before me. In this Mother of Sorrows I have found a woman of compassion and courage whose life experiences give me strength to weather my own tribulations.
It is with this conviction that I approach the seven sorrows of Mary. May you be given what you need for your own life's journey as you find your sorrows reflected in those of Mary."
your generous presence
is always attuned to hurting ones.
Your listening ear is bent
toward the cries of the wounded
Your heart of love
fills with tears for the suffering.
Turn my inward eye to see
that I am not alone.
I am a part of all of life.
Each one's joy and sorrow
is my joy and sorrow,
and mine is theirs.
May I draw strength
from this inner communion.
May it daily recommit me
to be a compassionate presence
for all who struggle with life's pain." ---Joyce Rupp
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