The Journey to Joy

Join us for a Meditation Novena on the 7 Sorrows of Mary
beginning September 6

There’s a lot of pressure to conform and perform in our world. You’ve got to look like you’ve got it all together, that you are the perfect parent, never frazzled, always in control. You’ve got to show that you excel at things, that you are strong, that you don’t make mistakes. And this pressure is there whether or not your faith in God and religious practice are strong.

As a Catholic priest, I see so many people who live projecting an image of perfection and happiness, as if they have it all together—but I hear confessions and counsel couples, and I see behind the façade into the disordered interior of messy lives. The reality is that everyone struggles,
everyone has their cross, and no one has it all together. We attempt to live behind the façade, but we all know deep down the truth about our own brokenness and misery.

I think this is why reflecting on the seven sorrows of Mary can be so liberating. She suffered. She faced setbacks. She made mistakes. The mother of God lost him in the Temple! Mary had sorrow, but she is also the greatest saint in the history of humanity. She didn’t live a life without difficulties, nor did she run away from problems. She “kept all these things in her heart” (Luke 2:51) and through prayer found the purpose and meaning of all things. To reflect on Mary’s sorrows is to peel back the mask that we wear, to drop the false façade of perfection, and to open up our horizons to the deep truth that holiness doesn’t come from us holding it all together, but from God holding us. His grace and mercy are the defining points of a truly Christian life.

Excerpted from Journey to Joy: Reflections on the 7 Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by Fr. Daniel Brandenburg, LC, this Meditation Novena will explore the seven sorrows of Our Lady and how they can help us to grow in spiritual maturity.

You will receive daily emails beginning September 6 to help you prepare for the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows on September 15. Each email will have a short meditation, some reflection questions, and a prayer.

The Journey to Joy

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