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Learning from our Lady of Sorrows – Weekly Message for September 15, 2015
Dear friends in Christ,
This same time last year on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, Pope Francis reflected on the fact that Mary learned, obeyed and suffered at the foot of the Cross. Jesus and Mary show us how to walk confidently with hope, learning obedience through suffering.
“Jesus came into the world to learn how to be a man, and by being a man, walk with men. He came into the world to obey, and He obeyed. But he learned this obedience from suffering. Adam left Paradise with a promise, a promise that lasted for so many centuries. Today, through this obedience, this self-abnegation, this humiliation, through Jesus, that promise becomes hope. And the people of God walk with sure hope. Even the Mother, ‘the New Eve’, as Paul himself calls her, in order to participate in her Son’s journey, learned, suffered and obeyed. And thus she becomes Mother.”
Both joy and sorrow are part of the mystery of life. We each encounter the cross, through difficulties, trials, and hardship. We may suffer persecution or loneliness. Through it all, we struggle to find our way, but we are not alone. Pope Francis offers us both Mary and the Church as spiritual mothers who give us Jesus Christ and a path lit with hope.
“And this is our hope. We are not orphans, we have Mothers: Mother Mary. But the Church is Mother and the Mother Church is anointed when it takes the same path of Jesus and Mary: the path of obedience, the path of suffering, and when she has that attitude of continually learning the path of the Lord. These two women – Mary and the Church – carry on the hope that is Christ, they give us Christ, they bring forth Christ in us. Without Mary, there would be no Jesus Christ; without the Church, we cannot go forward”.
“Today, looking at this woman by the Cross, steadfast in following her Son in His suffering to learn obedience, looking at her we see the Church and look at our Mother. And also, we look at our little soul that will never be lost, if it continues to be a woman close to these two great women who accompany us in life: Mary and the Church. And just as our fathers left Paradise with a promise, today we can go forward with a hope: the hope that our Mother Mary, steadfast at the Cross, and our Holy Mother, the hierarchical Church, give us. “
To prepare our hearts for the Holy Father’s visit to the United States, RCSpirituality offers the Retreat Guides A Mother’s Tears and Built to Last. If you have seen them before, watch them again. And if you haven’t, dip into them as a way to renew your relationship with our Mother in the order of grace.
May these days leading up to the Pope’s visit to the U.S. be a time of preparation for us, to grow in the knowledge that our Mother is close to us. On this Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, let us turn to Mary, entrusting to her tender care all of our needs and the protection of the Holy Father.
With the assurance of my prayers,