The Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin.
O all ye that pass by the way, attend, and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow. Mary’s sorrows are measured by her love. Those who love much, suffer in proportion to their love. They who have but little love, know but little suffering. The holy Virgin loved her divine Son with a tender affection, which surpassed that of all other mothers for theirs, because he was the most amiable of the children of men; and she loved him by nature, knowledge, and grace.
He was her only Son, whom she shared with no father. She had conceived him by the operation of the Holy Ghost, who is the spirit of divine love, and who united them together by an indissoluble chain of love and sympathy. This Son resembled her in holiness, purity, and perfection. She had received infinite graces from him, and thus with her natural love was united a love of gratitude, a love of sympathy, and a love of charity. She loved him as God and as man; as her Father and her Son; as her Creator and Redeemer. There never existed any creature so amiable as Jesus. There never has been known love comparable to Mary’s, which was better, more tender, and more perfect, than the love of all mothers who have ever lived.
Mary’s grief was measured and augmented by the prophetic knowledge she had of all that he was to suffer. Not only had the Prophets foretold his passion and death, but he, also, had discoursed with her, and instructed her concerning them. It was all—the ignominy, the buffeting, the scourging, the bloody sweat, the spitting, the cross, the spear—apparent to her from the hour of his birth. She meditated on the griefs which awaited her divine Son and examined in her thoughts all the circumstances attendant thereon. Consider the anguish of this most afflicted and tender mother, when her Son separated himself from her and bade her a last adieu! As the Son and the mother had but one and the same heart, she felt all that he endured. The wounds which were inflicted on his body, were imprinted on her sacred heart. What a spectacle! A Son expiring on a cross, and a mother standing by, the mute and agonized witness of his sufferings! O all ye that pass by the way, attend, and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow.
Admire the virtues of the most holy Virgin. What resignation to the will of God does she not exhibit amidst so many afflictions and sorrows! What humility, to follow her Son to the place of suffering and ignominy, and wish to be recognized by all the world as his mother! What courage, to behold him expiring, without evincing the least sign of impatience, without allowing herself to be bowed down by her grief, but to remain standing by his cross! What charity, to consent to the death of a Child so dear to her soul, to satisfy his will and desire! What love for men, to immolate her Son on this bloody altar, for their salvation!
Resolution: Today I will give alms to the poor in honor of our Lady’s sorrows.
Prayer: Oh, Mother of grace and mercy, since thou hast loved me so much as to deliver thy only Son to the painful and ignominious death of the cross, I will love and serve thee all the days of my life. I will offer thee only praise and benedictions all my life. I will, by thy most holy example, make a continual sacrifice to God of all that I hold most dear to me. I will endeavour to imitate thy virtues, of which I will make a chaplet, to crown my heart continually with, in thy honor.
By a Member of the Society of Jesus, edited and amended by J. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R.